Michael O'Neal Aviation Art presents - Diamonds, an original fine art painting done in the classic style. Home Large Paintings Small Paintings Prints Commissioned Paintings Contact Michael O'Neal




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This close-up photograph of the painting clearly shows the numbers and insignia treatment on the original painting. The detail in this painting is so sharp that the movement of the propeller and coloration on the struts are clearly articulated by the artist. Even the aircraft in the distance are detailed, with the proper depth perspective being exquisitely maintained The pilot is clearly defined sitting in the cockpit of his Pfalz D.III Here, two Pfalz D.III's fly high cover for the formation.

18" x 24"
Oil on Board - 2000

Diamonds - A fine original painting by Michael O'Neal is available for purchase by the discerning buyer. Detail pictures of the painting can be seen directly to the right of this copyrighted photograph.

$4000 USD

(18 x 24 Oil on Board – 2000)

High above the mud and waste of the trenches below, a formation of Pfalz D.III’s roam the skies of France in the Spring of 1918. The formation is lead by Lt. Hans-Georg von der Marwitz, 15 victory ace and Staffelfuhrer of Jagdstaffel 30. Strung out alongside him in the fading afternoon light are the members of his flight, unified by the squadron insignia - the black-bordered orange diamond which adorns the sides of their planes.

Von der Marwitz was born 7 August 1893 in Silesia. His early military service was with Uhlan Regiment 16, but by March of 1916, he had transferred to the Fliegertruppe - Air Service – where he was posted to a KampfGeshwader charged with long range bombing missions. By March of the following year, he was posted to Jastaschule for fighter pilot training before being assigned to Jasta 30. After a year of service with Jasta 30 during which he shot down 6 aircraft and earned both the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd class and the Royal Hohenzollern House Order with swords, he was appointed to the command of his squadron, as reward for his aggressive leadership.

In the autumn of 1917, a new fighter began to arrive at the front line Jastas, including Jasta 30. The Pfalz D.III was anticipated to provide improved performance over the Albatros fighters then in service. It’s sleek lines and robust construction showed great promise, but it was underpowered and showed less than stellar climb performance. It did however, gain favor with some pilots for it’s ability to hold together in a near vertical dive and because of this was the choice of pilots who specialized as “balloon busters”. Some pilots preferred the type over the Albatros, but by the mass, it was not a favorite. In spite of it’s troubles, the Pfalz soldiered on until the end of the war, partly due to it’s robust construction, but primarily due to the shortages of newer aircraft as Germany’s war efforts ground down in the fall of 1918.

Jasta 30 continued to fly the Pfalz until late in the war and though badly outclassed by the SE-5, Sopwith Camel and SPAD XIII, the “diamonds” of Jasta 30 continued to cause trouble for Allied pilots. By war’s end, Jasta 30 had claimed 63 kills of which 14 were scored by von der Marwitz.

“Diamonds” captures the Jasta at full strength enjoying the fading afternoon light and the broken masses of clouds before turning for home.


  • Awarded EAA “Excellence” Award at the 2001 Aviation Foundation Sport Aviation Art Competition .
  • Commissioned for use as cover artwork for Paladin Press “Pfalz Aircraft of World War One”
  • Selected for American Society of Aviation Artists 200 International Exhibition and subsequently appeared in Aviation Week and Space Technology’s 2002 year-end edition