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The Eagles Divide - Tribute Proof Edition

Robert Taylor

Overall Print Size: 24 x 17 inches - overall inc. matte border 28.5 x 25 inches
Edition: 50
Subject: P-51 Mustangs and Bf109s in combat.

Each of these Tribute Proofs is conservation matted to include the 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 24 signatories on this piece amassed a staggering total of more than 1050 victories between them.

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.

Each print in Robert Taylor's Limited Edition, The Eagles Divide (Tribute |Proof Edition), is signed by the following combat veterans:

Colonel CLARENCE ‘BUD’ ANDERSON - 357th Fighter Group Ace with 161/4 victories
Captain WILLIAM ‘BILL’ OVERSTREET - 357th Fighter Group Ace with 5 victories
Leutnant HUGO BROCH - Knight’s Cross with 81 victories
Oberleutnant WALTER WOLFRUM - Knight’s Cross with 137 victories
Leutnant JORG CZPIONKA - Iron Cross with 2 victories
Captain JIM BROOKS - Ace with 13 victories
Lieutenant Colonel CLYDE B. EAST - P-51 Ace with 141/2 victories
Colonel ART FIEDLER - Ace with 8 victories
Colonel JOE PETERSBURS - 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
Generalleutnant GUNTHER RALL - Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves & Swords with 275 victories
Hauptmann GUNTHER 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
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 51/2 victories
Lieutenant Colonel BOB GOEBEL - Mustang Ace with 11 victories
Major RICHARD ‘BUD’ PETERSON - 357th Fighter Group Ace with 151/2 victories
Lieutenant General GEORGE G. LOVING Jr - 31st Fighter Group Ace with 5 victories.


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