With the inexorable advance of Allied forces through Germany, many of the fighter units moved into the Alpine regions in their effort to stay operational. Among the most feared of the Luftwaffe's remaining combat units were those equipped with the remarkable Me262 fighter jet. With their huge speed advantage, the 262s were a difficult target in aerial combat even for the fastest Allied fighters, but the German jets were especially vulnerable to attack during take-off and landing. The American long-range fighter pilots were quick to spot this weakness, and scored many successes by catching the jet pilots as they returned low on fuel and ammunition.
Commanding JV-44, General Adolf Galland countered the threat by employing the Fw190 "Dora" 9s to fly top cover, their task being to sweep the sky as the jets returned from combat. Nicolas Trudgian's painting Mountain Wolf depicts the colorful Fw190 of Hptm Waldermar Wubke of JV-44 as he prepares to scramble "Red Three" at Ainring airfield in May 1945. The brightly colored paint schemes brought about the staffel's radio call sign Papagei, the German word for Parrot!
Set in a spectacular mountain scene, Nicolas Trudgian's latest print records the last days of air combat as WWII drew to a close. Authenticated with the signatures of TWO Fw190 pilots, both Knight's Cross holders, Mountain Wolf makes a valuable print which will enhance the serious collector's portfolio.
Focke-Wulf "Red Three" prepares to scramble from the Alpine region airfield at Ainring, 1945.
Major Hans-Ekkehard Bob
Flying with III./JG54 at the beginning of the war, Hans-Ekkehard Bob saw action in the Polish and French Campaigns before being appointed Staffelkapitän (double dots) of the 9th Staffel during the Battle of Britain. In June 1943 he was promoted Kommandeur of IV./JG51 and in May 1944 Kommandeur of II./JG3 until August 1944. In September 1944 he joined EJG2. At the end of the war he was Adutant of JV44, Galland's Squadron of Experts, where he also flew the Fw190D at Ainring airfield. During the war he flew over 700 missions and scored 59 victories. He was awarded the Knight's Cross.
Major Heinz Lange
At the outbreak of war Heinz Lange was with I./JG21 scoring his first victory in October 1939. He flew 76 missions in the Battle of Britain with 8./JG54, and never lost a wingman. After flying in the Balkan Campaign he took part in the invasion of Russia, scoring 7 victories during the first week. In October 1941 he was given command of 1./JG54 and in 1942 command of 3./JG51. In January 1944 Heinz Lange returned to JG54 to command I.Gruppe and then back to JG51 where he was appointed Kommodore of JG51 Molders, leading IV./JG51 at the same time. Heinz Lange flew over 628 missions and achieved 70 victories. He was awarded the Knight's Cross.
Overall print size: 25 1/2" wide x 19" high.