Friday, 1 November 2013

BarracudaCals - Erla-built Bf 109 G-10s, 'Timo' Schenk's 'Red 5' of 2./JG 300 & some JGr 300 machines

Anders Hjortsberg of the Profile Paintshop - well-known to readers of the Luftwaffe blog for his inspirational artworks - has completed his first decal sheet assignment for Barracuda Studios; namely two large 1/32nd scale sheets for the forthcoming Revell Bf 109 G-10. A fair few late 1944 Erla machines went to JG 300 of course and the low-res images presented here are just two of Anders' quality artworks appearing on these new sheets due imminently and forwarded to the 'Luftwaffe blog' by the artist. Click to view large..

These two artworks appear on sheet 1 which includes the following subjects;
  • White 14, 15./JG 51, landed in Sweden on April 24:th 1945 flown by Waldemar Wagler. An ex-JG 3 aircraft
  • Yellow 6, JGr. 300, Neubiberg, May 1945
  • Black 13, I./JG 27, Salzburg(?), May 1945
  • Red 5, flown by Friedrich-Wilhelm “Timo” Schenk, 2./JG 300, Borkheide, December 1944
  • Blue 1, 16./JG 301, Erfurt Nord, May 1945
  • Black 22, II./JG 52, Neubiberg, May 1945
You will notice even on these low-res copies that Anders has added a little extra “sunlight” to the profiles to make them a little more vibrant.  Note the 'richness' of the colours, and the 'shadow' behind the Flettner actuator. Impressive work, because the colours look extremely realistic at the same time..I would imagine that many Luftwaffe enthusiasts will want to acquire these sheets even if not intending to build the Revell G-10. Very nicely done Anders

"Red 5" (photo above, courtesy Jean-Yves Lorant), flown by Friedrich-Wilhelm “Timo” Schenk, 2./JG300, Borkheide, December 1944 is featured in Jean-Yves Lorant's two volume JG 300 history published by Docavia of course - while a neat piece of word-play, it must have taken a certain amount of courage for the Staffelführer of 2./JG 300 to fly strafing sorties on the Oder front over Russian spearheads with his machine displaying the inscription 'Timo Schenko' (name of the Russian military commander leading the assault on Berlin during the Endkampf). Anders' research and depiction is spot on - while no pictures show the blue-white-blue fuselage bands, 'Red 5' almost certainly displayed them. Neither did Schenk ever at any stage mark his victories on his aircraft. In preparing this piece I have dug out some of Timo's correspondence;

" ..I have now read through your translation of chapter 13 entitled "Escalation" in Jean-Yves Lorant's history of JG 300 -  the hairs standing up on the back of my neck! Please accept my compliments on your super text. I can't quite believe that I was right in the middle of all that  - and survived !!! "  

vom Timo, October 2002
" Liegnitz - February 1945. The Russians had crossed the Oder near Steinau. Our exhausted and over-extended ground troops were in desperate need of close air support.. When the weather allowed, we flew uninterrupted sorties, up to eight a day for some of us. The fields and roads between the villages were teeming with thousands of people, women, children, the elderly, all attempting to flee the Soviet invasion in the bitter cold. Most of the columns of refugees were heading for Dresden. Viewed from the sky these caravans of civilians clogging the roads painted a picture of unspeakable suffering. The Russians were everywhere. We flew strafing attacks with variable results. Going into action at low level against ground targets, tanks, vehicles and infantrymen, was far from easy..". Lt. Friedrich-Wilhelm Schenk, Staffelführer of 2./JG 300

While he may have survived the Oder front, 'Timo' had lived through more than his fair share of tragedy - he lost his father aged 46 in a motor vehicle accident- when Timo was just 13 years old- and then lost his mother also aged 46 from illness when Timo was 19 years old. After JG 300 and on the back of a Verbandsführerlehrgang des Generals der Jagdflieger unit leaders' training course, Timo Schenk was subsequently posted to III./ JG 7 where, after a mere handful of training flights, he flew an R4M rocket-toting Me 262 for the last few months of the war - and still vividly recalls launching salvoes of rockets against RAF Lancasters raiding what was left of Germany by day, claiming one Lancaster shot down on 31 March 1945, followed by a B-24 four days later. Post-war he flew commercial airliners for Lufthansa. Today he is still going strong at 91 years of age...

This well-known image of 'Black 4' ( via Jim Crow, click to view a full screen low-res version) has up until now always been ascribed to JG 2 (or worse) in the literature and in fact doesn't appear in Vol II of the JG 300 history as I recall. However those are blue-white-blue fuselage bands which were displayed on JG 300 fighters from late December 1944 while the small black horizontal bar denoted an aircraft flying under the 'umbrella' of JGr. 300  (I hesitate to write 'assigned to'..) as in Anders' artwork of 'Yellow 6' above. In fact this image will almost certainly be in the reprint of Jean-Yves Lorant's history of JG 300 (that the author is currently planning with more photos and more accounts - you read it here first! ) Anders' superb artwork of this machine appears on sheet 2 of the new BarracudaCals set.  

When I. JG 300 was disbanded in March- April 1945 some 15 aircraft of its remaining serviceable aircraft went to III. and IV./ JG 300 between 1 -12 April 45. Both these units were shuttling around various airfields in southern Germany - given all the logistic and serviceability issues there was a certain amount of 'dispersion'. These aircraft were all supposed to fly to Ainring eventually under the banner of JGr. 300 and from there on to Prag with stated diversionary airfields in Czech territory for the most part..the Lw.Kdo. 6 ORB dated 3 May 1945 stating II. and III./JG 300 " in Umwandlung zu Jagdgruppe 300, Ainring " is reproduced on page 335 of Vol II of the JG 300 history....

See the rest of Anders' Erla-built Bf 109 G-10s for BarracudaCals here 

Exclusive Bf 109 artwork from Anders Hjortsberg on the Luftwaffe blog

More on Jagdgruppe 300 on this blog