Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Eastern Front Junkers Ju 52 rudder tail codes- daily Ebay photo find #189


Below; Ju 52 - PD+KJ,  Demjansk 1942. Note the tail code B3K -  3. Staffel machine coded 'K' of KGrzbV500

below; another Eastern Front machine with rudder tail code seen after a Notlandung. Here the 'K1k' tailcode indicated 1./Einsatzgruppe led by Major Kupschus. Kupschus was Kommandeur of III./LLG 1 and led this short-lived unit which only existed between September and December 1941, established to bolster transport capacity on the Eastern Front from a variety of LLG1 and school machines. The Einsatzgruppe Major Kupschus was the very first unit introducing so-called Transporter tactical tail codes - ie a mix of letters and numbers bearing no relation to the Verbandszeichen - as quoted on page 18 of Karl Kössler's 'Transporter - wer kennt sie schon?' (Alba, 1976) . The large letter on the rudder stood for the first letter of the unit commander's surname, the small figure indicated the Staffel and the small letter the aircraft ID in the Staffel. One Leutnant Gerhard Wasserkampf (TO of Einsatzgruppe Major Kupschus) developed these tactical tail codes to allow rapid identification of the unit's aircraft on busy fields..

Above; an example of a fuselage code 9P+MW ( 4./KGrzbV 60) not corresponding with the rudder tactical code. Here the letter 'B' on the rudder is the T.Kz of KGrzbV 500,while  the 'StB' indicates that this Ju 52 at some point was an aircraft assigned to the Stab of this unit. The Dortmund coat-of-arms emblem of KGrzbV500 is visible on the nose. The photo was published on page 65 of Karl Kössler's book 'Transporter - wer kennt sie schon?', the caption indicating that the photograph was taken in Riga. On offer here

Inspiration for this blog post via ATB's Ju 52 ebay finds at the Luftwaffe Research Group