'DANGEROUS MOONLIGHT' By Nicolas Trudgian
The Luftwaffe's night-fighting campaign began in July 1940 when an RAF Whitley bomber fell to the guns of an Me110 flown by Werner Streib of the new, dedicated night-fighting Unit NJG1. Their further successes led to other units being formed but NJG1 always remained the most feared night force.
Equipped with the latest radar technology enabling a form of night vision, NJG1 caused terrible losses to the RAF's bomber aircraft and crews. The four highest-scoring night fighter 'aces' were Werner Streib whose total was 65, Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein with 83, Helmut Lent on 102 and, the greatest of them all, Heinz Wolfgang Schnaufer, who achieved 121. Another 'Experte' was Martin Drewes who took command of III/NJG1 in March 1944. It is his aircraft that is depicted in this painting.
On the bright, moonlit night of 30th March 1944 more that 800 RAF bombers set off to raid Nuremberg. Martin Drewes flying his Me110G scrambled to meet them and was able to spot the first of his targets without using radar as it was silhouetted against the silvery clouds. He attacked the Lancaster, from the Australian 467 Squadron, using his 'Schrage-Musik' upward firing guns and went on to shoot down a further two bombers before returning to base.
By dawn 96 RAF aircraft had been shot down, which was the greatest loss suffered by bomber Command on any one night in the entire war. By the end of hostilities NJG1 had achieved a sobering total of 2311 victories, making them by far the most potent night fighter unit.
This special Copy has been Signed by the following veterans - two Luftwaffe Nightfighter and two Bomber Command:-
Major Martin DREWES - NJG1 - Knights Cross with Oak Leaves [47 Victories]
Drewes originally flew the Me110C Zerstorer in daylight with ZG76, only later making the transition to the Nightfighter arm via NJG1.
Leutnant Anton HEINEMANN - NJG2 - Knights Cross [Participated in 56 Victories]
Heinemann was the Bordfunker to Nightfighter 'Ace' Gerhard RAHT of NJG2 and participated in the Nuremberg Raid of March 1944.
Flight Lieutenant Russell 'Rusty' WAUGHMAN - 101 [Special Duties] Squadron - DFC AFC Legion D'Honneur
Waughman flew with 101 'Special Duties' Squadron whose task was to carry out radio countermeasures to jam German nightfighter transmissions. He took part in the Nuremberg Raid - 101 Squadron losing a quarter of their aircraft that night.
Wing Commander John BELL - 619 & 617 Squadrons - MBE DFC
Bell was originally part of Pilot Bob Knights' crew flying with 619 Squadron. They transfered to the famed 617 Squadron and participated in several famous raids including Operation Taxable and later usuing 'Tallboy' bombs against the Tirpitz.
The Print is in Mint Condition and measures 28 x 17 Inches and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.
A superb print paying tribute to the flyers of the long and hard war fought at night over Europe.