HIGH FLIGHT – Keith FerrisOh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;Sunwards I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirthOf sun-split clouds - and done a thousand thingsYou have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared andswungHigh in the sunlit silence. Hovering there,I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flungMy eager craft through footless halls of air,Up, up the long delirious burning blueI’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trodThe high untrespassed sanctity of space,Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.John Gillespie Magee RCAF ( † Dec 11, 1941)Compuso este poema tras un vuelo de alta cotaen su Spitfire. Pocos días después falleció.
FOURTH MISSION OF THE DAY – Gil Cohen
COASTAL PATROL - Richard TaylorAugust 1940 – Battle of Britain: Mk1 Spitfires of 610 Sqn from Biggin Hill patrol The White Cliffs near Dover.
B17 NINE-O-NINE - Steve Heyen1944 - B17 bombers of 333 Sqn Bomb face Me109 fighters over Germany
DAUNTLESS AGAINST A RISING SUN - William PhillipsJUN 1942 - Battle of Midway: 2 SBD-3 from USS Yorktown fly towards the Japanese fleet.
CLOSING THE GAP - Robert TaylorAugust 1944 - Hawker Typhoons of 247 Sqn launch rocket and gun attacks on German Panzer tanks in Normandy. In one day these air strikes destroyed 175 tanks.
FW190 STURMGRUPPE FORMATION - John Wallin LibertoDEC 1944 - Flying at high altitude, the Fw190A-8 Sturmbock of the JG 300 is directed to meet the formations of Allied B-17 and B-24 bombers.
FW190 STURMGRUPPE FORMATION (detail) - John Wallin LibertoOberstleutnant Walther Dahl in his Blue 13 leads the FW190s from JG300"Wild Boar". Dahl was involved in 128 ‘dogfights’ , one ramming a B-17.
DESERT SHARKS - Heinz KrebsP-40 fighters of 325th FG, 12th AF, the dreaded Checkertail Clan, attack a German tank column during the defeat of Field Marshal Erwin Rommels Afrika Korps in Tunisia in early 1943.
SPLASH LANDING – Gareth Hector1943 J.G. Boon von Ochssee, a Dutchman serving aboard HMS Speaker, ditches his Grumman HellcatJW867 into the Indian Ocean. He was picked up safely by a destroyer escort and would continue flying
GALLAND’S ACES - Dieter Meyer1945 - Adolf Galland and Heinz Bär lead a group of Me-262s towards an encounter with Allied B-24s high above the clouds.
August 1944 – This one depicts a Spitfire MkXIVe flown by Flying Officer Burgwal of 322(Dutch) Squadron, a high scoring V-1 killer with 19 kills. This image shows one of his kills, thistime by tipping over the V-1 flying bomb that was headed for London. This would make the V-1 crash as it had no ailerons or internal systems that could compensate for this imbalance.
CAUGHT ON THE SURFACE - Robert Taylor JUL 1943 - A Sunderland of 461 Sqn RAAF, identification letter U, destroys submarine U-461, a type XIV tanker, one of three German submarines caught on the surface by Allied aircraft in the Bay of Biscay on July 30, 1943. At extreme low level, Sunderland U braves a barrage of gunfire from all three encircling German submarines to deliver a successful depthcharge attack, sinking U-461 in a single pass. In an act of grace, the Sunderland pilot returned to the scene to drop a dingy to the U-boat survivors.
DAYS OF THUNDER - Richard TaylorMAY 1944 - Four P-47D Thunderbolts of 78 Fighter Group depart Duxford aerodrome for a low-level strafing mission over the north of France.
DAMBUSTERS BREACHING THE EDER DAM - Robert TaylorMAY 1943 -Four Avro Lancasters of 617 Sqn, modified to carry the huge dam-busting bouncing bombs designed by Barnes Wallis, breach the Mohne and Ederdams in one night under the leadership of Wing Commander Guy Gibson.
FLY FOR YOUR LIFE - Robert TaylorDIC 1943 - Maj. Greg Pappy Boyington and his F4U Corsairs of VMF-214 "BlackSheep“ combat a group of Japanese Zeros over Rabaul.
RAIDERS OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC - Roy Grinnell1942 –The Blohm and Voss B & V-138 reconnaissance flying boats out of Norway oversee a Ju-88s attack against Allied merchant ships in the Norwegian Sea.
CANT TALK NOW…. GOTTA SHOOT - Dan Zoernig7 JUL 1944 -Cap. Bud Anderson, of 357 Fighter Gp, surprising two 3 Me-109s in close formation. When he hears on the radio "Bud, where are you?” he replies with the phrase that forms the title of the painting.
INTO THE TEETH OF THE WIND - Robert Taylor18 ABR 1942 -Jimmy Doolittle, flying his B-25 Mitchell, takes off from the carrier USS Hornet, tolaunch his daring raid on Tokyo, the first strike at the heart of Imperial Japan four months after PearlHarbour.
HARTMANNS LAST VICTORY - Mark Postlethwaite MAY 1945 - The highest scoring fighter pilot in history, Erich Hartmann shoots down his lastvictim, his 352nd, a Soviet Yak-9 Fighter over Brno in Slovakia. Hartmann is shown piloting his Messerschmitt ME109 "Black Tulip", on 8 May 1945, the last day of the war.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - Roy Grinnell18 APR 1943 -An ambush by 16 P-38 Lightnings ends with the shooting down by Lt. Rex Barber of theJapanese Betty bomber carrying Japan’s Imperial Fleet Commander Admiral Yamamoto, architect of the attack on Pearl Harbour. US intelligence had discovered Yamamoto would be flying to Ballale Island and the Lightnings flew 400 miles at 50ft above the water to make the avenging kill.
AMBUSH - Heinz Krebs German Me 262 jet fighters, were vulnerable to fighter attacks during take-off and landing. To counteract mounting losses special units were formed to provide cover. In order to make these aircraft clearlydiscernable to the German anti-aircraft gunners, their undersides were painted red with white stripes, thus thelegend of the "parrot wing" was born. One of this units elements was the so-called "strangler swarm" led byLt. Heino Sachsenberg seen here in his Focke Wulf 190 Dora 9, as he attempts to protect the approaching jet fighters from the P.51 Mustangs attack.
BLACK FRIDAY - Mark Postlethwaite 9 FEB 1945 - At 14.00 on February 9 1945, 31 Bristol Beaufighters of 445 (RAAF), 404(RCAF) and 144Squadron (RAF) took off for a strike against a small German Naval Force hidden in Fordefjord. By 19.00 that evening, 404 Squadron were coming to terms with the loss of six of their aircraft, 11 men dead one POW. Intotal, nine Bristol Beaufighters were lost that day along with one North American Mustang. The Germans lost
NARROW ESCAPE - Heinz KrebsSEP 1940 Battle of Britain: an ailing He111 is harassed by a Spitfire of the RAF.Just in time, two Me109 of JG26 fly to the rescue.
CLASH OF EAGLES - Roy Grinnell MAY 1944 - Lt. Hubert Hackmann, his guns jammed, rams his Messerschmitt into Capt. Joseph H.Bennet’s 336 Ftr Sqn P-51B Mustang, destroying it. Bennett was captured after parachuting safely over Germany. He and Hackmann became friends, meeting regularly for reunions after the war.
TYPHOON SCRAMBLE - Richard TaylorLed by Squadron Commander Roland “Bee” Beamont, Hawker Typhoons of 609Squadron are illustrated as they scramble from their base at Manston in April 1943.
FORTRESSES UNDER FIRE - Keith FerrisThis image is the 25 foot high by 75 foot wide mural in the World War II Gallery of the NationalAir and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. The B-17G, 42-38050,“Thunder Bird” of the 303rd Bomb Group, based at Molesworth, England, is seen at 11:45 AM,15 August 1944, over Trier, Germany, on its return to base from a mission to Weisbaden. B-17Gs“Bonnie B”, “Special Delivery”, and “Marie”, are seen below as a Messerschmitt 109G andFocke Wulf FW 190 attack “Thunder Bird’s” element. Jeff Ethell’s research for the muralrevealed the names and aircraft identities of all U.S. and many German participants in this battlein which the 303rd lost nine Fortresses in this attack by Luftwaffe fighters.
LEO OF THE ZODIAC BOMBERS - Roy Grinnell1944 – Painting on the nose of one of the B-24 Liberators of the famous 834 Zodiac Squadron‘of the 486 Bomb Group based at Sudbury in England, which had Zodiac signs on every plane.
SEAWOLVES - Nicolas Trudgian1942 - The German submarine U-552 ‘Red Devil’ returns to its base at St Nazaire during the Battle of the Atlantic, escorted by a Fw200 Condor and three Ju88Ds of KGR 106.
DESPERATE DAYS - Gareth Hector1945 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9s of JG-26 squadron intercepting B-24s high above Germany during the last desperate months of the war.
CLOSE COMBAT - Mark PostlethwaiteDEC 23 1944 - Feldwebel Wilhelm Hopfensitz of IV/JG3 piloting his Focke Wulf F190, closesin on a B-17 Flying Fortress of the 838th BS over Belgium.
THE FAMOUS FOUR MINUTES – R. G. Smith4 JUN 1942 -Battle of Midway: One of the defining moments of the Pacific War. In just 4 minutes Douglas Dauntless dive-bombers from the Enterprise and Yorktown, destroy the Japanese carriers Kaga, Akagi and Soryu.
INTO THE TEETH OF THE TIGER - William PhillipsThere’s more than one way to bring down an opposing fighter, as 1st Lt. Don Lopez learned on December 12, 1943. He andhis comrades of the 75th Fighter Squadron were at 6,000 feet over South Central China when the young airman experiencedhis first scramble. Lopez ripped his P-40 into the middle of a flight of Japanese “Oscars” and quickly engaged one of them,flying directly at one another, firing steady hits. Lopez expected his opponent to break off, but neither did so. Head-on onlya few feet apart, the Oscar swerved right … too late. Lopez lost three feet off the end of his wing, but the Japanese pilot lost substantially more, including control of his aircraft, which plunged toward the earth. Undaunted, Lopez pressed the attack again and scored enough victories to join the ranks of “ace” fighter pilot.
FIRST KILL- Roy GrinnellSEP 1st 1939 – On the first day of WW2 2nd Lt. Wladek Gnys in his gull-winged PLZP-11 fighter shot down two Dornier Do-17E over the pre-dawn skies of Poland as the Germans launched their surprise attack on his country.
SEMPER FI SKIES John D. Shaw 21 MAY 43 - This scenedepicts Corsairs of VMF-112 ‘Wolfpack’ in combat nearGuadalcanal in 1943. On May 21, Captain Archie Donahue became an ‘ace in a day’ by shooting down 5 enemy aircraft in one mission. Hewould repeat this feat 2 yearslater while serving aboard the USS Bunker Hill.
RAID ON THE CHINA COAST - Roy GrinnellAPRIL 1945 - The plane shown is Lady Lil of the Air Apaches 345th Bomb Group, 498th Bomb Squadron, aB-25 piloted by Lt. Albert J. Beiga as he attacks Japanese shipping off the coast of China, between Amoy andSwatow, west of Formosa.
STAR OF AFRICA - Heinz KrebsHauptmann Hans-Joachim Marseille, known as the Star of Africa, was probably the most formidable opponent the British ever encountered in the air. He was victorious in 158 aerial combats against the Royal Air Force, 154 of which were fighter aircraft. Marseille died undefeated whilst bailing out of his Me 109 which had developed an engine problem on the return leg of an uneventful sortie. Marseille is seen here at the moment of his 150th aerial victory on September 15th, 1942, when he fought and defeated no less than seven Curtiss Kittyhawk fighters in an incredible eleven minutes.
SHARK SIGHTING - John D. Shaw 1942 - Kunming, China. Before the pilots of the legendary 1st American Volunteer Group ‘The Flying Tigers’ could take to the skies against the enemy, the all-important task of boresightingthe .30 caliber wing guns of their P-40s had to take place! Their ingenious armourers were oftenforced to improvise, but as the Tigers incredible combat record can attest, these great Americans got the job done! Artist John D. Shaw has recreated this scenario, featuring likenesses of actual
ONE MAN AIR FORCE - Wade MeyersCaptain Don S. Gentile of the Debden-based 336th Fighter Squadron manoeuvers his P-51B-7-NA MustangShangri-La while engaging an FW-190A-7 on April 8, 1944. For his actions this day, Gentile was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Americas second highest award for valor in combat. General Dwight D. Eisenhower presented the award personally, and when introduced to the young fighter pilot, Eisenhower remarked, You seem to be a one-man air force!
OPEN ASSAULT - Robert Taylor The Junkers Ju87 Sturzkampfbomber, known to the British simply as the Stuka, had a deadly reputation, its siren screaming as the ungainly dive-bomber struck terror into the hearts of those below. In 1940 they crossed the Channel to terrorise thesouthern towns and ports of England. Robert Taylors painting Open Assault, depicts Hurricanes of 501 Squadron attacking aforce of Ju87 Stukas as they dive-bomb naval vessels and installations in the port of Dover on 29 July 1940. Four Stukas and
DAVID AND GOLIATH – Roberto ZanellaJUN 1943 – A Macchi MC205 Veltro from A Squadron Ace of Wands shoots down a B-17G over Italy.
OPERATION CERBERUS - Philip West The Channel Dash (officially known as Operation Cerberus) was one of three operations during the Second World War for which the Fairey Swordfish was to become the most famous. Heavily outgunned in the Straits of Dover on this day, February 11, 1942 by the German warships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen, with their accompanying flotilla ofdestroyers and motor torpedo boats, and with top cover provided by deadly fighter aircraft of the Luftwaffe, all six Fleet Air Arm Fairey Swordfish were shot down. Only five of the eighteen aircrew survived. Here we see the Swordfish flown by Sub. Lt. Kingsmill and Sub. Lt. Samples with PO Bunce in the rear, fighting for their lives with his machine gun.The bravery of the Fairey Swordfish aircrew in this and all other operations is a matter of history and must never be forgotten.
TIRPITZ MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - Mark Postlethwaite12 NOV 44 - Avro Lancasters of 9 and 617 Sqns sink the battleship Tirpitz, as it shelters in Tromso Fjord inNorway. During World War Two, Tirpitz had become the scourge of the Royal Navy and had been moved to northern Norway where she threatened the Arctic convoys, too far north to be attacked by air from Britain. She had already been damaged by an attack by Royal Navy midget submarines and a series of attacks from carrier-borne aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm, but both attacks had failed to sink her.
PLAYING THE LAST ACE - Heinz Krebs1945 - The Messerschmitt Me-163 rocket fighter aircraft, perhaps better known as the Komet, was possibly the most radical German manned fighter aircraft design in WW II. Here Me-163 Komet fighters climb vertically through an 8th Air Force bomber formation and its top fighter cover before swooping down on the heavies for their short but
RED TAILED BLACK ANGELS - Stu Shepherd1944 - The Tuskegee Airmen of 322 Ftr Gp were known as the ‘Red-Tailed BlackAngels’ with their black fuselage and red painted tails of their P-51Bs. Here Capt.
“HAPPY” NEW YEAR - Gareth HectorJanuary 1st 1945. All across western Europe airfields are thrown into chaos as the Luftwaffe unleashes a desperate surprise offensive to destroy allied air power on the ground. Operation Bodenplatte would instead result in the death knell for theonce formidable German air force. However there were some successes, Eindhoven the home of the RAFs 2nd TAF was hithard, firstly by Jg-3 and then in a case of mistaken identity by Jg-6. Here, the airfield is already burning from the first attackwhen Jg-6s 1st Gruppe race across the airfield causing even more damage. Red 12 belonged to Ewald Trost, he was luckier than most as his aircraft was shot down but he survived and was taken prisoner. Ironically the 1st Gruppe was to enjoy the most success for Jg-6 that day, the rest of the unit couldnt find their designated target at Volkel and as a result found
ON WINGS AND A PRAYER - William PhillipsDawn breaks over the English countryside. This is September 1940 and the island nation is in the grips of war--the Battle of Britain. A woman riding her bicycle, hearing the roar of approaching aircraft, stops to gaze upward. She watches Spitfiresfrom 92 Squadron streak across the sky, determined to search out and destroy the fighters and bombers of Hitlers Luftwaffe.
FLYING ON A SPECIAL D-DAY – Julien Lepelletier6 JUN 1944 - And a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt flies over Utah Beach on an escort mission.
RAMRAIDERS - Richard Taylor 8 JUN 44 – Two days after D-Day the RAF and USAF begin to halt the supply of oil to enemy forces by bombing Germany’s oil refineries. The Luftwaffe are ordered to shoot down the bombers at all costs, even by ramming.Closing at high speed with all cannons blazing. Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz is seen flying his distinctive “Black 8” IV Sturm/JG3, as he dives in to attack a formation of USAAF B-24 Liberators from the 93rd Bomb Group.
JUNKERS Ju88 – Shigeo Koike1941 - A Ju88 A-4 bomber of III Gruppe / Lehrgeschwader 1 flies over theTunisian desert.
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE - Keith Ferris Pearl Harbor wasnt the only place that was attacked on December 7th. Across the International Date Line - making it officially December 8th - lay Clark Field, which was pounded by Japanese "Betty" Bombers, then strafed by Zeroes.Some American pilots managed to counterattack. Lt. Joe Moore in his Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk is depicted at 22,000 feet over Clark Field idefending against the Japanese attackers as the Pacific War begins.
ONE THE HARD WAY - Dan ZoernigChristmas Day, 1941. American Volunteer Group Flight Leader Parker Dupouy finds his guns jammed during combat high over the Gulf of Martaban. Determined to bring down his adversary, he rams the HayabusaOscar of Lt. Hiroshi Okuyama of the JAAF 64th Sentai. Though he lost four feet of his wingtip and his entireaileron, Dupouy made it back to base to fight another day. Lt. Okuyamas aircraft, however, broke up in flight and carried him to his death. Dupouy went on to score 6.5 victories in the air before wars end.
”LUCKY” - Carlos García1944 - The Anglo-Argentine pilot Dick ‘Lucky’ Lindsell in his Hurricane MkIICleads the attack on a bridge in Burma.
THE EAGLES NEST - John D. Shaw May 7, 1945 . . . With Gorings champagne and Bavarian beer, the veterans of Easy Company celebrate the end of World War II in Europe. Fate could write no better ending for the paratroopers who jumped into the darkness of Normandy, slugged through the mud of Holland, and froze in the woods of Bastogne. Now, inBerchtesgadens storybook Alps, P-51s of the "Checkertail Clan" cap the party as the Band of Brothers enjoy the spoils of war, the beauty of peace, and a toast to the heroes who fell along the way.