* screen colors may vary from print colors

All prints are sold unframed

Print Size: 32" x 22.5"
Brothers in Arms
- The Longest Night -
a fine art print by Matt Hall

The second release in our 65th Anniversary series!

June 6, 1944, 2:10 am . . . From the darkened heavens, C-47s of 9th Troop Carrier Command deliver the paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions into the hellfire of Normandy’s drop zones. The Screaming Eagles, already on the ground for an hour, link up with the All American troopers near French towns like Ste. Mere Eglise. Together, they will fight in small, ad-hoc bands, sowing chaos behind the German lines. To survive the longest night of D-Day, they would become: Brothers in Arms.

Contact us for re-sale availability

Only 500 prints, signed and numbered by
artist Matt Hall & 2 D-Day paratroopers.

COA with "History Behind the Art" story

The All American 82nd Airborne land in St. Mere Eglise on D-Day.
(Click to enlarge: prints are sold unframed.)

Contact us for re-sale availability

150 prints, signed and numbered by artist Matt Hall
& at least 11 D-Day veterans!

- A metal piece of an 81st Squadron C-47 that flew on D-Day,
perfect to frame with your print!
- 82nd Airborne & 101st Airborne pins to frame with your print!

- COA with "History Behind the Art" stories/trivia facts

Easy Company lands in Saint Mere Eglise on D-Day.
(All prints are sold unframed.)

Contact us for re-sale availability

140 prints, signed and numbered by artist Matt Hall
& at least 15 D-Day veterans!

- A metal piece of an 81st Squadron C-47 that flew on D-Day,
perfect to frame with your print!
- 82nd Airborne & 101st Airborne pins to frame with your print!

- COA with "History Behind the Art" stories/trivia facts

The Band of Brothers in St. Mere Eglise on June 6, 1944.
(All prints are sold unframed.)
A small quantity, signed giclee edition and unsigned Gallery Edition may be made available at a later date.
Representing the 101st Airborne: "Band of Brothers," E-Co., 506th PIR
Joe Lesniewski
Clancy Lyall
Forrest Guth
Ed Bernat

Buck Compton

Bradford Freeman
"Wild Bill" Guarnere
Don Malarkey
Earl McClung
Frank Perconte
Shifty Powers
Ed Pepping
Ed Tipper
Representing the
Troop Carrier Aircrews
Representing the 82nd "All American" Airborne:

Bill Kirkpatrick
Bill was one of the founders of the elite C-47 Pathfinders group!
(see bio & photos below)

Chet Harrington
505th PIR, A Co. medic, made all four combat jumps with the 82nd
during WWII!
(see bio below)

Les Cruise
505th PIR, H Co.,
veteran of Normandy, Holland & the Bulge.

(see bio below)

Ben Kendig
Sicily, D-Day & Market Garden C-47 pilot & 44th Squadron Commander

Don Rutter
505th PIR, HQ Company, veteran of Sicily, Salerno & Normandy
(see bio below)

Spencer Wurst
505th PIR, F Co., made three combat jumps with the 82nd during WWII!
Chet Harrington holds the honor of being among a small group of elite paratroopers to have made all four combat jumps with the 82nd Airborne in World War II!

A nurse practitioner at the outbreak of the war, Chet volunteered for the airborne troops since he “wanted to get into the action where I could do some good!” As part of A Company, 505th PIR, he was given his first chance during the infamous Sicily invasion. Soon after, he participated in the Salerno jump.

For D-Day, Chet recalls standing between the pilot and the co-pilot of his C-47, since they were overloaded with troopers whose plane was damaged from an explosive charge that went off prematurely. Scattered during the night jump, he landed in the Normandy countryside outside of Ste. Mere Eglise and immediately went to work with each “Medic!” cry that rang out.

During the morning of D-Day and ensuing days, Chet would save lives alongside German medics, receive shrapnel wounds to his legs that he would treat himself, and he would even witness the fanaticism of his enemy when one of his litter bearers was killed by a sniper who shot him through the red cross on his helmet.

Chet would go on to jump in Operation Market Garden and later serve in the Battle of the Bulge near St. Vith. There, he was wounded while carrying the last of ten injured paratroopers to safety, and was later evacuated to England, and then America for medical care. < READ MORE ABOUT CHET >

Clockwise: Chet at age 22. 82nd Airborne medics prepare for D-Day. Chet's original jump wings with his four jump stars. Chet today in his original jacket & cap.
82nd Airborne veteran James Megellas
As a boy, Ed Pepping was fascinated with tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, who he described as, "extraordinary warriors who lived with service, honor, and valor." He adopted their creed.

Ed joined the paratroops and at Toccoa, GA, passed the tests to become a medic and a founding member of Easy Company, assigned to 3rd platoon under Lt. Fred "Moose" Heyliger.

Ed jumped on D-Day and received a Bronze Star for Valor after just one day in Normandy, on June 7, 1944. As Ed watched, Col. Bill Turner, the CO of the 1st Battalion of the 506th, directed a tank's fire against a German gun emplacement. Behind his tank was a line of six others, waiting to enter the fight. A German sniper shot Turner in the head, causing him to fall into the turret of the lead tank. Ed ran to his aid and pulled him from the tank, but Turner died in his arms. Ed's Bronze Star award reads:

"Acting without regard for his own life or safety, he attempted to save the life of a battalion commander who had fallen critically wounded on top of tank commander, not only halting the advance of the six-tank column, but making the whole column potential targets for destruction by the enemy as well."

Days later, Ed was himself wounded, probably by artillery, in Carentan. He awoke with his leg in a cast. Though he later went AWOL to rejoin Easy Company, his wounds prevented him from future combat.
Top: Pepping (center) and his fellow medics during training stateside. Above: Pepping today. Left: The "Ed Pepping" action figure by Dragon Toys.
Pathfinder Pilot Bill Kirkpatrick dropped the 82nd Airborne on D-Day.

At 9:45 p.m. on the night of June 5th, Captain William Kirkpatrick took off, one of 20 "Pathfinder" planes that would launch the D-Day invasion of Europe. "Bill" was a Pathfinder pilot and the Operations Officer for the elite Pathfinder Group.

His mission was to penetrate the heavy German defenses over Normandy to deliver a small number of highly-trained, volunteer paratroopers who would set up the navigation aids to guide-in the large formations of Troop Carrier C-47s carrying their paratroopers.

Bill's plane, #10, carried the pathfinder team for the 82nd Airborne's 505th PIR. He encountered light flak on the approach to the DZ, and delivered his stick within 400 yards of their designated location. On the ground, the pathfinder paratroopers successfully deployed their Eureka homing beacons and guided the 505th to some of the best drops of the invasion.

Top: C-47 pilot Capt. William Kirkpatrick. Above: Kirkpatrick and the 82nd Pathfinders of plane #10.
Don was accepted for paratrooper training in February 1942 and received advanced communication training at Camp Mackall. He was assigned to 505th PIR, HQ Company, of the 82nd Airborne and was attached to General Gavin’s staff. Staging from Tunisia, Don jumped into Sicily and experienced combat next to Gavin at the frontlines. He credits General Gavin with saving his life during his first battle. He then fought in Salerno, often accompanying General Gavin on jeep recon missions.

Don jumped on D-Day with a grease gun strapped to his chest, landing just north of his Ste. Marie Eglise objective. Fighting outside the town, Don’s small unit was overwhelmed by the Germans and he was captured. He served out the rest of the war as a POW at Stalag 4B near the Czech border.
Clockwise: Rutter during jump school at Ft. Benning. Rutter today. General Gavin, who Rutter fought with in Sicily. Rutter (L) during paratrooper training.
Les joined the paratroops at Fort Benning in Nov. 1943. Following training, he was shipped to England where he joined H-Co. of the 505th PIR, 82nd Airborne on March 16, 1944. Surrounded by veterans of the Sicily and Italian campaigns, he jumped on D-Day and joined the fight for Ste. Mere Eglise and 35 days of hard fighting

Les jumped in Holland with the 82nd and after 16 days on the line during the Battle of the Bulge, he was seriously wounded when attacking German positions in the heavy snow near Fosse, Belgium. His fighting days over, Les was transferred to hospitals in France, England, and the US.
Top: 505th troopers with captured Germans on D-Day. Right: 505th veteran Les Cruise. Left: A knocked out German tank somewhere in Normandy.
Earl McClung's experience in
St. Mere Eglise is depicted in
"Brothers in Arms!"
artime lore recalls a fierce rivalry between the 82nd and 101st Airborne, usually set amongst a swirling, barroom brawl. But, these days, the Band of Brothers speak of respect for their All-American counterparts.
Our effort to recognize both units via Brothers in Arms was encouraged by 101st vet Babe Heffron, who wrote about the 82nd during Market-Garden: “One thing I can tell you, it was quite a privilege to have the 82nd Airborne fighting alongside of us. They were great soldiers.” “The same goes for Normandy,” asserted Wild Bill Guarnere, Babe’s South Philly “brother.” So, Valor Studios consulted with Normandy-resident and expert historian/guide, Paul Woodadge, to depict that chaotic, “longest night” of D-Day when both divisions fought as one.

7. There were some mobile Luftwaffe searchlight units with 60cm lights in Normandy supporting at least two 20mm Flak 38 guns in town. But, with the C-47s flying so low they were impossible to keep lit and given that there were so many planes, it's likely that once the fireworks started, any searchlight crews probably gave up and switched to supplying ammo for the gun crews. C-47 Pilot Ben Kendig remembered the German tracers would weave as if spouted from a hose.

8. The time on the clock reads 2:08 am. The 101st troopers have been on the ground for an hour, having landed just after 1:00 am.

9. & 10. “I fell like a ton of bricks, thought I broke every bone in my body…I had no idea where the hell I was, but it turned out to be Ste. Mere-Eglise . . . I landed in the 82nd Airborne’s drop zone, just before they landed. If you saw the movie, The Longest Day, I came down near the church where John Steele’s parachute got caught on the steeple.” - Wild Bill Guarnere, E-Co, 506th PIR, 101st ABN

11. Four Miles from their DZ at Ste. Marie-du-Mont, E-Co paratroopers like James Alley and Paul Rogers would link up with Earl McClung and fight together with 82nd paratroopers of the 505th for the next 6 days. They were positioned near crossroads on the south of Ste. Mere-Eglise and, with their 505th brothers, would repel numerous German counter-attacks aimed at re-taking the crossroads. Troops from the 4th Infantry and armor units gradually arrived from June 8th onwards and the situation stabilized enough for the E-Co men to depart and rejoin their unit.

12. Many troopers jumped with their rifles in three pieces, tucked behind their reserve chutes within a canvas “Griswold” bag. For some, the time it took to re-assemble a rifle, in the dark and with the enemy closing-in, was the difference between life and death.

13. Artist Matt Hall based the terra firma of his painting after Normandy region foliage, which, by June 6, would be in full summer bloom, including Queen Anne's Lace, and lots of wild flowers.

14. An 82nd grenadier resorts to his pistol as his M-1 rifle lays before him, unassembled. This trooper carries an M-1 capable of firing rifle grenades via an adaptor that attaches to the barrel’s end. About one man in a platoon of 40 would be armed as such.

15. C-47s of 9th Troop Carrier Command deliver the 507th and 508th regiments of the 82nd Airborne over Normandy at 2:08 am and continuing until 2:44 am. Some 101st paratroopers floated to earth carrying .45 pistols they had “liberated” from holsters hung behind the pilots’ seats. The 82nd men had no such need; many jumped into Normandy strapped with German pistols they had captured during earlier fighting in the Mediterranean!

1. “As I lay in a field at the edge of Ste. Mere-Eglise, I could hear the church bell tolling in the night, summoning local citizens to fight a fire that had broken out on the edge of town. Worse yet, I had no weapon because my M-1 and grenades had been ripped off from the shock of the prop blast as soon as I had exited the plane. In the distance a machine gun was firing into the night sky as other paratroopers descended into the Norman countryside.” -Dick Winters, E-Co, 506th PIR, 101st ABN

2. This trooper is one of the first jumpers of the 82nd Airborne’s 508th PIR to land, many of whom landed east of their DZ. Some 508th men then moved towards Utah beach in and amongst columns of 101st troopers as depicted in Band of Brothers. Troopers on D-Day were equipped with special 35-foot ropes in case they landed in a tree and had to climb down.

3. Medics like E-Co.’s Ed Pepping and Eugene Roe jumped into Normandy unarmed, but for their knives. Their job was to retrieve and stabilize wounded soldiers, sometimes treating grievous wounds with just bandages and morphine. Pepping often summoned his Boy Scout training to supplement what the Army had taught him. Getting the wounded to a doctor or aid station was a battle in itself and the clock an unyielding opponent. But, when the cry went out, the medics always answered.

4. Identified by the flag on his sleeve, an 82nd paratrooper of the 505th PIR is ready for action. The 505th jumped at 1:51 am, spearheading the arrival of the 82nd and picking up a new nickname: “H-minus,” for having jumped earlier than “H-hour” and ahead of the others. Already jump veterans of Sicily and Salerno, by the war’s end, the 505th earned the lone honor of having 4 combat jumps to its name.

5. Pvt. Earl “One Lung” McClung. Just after dropping onto a shrine next to the church in Ste. Mere-Eglise, two Germans attacked, firing at his parachute that had hung-up on the shrine’s roof. Earl, who had the foresight to jump with his rifle assembled, took aim at their silhouettes against the flickering backdrop and dropped them both. He then fought his way from the city and linked-up with the 82nd, the moment depicted in Brothers in Arms. E-Co trooper David Webster would later write of McClung: “. . . his buddies in the third platoon swore that old One Lung had killed more Germans than any man in the Battalion. McClung could smell Kraut; he hunted them; he pursued them in dawn attacks and on night patrols; he went out of his way to kill them; he took more chances and volunteered for more dangerous jobs than any other man in E-Company.”

6. According to historian Paul Woodadge, “There was thick cloud cover and, indeed, fog over much of the Cotentin Peninsula on D-Day night. Because of the fire in Ste. Mere Eglise, the heat had burned off the fog there. Residents describe a pale moonlight over the square that night.”
Artist Matt Hall
Valor Studios is proud to announce a new artist in our family of masters---Matt Hall---who formerly worked as an Art Director for Dream Works under the master visionary, Steven Spielberg!

Matt’s journey to Hollywood began in Missouri, as a teen, when by chance he met leading Western Artist Bob Tommy, who just moved from Texas. Tommy encouraged Matt to try his hand at painting, and, upon seeing Matt’s “natural talent,” he became Matt’s mentor, teaching him the technique he had amassed from a lifetime of work.

In college, Matt studied classical painting then broadened his abilities after graduation, by working for an architectural firm (architectural renders), a greeting card company (painting landscapes and still life), and a television production company (painting animation backgrounds). It was there that Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks company found him, and lured he and his new bride, Michele, a Texas small town girl to Hollywood.

There, Matt rose through the ranks at Dreamworks, painting concept art for movies and video games. When Steven Spielberg had an idea brewing about the Battle for Iwo

Matt Hall was requested to do a painting for President George W. Bush, showing the F-102s of the Texas ANG. Photo courtesy of the White House.

Jima, Matt painted an “epic concept” for him. Spielberg’s idea later became the film, Flags of Our Fathers. Eventually, Matt was named Franchise Art Director for Dreamworks’ Medal of Honor video games series, one credited with generating interest in WWII history among young people.

Matt grew as an artist through Spielberg’s critiques of his work. They were “actually fun” according to Matt, because Spielberg was enthusiastic about what he liked, and when there was something he didn’t like, he balanced that “hard critique” with a re-emphasis of what was positive and how it could be enhanced.

“I also learned from Steven Spielberg the value of listening to my ‘creative instincts’” Matt explained. “A lot of times, marketing dictates if an idea will be well-received, but Spielberg would often fly against the grain, if he believed in an idea. There was a time when the marketing guys said ‘WWII is done and dead,” but Spielberg followed his instincts and passion and made Saving Private Ryan!”

Matt Hall's painting The Pledge

Matt soon discovered that he, too, possessed a deep-seeded passion to tell the stories of America’s war heroes when Dreamworks put him on a new assignment, to paint a painting a month for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Working from just a citation and a portrait of a long-deceased recipient, Matt brought their stories back to life. There, he discovered his calling, but he couldn’t act on it. That was just an assignment. He was a concept artist.

Then, in summer 2008, Matt underwent brain surgery to remove a growth behind his eye. He had an epiphany. “It was a wake-up call for me that we don’t really know how long we have on earth,“ Matt explained. “That got me thinking, ‘What kind of legacy will my art leave to the world?’ Will it tell a story of something important? Will it be something people will appreciate 50 or 100 years from now? It was tough to look in mirror and say ‘maybe not’ since the art I was doing would be locked away in a vault once it served its purpose.

Valor Studios had long followed Matt’s career and approached him after his surgery, with an offer to publish his work, if Matt would paint the heroes of military past and present. The timing couldn’t have been better, and Matt heartily agreed.

“It was an epiphany on a lot of levels,“ he explained, “Spiritually, artistically, and career-wise. Like that leap of faith when I went to paint for Hollywood, I decided to follow my passion and paint the stories of men whose legacies need to be preserved.”

With the release of “Angels from Above,” Matt’s first limited-edition print with Valor Studios, one can safely conclude that, Matt’s “creative instincts,” like those of the great Steven Spielberg, are on time, on target! _

Matt Hall signs "Angels from Above" prints.
Valor Studios and Matt Hall wish to thank the following for their assistance with this project: Paul Woodadge & Battlebus Tours, Eric Carlson, Russell Dicks, Brian Domitrovich, James Fenelon, PJ Putnam and the team at Gearbox Software (who produced the game Brothers in Arms), Rich Riley, Larry Selman, Steve Shultz, Joe Soltis and the distinguished veterans who made this print possible.