"THE KIDD" by TROY WHITE
Limited Edition of 100: $235
Artist Proof Edition: $300
Overall print size: 19" x 26".
Lt. Ralph "Kidd" Hofer of the 334th FS 4th FG rolls out behind an Me109G-6 flown by Uffz. Heinz Kunz of 6./JG11 on the 28th of May, 1944. In moments the 109 dove into the ground streaming glycol. Thus the "Kidd" claimed his 15th and last air-to-air victory of the war. In the painting Lt. Hofer is flying his assigned aircraft P-51B 42-106924. Equipped with a Malcolm hood, QP-L is nicknamed "Salem Representative".
With his long hair and football jersey, "Kidd" Hofer stands out as one of the most memorable characters in the 8th Air Force. After serving in the RCAF Hofer transferred to the 4th FG in September of 1943 and promptly destroyed an Me 109 on his first mission. Hofer was known for not maintaining radio discipline incurred the wrath of Col. Don Blakeslee on more than one occasion. One of his more memorable R/T quotes was "Gee ain't the Alps pretty". The "Kidd" was also one of the top strafers in the 8th AF with 14 confirmed enemy aircraft destroyed on the ground.
The escapades of this great ace came to an enigmatic end on July 2, 1944. On a mission to Budapest, Hungary, Hofer, flying a borrowed airplane, was last seen as his squadron was being attacked by a superior force Me 109s. His body was found in the wreckage of P-51B, QP-X some 500 kilometers away in Mostar, Yugoslavia.