Masters of the Air autographed Bremen sign
Masters of the Air autographed Bremen sign
B-17 pilot Bill Purple autographs Masters of the Air Bremen signs
B-17 pilot Bill Purple in 1945
Bill's B-17 at Kimbolton
B-17 pilot Roland Martin autographs Masters of the Air Bremen signs
Roland's B-17 bomber
Roland's B-17 after being shot down
Autographed Masters of the Air Bremen signs with A Higher Call art
Autographed Masters of the Air Bremen signs with The Guardian art
Autographed Masters of the Air Bremen sign with 100th Bomb Group art
Masters of the Air B-17 pilot autographed sign on display
Autographed Masters of the Air Bremen sign in sleeve
Autographed World War II city signs
Bremen in Masters of the Air

"Bremen" autographed sign

  • It was the target whose name would silence a briefing room: the Focke-Wulf factory at Bremen. Protected by more than 250 flak guns, this linchpin of the Nazi war machine was churning out eighty FW 190 “Butcher Birds” a month at its peak.

    The Allies had to stop that plant, and the job fell to the 8th Air Force. The airmen took up the challenge, first arriving over the target in April 1943 and hitting it repeatedly after that. Famously, it was over Bremen that Lt. Charlie Brown and his rookie crew were almost shot out of the sky.

    Our latest “Sites of Valor” sign pays tribute to all these brave airmen, the “Masters of the Air.” Featuring hand-embellished weathering, each aluminum sign looks like it was pulled from the wreckage of the Focke-Wulf factory and bears up to two signatures of B-17 pilots who led their crews over Bremen: Roland Martin and Bill Purple!

    Whether you display your sign under your favorite 8th Air Force print, or as a backdrop for models, these are destined to become the ultimate item in any Man Cave. With a limited number worldwide, place your order now, before they're history.

    Shipping added in checkout // size: 19.75" x 7" // ships sleeved & boxed

    300 limited-edition signs, bearing a numbered seal of authenticity on the reverse side. Available in two different autographed versions: 

    1 Signature Version // signed by 379th BG B-17 pilot Roland Martin, who flew a mission over Bremen and was later shot down on Black Thursday. 

    2 Signature Version // signed by 379th BG B-17 pilots Roland Martin and Bill Purple, both of whom flew a mission over Bremen.

    Extra items shown in display images not included. 

    An Open Edition, bearing no autographs may be released by Valor Studios. A Signer Proof edition of 10 signs exists for project helpers. 


    Joining the Air Corps in 1942, Roland became a B-17 pilot at the young age of 19 and when he was assigned to the 525th SQD., 379th BG at Kimbolton, he was the youngest B-17 pilot in the entire 8th Air Force! He and his crew completed nine missions aboard their B-17F, named "The Iron Maiden," which featured nose art of a nude woman on the side, a work-in-progress by a local Kimbolton artist that the crew had hired. The nose-art would never be finished as Roland's tenth mission was "Black Thursday." Hit by flak over Germany, "The Iron Maiden" lost both engines on the starboard side and fell out of formation. Streaming gasoline and being attacked by JU 88s, Roland decided to force land "The Iron Maiden," the best chance to save his crew. He safely put the plane down in a German farm field where he attempted to destroy the aircraft before escaping capture. He and his flight engineer spent two weeks on the run, heading for Switzerland, until they were captured. Roland was placed in Stalag Luft I where he spent the rest of the war.

    As a 19-year-old B-17 pilot, Bill joined the 379th Bomb Group’s 525th Squadron in fall of 1944 piloting “Four of a Kind.” One of his most memorable missions took place on November 5th, near Frankfurt, when his #4 engine erupted in flames. Fearing that the fire would spread into the wing and explode, Bill put his B-17 in a sideslip and dropped it from 25,000 to 15,000 feet altitude where the fire was finally extinguished. His daring maneuver saved his plane and his crew. He flew missions to targets such as Berlin, as part of the famous 1,000 plane raids, and survived a flak hit to the chest thanks to his armor vest. Due to his talent in the pilot’s seat, Bill was quickly promoted to a lead pilot, then squadron lead pilot, where he even led the group on several missions. On March 11, 1945, Bill flew a mission over one of the Reich’s most infamous targets – Bremen, the 10th time the 379th BG visited that city. Several weeks later, Bill flew his last of 35 combat missions, and was rotated stateside where he continued to fly, this time ferrying “War Weary” B-17s and B-24s to their final resting place – the scrapyards at Kingman, AZ. In later years, Bill served as the President of the 379th Bomb Group Association, which included his friends Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler.

$195 USD

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Our autographed products are hand-signed by the heroes who were there!
We financially compensate our veteran signers for their autographs.
Nearly all of our prints are limited-editions bearing an exclusively assigned number.
Once a signed item sells out, it often appreciates in value due to its rarity.