Return from Schweinfurt by Robert Taylor

Return from Schweinfurt by Robert Taylor

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An edition by Robert Taylor commemorating the historic Schweinfurt-Regensburg raids, signed by General Curtis LeMay, Colonel Hub Zemke, General Adolf Galland and Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson

August 17th, 1943 saw one of the most remarkable and cleverly conceived air strikes in history. Led by the brilliant strategist Colonel Curtis LeMay, 147 B-17s of the American 8th Air Force's 4th Wing headed out from their British bases to bomb the Messerschmitt factory at Regensburg, some 750 miles distant, with a brief to fly on to North Africa. Meanwhile 230 B-17s of the 1st Wing headed for the bearing factories at Schweinfurt. Having such vital targets the crews of the mighty 8th knew they were in for a fight - what they got that day was one of the fiercest air battles of the war.

Over 200 FW190s and Me 109s of the Luftwaffe's western groups pressed home wave after wave of attacks as the battle moved over Germany at 180 m.p.h., its course to and from the target plotted by flame, smoke, parachutes, men and debris from disintegrating aircraft.

Robert Taylor's impressive painting reconstructs the scene as badly damaged B-17s of the 91st and 381st Bomb Group, which suffered most casualties, battle their way home over the Antwerp area of Holland. A Messerschmitt Mel09 makes a high speed attack, while above another prepares to dive through the formation.

High above, now out of ammunition and low on fuel but with 17 confirmed victories, Hub Zemke's 56th Fighter Group P-47s contrail their way out of the area, meantime Johnnie Johnson takes up the fight, diving his Spitfires into the fray as the R. A.F. take up where the 56th left off. In his inimitable way Taylor recreates the desperate pitch of the battle, in an aviation painting that will serve as a timeless memorial to all those who flew that historic day.

Conferring lasting significance on the prints, four of the great leaders involved in that tumultuous air battle have individually signed all 1250 prints in this important edition.

The Signature

This edition is signed by General Curtis LeMay, Colonel Hub Zemke, General Adolf Galland and Air Vice Marshal Johnnie Johnson

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