Monday 30 September 2013

Ofw. Berthold Graßmuck I./JG 52

rare studio portrait of RK holder Ofw. Berthold Graßmuck of I./JG 52 shot down and killed on 28 October 1942 over Stalingrad and buried in the airfield cemetery at Pitomnik. Graßmuck had been awarded the RK for 56 victories during September 1942 and at the time of his death had been credited with 65 Abschüsse

These are among a large selection of Battle of Britain period I./JG 52 images saved from ebay some of which have featured in the Barbas I Gruppe history - 'White 4' below is seen having its oxygen supply refilled

Monday 23 September 2013

Galland JG 26 Bf 109 F-2 'special'

Been a while since I last saw this image on but it is currently on offer here

Forward fuselage of one of Galland's 'custom' Bf 109 Friedrichs with the cowl MG 17s replaced with two 13mm MG 131 machine guns - the 'bulge' aft of the cowl gun trough is to accomodate the breech of the up-gunned MGs with the cartridges being ejected sideways.

Galland's 'other' Friedrich 'special' featuring a pair of MG FF in the wings (as per an Emil) is covered on this blog here

Einsatzbesprechung (pre-sortie briefing) with the Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26 Major Adolf Galland (links/left) some time during August 1940. Second from the right is Oblt. Gerhard Schöpfel, Staffelkapitän of 9./JG 26 at the time this image was captured, awarded the RK on 11 September 1940. Schöpfel survived the war with some 45 Luftsiege.

Saturday 21 September 2013

100th combat sortie Junkers Ju 88 1./ (F)120

Sekt und Blumenstrauß for this Aufklärungsgruppe Junkers Ju 88 crew on their return to Stavanger, Norway as they celebrate the successful conclusion of the 100th combat sortie flown by 1./(F) 120 according to the inscription on the reverse of one of the images from this nice photo set currently on offer from 'atlasindex' on here 

Type is likely to be a Ju 88 D-2. Note the Staffelabzeichen just forward of the cockpit. It would appear that  these pictures were sent 'home' as Christmas greetings at the turn of the year 1943/44.

Friday 20 September 2013

new Italeri 1/48 scale Junkers Ju 87 G-2 Stuka Kanonenvogel

Sprue shots of the new Italeri Ju 87 G-2 Stuka Kanonenvogel on the Italeri web site here

Kanonenvogel reference on this blog

Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-728-0323-24A, Flugzeug Junkers Ju 87

 Not a 'cannon bird' but a neat Bundesarchiv wiki commons image of an unspatted and uncowled Stuka - click to view a larger image..

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1981-064-16A, Nordafrika, Demontage einer Junkers Ju 87

Flugzeug Classic, Aérojournal - latest issues

The October 2013 issue of  Flugzeug Classic features the usual selection of interesting Luftwaffe subjects. This month's 'Type history' covers the Flettner FI 282 'Kolibri' and the 'reader's album' devotes four pages to the work of Luftwaffe ground crews. Elsewhere Peter Ocker recounts how during 1944 German industry used increasing amounts of wood in fighter construction while Peter Cronauer interviews and recounts the recollections of Fluglehrer and 5./KG 51 Me 262 jet pilot Egon Hummel. As a flight instructor Egon Hummel almost certainly never reckoned on having to fly combat sorties. Then, in February 1945, he found himself strafing and bombing US troop and re-supply columns at the controls of the revolutionary Me 262.

"..Strapped into the cockpit for the first time with the canopy closed and locked was a thrilling sensation. The aircraft flew beautifully although our combat-radius (endurance) was limited. The Jumos were real 'gas-guzzlers' ('Spritfresser'), there was never more than 45-minutes flying time possible and as a pilot you always had to factor in a reserve for safety so that in practise you couldn't even stay airborne for the full 45 minutes. The speed of the jet was of course phenomenal but it was very possible to approach the sound barrier in a dive which meant having to juggle with the throttles and that was something that you couldn't really do - on two occasions I had an engine flame-out.."

In Aérojournal no. 36 editor Chris Ehrengardt continues his history of the Jagdwaffe in the West, devoting no fewer than 28 pages in Part III of his series which covers the year 1943. Copiously illustrated with a neat selection of photographic images - some from the very expensive and thus rarely seen ECPA-D archive - the 1943 battles over the Reich are recounted mostly in the words of the pilots (French text). The profile artwork is from J-M Guillou - and is outstanding! Well worth the 7 euros cost of the magazine. And if you can manage the French text the feature on Belgian Typhoon pilots in the RAF is worth the admission price alone. In the UK Aérojournal is available from the Aviation Bookshop

Below; also reproduced on page 15 of the current issue of AJ and here courtesy of M. Jean-Yves Lorant, this Bf 110 G Zerstörer of  III./ZG 26 was photographed during the summer of 1943 at Plantlünne. This aircraft is toting twin wing-mounted Doppelrohr BR 21 (BR for Bordrakete) mortar rocket launchers - more colloquially known as "stove-pipes" - for the launch of spin-stabilised mortar rockets intended to break up bomber formations.

Thursday 19 September 2013

More Maxis IV./JG 53 Bf 109 G-14

More 'official' US pictures of Uffz. Herbert Maxis' IV./ JG 53 Bf 109 G-14 shot down on 01/01/45

Bf 109 G-10 W.Nr. 151 86. "Weisse ?", 7./JG 51, Fels am Wagram. An exceptional shot showing a late ERLA Leipzig-produced Bf 109 with its all dark green low-visibility camouflage. (Marc-Andre Haldimann caption)

via Rick Hawkinson flickr photostream

Admiral Hipper Arado Ar 196 lost during the Norwegian campaign

The first Arado Ar 196 to fall into Allied hands was Arado Ar 196 A-2 WNr. 0044 of 1./BfGr 196 belonging to the German cruiser Admiral Hipper. This Arado was 'captured' in Lyngstad by a Norwegian Marinens Flyvebaatfabrikk M.F.11 seaplane of the Trøndelag naval district on 8 April 1940, literally hours before the start of the Norwegian Campaign. After being towed to Kristiansund it was used against its former owners, flying with Norwegian markings. Crewed by pilot Oblt. Techam and observer Lt. Polzin the Arado had been launched from the Admiral Hipper after the German battle cruiser had been rammed by the British destroyer HMS Glow Worm. However as weather conditions closed in the Arado was unable to return to the ship and was forced to put down before running short of fuel. The German crew were taken into custody and their story - they had become lost after a flight from Berlin - was not believed by the Norwegians. The Arado was subsequently repainted in Norwegian markings and on 18 April was flown to the UK by a Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service pilot. The plane was shortly thereafter crashed by a British pilot while on transit to the Helensburgh naval air base for testing.

The ramming of the Admiral Hipper by the diminutive British destroyer, HMS Glow Worm, under the command of Captain Gerard Roope  resulted in the British ship breaking in half and sinking. (Captain Roope was awarded a posthumous VC for his bravery and, unusually, this was corroborated, commended and insisted upon by Kapitan zur See Hey, the captain of the Admiral Hipper ). Also unusually, the German ship remained in the area, throwing grappling nets over the side to pick up survivors of the Glow Worm. 

It was common practice to launch ship's aircraft when hostilities were threatened. However the Arado was unable to return to the ship due to worsening weather conditions that evening due to lack of sufficient fuel and was forced to 'land' on a fjord near to Lyngstad where it was commandeered by the Norwegians and the German crew captured.

Below, Canterbury (Kent, England) modeller Peter Buckingham finishing his Revell Arado in the Norwegian colours as applied to WNr. 0044 - Peter's request for information on the Arado's Norwegian 'finish' was published in a Norwegian newspaper...

Elsewhere the wreckage of one of the Prinz Eugen's Ar 196 floatplanes has been returned to Germany on long-term loan after 68 years in the US. There are plans to restore and display it at the German naval aviation museum "Aeronauticum" in Nordholz. The Prinz Eugen was the only German battle cruiser to survive WWII and went to the US as war reparations prior to being sunk during atom bomb testing in the Pacific in late 1946. According to German newspaper 'Die Welt' this particular Arado Ar 196 was built by Fokker in Amsterdam during 1944.

Saturday 14 September 2013

Fw 190 A-8 Stabsstaffel JG 51 - Michael Meyer Ebay sales

Fw 190 As of the Stabsstaffel JG 51. Click on the image to view large. In the first image below, second from the right (front, note white cross on the image) is Fw Fritz Lüddecke following his return from a sortie on 9 March 1943 during which he returned his second victory, shooting down a Pe  2. Lüddecke was awarded the RK posthumously on 18 November 1944 for his 50 victory claims and many Jaboeinsätze (fighter bomber missions) with the specialised Jabo Fw 190s of the Stabsstaffel JG 51. Lüddecke was KIA on 10 August 1944 when attempting an unsuccessful belly landing after being hit by anti-aircraft fire south-west of Wilkowischken. Alongside him in this photo is Fw Kuno Balz who was KIA barely a fortnight after this photo was taken (18 March 1943). Balz had 12 victory claims.

 A-8 "schwarze 3" of the Stabsstaffel JG 51 in Memel during September 1944. Pilot is Uffz. Helmut Johne who was KIA in early February 1945 with eight victory claims. Note yellow spinner and forward cowl.

Below, "Black 8" of the Stabsstaffel JG 51 probably in Memel, September 1944. Pilot in the cockpit is Lt. Günther Heym who survived the war with 20 victory claims. Awarded the Ehrenpokal.

Fw 190 A-8 Stabsstaffel JG 51 in Insterburg, October 1944. Left, 1 Wart Uffz. Helmut Lohse and pilot Fw Günther Granzow who survived the war with 12 victory claims.

Two 'unknown' Stabsstaffel JG 51 Flugzeugführer (pilots) on the left, Fw Walter Brake in Krakau, at least two victory claims and Ofw Baumgarten (3 claims)

Lt. Wilhelm Hübner (above) was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 28 February 1945 for 62 victories but was KIA on 7 April 1945 in the vicinity of Neukuhren after taking a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire. Here he is seen in October 1944 in Memel wearing the DKiG on his tunic, awarded on 1 October 1944. The Deutsches Kreuz in Gold usually preceded the award of the RK..

All images above currently on offer via Michael Meyer's Ebay sales

The Stabsstaffel JG 51 (formerly 6./JG 51) was the only unit of JG 51 to remain on Fw 190s throughout the Geschwader's time in the East. Their Staffel markings consisted of Kommodore style insignia; a bar either side of the fuselage cross with the chevron replaced by a black individual number. A number of Stabsstaffel JG 51 Fw 190s featured personal markings on their aircraft, mostly pilots' girlfriend’s names (as on 'black 6-' below "Hanni") . The Stabsstaffel JG 51 became a renowned exponent of close support and fighter-bomber missions during the retreat from Russia and a number of their aircraft sported yellow spinners and cowls which may have been a recognition aid for German flak. More Stabstaffel JG 51 Fw 190s below including 'Black 6' and 'Black 16'. Note the yellow spinner and cowl in the next two images.  The yellow extends across the base of the prop blades.

Friday 6 September 2013

Luftwaffe Gallery no. 4; "Eagle" emblems, III./ JG 6 fuselage bands, JG 5 aces and more

Contents include

a round-up of "Eagle" emblems on Luftwaffe aircraft including Bf 109s, paint jobs on III./ JG 3 Bf 109s, a look at the variety of metal pennants featured both on Bf 109 aerial masts and in the ground, a colour photographic spread devoted to the Ju 87, more pilot victory sticks, featuring aces from JG 2 and JG 5 and an article by Kees Mol on the fuselage bands worn by some late-war Bf 109s of JG 6 along with a selection of reader photos and comments....

18 euros for 56 A-4 landscape pages direct from