In the Presence of My Enemy by John D. Shaw
December 20, 1943, near the coast of Germany: Luftwaffe ace Franz Stigler had never seen a B-17 this damaged. My God, how are you still flying? he thought. Inside the bomber’s cockpit, the rookie American pilot, Charlie Brown, was thinking the same thing. An air battle had shredded his bomber. Leaning forward to check an engine, a sight made Charlie’s heart skip. There, three feet from his wingtip flew a gray Bf-109. Charlie closed his eyes and opened them but the German was still there. He’s going to destroy us, Charlie concluded.
Instead, Franz did something incredible—he nodded to Charlie. In the presence of his enemy, Franz had changed. He had only become a fighter pilot to avenge his brother, a pilot killed early in the war. But there, alongside the defenseless B-17, Franz decided to break the cycle of violence, to spare the bomber and escort it out of Germany. It was a gesture Charlie would never forget. He would search the world for Franz and in 1990 they would reunite, not as former enemies but as brothers separated for 46 years.
Want to know "who" signed which print edition? Click the EDITIONS tab above.
Shipping added in checkout // print size: 32" x 22.5" // giclee size: 40" x 23.5" // ships rolled in a tube
ARTIST PROOF - Resale, in mint condition!
Sold out nearly a decade ago, this ultra-rare Artist Proof is from an edition of 160 limited-edition prints, signed by artist John Shaw and including the rare autograph of Franz Stigler, on a separate card. The print itself is autographed by fourteen veterans of the air war in Europe. Among the signers are B-17 pilot Roland Martin, navigator Mel Dunn, and gunners Bob Egnew & Hugh McGinty, who all flew in the 379th BG, the same group as Charlie! Joining them are B-17 pilots Joe Clarke (34th BG), Newt Moy (398th BG), & Clayton Nattier (306th BG), B-24 pilot Don Carlson (466th BG), with B-17 gunners Mitch Mischler (94th BG), Bill Roche (452nd BG) and George Meshko (96th BG). Representing the Luftwaffe are Bf 109 pilots Kurt Schulze (JG 5) and Jorg Czypionka (JG 300). Includes a photo of Charlie's crew and Franz's squadron, metal relic from a B-17 bomber lost in 1944, 8th AF & JG 27 patches, and a Certificate of Authenticity. A no-interest payment plan is available upon request.
MAIN EDITION - Resale, in mint condition!
Sold out years ago, this hard-to-find Main Edition is from an edition of 300 limited-edition prints, signed by artist John Shaw and 6 veterans: B-17 pilot Bob Boecking, B-17 pilot Roland Martin (bonus signature), and ball turret gunner Robert Egnew, all of whom served in the 379th BG - the same group as Charlie! 351st BG B-17 pilot Fred Wiese (bonus signature), 452nd BG gunner Bill Roche, and 94th BG gunner Mitch Mischler. Includes 8th AF & JG 27 patches, photos of Franz and Charlie, and a COA with "History Behind the Art."
"In the Presence of My Enemy" is hand-signed by a collection of WWII heroes! Signers vary print by print. Please click "editions" to see which veterans signed which prints.
ROBERT BOECKING - 379th BG, 524th Sq., B-17 pilot, 36 combat missions
CHARLES BROWN (extracted signature) - 379th BG, 527th Sq., 21-year-old B-17 pilot "Ye Olde Pub" & "Carol Dawn," 32 combat missions.
DON CARLSON - 466th BG, 786th Sqn, 20-year-old B-24 Pilot
JOE CLARKE - 34th BG, 18th Sqn., 20-year-old B-17 pilot "Ramblin Rebel." Ditched in Channel. Bailed out over UK. 31 Combat Missions.
JORG CZYPIONKA - JG-300/NJG-11, Bf 109 & Me 262 pilot with 2 victories
MELVIN DUNN - 379th BG, 525th Sqn., B-17 Navigator, 33 missions
ROBERT EGNEW - 379th BG, 527th Sqn., B-17 Ball Turret Gunner
EARWIN "WIN" EKELAND - 8th AF Training Command, B-24 pilot
DON GROOMER - 4th Fighter Group Crew Chief
HENRY HEINTZ - 388th BG, 563rd Sqn., B-17 pilot
ROLAND MARTIN - 379th BG, 525th Sqn., B-17 pilot, shot down on "Black Thursday."
HUGH MCGINTY - 379th BG, 524th Sqn., B-17 Tail Gunner on "The Blue Blazing Blizzard." Flew in the same formation as Lt. Charlie Brown!
ELMER "LUCKY" MCGINTY - 95th BG, 339th Sqn., B-17 Gunner on "I Dood It." 29 combat missions. Brother of Hugh McGinty.
GEORGE MESHKO - 96th BG, 339th Sqn., B-17 Waist Gunner/Engineer
E. E. MISCHLER - 94th BG, 333rd Sqn., 19-year-old B-17 gunner on "Pride of the Yanks." Appears in the famous war-time film, "Target for Today."
NEWT MOY - 398th BG, 603rd Sqn., 23-year-old B-17 pilot who flew 26 combat missions.
CLAYTON NATTIER - 306th BG, 369th Sqn., 21-year-old B-17 pilot of "Heavenly Body." Shot down over Merseburg, Germany.
KURT SCHULZE - JG 5 & JG 51 Bf 109 pilot with 103 combat missions and 3 victories.
THEODORE STELL - 385th BG B-17 Pilot
FRANZ STIGLER (extracted signature) - JG 27 & JV 44 Bf 109 & Me 262 pilot with 487 combat missions and 28 victories.
FRED WIESE - 351st BG, 508th Sqn., B-17 pilot of "The Little Ones," 36 combat missions