Monday, 31 March 2014
Bf 109 K-4 W.Nr. unknown "Weisse 5", 1./NJG 11, Holzkirchen, summer 1945 (original image in collection of Hideki Noro)
and a nice representation in scale model form via Lukic Dejan...
More photos on the Bf 109 Facebook page
Friday, 28 March 2014
.. atmospheric images of a Me 323 taken in the Kurland Kessel (Courland pocket) during early 1945. Note the Tankwagen and refuelling operations underway. The loading doors of the Me 323 are open (below) and a group of personnel is milling around the front of the aircraft, almost certainly evacuating the Kessel. The Fw 190 to the right is probably a JG 54 machine.
Romanian 109 above and Ro 37 below. Note the Hs 129 to the left behind the horse-drawn cart.
Thursday, 27 March 2014
Some current Ebay auctions
And two 'new' views of Adolf Galland's Bf 109 Emil WNr. 5819
Thanks to Tomas Prusa on the Bf 109 FB group
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
The following photos were recently posted on FB, identified there as a G-10 belonging to 1./JG 300. Note the blue/white/blue fuselage bands. However this was almost certainly a machine assigned to III. Gruppe. We know of course that I./JG 300 had already been disbanded in Feb/Mar 1945, well before the time frame of this pic. Aircraft of III./JG 300 never used the vertical III. Gruppe Balken.
Erla-built "White 13" WNr. 151567 was photographed at Wunstorf on 13 April 1945. However it is not known how the aircraft came to be in the British Zone. Original photos in the possession of Hideki Noro. (caption courtesy Jean-Yves Lorant)
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Undoubtedly one of the most photographed machines of Fernaufklärungsgruppe 5 was this Junkers Ju 290 A-7, W.Nr. 0191, Verbandskennzeichen " 9V + AB " which had been assigned to the Gruppenstab during May 1944 (Kennzeichen KR+LV) and was probably the Stabsflugzeug of the Gruppenkommandeur Hptm. (later Major) Fischer. It was damaged during a strafing raid (durch Tiefflieger) on its Abstellplatz (Brunnthal, south of Munich) the following September (probably 10 September) some time after FAGr. 5 had moved back to Germany from their Atlantic operations base on the French coast at Mont de Marsan. Thereafter the aircraft was apparently used as a source of spares as the photos show a number of fuselage parts are missing and the aircraft appears in no FAGr. 5 Flugbücher after this time. (p.189 Günther Ott, "Die grossen Dessauer" ) At war's end an explosive charge was set off in the cockpit. Note the Schräge Musik- equipped Ju G-6 in the background. Another nice view of the front of this aircraft appears on p.193 of Günther Ott, "Die grossen Dessauer" ..
Posted by Laco Pilot on FB
More Ju 290 posts on this blog
Aircraft found at Brunnthal
Monday, 24 March 2014
courtesy Uwe Benkel
Uffz. Walter Gerlach of 3./ JGr. 10, second from left, in front of "Black 11" of the Schlangen ('snake') Schwarm photographed in Parchim. Gerlach was KIA near Wetteritz (Leipzig, Saxony) flying "Black 8" on 17 February 1945..
More on Schlangenschwarm JGr. 10 Fw 190s on this blog
Saturday, 22 March 2014
Two different views of the well-known "White 1" of 1./ JG 54. Note the bright areas of white distemper under the Kennziffer and behind the fuselage Balkenkreuz indicating that this aircraft has transferred from another unit or otherwise been given a new identity. "White 1" would ordinarily have been assigned to the Staffelkapitän- this may or may not have been Nowotny.."Nowi" had been appointed Kapitän of 1. Staffel on 25 October 1942 and had achieved his 100th on 15th June 1943...
More aces and pilots of I./ JG 54 on this blog
Friday, 21 March 2014
More radar-equipped He 111s currently on offer on Ebay. While they seem very much a mystery there appear to be two schools of thought here; that this may be an anti-shipping trials aircraft or radar training school machine. Anti-shipping seems to be the more likely possibility; note the MG FF - typically a lower rate of fire and heavier calibre for deployment against shipping as opposed to night fighting, although the flame dampers, black undersurfaces and wide PVC underfuselage rack certainly suggest night deployment. Is this southern France or Italy, a test detachment from the E-stelle Travemünde or Werneuchen in the summer of 1944 perhaps? Admitedly, the rack could have been a 'left-over' as was so often the case. It might have been an aircraft attached to II. or III./KG 100 from the E-stelle for trials. Almost certainly not a standard operational machine..
currently on offer here
posted on the "German airplanes" Facebook page by Tomas Prusa.. and discussion on the deployment of these FuG equipped He 111s - radar training school or anti-shipping missions..
Gruppenkommandeur Major Erich Leie describing his latest Abschuß to the Stab I./JG 51 sometime during 1943 in Russia. RK on 1 August 1941 and around 121 Luftsiege, before he was KIA as Kommodore JG 77 on 7 March 1945 after his chute failed to open fully after baling out at low altitude following a collision with a Yak 9..
Four successful pilots of I./JG 51, from left, Gruppenkommandeur I./JG 51 Hptm. Heinrich Krafft RK on 18 March 1942, total of 78 victories, KIA on 14 December 1942, Staffelkapitän of 12./JG 51 Oblt. Heinz Bär, RK on 2 July 1941, Lt. Erwin Fleig, Staffelkapitän 2./JG 51, RK on 12 August 1941, total of 66 victories, taken captive on 29 May 1942 after baling out following combat with a Russian fighter (MiG 3), surviving the war and 1./JG 51 ace Ofw. Heinrich Höfemeier, RK on 5 April 1942, total 96 Luftsiege, KIA on 7 August 1943 shot down by Soviet anti-aircraft in the vicinity of Karatschew..
2./JG 51 pilot Oblt. Edwin Thiel RK seated (left) in Russia during 1942/43. Total victories 76 Luftsiege and awarded the RK on 16 April 1943. Posted May 1944 to the Stabsstaffel JG 51, KIA on 14 July 1944 after taking a direct hit from Soviet fire while strafing Russian columns east of Wolkowysk and crashing in flames from an altitude of 200 metres. Standing, second from the right, Lt. Joachim Brendel, RK on 22 November 1943, followed by the Oakleaves on 14 January 1945, returning 189 Luftsiege. Ended the war as Gruppenkommandeur III./JG 51 Krieg. Note the 2. Staffel Bf 109 in the background and the emblem of I./ JG 51 on the side-car. Below; Brendel on the cowl of a Bf 109 ..
Below; Galland visiting I./JG 51 during the winter of 1941/42. On the right is Gruppenkommandeur Hptm. Wilhelm 'Willi' Hachfeld. 11 Luftsiege and a Jaboeinsätze specialist, awarded the RK on 29 October 1942 as Kommandeur of III./ZG 2. Killed on 2 December 1942 colliding on takeoff in Bizerta..
Latest Ebay sales from Michael Meyer here
More aces and pilots of JG 51 courtesy of Michael Meyer on this blog;
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Bf 109 G-8 (?) W.Nr 200 ... "Weisse 14", Oblt. Heimo Emmerstorfer, Technisches Offizier, 1./NAGr. 12, Mostar, Spring 1944
Logged on to one of the many FB groups that post pictures of Luftwaffe machines and came across a couple of neat 'colourised' images of Emmerstorfer's "White 14" prompting a re-post and an edit of a post that first appeared on this blog in 2010! Looks like image 2 (via Doug) - with its Grau 75 stripes and another colour that is not RLM 79 - is a closer match to the finish recently illustrated by Anders Hjortsberg in his artwork of this machine
Bf 109 G-8 (?) W.Nr 200 ... "Weisse 14", Oblt. Heimo Emmerstorfer, Technisches Offizier, I./NAGr. 12, Mostar, Spring 1944
Oblt. Heimo Emmerstorfer climbing into the cockpit of his ‘White 14’. Note the cowl bulges, the MG 131 machine gun barrel and the over-painted data plate to the right of the supercharger intake – evidence that this unique camouflage scheme was field-applied. The pictures were taken in the early summer of 1944. (All pictures via Jean-Yves Lorant)
During mid-1943 a number of tactical reconnaissance Gruppen were established in southern Germany. These Nahaufklärungsgruppen (NAG or NAGr) were equipped with various models of the latest 109 Gustav sub-types and tasked with fast, high altitude recce sorties over the battlefield beyond the reach of Allied fighters. Powered by the latest up-rated and often power-boosted variants of the DB 605 engine and mostly unarmed, these reconnaissance Gustavs – fitted with Rustsätze comprising the RB 12.5/7 or RB 32/7 camera installations prior to the appearance of the dedicated G-8 recce variant - were deployed to the hot spots of the European theatre.
One such unit was I./NAG 12 established at Herzogenaurach in southern Germany during the spring of 1943. The fifteen aircraft of this unit’s 2. Staffel were deployed to the Balkans in the autumn of 1943 and were initially based on the field of Berat (southwest of Tirana) from where they flew sorties alone or in Rotte strength (two machines). The Staffel operated a mix of Gustav variants, having on strength at various stages the G-4, G-5, G-6, G-8 – a dedicated reconnaissance variant - and G-10 sub-types. The unit later deployed to Sarajevo and flew sorties from this base during early 1944 over US-held airfields and ports in Italy.
Oberleutnant Heimo Emmerstorfer
One known and surviving pilot of I. Gruppe NAG 12 was Technical Officer Oblt. Heimo Emmerstorfer, who spent three weeks flying sorties with 2. Staffel during the spring of 1944. His album contained the fascinating photos published here forwarded by Jean-Yves Lorant. Emmerstorfer’s flight log reveals that as a recce pilot he flew 217 combat sorties over 1134 flight hours and – in addition to the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class - was awarded the Luftwaffe honour goblet, the Reconnaissance Combat Pilot Clasp in Gold, the Wound Badge in black and the German Cross in Gold.
Emmerstorfer never saw combat with Allied fighters at high altitude though the high flying German recce 109s were a thorn in the Americans’ side as a number of strafing attacks on Sarajevo mounted by US fighters bore witness. Emmerstorfer himself was almost caught on the ground on one occasion during 1944. Taxiing out to lead off a Rotte, Emmerstorfer lined up on the strip to get airborne – all take offs were flown in a northerly direction aiming for a gap between the mountains surrounding the town. Suddenly, eight P-47s swept in through this same gap low over the trees directly towards the two 109s just as Emmerstorfer was opening up the throttle to launch into his take off run. Exhorting his Rotte comrade to throw open the throttle - “Alfred, Pulle rein! Amis!” - the 109s hurtled down the runway, travelling so fast that the strafing P-47s were unable to lower their noses and draw a bead. The Messerschmitts disappeared between the mountains narrowly escaping the salvos of fire from the airfield flak defences. Emmerstorfer was forced to return early to the field with a single flak hit in the radiator – the US fighters having flown just one strafing pass.
During late 1944 and early 1945, the sixteen Bf 109s of 2./NAG 12 were deployed to Hungary and flew constant sorties from Tapolca as the Russians completed their encirclement of Budapest, threatening the Reich’s last oil fields in southern Hungary. This huge Kesselschlacht (literally ‘cauldron battle’) lasted some six weeks and the Messerschmitt Bf 109 recce Aufklärer were in almost constant action. By May 1945 the Staffel had flown some 2,000 sorties. Emmerstorfer himself made his last flight in a Bf 109 on 9 May 1945 - one day after WW II ended. Determined to avoid Russian captivity he was airborne from Ziri, west of Ljubljana – just ahead of the Russians who occupied the field that evening. He flew west in the direction of Austria and reached his hometown of Hoersching without incident. However with American columns on the roads he elected to continue westwards. Finally at 19:35 he belly landed at Haibach on the Danube River and made his way to his parents house on foot.
Emmerstorfer is here seen climbing down from ‘White 14’. This image affords an excellent view of the head armour glazing and details of the antenna. The mast is mounted on the rear of the canopy. The zig-zag stripe effect has been airbrushed on free-hand and has a very irregular edge.
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
Gruppenkommandeur Hptm. Kurt Ubben of III./ JG 77 in front of and climbing down from the cockpit of a Bf 109 G-6 of the Stab seen in late 1942/early 1943 in Tunisia. Ubben had been awarded the RK on 4 September 1941 and the Oakleaves on 12 March 1943. He was KIA on 27 April 1944 as Geschwaderkommodore in the vicinity of Fére-en-Tardenois, west of Reims after baling out at too low an altitude after combat with US fighters.
Michael Meyer's Ebay Sales
Hermann Graf flew at least two colourful Fw 190 As during his time as Kommandeur of Jagdgruppe Ost - these were a Fw 190 A-4 WNr 634 (pictured above) as well as a Fw 190 A-5 WNr 2594, both of which can be ascertained from photos. However there seems to be confusion about which aircraft is which in published sources, most claiming that the aircraft had been repainted several times. However it seems to me to be unlikely that the complicated pattern of decorations and emblems invited frequent redecoration of the two aircraft in the short period Graf had the posting to JGr. Ost. This incidentally was only from the beginning of February 1943 to late May '43 or some days into June, since he reported back to Wiesbaden-Erbenheim on 11 June 1943 for his next assignment – four months on two aircraft. This particular image is his Fw 190 A-4, which featured a yellow engine cowling decorated with the tulip pattern while the Fw 190 A-5 had a standard camouflage on the cowling and a similar tulip decoration. There were also other small differences in markings between the two a/c.
More on Graf's Fw 190s on this blog
Fw 190 A-8 W.Nr. illegible "Gelbe 8", I./JG 301, Salzwedel, 8 May 1945. Note that JG 301 used horizontal bars over their fuselage bands to denote the various Gruppen
Courtesy of Roger Gaemperle
Fw 190 F-8 W.Nr. unknown, Stab II./SG 2, München-Riem, May 1945.
Source: eBay auction via TOCH Forum, courtesy of Rémi Baudru, 8 March 2014.
and more SG 2 Fw 190s in colour on this blog
Sunday, 16 March 2014
Haven't seen many examples of the new-tool AZ Bf 109 G kits built up yet, but this is a superb example from Czech modeller Michal Friš finished in the markings of IV./JG 27 ace Heinrich Bartels. Michal has built up the G-6/R6 boxing (below) but essentially all the kits have the same sprues, except for the clear parts. Lovely detail in the kit and as with their Spitfire IX, AZ have put loads of options in the box, including three different tail wheels, alternative tail fins, alternative main wheels and propellers, four decal choices, armament options and canopies..however the rivet counters have put their fingers on a small issue with the 'depth' of the nose which is apparently a little undernourished..
Unfortunately there is some colour scheme confusion on both the JG 3 box and the wilde Sau version of this kit - for the JG 3 edition AZ have Walter Dahl assigned to "white 6" a 7./ JG 3 machine fitted with BR 21 rockets; whereas he was merely pictured passing in front of the a/c. The Alfred Sorau option looks nice though...and my build of this kit is featured on a later blog post..
The JG 300 howler is courtesy of JG 300.de (see box art credits) ; "Black 3" was indeed a III./ JG 300 aircraft but it was assigned to Lt. Otto Schwamb and was an ex III./JG 54 machine, retaining this unit's BLUE fuselage band and black Gruppe Balken. (III./JG 300 aircraft never displayed a vertical Gruppe bar) - any reader of Jean-Yves Lorant's JG 300 history would know this of course. For some reason - an inscription on the reverse of a photo of Schwamb - BOBO refuses to believe the evidence - as he likewise declined to do when he mis-identified Kurt Gabler's machine . Either that or he doesn't read English!
More on this in a forthcoming feature article on the wilde Sau written by this blog author, illustrated with exclusive brand new artworks by Anders Hjortsberg and published in a UK magazine soon!