Thursday, 24 November 2011

Flying the Junkers Ju 188 KG 77, KG 26, KG 6 Ebay rarities

Above; two Hasegawa Ju 188s on display at this year's Scale Model World Telford.

Flying the Junkers Ju 188 (re-post). An account from former KG 77 & KG 26 pilot Diemer Bodo's  memoir  " Überlebenschance gleich Null " (Helios Verlag)

1945 sees Diemer posted to Norway with KG 26 and the chance to fly the Ju 188.

..that day we reported as ordered to the Technical Officer. We were to fly two modified Ju 188s back to Trondheim and ferry them to III. Gruppe. Both machines were standing outside on the taxyway. I told him that we had never flown the Ju 188 and couldn’t be expected to take the aircraft without at least some classroom instruction. His response – we both wore the EK first class so we must be experienced flyers. There were two Bordfunker ready and waiting to make the trip with us. A pilot who had flown the Ju 188 was on hand to show us the ropes – and quickly before the Mustangs put in an appearance and shot the two machines to pieces. Just great! .. with the Russians in front of Berlin and the Western Allies already fighting around Kassel, here we were standing in our entire worldly possessions and now having to make a 1,500 kilometer trip north in a type that we had never flown before. While we had been flying combat sorties we’d dreamt of being able to give up our old lame Ju 88s for the faster more manoeuvrable Ju 188. Now we were getting our wish. The Ju 188 was a machine of 3,500 hp, almost 700 more horses than my faithful old ‘1H+NH’, and a top speed approaching 530 km/h, almost 100 km/h faster than our old crates... the next morning, half asleep, I climbed up into the unfamiliar cockpit, followed by the BF. Much more spacious, not half as cramped as the Ju 88, although the layout of the instruments and throttles was much the same. Run up the engines quickly and then taxy out. The eastern horizon was already getting lighter – time to get going before the P-51s turned up. Essig followed me and we turned onto the runway. Throttles wide open at the same time and we were airborne tucked in alongside each other just like the good old days. Now we were in our element – low level over the Baltic heading north. The biggest danger now was our own flak, and especially the anti-aircraft defences toted by our warships lying off the coast. An intermediate stop was planned in Aalborg, Denmark before undertaking the long flight over the Skagerrak. The Ju 188 was very pleasant to fly. Much easier on the rudder and the aircraft responded quickly to my inputs on the stick. I could sense the much higher speed – this was turning into a joy ride - I waggled my wings at Essig in happiness. He waggled his back in reply...”

Above image surfaced on Ebay earlier this year and aroused a certain amount of interest for the KG 30 badge and the possibility that this was Kommodore KG 200 Baumbach's personal aircraft. Baumbach left KG 30 in December 1942 for a staff position and the Ju 188 E did not enter service in any numbers until mid-1943.

This from Del Davis on this aircraft ; " I am not sure that KG 30 was ever equipped with the Ju-188. Like you I have never seen a Baumbach aircraft where the codes are visible. I think it more likely that he flew this aircraft while with KG 200 in 1944 so the code is more likely A3+-- or or A3+AA..While few if any KG 200 aircraft carried unit emblems this may have been a personal aircraft with his former unit insignia for his use while on the staff or as Komodore of KG 200. As to the code it could just as easily have still been the Stammkennzeichen. Unless some source comes forward with either a photo or a logbook we may never know.."

Ju 188 E-1 codes of KG 200 as reported by Ed North.
260186 (no code given) destroyed 01.03.45 (Ketley "KG 200")
260232 A3+LD surrendered Mulhldorf-Metthenhaim 08.05.1945
260381 (no codes given) 35% in belly landing 23.01.45 (Luftwaffe losses)
260399 A3+LD I/KG 200 missing (100%) unk location (Erfurt-Echterdingen) 02.02.1945 (Luftwaffe losses)
250522* (no codes given) 25% no location given 14.02.45 (Luftwaffe losses)
(*probably typo for 260522)
260542 A3+QD shot down near Diest, Belgium 23.01.1945 (Ketley "KG 200" )
260543 (no code given) strafed Alten-Grabow 01.03.1945 (Ketley "KG 200" )
Further codes for Ju 188s (likely all A-2/D-2s Jumo 213 engines) are A3+RD, A3+OD, A3+TD, A3+BD.