The egg-shaped Me 163 was designed as a fast-climbing bomber interceptor whose rocket engine could boost it to speeds of over 590 mph. In fact, the Me 163 was the fastest piloted aircraft of WWII, faster even than any jet of the day. By August of 1944, I/G 400, the unit equipped with the Me 163, was based at Brandis, near Leipzig, Germany. When on August 16, 1944 the heavy bombers of the Eighth Air Force attacked targets in this area, the Luftwaffe intercepted them in strength. This print shows one of these aerial encounters. A B-17 Flying Fortress named "Outhouse Mouse" from the 91st Bombardment group has been knocked out of formation by an FW-190 and a Bf 109, and was soon attacked by a flight of two Komets. Only the evasive manuevers of the B-17 pilot and the intervention of P-51s from the 359th Fighter Group saved the bomber to fight another day.
This print is signed by ME-163 pilot Rudy Opitz, and is specially priced at $35.