Friday 4 April 2014

Rudi Dassow ZG 26 Me 410 - defending the Reich

Leading Zerstörer ace Lt. Rudi Dassow seen here at the conclusion of a sortie in his Messerschmitt Me 410 "Hornisse" displaying the tactical number '11'

"..Hier nach der Rückkehr von einem erfolgreichen Feindflug mit seinem Bordschützen beim Ausstieg aus seiner Maschine des nur in wenigen Stückzahlen zum Einsatz gekommenen Flugzeugmusters Messerschmitt Me 410 "Hornisse" mit der taktischen Nummer "11" und der charakteristischen Bugbewaffnung.."   ...seen here on his return from a successful sortie with his gunner dismounting their aircraft, a type that was deployed and saw combat in only limited numbers, the Me 410.. 

As Staffelkapitän 8./JG 6 (Fw 190 A-8 WNr. 171711 "Blue 8") Dassow was KIA on 25 August 1944 over the Invasionsfront in France in combat with US fighters and awarded a posthumous RK.
II./ZG 26 had been redesignated II./JG 6 on 5 August 1944. The unit did not receive its new Fw 190 A-8 fighters until that month as can be seen on the strength returns. The action in which Rudolf Dassow was lost was the first large-scale operation of the Gruppe which had arrived in France only three days before. With 22 Luftsiege (12 Viermots) - as quoted in Obermaier, source unknown -  he was one of the most successful Zerstörer pilots against US four-engine bombers.

compare these images with the footage below, from 04:00 mins - an Me 410 is seen performing an airfield flypast, waggling its wings and then taxiing in to dispersal and the crew dismounting.....

via John Manhro; "...The main problem with the career and claims of Dassow are the lack of primary sources. Furthermore the data Obermaier (RK) gives is a problem. He states that Dassow arrived at 10./ZG 1 in May 1942 in the East and transferred to 7./ZG 1 on 27.7.1942. Furthermore Obermaier says he had 22 Luftsiege in the West and of these were 12 Viermots. I have not seen any primary source that confirms this. Not for the total count of 22 claims nor the 10./ZG 1 note..."

More on this on Michael Zeh's TOCH thread here