The Eagles Divide by Robert Taylor features P-51 Mustangs and Bf109s in combat over Germany.
It had begun; the end game was inexorably in play. The final defeat of Germany and the end of Nazi tyranny was almost within sight but in the skies over Germany the defiant remnants of the Luftwaffe fought on with savage determination. Ever since the long-range American P-51 escort fighters had first appeared, the skies over the Reich had witnessed grim encounters with the Mustangs taking on the Luftwaffe as they tried to stop the heavy bombers of the USAAF reaching their targets. By early 1945 it was a losing battle, but still the Luftwaffe fought on and, in the resulting maelstrom of combat, the Mustang pilots still had their work cut out against these battle hardened, expert pilots
Robert Taylor’s superb drawing, part of his much-acclaimed Graphite Series, dramatically reconstructs one such clash in early 1945 as P-51 Mustangs of the 357th Fighter Group have spotted a group of Bf109s heading their way. Without hesitation they dive head-on in an attempt to break-up the enemy formation and for the pilots on both sides the explosive encounter of close combat is suddenly upon them.
Robert Taylor's limited edition, The Eagles Divide, is signed by two of the 357th Fighter Group's most famous P-51 Aces:
Colonel CLARENCE ‘BUD’ ANDERSON - 357th Fighter Group Ace with 16 1/4 victories
Captain WILLIAM ‘BILL’ OVERSTREET - 357th Fighter Group Ace with 5 victories.
The four signature Aces Edition is additionally signed by two highly distinguished Luftwaffe Aces:
Leutnant HUGO BROCH - Knight’s Cross with 81 victories
Oberleutnant WALTER WOLFRUM - Knight’s Cross with 137 victories.
The ten signature Fighter Pilots Edition is additionally signed by a further six distinguished fighter pilots:
Leutnant JORG CZPIONKA - Iron Cross with 2 victories
Captain JIM BROOKS - USAAF Ace with 13 victories
Lieutenant Colonel CLYDE B. EAST - P-51 Ace with 14 1/2 victories
Colonel ART FIEDLER - Ace with 8 victories
Colonel JOE PETERBURS - Shot down the Me262 jet flown by legendary Ace Walter Schuck
Oberleutnant KURT SCHULTZ - Iron Cross with 3 victories
First Lieutenant CLINT WHITE - 31st Fighter Group P-51 pilot.
The fifteen signature Collectors Edition is additionally signed by five additional Luftwaffe pilots, who flew and fought in the final days of the war:
Generalleutnant GUNTHER RALL - Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves & Swords with 275 victories
Hauptmann GŰNTHER NORDENHOLZ - Me109 Pilot with 1 victory
Oberfeldwebel ERICH AXTHAMMER - Knight’s Cross with 4 air victories plus numerous tanks and ground targets destroyed
Unteroffizier GUSTAV DREES - JG54 with 4 victories
Unteroffizier JOHANNES OESTERHELT - JG52 Me109 Pilot with 2 victories.
The twenty three signature Tribute Proofs are conservation matted to include the additional original pencil signatures of top P-51 Aces along with some of the most highly decorated and high scoring Luftwaffe Bf109 pilots that flew in WWII. The signatories on this piece amassed a staggering total of more than 1050 victories between them:
Generalleutnant ADOLF GALLAND - Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds with 104 victories, all in the West
General JOHANNES STEINHOFF - Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords with 178 victories
Major GERHARD SCHOPFEL - Knight’s Cross with 40 victories, all in the West
Generalmajor DIETER HRABAK - Knight’s Cross with 125 victories
Captain WILLIAM ‘OBEE’ O’BRIEN - 357th Fighter Group Ace with 5 1/2 victories
Lieutenant Colonel BOB GOEBEL - Mustang Ace with 11 victories
Major RICHARD ‘BUD’ PETERSON - 357th Fighter Group Ace with 15 1/2 victories
Lieutenant General GEORGE G. LOVING Jr - 31st Fighter Group Ace with 5 victories.
24 x 17 inches overall including borders.
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