Rare Limited Edition print by Nicolas Trudgian - Return of the Hunters features Me262s of JG7 heading back to base after a mission.
As the war in Europe drew to its close, an elite group of Luftwaffe fighter pilots, undaunted by the over-whelming odds against survival, heralded in the new Jet Age in a final desperate attempt to defend their homeland. All were veteran combat pilots, most having flown continually since the Battles of France and Britain almost six years earlier. Many had completed upwards of 1000 combat missions, and even as Germany was fast falling to the Allied advances, these remarkable men refused to contemplate defeat.
Roaring off the airfields of southern Germany with a sound hitherto unheard, Willie Messerschmitt's Me262 jet fighter was faster than anything that had flown before. Thrown into battle whilst still in development, the aircraft was a handful to fly effectively, but when it made its first bomber interceptions it brought immediate consternation to the Allied aircrews. In the hands of the most experienced fighter Aces the world has ever known, the Me262 was an instant success.
In his dramatic painting Nicolas Trudgian has recreated a typical scene from the final days of World War II: Messerschmitt Me262s of JG7 race back to their base at Brandenburg after intercepting a USAAF bomber raid on Munich, and Luftwaffe air bases in the area. With rockets expended and fuel running low, they hug the Bavarian landscape to avoid the attentions of the American escort fighters. Below them a B-26, brought down on an earlier mission, has crash-landed in the fields still covered with a sprinkling of late winter snow. In the distance the afternoon sun glistens on the Bavarian Alpine mountains.
Return of the Hunters by Nicolas Trudgian is signed by three high-scoring Luftwaffe Aces and exponents of the Me262 - the Commander of all day and night fighters, General Adolf Galland, Major Erich Rudorffer and Leutnant Fritz Tegtmeier.
We are selling this print on behalf of one of our collectors. It was purchased from ourselves when released in 1995 and has been stored dark and flat since. It is in mint condition and is supplied with the original Certificate of Authenticity.
Note: the 'Nicolas Trudgian' logo on the bottom right of the image does not appear on the actual print itself.
33 x 25 inches overall including borders.
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