Friday 28 June 2013

More scenes from Gilze Rijen - Ju 88s of NJG 2

Junkers Ju 88 C " R4+CL" warming up its engines at Gilze Rijen during the winter of 1940-41.

Note the port engine running - the Bola gun position doubling as an access hatch is still open. The airfields and hangars of occupied Europe were camouflaged with great care as can be seen from the following picture selection. Below, a Ju 88 C of 3./ NJG 2 taxies out from a hangar for a check flight following maintenance. Note the camouflage netting of the aircraft 'hides' arrayed along the taxy way.

Currently on offer from seller Oliver Kolb ( mister.kite ) is this listing of some 24 NJG 2 images

Below; BF training (Bordfunker -wireless operator) being carried out on a Ju 34

More on this blog from NJG 2 at Gilze Rijen

Sunday 23 June 2013

Luftwaffe war graves in England - Hawkinge cemetery (Hans-Karl Mayer, Wilhelm Enßlen)

Andy Saunders writing in his book  'Finding the foe' (and After the Battle magazine 151) highlights the work of Joe Potter in establishing the final resting places in south-east England of a number of hitherto unidentified Luftwaffe air crew, work that has enabled the VDK, the German War Graves Commission (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge) responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of German war graves in Europe and North Africa, to erect named headstones on  German war graves. When the VDK established their prinicpal UK cemetery at Cannock Chase, north of Birmingham, during the 1960s, some 5,000 German war dead were exhumed and re-interred. At the time German servicemen were buried at some 700 different sites all over the UK. However some next-of-kin did not want the original grave disturbed and for this reason all of the following airmen repose in Hawkinge cemetery ( described as 'Folkestone New Cemetery' in Saunders' book and article ) just a stone's throw from the former wartime airfield and buildings that now house the Kent Battle of Britain museum. Among them is the grave of Hans-Karl Mayer (above right), subject of a recent Chris Goss Flypast feature. 

Mayer was awarded the RK during September 1940, but disappeared on a test flight over the Channel during October - he was most probably caught up in a fight with RAF fighters, but according to at least one German-language source had taken off with unloaded magazines. His body was washed up on the beach between Dover and Folkestone and he was subsequently buried in the cemetery at Hawkinge where he still lies, a rare Luftwaffe Ritterkreuzträger still on British soil. 
To the left of Mayer is a rather enigmatic headstone bearing the name 'A. Schenk'. It is now established that this is the grave of Hptm. Wilhelm Enßlen, a Legion Condor veteran and an experienced fighter leader with JG 52 (Kommandeur II./JG 52), shot down and killed by the CO of 92 Squadron Johnny Kent on 2 November 1940. The combat is described at length in Kent's biography 'One of the Few'. In 1982 the wreck of his crashed Me 109 E-4 (WNr. 3784 ) was excavated at Hagueland, Burmarsh, west of Hythe, Kent but even then Enßlen's final resting place was not 'officially' identified until September 2004. According to some sources, Enßlen was an eighteen-victory ace, others have only eleven claims for this pilot who was decorated for his service in Spain. The headstone is currently awaiting replacement. Below wedding image of Wilhelm Enßlen from Saunders 'Finding the Foe' (Grub Street, 2010)- extracts from the book relating this story and the work of Joe Potter are available to view via google books courtesy of Casemate
Below; grave of Fw. Otto Runge, - his Me 410 was shot down on 22 January 1944. As a result of the work of Joe Potter his grave now has a named headstone

Rudolf “Rudi” Sinner Gkr. III./ JG 7 Me 262 'Green 1' (Revell/Hasegawa 1:72 scale )

My second 72nd scale Revell Me 262 in a week! Using Xtracolor and WEM Luftwaffe enamels in 82 and 83 this one is finished as one of the 'striped' machines flown by Maj. Rudolf Sinner of the Stab III./JG 7 'Green 1' (note the German-language caption in the Radinger/Schick book extract below states 'Red 1' ) toting twin 21 cm W.Gr. rocket launchers which were tested at Brandenburg-Briest but were no doubt a complete waste of time on such a fast machine as this.

Note the JG 7 fuselage bands, the III. Gruppe bar in black (white outline) and the white Hakenkreuz - none of these markings features were visible on the first photo of Sinner's machine 'discovered' - and illustrated by J. Crandall for the Schiffer edition of M. Boehme's JG 7 history. It wasn't until A. Urbanke's LiF 'special' revealed details of Sinner's other striped machine (without the rocket launchers) that modellers could assume with a fair degree of certainty that this particular aircraft featured them.

Note the stripes extend over the tail of the aircraft; the T. Tullis profile in the Classic Me 262 Volume 3 has the tail and rear of the fuselage mottled. I used the decals from the Kagero ' Messerschmitt Me 262 - in Defence of the Reich' booklet although they appear a little on the small side to me - I took the Gruppe emblems from an Aeromaster sheet.

Hasegawa have just re-released this aircraft in 1:72nd scale  - rather bizarrely the Hasegawa box-art for this machine features a view of the lower surfaces - the artist evidently not prepared to commit to a rendition of the upper surfaces 'stripes' perhaps or merely a device to emphasis the 'highlight' of this 'limited edition' kit, the white-metal rocket launchers? Whatever, list price at Hannants is a prohibitive £33 ! Hasegawa painting instructions opt for the 81/82 combination with Braunviolett but the LiF article on Sinner's striped 262s recommends the two greens finish as per my model here. In-box look at this kit on britmodeller here

Rudi Sinner enjoyed most success in aerial combat with JG 27 serving in North Africa. He claimed his first victory on 12 October 1941, when he shot down a RAF P-40 near Sidi Omar. On 4 June 1942, Sinner was appointed Staffelkapitän of 6./JG 27. On 10 June, Oberleutnant Sinner was shot down near Bir Hacheim by the British Ace, Charles Overton (5.5 confirmed, 1 probable and 0.5 damaged victories), flying a Spitfire Vb fighter of 145 Squadron RAF. Then, on 24 June, Sinner’s aircraft was hit in the engine during combat with RAF Hurricane fighters and he was forced to make an emergency landing. Sinner recorded his 10th victory on 13 July and his 20th on 24 July. On 31 August, Sinner shot down a Hurricane near Alam el Haifa. His victim was South African Ace, John “Harry” Gaynor (5.5 destroyed and 6 damaged victories) of 1 Sqn, SAAF, who crash-landed unhurt. He claimed his 30th victory on 3 September. In June 1943, Hauptmann Sinner was appointed Gruppenkommandeur IV./JG 27 then based at Kalamaki, Greece. However, his stay with the unit was  brief.
On 30 July 1943, Sinner was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 54, based on the Russian front, taking over from Hauptmann Erich Rudorffer (224 victories, RK-S). Sinner led the Gruppe until 10 February 1944. He added three further victories to his victory total during his time with the unit. In March 1944, Hauptmann Sinner became Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 54 located on the Western front. On 6 March 1944, Sinner shot down a USAAF B-17 four-engine bomber for his 36th victory. However, his aircraft was hit by the bombers’ defensive fire and Sinner was badly wounded. He successfully baled out of his stricken Bf-109 G-6 (W.Nr. 410557) ‘2’. By 12 June 1944, Sinner was again serving with JG 27, based on the Invasion front in France, in command of I.Gruppe. He was to lead the Gruppe until 1 August 1944.

During early 1945, Sinner was appointed Gkr. III./JG 7 and quickly brought the Gruppe up to operational status. At this time his victory total stood at 36, including 32 victories achieved over North Africa.

Sinner was to add three confirmed victories to his tally flying the jet, including two USAAF B-24 four-engine bombers near Rathenow on 3 March. On 4 April, Sinner led seven other Me-262s off from Rechlin. Emerging from the clouds shortly after take-off, the flight was bounced by P-51 fighters of the 339th Fighter Group. In the ensuing combat ‘Rudi’ Sinner’s aircraft was hit. With his face and hands badly burned, he baled out at low level. His parachute deployed at the last moment and failed to open fully so that he hit the ground heavily and was dragged into a barbed wire fence. He reported that the P-51s then attempted to strafe him. Sinner’s wounds were serious enough to keep him out of the rest of war.

Rudolf Sinner was credited with 39 victories in 305 missions. 36 of his victories were achieved over the Western front, including three four-engine bombers and three flying the Me 262 jet fighter. Three victories were achieved over the Eastern front. He was shot down 12 times, baling out on three occasions, and was wounded five times.

Saturday 22 June 2013

Revell Bv 138 C-1 in 1:72nd

This  is the Supermodel kit of the Bv 138 repackaged by Revell and extensively re-worked by Russian modeller Fuad Pashayet who spent over one hundred hours on this project. The main difficulty was re-scribing the panel lines, although he added many extra small detail parts.

Blohm und Voss Bv 138 C-1 of 2.Staffel Küstenflieger Gruppe 406, coast of Norway, 1943
Code: K6 + AK  WNr. 0310158

1. Oblt.Ludwig Schönherr,
2. Ltn.Günther Behr
3. Uffz.Heinz Kitzmann
4. Uffz.Reinhold Zwanzig
5. Obw. Ernst Neumann

Posted here with kind permission of Fuad - his original build thread appears here

" Gelbe 1" Erich Rudorffer 6./ JG.2 Richthofen Focke Wulf FW 190 A-3

 Shown here courtesy of seller Andreas Heinen " Yellow 1" was the usual aircraft of the 
Staffelkapitän of 6./ JG 2 Oblt. Erich Rudorffer. Rudder tally shows 45 victories, Rudorffer claiming his 45th and 46th over Dieppe on 19 August 1942. A Focke Wulf  produced machine WNr. 0130 432, see page 91 of Rodeike's Jagdflugzeug 190 for a rear three-quarter view of this aircraft. Andreas writes to state that removed the rudder image from sale as it apparently infringed their terms of sale. The image below sold for 112 euros..

He 111 KG 26 in night Blitz finish

He 111 H "1H+KN" of 5./KG 26 seen at Vannes, autumn 1940

Previously captioned as photographed on 26 December 1940 at Amiens and noteworthy for the night Blitz finish (Nachttarnung)

Friday 21 June 2013

FW 189 A-1 A/B 5 Seerappen

FW 189 A-1 "KC + JL" displaying the emblem of A/B 5 Seerappen

Storch Fi 156 coded 'RI+AR' assigned to the RLM with passenger......

Michael Meyer's current Ebay sales are here

Me 262 S1 'V1 + AF' (Revell Me 262 A-1 in 1:72nd scale)

Me 262 S1 W.Nr. 130006 VI+AF Red 1 and, below, seen in flight. The early Me 262 S series aircraft were used as conversion trainers for pilots from III./ZG 26 who were to become Erprobungskommando 262 under Hauptmann Werner Thierfelder. These Me 262s had an overall coat of RLM 76 light blue and a red nose number.


Two  more views of the first series production Me 262 coded V1+AF, the S1 (WNr. 130006), which first flew during April 1944 and is seen (above) during June 1944 after a landing incident which resulted in a collapsed gear leg.  Early production examples of the Me 262 A-1a can be distinguished by the torque scissor link mounted on the nose wheel gear leg while the rear navigation light on the lower rudder was protected by a clear cover which could be easily smashed during a heavy landing and was soon replaced with a smaller position light mounted on the rudder.

Note both details feature on this 1:72nd scale model built from the Revell kit. Finish is overall Hellblau/grau RLM 76. I have smash-molded a new three-part canopy to replace the kit canopy which fits badly and is far from transparent. I use hypo-glue for aerials in 72nd scale so all but invisible in these pics. For the moment, no upper wing crosses - I don't have a copy of the Classic Me 262 tome in which this aircraft presumably features (Volume 1) so would appreciate any evidence that this machine carried Balkenkreuze on the upper wing surfaces and in particular what form they took.

Another early production Me262 A-1a  ( S3 ) coded V1+AH  (WNr-130008) belly-landed during June 1944

Sunday 16 June 2013

Exhibition of Enemy Aircraft, Hyde Park, London September 1945

WNr. 191454 'Yellow 11' Me 163 B

Prior to the RAE Exhibition of Enemy Aircraft at Farnborough in October and November 1945, the RAF organised an exhibition of enemy aircraft in London's Hyde Park from 16-22 September 1945. The aircraft came from no.6 MU RAF Brize Norton and comprised a Me 163, He 162, Me (Bf) 108 Taifun, Bf 110 G, Fw 190, Ju 88 G and an Fi 156. It is most likely that these went back there afterwards, although the He 162 went to Canada.  Most of the aircraft at Brize Norton were scrapped or put on the bonfire in 1946 or '47. According to Clive Barker, there were more than 70 enemy aircraft at Brize Norton at the end of 1947 mostly parked outside. Among others there were approximately 20 Me163s and 20 Ju 52s. The bad winter of 1946/47 took it's toll on most of the larger aircraft which were either blown over or struck by flying debris. By the end of 1948 all had been dismantled and buried in pits on site along with their regular job of disposing of surplus Spitfires, Spitefuls and Liberators.

The photograph below was used in the 13 September 1945 issue of  'Flight' magazine to illustrate the upcoming event