by Richard Taylor
Like many other missions they had undertaken in the summer of 1944, this one had been particularly cold, tough and dangerous for pilot Harry Seip and the crew of B17G Silver Meteor. The First Lieutenant and his men had set out on that morning, 11 July 1944, from a peaceful Framlingham, to undertake another arduous mission to Munich.
Two P-51s of the 357th Fighter Group had also seen the danger and, with their Merlin engines straining at full throttle, came tearing out of the blue sky into the action. The stunned Luftwaffe pilots were quick to sense they were up against two of the best Aces in the Eighth Air Force - ‘Bud’ Anderson and ‘Kit’ Carson - and these battle hardened pilots were just spoiling for a fight. Within minutes the German pilots, realising the game was up, had fled and at last the crew of Silver Meteor could breathe a sigh of relief. With these two P-51 Aces sticking close to guide them home, Harry and his men would survive to fight another day.
|Overall size: 23½" x 30½"||Available in the following editions|
|200||Limited edition||Signed by Bud Anderson and B-17 pilot Harry Seip.||$165|
|150||Fighter Aces edition||Signed by five P-51 Aces and one B-17 pilot.||$195|
|25||Artist's proof||As above||$230|
|10||Double remarque||As above||$875|
|Limited edition signatures|
|Colonel Clarence ‘Bud’ Anderson||First Lieutenant Harry Seip|
|Fighter Aces, A/P and Remarque edition signatures|
|Colonel Clarence ‘Bud’ Anderson||First Lieutenant Harry Seip||Captain Jim Brooks|
|Lieutenant Colonel Clyde B. East||Colonel Art Fiedler||Captain Clinton Burdick|
|Colonel Steve Pisanos|
‘Bud’ Anderson went to England with the 357th Fighter Group in 1943, the first Group in the Eighth Air Force to be equipped with the P-51 Mustang and soon got himself on the score sheet during one of the first Berlin missions, dog fighting with a bunch of Me109s. On 29 June 1944, leading his squadron on a mission to Liepzig, they ran into a formation of Fw190s and in the ensuing battle Anderson shot down the leader, closely followed by two more Fw190s. After a short rest back in the US, ‘Bud’ returned for a second tour, just in time for the 357th’s ‘big day’ on 27 November 1944 when, with the 353rd, they engaged a massive formation of some 200 enemy fighters, Anderson adding three more to his score. ‘Bud’ finished the war with a total of 16¼ confirmed air victories and is one of the most legendary Aces of the European Theatre.
Enlisting in the USAAF, Harry trained as a bomber pilot and was posted to England with the Eighth Air Force. He joined the 568th Bomb Squadron, 390th Bomb Group, based at Framlingham in Suffolk and equipped with B-17G Flying Fortresses. During his tour with the
390th BG, he flew a total of 35 combat missions, of which 26 were as captain of the B-17G Silver Meteor (2107184), including his first combat mission on 27 April 1944 which was to attack enemy installations at La Glacerie, just south of Cherbourg, in the run up to D-Day. He flew his final mission on 2 August 1944 before returning to the United States where he trained new pilots at Williams AFB.
Jim Brooks joined the 31st Fighter Group in Italy in 1944, flying P-51 Mustangs in combat against Me109s, Fw190s, and the Italian Macchi Mc202. He scored his first aerial victory on a mission to Ploesti, in Rumania. Later, on a special shuttle mission to Russia leading the 307th Fighter Squadron, they engaged a large formation of Ju87 Stukas, shooting down 27 enemy aircraft; he personally accounted for three that day. He ended his tour with 280 combat hours flown, and 13 confirmed victories.
|Clyde B. East
Volunteering for the RCAF in 1941 he flew Spitfires and Mustangs from England with 414 Squadron – a photo reconnaissance unit. Transferring to the USAAF in January 1944, he flew P-51 F6’s with the 10th PRG, scoring his first victory over an Fw190 on D-Day. One of the best photo reconnaissance pilots of the war he was the highest scoring Ace in the Group and by the end of WWII had scored with 14½ victories and had completed over 200 combat missions. He later flew another 100 combat missions during the Korean War and in 1962 was decorated for reconnaissance missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Arthur C. Fiedler – ‘Art’ – graduated as a pilot on 8 July 1943, and transferred to the 325th Fighter Group, 15th Air Force in Italy in May 1944. He quickly got into action with victories over three Me109s and another probable within his first six weeks. He achieved his Ace status after downing another Me109 over Hungary on 26 July, his second victory of the day. His final victory was an Fw190 over Regensburg on 20 January 1945, bringing his tally to 8 confirmed and 1 probable. Not only had ‘Art’ become one of the Checkertails’ top Aces, he was one of the most respected. After the war he transferred to the USAF and flew combat in Vietnam.
Clinton Burdick’s father – Lt Howard Burdick, had been an Ace with 8 victories during the First World War. So perhaps it was natural that Clinton signed up for the service on his 18th birthday in 1942. After pilot training he transferred to join the 361st FS, 356th Fighter Group at Martlesham Heath in England, in October 1944. Flying his first combat mission in November, his first victory came quickly on the 25th of that month, and like his father, he too was to become an Ace. Clinton flew 53 combat missions during his tour with the 356th, his last coming on 20 February 1945, and with 5½ victories was one of only five aerial Aces in the 356th.
Volunteering for the RAF in 1941, Steve Pisanos joined 71 Squadron, the first of the Eagle Squadrons. In October 1942 the squadron became the 334th Fighter Squadron USAAF. In March 1944 he shot down two Me109s on a mission over France, but was forced down through engine failure. Evading capture he served behind enemy lines with the French Resistance, the American OSS, and the British SOE, eventually returning to England in September 1944 following the Allied liberation of Paris. He finished the war with 10 victories.