Tuesday, 21 October 2014

1./ JG 300 wilde Sau Bf 109s at Bonn Hangelar, late 1943 or early 1944 - Ebay win!

Rare images of 1./ JG 300 wilde Sau Bf 109s at Bonn Hangelar, late 1943 or early 1944.

Winning bid for the image below at 780 Euros. Winning the others took the total investment to over 1,000 Euros; winning bids by an author contributor to this blog! These images continue to excite the very small world of the Luftwaffe enthusiast. Below; "White 4" and "White 1", are G-6s, of 1. Staffel in light-blue-grey finish, probably deployed at some stage on high-altitude Moskito chasing sorties. Although that was not their primary mission. Needless to say this particular photo is an important image in the history of JG 300. Some never-before illustrated aspects of this machine for JG 300 have been identified by the new owner - mission role, equipment etc. The pilot in the picture - probably posing for the camera alongside his victory markings on the rudder - is known too. The actual images will hopefully show these along with the Werknummmer. The new owner would prefer that I say no more at this stage...of course if you know your history of JG 300 then all the clues are there. And to the modellers and profile artists who might attempt a rendition of this one, I'd have to respectfully advise against it ..not only are the WNr. and victory markings not visible but you'll miss one, if not two crucial details!

This close-up of the main image depicts  another "White 1", the aircraft assigned to the Staffelkapitan of 1./JG 300 Olt Gerhard Pilz. Note what appears to be the wilde Sau boar's head emblem on the nose of this machine. A photo of the other side of this line-up has been previously published in the Lorant/Goyat history of JG 300 and originates from former JG 300 fitter Erwin Dill's album. However this veteran stated that these pictures were taken at Herzogenaurach near Nürnberg. This new view clearly shows the Saint-Augustin convent in the background, which situates the image firmly at Bonn-Hangelar during the spring of 1944.

This brings me to a point raised by Don Caldwell in the Foreword to his "Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich" ;

  ".. photos and document, once freely shared in the 1980s and 1990s now appear on ebay to be sold to wealthy collectors, frequently never to be seen again by the general public. The small band of serious air war historians and enthusiasts has fought this pernicious trend by freely sharing this material..."

Only in this instance it is one of those 'serious air war historians' that has managed to secure these images at great personal expense. He elected to acquire them, precisely because he was able to identify exactly how 'key' these images are in the history of JG 300 - the 'enthusiasts' however continue to post them in 'their' on-line 'collections', tamper with what are pretty poor quality scans under the pretext of 'cleaning them up' and present them to the world while unable to provide any context or story. To have them loosely and inaccurately labelled as most on-line image collections do, serves in my view to depreciate their value somewhat and leads to misinformation and myth. And before anyone bothers to say, yes, I'm aware that I am no better, but in this instance, a vague caption will have to suffice, at the request of the images' new owner. After all what will make the REAL difference is the details that their new owner will be able to develop around these images, setting their context, sense and perspective. Because these images will re-appear in a revised edition of their unit's history. They are first grade testimonies, the full impact of which will only become apparent over time, when their secrets are revealed....

And a comment on our forum spat regarding the posting of these images. As far as I am concerned I think its reasonable enough to re-post pictures of this quality during an Ebay auction (most sellers who I have contacted are happy to let me do this..), but I would expect to take them down at the end of the auction when/if the new owner requests this. After all, most enthusiasts - and certainly not David Weiss - wouldn't dream of spending 1,000 euros on a set of images, would they? In my view the new owner is perfectly entitled to 'protect' his investment. I, for one, am happy these images have been bought by a 'serious enthusiast/historian'.. .

Below; a new image of "White 7" 1./ JG 300. Note the wavy camouflage finish taken over the spinner on the lower images and the absence of red fuselage band.