Artist: Keith Ferris
Medium: Oil on canvas
Date: 1993

Demonstrating the tragedy of the air was over Europe in World War II, this painting shows a Focke Wulf 190 of the Luftwaffe’s IIJG300, armed with 30mm cannon, face to face with the 50 cal. machine guns of the tail gunner of mortally wounded B-17G 44-6291 of the low squadron of the 8th Air Force’s 303rd Bomb Group on 15 August 1944. The 303rd Bomb Group lost nine B-17 bombers with nine men in each in a little under two minutes in this duel at 25,000 feet over Germany. The average age of the crews on both sides was around 21 years of age.

For both Germans and Americans who flew almost every day, each mission was truly ”A Test Of Courage”.

On loan from: the collection of the artist.