The Guardian Returns by Nicolas Trudgian
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December 20, 1943: It was a Christmas miracle in the making. The American B-17 bomber was damaged and defenseless, and the Bf 109 of German ace, Franz Stigler, was primed for an easy kill. But upon seeing the bomber’s crew, some wounded, and one dead, Franz decided to break the cycle of violence. Choosing life over death, he escorted the bomber to the North Sea, saluted the American pilot, and flew away.
Now, it’s Franz’s life that is in danger. A quaint German village lies below, warm and inviting, just four days before Christmas. But this is wartime. If anyone reports Franz for sparing the enemy, he will face a firing squad as a traitor. No one can catch a glimpse of his markings. If Franz is to survive, he must fly, and fly fast!
Want to know "who" signed which print edition? Click the EDITIONS tab above.
Shipping added in checkout // print size: 32" x 22.5" // ships rolled in a tube
100 limited-edition prints, signed by Nicolas Trudgian and ten airmen: Bf 109 pilot Jorg Czypionka, Fw 190 pilot Hal Bauer, 379th BG B-17 pilots Roland Martin and Sam Satariano, B-17 gunner brothers Hugh and "Lucky" McGinty, plus four more airmen! Includes a relic from a Bf 109 shot down over Germany, COA with "History Behind the Art," and two photos.
VICTORY EDITION - Less than 10 remain!
100 limited-edition prints, signed by Nicolas Trudgian and four pilots/aircrew: Bf 109 pilot Jorg Czypionka, 379th BG B-17 pilot Roland Martin, shot down on "Black Thursday," plus two more airmen! Includes a COA with "History Behind the Art."
PUBLISHER PROOFS - Sold Out
100 limited-edition prints
EAGLE PROOFS - Sold Out
15 limited-edition prints
A Signer Proof edition of 100 prints exists, not-for-sale. An Artist Reserve edition of 30 prints & 30 canvases exists.
"The Guardian Returns" includes a collection of signatures from WWII heroes! Signers vary print by print. Please click "editions" to see which veterans signed which prints.
FRANZ STIGLER (Extracted signature w/Eagle & Publisher Proofs)
JG 27 & JV 44 Bf 109 & Me 262 pilot with 487 combat missions and 28 victories. Enjoy the video below of Franz describing his encounter with the B-17 Ye Olde Pub:
17-year-old Fw 190 fighter pilot & He 162 jet pilot. After the war, became a U.S. Navy recon pilot during the Korean War.
CHARLES BROWN (Eagle Proof only)
379th BG, 527th Sq., 21-year-old B-17 pilot "Ye Olde Pub" & "Carol Dawn," 32 combat missions. (extracted signature)
JG-300/NJG-11, Bf 109 & Me 262 pilot with 2 victories. Adviser on "A Higher Call."
Karl flew the Bf 109 as a student pilot in JG-103 before being transferred to the infantry. He later immigrated to the US and served in the Army.
Luftskriegsschule 3 (Air War Officer School), 19-year-old Bf-109 pilot. Later served as infantry due to lack of fuel.
379th BG, 525th Sq., B-17 bombardier on "Four of a Kind." Wounded in action, ditched in Channel, rescued by P. Guinness of Guinness beer.
379th BG, 525th Sq., 19-year-old B-17 pilot of "The Iron Maiden." Shot down on "Black Thursday," the infamous 2nd Schweinfurt raid.
379th BG, 525th Sqn., 18-year-old B-17 top turret gunner on "Deacon's Sinners." Shot down on the Jan. 5th mission described in "A Higher Call."
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.
A 17-year-old Bf 109 pilot, Hans would later fight in the infantry on the Eastern front. After the war, he immigrated to America and became an 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."
398th BG, 603rd Sqn., 23-year-old B-17 pilot who flew 26 combat missions.
306th BG, 369th Sqn., 21-year-old B-17 pilot of "Heavenly Body." Shot down over Merseburg, Germany.
487th BG, 838th Sqn., 18-year-old B-17 gunner with 34 combat missions. Wounded in action. Original cadre of the 487th Bomb Group.
452nd BG, 731st Sqn., 20-year-old B-17 gunner on "Lucky Lady III." Shot down twice, interred with the Red Army.
379th BG, 527th Sq., B-17 pilot of "Piccadilly Willie" and "Lakanukie." Flew 28 combat missions. Original cadre of the 379th Bomb Group.
13-year-old Hitler Youth soldier in an anti-aircraft flak unit near Hannover. Later forced into anti-tank duty with the Volksstrum.
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