Monday, 14 April 2014

Eastern Front rarities Ar 232, He 177, Me 321 - daily Ebay photo find

click to view large and currently on offer here

He 177 of KG 1

Ar 232 A-02 W.Nr. 100004 "VD+YB" , Eastern Front, early 1943 (?). This aircraft later flew as "L5+AR", 7./Erg.TG 7. ID courtesy the German airplanes WW II group on Facebook

Rare four-engined Ar 232 B on this blog here 

Aufklärungsstaffel See/88 - AS./88 Legion Condor - Nationalist Ju 52 3m (W) - Totenkopf emblem - daily Ebay photo find

Along with the first variants of the Stuka to fly combat sorties, one of the rarest Luftwaffe types to see service during the Spanish Civil War was this Nationalist Ju 52 3m (W). It is not known if there was more than a single example of the Ju-52 floatplane in service with the Aufklärungsstaffel See/88 (AS./88 or the Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron), of the Legion Condor in Spain. This particular aircraft - probably red '527' - complete with Totenkopf emblem on the nose, was used by the AS./88 for liaison and transport duties. During a flight from Cadiz to Pollensa on 21 March 1938 it came under attack from two Republican Fiat CR. 32 fighters, one of which was shot down by the Ju 52's gunner.  Republican Coastal Defence reported ;

" 15:10 two fighters were airborne to intercept an enemy seaplane spotted eight miles from the coast, north-east of Cabo Palos. The fighters engaged the seaplane but the rebel aircraft managed to shoot down one of our aircraft which came down in the sea thirty five kilometres from the coast, exploding on impact  .."

Also currently on offer from Mathias Beth@ Beth Militaria 

Aces and pilots of III./ JG 54- Lt. Eugen-Ludwig Zweigart

Recently offered on Ebay (see above) and also reproduced - rather too dark - in the classic Prien and Rodeike " Bf 109 F-G-K " the two images above are obviously copies of repros of copies etc etc ... here is a much better quality view of  Zweigart, wearing RK, and seated on his "Brown 7" (courtesy Jean-Yves Lorant) to view large.

"Tarzan" was a Bf 109 G-4, the variant which introduced the bulged fairings on the upper wing (just visible here) for the larger mainwheels adopted from the G-4 series..

A successful Eastern Front ace, Zweigart enjoyed one of his 'best' days on 20 February 1944, the first day of 'Operation Argument' - the US 8th AF assault on the German aviation industry. Zweigart claimed two B-17s shot down, while III./ JG 54 claimed eight in total, the best result for the defending Gustav units. Zweigart claimed three B-17s on 6 March 1944, during the first large-scale USAAF raid on Berlin. Having flown in the West for the best part of a year and seconded to the Gruppenstab of III./JG 54, Zweigart was shot down and killed in aerial combat near Les Champeaux, south-west of Vimoutiers (Normandy) on 8 June 1944. He baled out but was shot while hanging in his parachute ( Fw 190 A-8, W.Nr. 170 736, “Black 3”). He was 30 years old and had been credited with 69 victories.

Bf 109 G-6/R6 I./JG 300 wilde Sau

for those blog visitors who don't know Facebook, here are some JG 300 finds 're-posted' from the FB Bf 109 Group pages..

Above; anonymous Bf 109 G-6/R6 from I./JG 300. Note the wavy camouflage scheme, the absence of Kennziffer, flame shroud over the exhaust and the Eberspächer acoustic pipe or 'whistle' over the leading stack. These ‘whistles’ provided an audible alarm signal to alert an airfield and its flak batteries that a wilde Sau night fighter was operating in the vicinity and that they should not be fired upon! Photo is from ebay -location,unit & W.Nr. are unknown. Below; 'weisse 8 ' and 'weisse 11' are G-6/R6 sub-types under camouflage netting at Bonn-Hangelar during the summer of 1943.

Below two views of an airframe being towed from a field following an accident of some description. The tail bands are almost certainly the blue/white/blue of JG 300. The JG 300 loss list shows a Bf 109 G-14/AS "Green 14", lost on 30 January 1945 after the pilot Uffz. Gerhard von Strassmann (11./ JG 300) ground-looped on take off from Mark Zwuschen attempting to ferry  a 'Green 14' back to Jueterbog. With the Russian advance threatening to over-run JG 300's airfields in the East, the Geschwader had been ordered back to its airfields around Berlin. By his own account though the pilot recalls wiping the undercarriage off in that particular incident - there would most probably have been a dusting of fresh snow on the ground around this date too..

This machine is illustrated by Anders Hjortsberg at his Profile Paintshop blog

Friday, 11 April 2014

NJG 1 Venlo Nachtjagd photo album - Daily Ebay photo find

On offer at this link, a NJG photo album featuring Ordensverleihungen (award ceremonies - award of RK during June 1943 to Staffelkapitän Hans-Dieter Frank 2./ NJG 1) Gruppenkommandeure und Geschwaderkommodore of NJG 1 on the Flugplatz Venlo Holland and scenes from airfield activities at Flugplatz Arnheim, Flugplatz Gütersloh, Flugplatz Schleswig. As well as Me 110 Nachtjäger, the album features Do 17 nightfighters and Me 109s of 11.(N) JG 2 prior to or on this unit's incorporation into NJG 1.

Monday, 7 April 2014

JG 51 Mölders Messerschmitt Bf 109 - Daily Ebay photo find

more unknown Fw 190s on Facebook - JG 1, JG 4, JG 5, JG 54, JG 2

There are many Luftwaffe groups on Facebook, which I tend to check out daily. There are a number of 'well-known' posters - and other enthusiasts- presenting some all sorts of material and commenting. A lot of the material is unknown to me - most of it appears to originate from 'expired' Ebay auctions, some of it comes from books and other sites. Browsing the various Groups is so much quicker and faster than wading through a forum - besides as any FB user will know you get updates -or "notifications"- the moment your 'friends' post. It much more direct and it is much easier to upload and download images, with no particular restrictions - I find it a lot easier to use than 'photo-hosting' sites like Flickr and Photobucket. Images don't have to be re-sized, FB does that for you. Of course the ease with which all this happens may well create its own problems - I can well imagine that some writers, researchers and collectors would not want to see "their" material posted on FB - the school of thought though seems to be that WW II images, artworks based on such images are essentially public domain and if posted for discussion and education, count as "fair use" when it comes to copyright, especially under US law. I wonder if that will be tested one day. However if you see anything here you'd rather not see and want to tell me about it, please feel free.

comment on the above from Jakub Plewka;
" F-3/R1. Location of the Erste Hilfe pack + underwing ETC + MG flat cowl denotes the type. The BSK presence is interesting. Cool bird but what is the one on the left? Ju 188 nose...?"

Below; two images of late 1944 Fw 190 A-8s; given the camouflage and style of Kennziffer, these are almost certainly JG 1

below; two previously unseen images of belly-landed Sturm Fw 190 from 5.(Sturm)./ JG 4. Of course this might be an A-6 from the Sturmstaffel, it is difficult to tell whether the MG cowl cover is flat or bulged.