Headlong Into the Clash
by Robert Taylor
14th. January 1945; and the war was not going well for Germany. The noose was tightening as the Allies, having broken out from their Normandy landings seven months earlier, stood on the banks of the Rhine. On their bomb-cratered airfields the Luftwaffe prepared for the final onslaught during the Defense of the Reich.
“Headlong Into the Clash” captures a moment during that massive aerial battle as enemy fighters from JG300 and JG301 make a head-on attack through a close formation of B-17s from the 390th Bomb Group near Ludwigslust. But their ever-vigilant P-51 escorts quickly engage the enemy with devastating results.
In the centre of the action Flt Lt Joe Peterburs of the 20th Fighter Group screams past the Bf109G of Lt Bruno Klostermann from II./JG300 who is attempting to penetrate the bomber formation. Peterburs scored a victory over an Fw190 in the ensuing battle, Klostermann, however, will not survive the day.
|Special presentation||Conservation framed 'War in Europe' edition with additional wartime signatures||$1875|
|Overall size: 31" x 38½"||(includes un-framed companion print shown below)|
|This "War in Europe' edition is signed by the pilots listed below and has been conservation framed to include a reproduction Luftwaffe breast eagle and the wartime signatures of two JG-300 commanders, Anton Hackl and Walther Dahl.
All materials used in the framing are acid free, and the print is mounted using archival quality corners (no tape or glue). The frame is a high quality mahogany finish wood with gold accent, and is glazed with UV filtering plexiglas.
|Anton Hackl||Walther Dahl|
|Lt Günther Sinnecker - Bf109 Ace with JG302 & JG300 / 5 victories
|Col Joe Peterburs - Pilot on P-51s with the 20th FG / 2 victories|
|T/Sgt William Stovall - Top Turret Gunner on B-17s with the 390th BG|
|Lt Col ‘Lucky’ Lowman - Pilot on P-51s with the 20th FG|
|1st Lt Ken Sharpe - Pilot on B-17s with the 388th BG|
|Oblt Günther Seeger KC - An Ace on Bf109s with JG2 & JG53 / 56 victories|
|Oblt Walter Wolfrum KC - An Ace on Bf109s with JG52 / 137 victories|
|Fw Oskar Boesch - A Bf109s & Fw190s Ace with JG3 / 18 victories|
|Lt Fritz Tegtmeier KC - An Ace on Bf109s & Me262s with JG54 & JG7 / 146 victories|
|1st Lt Leo Croce - Co-Pilot on B-17s with 398th BG|
|Col ‘Bud’ Anderson - An Ace on P-51s with the 357th FG / 16¼ victories|
|Lt Col Walter Drake - Pilot on P-51s with the 479th FG / 1 victory|
|Capt Leo Kerns - Pilot on P-51s with the 20th FG / 1 victory (signed on companion print)|
||Walter Dahl joined the army in 1935, initially serving in the infantry before transferring to the Luftwaffe and becoming a pilot, then flight instructor in 1939. In May 1941, Dahl was transferred to the Geschwaderstab of JG 3. He gained his first victory on 22 June during the invasion of Russia, and by the end of October had 17 victories to his credit. Dahl was transferred to 4./JG 3 on 13 December 1941 and accompanied the unit to the Mediterranean theatre. On 10 April 1942, Dahl was appointed Staffelkapitän of Ergänzungsgruppe/JG 3.
At the end of April 1943, Dahl was transferred to the staff of the General der Jagdflieger. On 15 August, he was appointed Geschwaderadjutant of JG 3 based on the Eastern front where, by mid-April 1943, he had raised his victory total to 51. In July 1943 Dahl was posted as Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 3, recently relocated to Münster from deployment around Kursk on the Russian Front. Here Dahl was to battle the bomber formations of the USAAF. He shot down two four-engined bombers on 6 September and two more four-engined bombers and a P-38 on 23 February 1944. Dahl led III./JG 3 against the Schweinfurt and Regensburg raid on 17 August but was intercepted by RAF Spitfires. Five Bf 109s were shot down including the aircraft of Lt Hans Schleef. Dahl himself had to make a belly landing near Capperath when his Bf 109 G-6 suffered an engine failure.
On 21 May 1944, Dahl was appointed Kommodore of JG z.b.V. He led the unit until 6 June before taking command of JG 300 on 27 June. On 13 September, he brought down a USAAF B-17 four-engined bomber by ramming.
Despite the successes achieved against the USAAF four-engined bombers with the use of Sturm tactics employed by JG 300, Dahl was to be relieved of his command by Göring on 30 November 1944. On 26 January 1945, he was appointed Inspekteur der Tagjäger. Oberst Dahl was awarded the Eichenlaub on 1 February for 92 victories. Despite his promotion, Dahl continued to fly operationally. He added 32 Russian aircraft to his tally flying over the Eastern front. He recorded his 100th victory on 28 February 1945. Oberst Dahl ended the war flying Me 262 jet fighters with III./EJG 2. On 27 March, Dahl claimed two USAAF P-47 fighters shot down. He gained his 128th and last victory, a USAAF P-51 Mustang near Dillingen, on 26 April 1945. Walter Dahl survived the war but died on 25 November 1985 at Heidelberg, aged 69.
Anton “Toni” Hackl was born on 25 March 1915 at Regensburg. He joined the army in 1932 serving with an Infantry Regiment, then transferred to the Luftwaffe and completed Pilot training in the autumn of 1936. He was posted to Norway serving with 5./JG 77 where he recorded four victories. In July 1941, he was sent to the Eastern Front and by September 1942 had achieved a total of 118 victories. He was transferred to Tunisia with II./JG 77 where he gained 6 victories. But after a battle with P-38 Lightnings on 4 February 1943 he was badly wounded and was out of action for several months.
On 1 October, he became Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 11. In April 1944, he commanded JG 11 for a short time before again being badly wounded in battle with P-47s. In July 1944 he became Kommodore of JG 76. On 8 October he became leader of II./JG 26 At this time “Toni” Hackl had 165 victories to his credit. By the end of 1944 he had 172 victories. On 30 January 1945 he was acting Kommodore of JG 300 and, from 20 February, Kommodore of JG 11 following the death of Jürgen Harder.
During the last ten months of the war Hackl was credited with 43 confirmed victories, including 20 achieved in 1945. He ended the war with 192 confirmed aerial victories plus 24 unconfirmed. Among his score was included 34 four-engined bombers, making Hackl the second highest scoring pilot of the war in this category.
Issued with 'War in Europe' - Remarque & Tribute editions.
Signed by Capt Leo Kerns
Pilot on P-51s with the 20th FG / 1 victory.