Fast Company by Nicolas Trudgian


In the closing months of the war, the Allies on the Western and Eastern Fronts forced the Germans back towards their homeland. The Luftwaffe, despite dreadful odds, continued to fight with great tenacity.

The fighter pilots were mostly young and barely trained, but were led by the few surviving more experienced ‘experten’ pilots and were often fortunate in the quality of the aircraft they flew. Most numerous and feared by the Allies was Fw190D-9, or ‘Dora’ as it became known. It was more than a match for all Allied fighters including the magnificent P51D Mustang. This fact was pressed home on the 19th March 1945 when Mustangs of the illustrious 78th Fighter Group lost four of their aircraft to the Doras of IV/JG26.

The Mustang pilots had been flying a patrol over Germany from their base at Duxford in England and had first encountered Me109K fighters of IV/JG27. In the frenzied dogfight that ensued, the Mustangs downed twelve of the Messerschmitts. However, they then had the misfortune to run into the path of the Doras of JG26 led by the formidable Oberleutant Hans Dortenmann in his distinctive yellow-tailed ‘Black 1’. Dortenmann shot down two of the four Mustangs and a further two were also lost before the 78th could make for home. It was a stark reminder of the supremacy of the D-9 and the threat the Luftwaffe still posed.

Dortenmann continued to lead his young pilots to the end of the war by which time his total of victories in the D-9 had risen to eighteen thereby making him the top scoring ‘Dora’ Ace of the war.



Signed by the artist  Nicolas Trudgian : Erich Rudorffer Knights Cross Oakleaves and Swords,
Hugo Broch Knights Cross and Heribert Koller German Cross in Gold.




Signed by the artist Nicolas Trudgian and Eighteen outstanding Luftwaffe Knights Cross Holders and Fw190D-9 Aces

Hans-Ekkehard Bob Knights Cross , Hugo Broch Knights Cross,
Hugo Dahmer Knights Cross, Adolf Dickfeld Knights Cross with Oakleaves,
Hajo Herrmann Knights Cross with Oakleaves and Swords, Heinz Lange Knights Cross,
Walther Loos Knights Cross, Maximilian Mayerl Knights Cross,
Hermann Neuhoff Knights Cross, Günther Rall Knights Cross with Oakleaves and Swords,
Willi Reschke Knights Cross, Edmund Rossmann Knights Cross,
Erich Rudorffer Knights Cross with Oakleaves and Swords, Walter Schuck Knights Cross with Oakleaves,
Otto Schultz Knights Cross,
 Günter Seeger Knights Cross,
Fritz Seyffardt Knights Cross and
 Walter Wolfrum Knights Cross.



The Warrior Edition, The DORA Edition