Easy Company in Berchtesgaden
Print Size: 32" x 22.5"

All prints are sold unframed

Defenders of Bastogne
- A Shared Victory -
a fine art print by

December 27, 1944 . . . At dawn, P-47s of the 406th Fighter Group blast over Bastogne. Their engines roar a salute to the 101st Airborne paratroopers below. Eleven days prior, the flyboys and Screaming Eagles formed a friendship at their base in Mourmelon, France.

Then, the Battle of the Bulge erupted and the 101st raced to defend Bastogne. When the 406th pilots were given their mission—to defend Bastogne from the air—they knew who they were flying for. Now, as the 3rd Army streams in having broken the German siege, the exhausted paratroopers know victory is at hand.

* screen colors may vary from print colors

Only 190 prints, signed and numbered by
artist Nick Trudgian and 8 veterans. Now issuing:

- E-Company vets Earl McClung & Brad Freeman!
- Famed tank Ace Clarence Smoyer!

- "Hell Hawks" P-47 pilot Herb Prevost!
- Four other distinguished signers from our list below!

COA with "History Behind the Art" story

All prints are sold unframed

Contact us for re-sale availability

Only 100 prints, signed and numbered by
artist Nick Trudgian & 4 veterans.

COA with "History Behind the Art" story

All prints are sold unframed

Contact us for re-sale availability

Only 155 prints, signed and numbered by
artist Nick Trudgian and at least 12 veterans!

- A piece of metal skin from a P-47 Thunderbolt lost in a
Dec. 1944 training mission, to frame with your print!
- 101st and 3rd Army pins to frame with your print!
- Color COA with "History Behind the Art" story

All prints are sold unframed

Contact us for re-sale availability

Only 125 prints
, signed and numbered by artist
Nicolas Trudgian and at least 18 veterans!

- A piece of metal skin from a P-47 Thunderbolt lost in a Dec. 1944 training mission, to frame with your print!
- 101st and 3rd Army pins to frame with your print!
- Color COA with "History Behind the Art" story

All prints are sold unframed

An Artist Reserve edition of 30 prints, bearing multi-signatures, and 44 artist only canvas giclees, will be for sale via Nick Trudgian.
A Signer Proof edition of 100 prints, bearing assorted signatures, exists for print signers and helpers.
An unsigned poster may be available at a later date.
When touring with veterans of the 101st Airborne, we often visited the charming Belgian town of Bastogne.

While wandering the town's snowy streets with the veterans and standing in their old foxholes in the nearby forests, we came to realize that Bastogne is one of the most amazing battle sites of WWII. In December 1944, Bastogne was more than a town—it was an American Alamo—a headquarters, a field hospital, and the critial crossroads town in the Battle of the Bulge.

Then and there, we decided to immortalize this city and her defenders in a painting. We wanted to show Bastogne as she appeared at the moment of victory on December 27, 1944. But we also knew—this would be our most challenging painting yet.

Valor had never depicted a city before, much less a city with aircraft, soldiers, tanks, vehicles, and civilians. So, we turned to a new artist, a specialist at painting intricate landscapes—Nicolas Trudgian. A veteran English artist, Nick was eager for the challenge.

While Nick began building models of P-47s, tanks, and vehicles to study, we called upon the preeminent Battle of the Bulge researcher Reg Jans, who opened his archives to us and shared dozens of B&W photos of Bastogne with Nick. And so Nick began rebuilding the town of Bastogne on a canvas, brick by brick.

The painting took Nick nearly a year to complete and here is the result. From the burnt-out halftracks in the town square to faded signs on the buildings, it is fair to say, Nick gave us more than a painting—this is a glimpse into the past.

Welcome to Bastogne, December 27, 1944.

Color photo: The tank column in "Defenders of Bastogne" is heading down Rue du Vivier, shown in this photo, with McAuliffe Square at left. Middle: Rue du Vivier in December 1944. Above: Reinforcements enter Bastogne.
325th Fighter Group
A brilliant combination of rare signatures from…
The boys in the foxholes: Battle of the Bulge soldiers and E-Company paratroopers!
The boys in the air: P-47 pilots of the 406th Fighter Group and more!
The boys in the tanks: Heroic WWII armored veterans!

Charles Bailey
Rifleman, 28th Infantry Div.

Buck Compton

Brad Freeman
Bill Gast
743rd Tank Battalion,
Silver Star
Nicholas Gianopoulos
Rifleman, 99th Infantry Div.

Jack Blickenderfer
Rifleman, 4th Infantry Div.

Wayne Coleman 78th FG P-47 pilot, 4 victories including a
Me 262 jet!
Babe Heffron
Ken Glemby
406th FG
P-47 pilot
"Wild Bill" Guarnere
Robert Kauffman
36th Armored Infantry
Bob Keck
Rifleman, 83rd Infantry Div.
Clancy Lyall
Al Mampre
Ray Nagell
321st Glider Field Artillery
Bob Noody
Ted Paluch
Earl McClung
Chris McEwan
501st PIR,
2 Silver Stars!
Pete Peterson
78th FG
P-47 & P-51 pilot
Herb Prevost
365th FG
P-47 pilot
George Schneider
Scout/Rifleman, 30th Infantry Div.
Bernie Sledzik
406th FG
P-47 pilot
Clarence Smoyer
3rd Armored
Sherman & Pershing gunner

Les Underwood
3rd Armored
Sherman gunner
& Pershing commander

6. Today, these buildings hold restaurants and hotels, including the "Le Nut's" cafe, named after General McAuliffe's famous response to the German surrender request.

7. The Bois Jacques forest where the "Band of Brothers" of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne have dug in.

8. This 406th FG P-47 is armed with eight machine guns, two 500 lb bombs, and six M-8 "Bazooka" launchers that each fired a 16" long rocket. With these weapons, the 406th FG would destroy 610 motor transports, 194 tanks & armored vehicles, and 226 gun positions between December 23-27, 1944.

9. A 3rd Army Stuart is re-armed for the fighting that lies ahead.

10. This ambulance is just one of seventy that entered Bastogne on December 27th to evacuate the wounded.

11. Bastogne's Saint-Pierre (St. Peter) church dates back to the seventh century. During the battle, it served as a collection station for the wounded.

12. All told, fifteen 406th P-47s would wear the nose art "Bloom's Tomb," the mark of squadron CO J.C. Van Bloom. This P-47, the 6th "Bloom's Tomb," would be lost in combat on December 30th, while Bloom was on leave in the States.

13. Ken Glemby's P-47 named after his wife, Paula. In defense of Bastogne, the 406th Fighter Group would fly 81 missions between December 23-27, 1944.

1. Light tanks such as this M3 Stuart were the first to enter Bastogne, early in the morning on December 27, 1944.

2. This 3rd Army Sherman is one of the newer M4A2 models which featured a larger turret and a more powerful 76mm M1 gun.

3. Today, a Sherman tank serves as a 4th Armored Division memorial at this spot in “McAuliffe Square,” as the square was renamed to honor Brig. Gen. McAuliffe, acting commander of the 101st ABN at Bastogne.

4. McAuliffe and his staff greet the 3rd Army relief column. Three days later General Patton would award McAuliffe the Distinguished Service Cross for leading the defense of Bastogne.

5. Damaged Army vehicles reflect the Luftwaffe bombings that came twice on Christmas Eve and contributed to the 782 Belgian civilians killed during the battle for Bastogne.
Artist Matt Hall

Nicolas Trudgian was born and raised in Plymouth, England. His father and uncle both served in the RAF during World War II and so his childhood was filled with stories about the air war in Britain, North Africa and the far east.

Nick began showing a real talent for art at an early age and his surroundings gave him the perfect inspiration to fill sketchbooks with drawings of aircraft, ships and also trains. His family encouraged him but were concerned about Nick's growing desire of turning this hobby into a full time career, a notoriously risky occupation. But Nick was determined and occupied every spare hour with painting and drawing.

Five years at art college further equipped him with the skills necessary to paint technical subjects with authority. Soon the commissions came flooding in, mostly illustrations for companies such as Rolls Royce, Ford, General Motors and British Aerospace, air lines and oil companies.

His agents tended to find him work that involved transport, mechanical and military subjects especially where landscapes and lighting could be used to create spectacular backdrops, something that has become a virtual trademark of his art.

It was this aspect that no doubt attracted his first aviation art publisher who asked Nick to paint aircraft pictures for him in oils. It was an instant success and so Nick gave up the commercial illustration work to paint instead pictures for aviation art prints. In the past 20 years Nick has had published more than 150 full size color prints and countless pencil and smaller prints.

Nick as he signs "Defenders of Bastogne."

His work is collected worldwide and especially in the United States where he has attended numerous art shows and gained many friends. His work has been exhibited, amonst other places, in the Smithsonian, the Pentagon and Britain's Imperial War Museum.

He lives with his wife Ruth in the Cotswold hills in Gloucestershire, England, very fittingly in the corner of what was once a Battle of Britain airfield. The site has long since returned to agriculture. Open fields provide a far-reaching view from his studio window but Nick says that if you know where to look the tell tail evidence of the war is still all around and it's easy to imagine Spitfires roaring overhead. ''It's a perfect place to recreate scenes from the past as a reminder of the sacrifices made by our parents generation.''

Valor Studios wishes to thank the following for their assistance with this project:
Reg Jans and the distinguished veterans who made this print possible.