Friday, 12 March 2010

'Red 19' Uffz Ernst Schröder Sturmgruppe 5./JG 300

Questions about this machine regularly crop up on modelling forums. Here's a couple of photos I posted on in response to just one such query regarding the camouflage finish of Schröder's Fw 190. 'Red 19' ( WNr. 172733 ) was the regular aircraft of Uffz Ernst Schröder of 5./JG 300 from about August through to November 1944 which was pretty unusual for that time frame. Produced by Focke Wulf in Cottbus during May or June 1944 this machine was produced as a six MG gun Jägerausführung or fighter variant Schröder's Staffel generally flew top-cover for the Sturmgruppe and the pilot would also have preferred to remove the outer MG 151/20 cannon, " but this was strictly prohibited ..".
This machine was not equipped with the Mk 108 3-cm cannon. A red Rotbraun 45 Reichsverteidigung fuselage band was applied to this machine during its 25-hour Check or Kontrolle. Rotbraun 45 red oxide primer paint was also applied to the bolts which attached the armoured ring to the front of the cowl. The Kölle alaaf (Kölnisch dialect for 'Cologne is Alive') inscription on the fuselage side is here missing its exclamation mark. The canopy is missing the Antenneumlenkrolle antenna tensioning device so that the aerial wire hung slack along the fuselage with the canopy open. Note a photo of the starboard side of the aircraft taken in November 1944 has the inscription Edelgard under the cockpit, Schröder's girlfriend at the time.

Schröder had a number of victories over P-51 Mustangs before the events of the 27 September 1944, the so-called 'Kassel catatrophe', the decimation of the 37 B-24 Liberators of the 445th BG, the highest one day loss of any bombardment group in the 8th Air Force. Flying in the third wave of attacking Sturm machines he shot down two 445th BG B-24 Liberators. These were his only Viermot victories.

This machine was 'lost' on 27 November 1944 when Schröder was forced to belly land after a dogfight at low altitude with a P-51. The aircraft was eventually repaired and returned to service with JG 301.

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