Friday 16 April 2010

Wolfgang Schnaufer's Bf110G

Heinz Schnaufer's Bf 110G Schleswig, Germany. 19 June 1945. Informal group portrait of a Halifax crew of No. 462 Squadron standing next to an ME110 Identified are, left to right: Flight Lieutenant M. Langworthy (pilot), Flight Sergeant Mitchell (gunner), Ray (bomb aimer), Flying Officer Ivan Campbell (navigator), Flight Sergeant Ted Casey RAF (engineer), unidentified (gunner), Warrant Officer Mick O'Brien (wireless operator). The ME110 tail fin bears 121 emblems made up of small roundels next to an aircraft and a date, representing the number of Allied aircraft destroyed by the pilot, Major Wolfgang Schnaufer. This a/c is presumably 3C+BA

A summary of the a/c flown by Schnaufer

G9+EZ (with this registration he flew from January 1944 to the end of March 1944) and later G9+DF (code later changed when Schnaufer became Kommandeur, and he flew with this registration from April to June 1944) Werknummer 720260, equipped with FuG220
G9+EF, equipped with FuG220
G9+EC, equipped with FuG202. He flew this machine through April and May 1943.
3C+BA, equipped with FuG218

On the page 57 of " Die Deutsche Luftwaffe Zerstörer- und Nachtjagdverbände teil 1" by Michael Meyer and Paul Stipdonk, there are 3 nice photos of an Bf 110G. Photos are from collection of Fritz Rumpelhardt, Schnaufers radio operator. According to the captions they date from early summer 1943. Unfortunately the call sign of the plane is not shown, neither the tail fin, but:

• the spinners are in a solid, dark colour, a similar shade as the blades (black or black green?)
• it has 4 x MG 17 on the nose with 2 x 20 mm guns as standard
• it has an additional M1 pod of 2 x MG151/20 under the belly
• and FuG 202 radar arrays on the nose with vertical dipoles
• twin machine gun MG81Z? for the radio operator, G-4 type canopy and no "Schräge Musik"
• uncovered exhaust, early type

An RLM report of 16 June 1944 indicated Schnaufer's dislike of the MK108, and that he was using only MG 151/20s for his forward armament at that time. Schnaufer would have had the new FuG 220 radar array, with a single FuG 202 antenna in the centre during early 1944. After the RAF began jamming the FuG 202 frequency in July 1943, Schnaufer would have been among the first to receive the new radar which was immune to RAF jamming.