Monday, 10 September 2012

Fw. Hermann Dibbel SG 2

From the Morning Bulletin (Australia 1954) and originally posted by Carlos on TOCH

Rank: Feldwebel
Unit: III./Stuka-Geschwader 2
Awarded DKIG on: February 26 1943

Teaches Writing In The SkyESSEN < AP).

-Ten years ago, front-line Russian soldiers gazed Into the skies where a lone German Stuka spelled out in huge, smoky letters an appeal to them to surrender. Sky-writer Hermann Dibbel, a Luftwaffe Master Sergeant was on his job. Today, Hermann Dibbel is a miner in a Ruhr colliery with: a monthly salary of about 600' marks (142.80 U.S. dollars). But recently, Dibbel got back his old job with a new twist. He claims to be Europe's only sky-writing instructor and foreign aerial advertising firms have hired him to teach their own pilots. Sky-writing is difficult, Dibbel says. lt is not only aerobatic flying, but requires extra delicate balance and control.  "When you are writing 2400 ft. letters in the sky, you do not see them," he said. "You have to use a stop watch and rely on skill. This is because a bad letter cannot be erased. If one letter is bad, the whole slogan may be illegible to the people down below." Only by going 3000 ft. lower, after finishing the text, can Dibbel see what he has written.Dibbel was one of several pilots selected by the German psychological warfare division for sky-writing surrender appeals over the Russian front. Until then, he had been a combat flier. He is credited with sinking a British cruiser, three transports and destroying 30 Soviet tanks with his single-engined Stuka dive bomber. He was a talented sky-writing student and later flew missions over Yugoslavia In an attempt to induce Tito's partisans to surrender.After World War Two, he fled from East Germany to the Ruhr and became a miner. Then he was re-discovered. Dibbel has accompanied a Swiss pilot on several flights from Duesseldorf airport and showed him how to sky-write.He has a simple method for beginners; mount a can with limewater on a bicycle and then try to write upside-down letters backwards while riding.Aerial advertising agents estimate that each sky-written letter costs about 50 marks (1150 dollars). Dibbel can do more than 30 letters an hour.He hopes to set up his own advertising firm soon. But Dibbel-like all other Germans -is forbidden to fly by Allied occupation law. This ban is to be lifted whenever the West German peace contract, restoring sovereignty 'of the Bonn Republic, goes into effect....