A 16" x 20" full-color art print by author/historian/illustrator DON HOLLWAY
With his starboard engine flamed out, 301-victory ace Maj. Gerhard Barkhorn flees for home: the Jagdverband 44 airbase, Munich-Reim. Just as a 15th Air Force P-51 Mustang arrives to shoot him down, one of JV44’s protective “long-nose” FW-190D fighters, its distinctive underside paint scheme identifying it to German flak crews, intervenes. Still far short of his runway, Barkhorn’s travails are not over. He is about to find that, unlike the Messerschmitt 109 in which he scored all his victories, the Me-262 is not so easy to crash-land. Coming down on its jet pods, it will nose over and dig in. Barkhorn, his seatbelts loosened and glass jettisoned for a quick escape, will be thrown up against the canopy bow, sustaining serious neck injuries. By the time he returns from the hospital the war will effectively be over. This, his 1,104th mission, his second and last in an Me-262, will be his final flight of the war.
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