Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Hangar10 Messerschmitt Bf-109 G-14 "Schwarze 2" LOW & LOUD

Footage from Hangar 10's late September fly-in over the island of Usedom. Paddy Patrone video - a single click to view here..

JG 77, Greece, Crete - ebay photo find #322

As the only Jagdgeschwader in theatre, JG 77 flew numerous anti-shipping sorties during the final phases of the Greek campaign in late April 1941 ('Marita') as British expeditionary forces were evacuated from a number of small ports in the south of the peninsula to Crete. JG 77 subsequently supported 'Merkur', the airborne invasion of Crete. On 23 April the Kommandeur II./JG 77 Hptm. Fritz -Heinz Lange was shot down by anti-aircraft fire and killed. On 24 April Kommodore Woldenga dropped a bomb on a 3,000 GRT tanker. On the same day Siegfried Freytag had to bail out over Athens and was captured but rejoined his Gruppe after the fall of the city. On 25 April Fw Otto Unertl (9./JG 77) was KIA when his Bf 109 was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Staffelkapitän 7./JG 77 Oblt. Huy enjoyed notable success during JG 77's anti-shipping sorties. Flying out of Larissa he hit a 20,000 GRT troop transporter on 27 April. The facilities at Larissa were rudimentary with 250 kg bombs loaded by hand.

JG 77's first sortie against Crete was flown on 4 May  - a strafing raid against the airfield at Maleme. On 22 May Uffz. Rudolf Schmidt of 5. Staffel only just managed to return to Molaoi having been hit by anti-aircraft fire during another anti-shipping sortie. According to some on-line sources (notably the Kracker Archive) the British battleship HMS Valiant was 'sunk' off Crete on this date May 22, 1941, having been attacked by JG 77 ace Johan Pichler who also crash-landed back at Molaoi on May 22. It was not... (the probability of Me 109s sinking a Queen Elizabeth class battleship was quite possibly nil!)

Schmidt claimed two Blenheims and a Hurricane over Crete on 25 May for victories 6-8. That same day II./JG 77 lost their second Kommandeur within a month when Hptm. Helmut Henz was hit by a Blenheim's defensive fire and plunged into the sea.

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 5./JG 77 (Black 4+-) displaying the rudder scoreboard of Uffz. Rudolf Schmidt WNr 5365 and seen in among the wreckage of Ju 52s and other types at Maleme in Crete during late May 1941.

During the campaign JG 77 claimed some 29 ships sunk - the rudder scoreboard of the ace of II./JG 77 Rudolf Schmidt displays the silhouettes of two British vessels hit.

Schmidt was awarded the RK for 27 victories on 30 August 1941. He was KIA in his Bf 109 F-4 'black 15' on 6 April 1942 over the Crimea in combat with Pe-2 bombers. Ofw. Schmidt had returned 42 victories and was one of the leading aces of II./JG 77 at the time of his death.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Trautloft JG 54 Siverskaya March 1943 - ebay photo find #321

Trautloft JG 54 Siverskaya March 1943 according to the reverse of the image

 Go here

below; 7. Staffel 'flying clog' emblem JG 54 Emil

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Kommodore JG 26 Galland's first Friedrich - ebay photo find #320

60 victory Abschussbilanz on the rudder of Galland's Bf 109 F-2 WNr. 6714. His victories 59 and 60 were returned on 15 April 1941 in this machine. Via Oliver Rogge


on offer here

Below; More 5. Staffel JG 26 Emils with diving raven emblem. More on this blog


Below; note the diving raven emblem just visible under the cockpit of this 5./JG 26 Emil with scoreboard of Staka Lt. Wolfgang Kosse. See JFV 4/I p.317.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Ofw. Willi 'Morzmann' Morzinek JG 2 - Berlin raid 6 March 1944

Seen above, second left, Ofw. Willi 'Morzmann' Morzinek, 7./JG 2, a rare Battle of Britain JG 2 'veteran' to survive in this photo selection via Marco Auer.

'Morzmann' Morzinek flew in II./JG 2 (4. Staffel) during late 1940. His logbook reports escort of Bf 110s to attack Southampton on 17 November and a sortie over Portland on 30 November 1940. (JG 2 'In the skies of France' Vol I by Erik Mombeeck and Jean Louis Roba). Flew in 1./JG 2 during 1942 and 7.Staffel in early 1944. First claim 21 June 1941, a Spitfire, west of Le Touquet during Circus 17. Two Spitfires claimed on 19 August 1942 nr. Dieppe. Instructor during 1943, returned to combat in 1944. B-17 claim 02 March  with 7./JG 2, same day as Kommodore Mayer was KIA. A B-24 claim 05 March 1944 for his 12th. WIA following combat with P-47s during the 06 March Berlin raid, attempting an emergency landing at Plantlünne  (Absturz nahe Platz), Morzinek was forced to bail out of his 'yellow 8' (Bf 109 G-5 WNr. 110 232). Did not return to JG 2 until March 1945.

(JfV 13/IV p207 for loss info)

Saturday, 27 July 2019

More aces and pilots of III./ JG 2

Above; Lt. Benno Eder, Oblt. Ferdinand Müller and Ofw. Fritz Hartmann of 9./JG 2 seen in February 1943 probably at Vannes, north of Nantes in Brittany..Eder would achieve his 5th victory on 30 July 1943 claiming a B-17 from an 8th AF force en route to Kassel. Hartmann was already an ace - his regular aircraft were marked "gelbe 11", one of which was photographed below during 1942. This A-2/3 (probably WNr. 2187) features the stylised eagle wing with an Adlerkopf (eagle's head) marking on the cowling which would be later over-painted and replaced with the cockerel. The rudder featured a row of at least eight Abschussbalken ..

Above; Müller and Hartman (alongside the engine cowl) seen with their comrades in 9./JG 2 are  assembling by their aircraft for a transfer to Calais/Marck on the Channel coast in February 1943 where they were subordinated to the Stab JG 26 following the move of I./JG 26 to the Eastern Front. An Austrian, Müller was appointed Staffelkapitän 1./JG 2 in May 1943. Attacking B-17s raiding Le Bourget just north of Paris on 16 August 1943, he would be shot down and killed by the P-47 escort. Perched on the wheel (leaning against the cowl) is Fw. Willi Kopp who claimed a B-17 shot down south of Jersey on the afternoon of 29 May 1943 for his second victory. His 5th  -also a B-17- was returned on 3 September. He was shot down and killed over northern France on 9 September 1943 in Fw 190 A-6 WNr. 550548 attacking B-17s. Playing with the dog is Rudolf Gehrhardt also seen below on his 'yellow 6'.

Below;  posted on FB by Christophe Blanluet -where I was able to provide the pilot identification. This is Rudolf Gehrhardt of 9./JG 2 on his A-5 (157319) 'yellow 6'. Gehrhardt was seriously injured in a crash landing on 17 May 1943 at Vannes after a sortie against B-17s and probably for this reason alone managed to survive the war, one of the few 9./JG 2 pilots to do so..

I am grateful to Erik Mombeeck for assistance in compiling these captions. The fact that so few of these men survived indicates how difficult it must have been for Erik to research his multi-volume history of this Geschwader. The latest tome in the series covers 1944 and the increasingly ferocious large-scale combats against USAF B-17s over France as the defenders were overwhelmed ahead of the Allied Normandy D-Day landings..

More on this blog here

Also on this blog;

III./JG 2 convert onto the Fw 190 May-June 1942 - 7. Staffel Kapitän Oblt. Egon Mayer. Fw 190 im Westen, Channel Front aces

III./JG 2 in France - 30 December 1942, first frontal attack - Channel Front ace Uffz. Friedrich May

Oblt. 'Sepp' Wurmheller Staffelkapitän 9./ JG 2 Fw 190 A-6 and A-5 ' yellow 2 '

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Horst Prenzel 'white 2' JG 301 Invasionsfront, June 1944

 Bf 109 G-6 "white 2" flown by Lt. Horst Prenzel of 1./ JG 301 seen here in France. The Staffel was based in Holzkirchen during the period 20 May 20 – 12 June 1944. On 14 June they moved via Villacoublay to St. Dizier in France and on 24 June arrived in St. André. During June and July 1944 they flew almost exclusively night interception sorties against overflying RAF bomber formations. The image shows Lt. Horst Prenzel on the wing. Note the spinner spiral and the black port gear cover and cannon gondola suggesting that the entire port wing was painted black.

In the early hours of 21 July Prenzel (Staffelkapitän 1./JG 301) landed his Me 109 G-6 'white 16' (below) apparently in error at RAF Manston on the east Kent coast, southern England, after a 'Wilde Sau' sortie over the invasion area. The RAF evaluated the aircraft at the RAE Farnborough, and then passed it to the Air Fighting Development Unit at RAF Wittering in August 1944. The same night a second JG 301 pilot put down at Manston - Fw Manfred Gromil of 1./JG 301 belly landed his G-6 "Yellow 8" after running out of fuel.

Below;   RAF pilot F/L Len Thorne after ground-looping this machine (now TP 814) on 23 November 1944 after a gear leg collapse.

More on the RAF Manston history site here

'White 16' available as a special 'limited edition' Corgi die-cast in their D-Day 75th anniversary series