For the Allied air forces in the closing months of the war, the Luftwaffe still posed a serious threat. The 'Long Nose‘ Fw190D-9 (or ‘Dora’ as it became known) was perhaps the aircraft most feared.
This fact was pressed home on the 19 March 1945 when Mustangs of the illustrious 78th Fighter Group lost four of their aircraft to the Doras of IV/JG26.
The Mustang pilots had been flying a patrol over Germany from their base at Duxford in England and had first encountered Me109K fighters of IV/JG27. In the frenzied dogfight that ensued, the Mustangs downed twelve of the Messerschmitts. However, as the Mustangs turned for home they were engaged by the Dora’s of JG26, led by the formidable Oberleutant Hans Dortenmann in his distinctive yellow-tailed 'Black 1'. Dortenmann shot down two of the four Mustangs and a further two were also lost before the 78th could make for home. It was a stark reminder of the supremacy of the D-9 and the threat the Luftwaffe still posed.
Dortenmann continued to lead his young pilots to the end of the war by which time his total of victories in the D-9 had risen to eighteen thereby making him the top scoring 'Dora' Ace of the war.
Joining the artist in signing this edition are THREE highly-regarded Luftwaffe Aces who flew the Fw190 in combat during WWII:
- Major Erich Rudorffer KC with Oak Leaves and Swords
- Leutnant Hugo Broch KC
- Feldwebel Herbert Koller
- 34.25 x 24.25 inches
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