Tuesday 17 April 2012

scribble pattern camouflage schemes of JG 5 and JG 77

Deployed as far apart as the frozen wastes of the Artic circle and the sun-baked deserts of North Africa, Luftwaffe units had to improvise new camouflage schemes for their aircraft when operating over such diverse territories. One of these schemes was a scribble pattern adopted by various Staffeln of I./JG 77 and III./JG 5 operating over such disparate landscapes…enabling the aircraft to ‘melt’ into the terrain when over-flying the huge open spaces -whether of ice or sand – yet taking into account the  darker shapes of the various features of those landscapes.

Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2 "Black 14" of 8./JG 5. Here the disc aft of the fuselage Balkenkreuz was an indication that this machine is on the strength of III. Gruppe of JG 5, whereas its use would ordinarily indicate a IV. Gruppe machine. The usual marking for a III. Gruppe aircraft would have been a wavy or vertical bar.
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Below; Bf 109 G-2 "Black 2" belonging to 2./JG 77 most probably photographed at Matmata (central Tunisia) in early 1943. Note the white spinner, wingtips and wide theatre fuselage band around the rear fuselage aft of the Balkenkreuz. Behind the fuselage band is the "top hat" (Zylinderhut) emblem previously seen on the aircraft of I.(J)/LG 2 (the Gruppe having been redesignated I./JG 77 in January 1942) and before that on the Bf109s of the Legion Condor’s 2.J/88.