Thursday 27 October 2011

More JG 26 on the Kanalfront

More from Michael Meyer. As usual click on the images for the full view.

Nice pic of a Stab II./ JG 26 Me 109 G seen in March 1943 in Vitry en Artois. It is just possible to make out the Doppelwinkel (twin chevron) of the Gruppenkommandeur. Note the 2 MG 151/20 in the underwing gondola of the typical Kanonenboot and the bowser topping off the machine's oil tank.

Above; Me 109 G with gondola-mounted MG 151s (Gondelwaffen MG 151/20) as flown by Lt. Kurt-Erich Wenzel who was KIA on 20.1.1943. The pilot is seen here in January 1943 in Vitry en Artois and had returned at least two Luftsiege.

Early FW 190 A of 6./JG 26 in Wevelghem during the fall of 1941 undergoing undercarriage retraction tests.

Latest Ebay sales from Michael Meyer are currently on offer here;

JG 26 Emils in the West

Me 109 E with the so-called 'Gamsbockwappen' or mountain goat (ram) emblem of 6./JG 26 "Yellow 9" Werknummer 1937. This machine was brought down on 1.6.1940 by a Morane Ms 406 and belly landed near Lille. According to Meyer, the pilot on this sortie was Uffz. Artur Beese who spent a brief period in French captivity. He was KIA on 6.2.1944 with some 22 victories.

Me 109 E "gelbe 7" of 6./JG 26 during the campaign in France, June 1940.

According to Meyer's caption this is the Me 109 E flown by the Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 26 Oblt. Alfred Pomaska following a combat sortie -Feindflug during which he achieved his only victory on 1 May 1940, a MS 406. He was KIA near Cambrai on 1 June 1940. However the image appears to show Fw. Ernst Nischik in his regular aircraft "Yellow 5" which can just be identified here.

EK-Verleihung - award of the EK to a 6./JG 26 pilot during May 1940. Identified are Lt. Kurt Ebersberger (3rd from left ), 27 Luftsiege KIA on 24.10.1943, the Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 26 Oblt. Alfred Pomaska (back to the camera) 1 Luftsieg KIA on 1.6.1940, Lt. Otto-Heinrich Hilleke (right) 6 Luftsiege KIA on 26.6.1940 and left Hptm. Fromme. One of the Staffel's Emils in the background.

Latest Ebay sales from Michael Meyer are currently on offer here;

More JG 26 links on this blog - pilots and aces of JG 26

Günther Josten's Gefechtsbericht - new from 296 Verlag - Günther Josten's War diaries

Günther Josten's remarkable wartime service with JG 51 is the subject of this latest volume from Kurt Braatz at Verlag/'Edition' 296. A large extract from the book is published in the November 2011 issue of  Flugzeug Classic magazine (cover llustration above). Assigned at the end of August 1942 to 3./JG 51 on the Eastern front Josten kept a diary both of his combat actions and his front-line Luftwaffe service, which 296 have published essentially in un-edited form with only a brief commentary introducing each chapter of his career. Josten's 'scoring' run began during the Kursk offensive in the summer of 1943. On 10 July 1943 he made claims 8 to 10. Three days later on 13 July he shot down five Il-2 Sturmoviks for victories 12 to 16. In total he claimed 19 victories in July and 30 in August 1943 to begin a remarkable run that saw him achieve some 178 victories over 420 combat sorties without ever being shot down himself. The war ended for Josten as Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 51 - his last seven aerial victories being claimed on 25 April 1945 - by which time he has filled no fewer than ten diary volumes and five photo albums, a fantastic legacy that Kurt Braatz has fully exploited in this new work.  His brother, Reinhard Josten, also served in Jagdgeschwader 51 and was killed in action on 21 April 1942.

Günther Josten: Gefechtsbericht. Kriegstagebücher 1939-1945. Kommodore in der Starfighter-Krise.  330 pages , 101 mostly unseen photos

For Luftwaffe blog readers a small extract translated from 296's Leserprobe

 " 08 July 1943. Oskar brought down several Russians on the early morning sortie flown with the boss. I had the same luck as yesterday - playing 'hide-and-seek' with eight LaGGs in the cloud deck. Sometimes they'd stick their noses out from their cover but when I tried a firing pass they'd quickly pop back in again. I blazed away but it drove me crazy. Nothing doing - no luck whatsoever. All the others got Il-2s or fighters which they were able to bring down without so much as a dog fight! It makes me sick !!  I flew the last sortie of the day with Lt. Höfemeier " ohne Feindberührung " - no contact with the enemy. We flew low over the battle field and could observe the fighting that was raging.. huge numbers of tanks slugging it out as if in a giant arena. As the light was fading we could see every hit on target quite clearly. On the horizon batteries of  'Stalinorgel' (rocket launchers) could be seen unleashing salvo after salvo. Super to watch - ganz toll.....
09 July ; I'm woken again early by aircraft low over the field waggling their wings ! A lot of victories again. Well, my turn tomorrow, I'm flying the early sortie in the it is I fly the second mission of the day. As soon as we get airborne we hear that there's a lot of aggro going on over the southern sector but by the time we get there, there's nothing to see. Not a single Russian. At this rate I shall soon depair. At midday I'm up again with Oskar  and he manages two Zement bomber.  I could p...!...but I'm happy enough anyway as Lt. Brendel manages his 50th and we have now achieved 400 in the Staffel with the 'kill' returned by Ofw. Kossatz. This afternoon I was up again, this time flying with the 'boss' and hoping to have more luck with him..we spot six MiG 3s but no sooner have they sighted us than they high tail it for home..!
At 20:15 Fw. Moritz Franke's Ferntrauung (marriage by proxy). Very nice. The Kommodore is with us for the rest of the evening's festivities.  Moritz and Piepel are awarded the EK II and the combat clasp in bronze  (bronzene Frontflugspange). I get the silver combat clasp for sixty sorties. Well, a bit of a consolation prize for my run of bad luck you could say .."

Tuesday 25 October 2011

new Luftwaffe books from Erik Mombeeck; JG 4 Vol II and Luftwaffe Gallery 3 - JG 26 special issue

Belgian author and publisher Erik Mombeeck has been in touch with news of two books due for publication in November;

 the second and last volume of his history of Jagdgeschwader 4 “Storming the Bombers, a chronicle of JG 4 – The Luftwaffe’s 4th Fighter Wing " and a new Luftwaffe Gallery 'special' devoted to JG 26 “The Abbeville Boys – JG 26”.

"...In our Luftwaffe Gallery series I am pleased to present this expanded 'special' edition devoted to JG 26, the famed "Abbeville Boys” or "Abbeville Kids” of RAF and USAAF legend. This super new title is a 96-page A-4 landscape format book with the emphasis on the finest photographic illustrations, exceptional artwork and new and exciting personal accounts. The heart of the book comprises some thirty high quality profiles drawn and painted by Thierry Dekker and a collection of rare and, in many instances, previously unseen photographs. The selection of new first person accounts, specially translated for this volume by Neil Page, provide an unparalleled view of air combat in the skies of Britain and France, from dog-fighting between Messerschmitts and Spitfires during the campaign in the West and the Battle of Britain, to fighter bomber missions over southern England, to the Allied invasion of Normandy and the desperate sorties flown by the unit's Fw 190s against the huge USAAF bomber streams...."

"..The concluding volume in our history of JG 4 covers the story of the Geschwader from Operation Market Garden in Holland during September 1944 to the final desperate battles over Berlin and capitulation in May 1945. The combats flown by the pilots of JG 4 throughout this nine month period are related with the aid of rare oral testimony and illustrated with photographs from private albums, including a selection of new images for this English-language edition. Covered in detail are the 'Storm' missions flown by the Sturmgruppe (including ramming attacks against USAAF bombers), ground-attack bombing sorties during the Ardennes offensive of December 1944, the fullest account yet of the unit's participation in the 1945 New Year's Day Operation Bodenplatte, the last desperate sorties flown on the Oder front against the Red Army with, for the first time, accounts in English of German kamikaze attacks flown against the Oder bridges and the final air battles over the ruins of Berlin.

Over the course of 20 years research I was able to track down and interview virtually every surviving pilot and compile their very often moving and desperate accounts into this book, giving it a uniquely human dimension which will undoubtedly be of interest to all former Allied aviators and their descendants as well as enthusiasts of the period.

Once again Neil Page has produced the translation and his knowledge of both the French and German languages as well as WWII aviation history has enabled us to present this superb English language edition. The work is illustrated with several hundred photographs and is completed with loss and victory listings, a table of commanding officers and Thierry Dekker's superb full-colour profile artworks. This is an unmissable 232-page A-4 format hardback, with much new information on WWII air combat over Europe, the pilots and their machines.."

More info and ordering details from

Sunday 2 October 2011

30 year old Frog Heinkel He 219

Difficult to believe that this is a 30-year old build of the Frog Heinkel He 219! Posted by 'yankymodeler' on

Eric F. aka Yankymodeler writes ;

" ...This He219 is a bit of a mutt, combining the airframe of the Frog kit and the landing gear, radiators, exhaust and propellers of the Revell, a stretch-formed canopy was used over a basic cockpit. About the only thing of note is my first attempt at what I would consider a complex paint scheme, and the markings (except for the "G9) are painted with home made stencils. Paints used where enamels from the Pactra and Testors line, mixed via the TLAR method and shot through my dad's Paasche H airbrush. A custom display base and a snazzy Dymo label completed the project! "

Freeman field air show footage September 1945

A selection of still images from a superb video compilation of two films shot during the September 1945 airshow at Freeman Field. The aircraft seen both in the air and on the ground are nothing short of spectacular. Many of the remaining captured aircraft have yet to arrive. The original Freeman Army Airfield Museum video has been posted on Facebook here

The footage opens with a sequence of the Junkers Ju 290 landing and taxiing in. The story of this machine's transfer to the US and subsequent 'display' career is covered on this blog at the following link

Film footage of a captured enemy aircraft display held in Moscow is posted on this blog at the following link

Saturday 1 October 2011

Torpedo bombers of KG 26, JU 88s of KG 77 and Stab./JG 53

More excellent shots offered on Ebay from my good friend Michael Meyer. Michael's sales can be found here

First up is this nice clear shot of a Me 109 E belonging to the Geschwaderstab JG 53 seen in the autumn of 1940 on the Channel coast. The pilots with brief bios are identified as follows from the left; Lt. Ernst Klager - around 22 Luftsiege, taken captive on 3 July 1942, Oblt. Kurt Brändle - RK on 1.7.1942, EL on 27.8.1842, total victory tally 180 Luftsiege, KIA on 3.11.1943 after downing two P-47s west of Amsterdam, body later recovered from the sea,  Kommandeur of II./JG 53 Hptm. Horst Bretnütz, RK on 22.10.1940 with a total of 37 Luftsiege, KIA on 22.6.1941 over Jubarkas/Lithuania, Hptm. Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke, RK + EL, 162 victories, and lastly Lt. Erich Schmidt, RK on 23.7.1941 for a total of 47 victories, missing since 31.8.1941 after a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire in the vicinity of Dubno.

A selection of nice Ju 88 images from I./KG 77. Note the white winter finish applied even to the prop blades in the lower picture

Torpedo-carrying Ju 88 of I./KG 26 taking off from Bardufoss in March 1945 to attack a Murmansk convoy. Note the Schiffssuchradar - shipping search radar FuG 200 Hohentwiel. To the right of picture Oberst Ernst Kühn is seen saluting the departing aircraft.

II.(Sturm)/JG 4 on the Eastern Front, February 1945, Fw 190 Defence of the Reich

Above;  'Yellow 8' of 7.(Sturm)/ JG 4 assigned to Hans Gerd Neuhaus being replenished with fuel and munitions at Neuhausen during February 1945. Note the black-white-black Reichsvertidigung fuselage bands and the snow on the ground..

By late January 1945, when the Soviets reached the Oder just sixty miles from Berlin, the Sturmgruppen suddenly had more pressing concerns than shooting down USAF bombers.  ALL three Gruppen of Fw 190 bomber destroyers were deployed to the Eastern Front in short order, where their heavily armed and armoured Fw 190 A-8/R8s were committed on hazardous low-level strafing and bombing attacks on Soviet troops as the latter prepared their all-out assault on the Reichshauptstadt.

During early February 1945 the 48 pilots and 38 aircraft of II.(Sturm)/JG 4 were located at Neuhausen in der Lausitz under Major Gerhard Schroeder flying operations in defence of Cottbus and the surrounding area. The results of operations flown from this field during the first week of February were mixed to say the least. While the Fw 190s ventral racks now toted 250 kg bombs and their 20mm and 30mm cannon could inflict heavy losses on soft-skinned vehicles, horse-drawn columns and even tanks, it was often difficult to pick out valid targets on roads clogged with refugees fleeing westwards ahead of the Soviet advance. Soviet columns also quickly adopted the practise of using refugee Treks as human shields. Facilities for the Sturmgruppe at Neuhausen were rudimentary and the runway track was pitted and rutted and covered in puddles which grew ever-larger in the melting snow, resulting in a number of accidents.

During the week or so that the Sturmgruppe was based there, a constant round of  ground-attack sorties was flown for which its pilots had received little or no training. From the cockpits of their Fw 190s the pilots could see Russian columns that stretched away to the horizon, their progress marked by columns of smoke. There was little evidence of German troops on the ground- just devastation, " as though the entire Steppe was unfurling over Germany.." Ogfr. Adolf Held of 6. (Sturm)./ JG 4 wrote in his diary;

" ..our runway track is little more than a lake which has already resulted in seven landing accidents over the last few days and further takeoffs have been prohibited. As the Soviets are now no more than kilometres away we have been given instruction on how to handle Panzerfaust bazooka rocket launchers.."

The picture above is taken from the album of Hans Gerd Neuhaus, formerly a nightfighter pilot who joined JG 4 during late 1944. The images from Neuhaus' album were published over three issues of the German magazine 'Flugzeug Classic' during 2010 and the image here is reproduced with the kind permission of FLUGZEUG CLASSIC editor Markus Wunderlich. Back issues and a chance to view an on-line sample of the current issue are available at the link.

STOP PRESS -  images taken down since originally posted they have subsequently been secured for Volume II of the JG 4 history currently at the printers !