|The Hunter Becomes the Hunted |
by William S. Phillips
Target: Berlin. It was March 6, 1944 and B-17s and B-24s of the Mighty 8th Air Forces’ 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions streamed into a ninety-four-mile wave to attack Berlin. Among the massed bombers, the 100th Bomb Group (H) manned 20 B-17s flying at 21,000 feet, 200 miles west of Berlin. There, twenty-one Fw-190s bored in with deadly accuracy, downing fifteen Flying Fortresses into the fields below. Half of the crewmembers aboard the fallen bombers perished; the rest were imprisoned.
Recklessly, one Focke-Wulf pilot, Oberleutnant Wolfgang Kretschmer, turned to attack, the remaining B-17s alone and he, in turn, became the target of eight escorting P47 Thunderbolts of the 56th Fighter Group, the “Wolf Pack” led by Colonel Hub Zemke. Fighters dove and shot him down. Although injured and badly burned, Oberleutnant Kretschmer survived. It was the worst single day of air warfare for the 8th Air Force. Sixty-nine U.S. heavy bombers and eleven escort fighters were lost.
But air warfare was about the bold acts of individuals who risked their lives daily and The Hunter Becomes the Hunted conveys how quickly the fates of war can turn. This Phillips aviation art classic is finally available as an Anniversary Edition, and for a select few, as a very limited and very stunning, oversize MasterWork Fine Art Canvas.
Also available as a :