Junkers Ju 88 A-4 operating with the Stabstaffel St.G 77 in the spring of 1943 in Kalinowka (Poland). Note the Schwartzkopf heraldic badge alongside the death's hand emblem, also more clearly visible in the pictures below. This emblem was designed to honour an earlier Geschwaderkommodore, Oberst Günther Schwartzkopf, who was killed during the Westfeldzug. The Stabsstaffel StG 77 operated both the Bf 110 and the Ju 88 A-4. The Totenhand emblem has previously and mistakenly been attributed to the Stab. NAG 1.
Below; a Bf 110 of the Stabstaffel StG 77 photo taken in 1942 when the unit was operating on the Eastern front. Note the sign in celebration of the unit's 1000th combat flight clearly associating the skeleton hand emblem with the Stabsstaffel of StG. 77. Click to view full screen
Jet & Prop 3/06 featured an article entitled 'Nahaufklärergruppen und ihre Verbandskennzeichen" by Rudolf Hecke which depicted Ju 88 A-4 S2+LA of the Stabsstaffel StG77 in early 1943 in Kalinowka. This photo was taken during the time that StG 77 and StG 2 were being reorganized, both operated the Bf 110 and Ju88 A-4. Both units had about 12 Ju 88 A-4s. According to unit strength records from May 21, 1943 both units were disbanded and their crews reassigned to bomber groups.
Below; a Bf 110 of the Stabstaffel StG 77 photo taken in 1942 when the unit was operating on the Eastern front. Note the sign in celebration of the unit's 1000th combat flight clearly associating the skeleton hand emblem with the Stabsstaffel of StG. 77.
The following photo, colour profile and information is from Jet & Prop 2/05 in an article entitled 'Uber die Nauaufklärungsgruppen (NAG 1-NAG 16) und deren Verbandkennzeichen (VKZ)" by Rudolf Hecke.
The unit emblem includes a profile of the Geschwaderkommodore Günther Schwartzkopf who was killed on May 14, 1940. The unit Kennzeichen was S2+xA. Stabstaffel StG 77 relocated to Kolinowka in March, 1943 and was reorganized (as stated previously).
At least one StG 77 Bf 110 was transferred to Stab./NAG1 with the Kennzeichen Q1+VB and still retaining the Totenhand emblem on the nose. There is a photo of this machine, which has been widely circulated, and for this reason the Totenhand emblem has been mistakenly attributed to Stab. NAG 1.