Wednesday 22 October 2014

III./ ZG 1 "Wespengeschwader" Bf-109 E-7 Jabo

Photos of the "Wespengeschwader" Bf-109 Emil sub-types used in 1942 on the Eastern front are pretty hard to come by. Not only that, but there is a lot of misinformation out there about the variants and unit designations involved. Looks like some 'enthusiast' sites out there could do with some help !

 On 4th January 1942 SKG 210 was redesignated ZG 1. The Geschwaderstab/SKG 210 was re-designated Geschwaderstab/ZG 1; I./SKG 210 became I./ZG 1 and II./SKG 210 became II./ZG 1. A III. Gruppe was formed with pilots from training school and an SAGr unit. This new III. Gruppe was equipped with Bf 109 E-7s. All Bf 109 E Wespen were assigned to III./ZG 1 and not SKG 210. Certainly not Erprobungsgruppe 210 ! The machines seen above are almost certainly E-7 variants, identifiable by the pointed spinner. The first Emil Jabos had their electrical and mechanical plumbing modified to carry bombs and were E-4/B sub-types. The E-7 came from the factory with the plumbing, and electrical terminals already in place either for ordnance to be loaded on a bomb rack or for a belly tank on a drop-tank rack. Hence their designation as E-7s with either load. (thanks to John Vasco for clarifying the above..)

More Wespen Emils on this blog

Tuesday 21 October 2014

1./ JG 300 wilde Sau Bf 109s at Bonn Hangelar, late 1943 or early 1944 - Ebay win! - Day fighter aces of the Luftwaffe

Rare images of 1./ JG 300 wilde Sau Bf 109s at Bonn Hangelar, late 1943 or early 1944.  Unlike other sites that have these images on display having 'doctored' them we at the Luftwaffe blog have preferred to leave them as first shown on Ebay.

Below; "White 4" and "White 1", are G-6s, of 1. Staffel in light-blue-grey finish, probably deployed at some stage on high-altitude Moskito chasing sorties. Note the whistle on the exhaust stack. These machines are not G-5s as other sites would have you believe. Needless to say this particular photo is an important image in the history of JG 300. Some never-before illustrated aspects of this machine for JG 300 have been identified by the new owner - mission role, equipment etc. The pilot in the picture - probably posing for the camera alongside his rudder scoreboard - is the ace Hermann Wischnewski. It was thought at one point that the object under the fuselage may have a been a Naxos but it is now clear that it is simply the deployed flap of the starboard wing! The actual images show the Werknummmer and the details that the ace pilot is looking at on his rudder.  Not that you would get any of this information on other sites. To the modellers and profile artists who might attempt a rendition of this one, I'd have to respectfully advise against it ..not only are the WNr. and victory markings not visible but you'll miss one, if not two crucial details!

Hermann Wischnewski was born on 9 February 1917 at Tensefeld in the Eutin region of Holstein. Wischnewski was posted to I./KGr. zbV 700 as a transport pilot on 17 December 1941. He flew many difficult supply missions over the Eastern front, including missions in the Demjansk battles of spring 1942. In October 1942, Wischnewski transferred to KGr. zbV Frankfurt based in the Mediterranean theatre. In July 1943, Wischnewski underwent conversion training on to single-engine night fighters. He was posted to JG Herrmann performing Wilde Sau missions intercepting Allied bombing raids by night. Feldwebel Wischnewski was assigned to 3./JG Herrmann. On the night of 30/31 July, Wischnewski recorded his first victory when he shot down a RAF Stirling four-engine bomber near Remscheid. In late August, 3./JG Herrmann was redesignated 3./JG 300. By the end of September, Wischnewski had four victories to his credit. By November 1943, Oberfeldwebel Wischnewski was serving with 1./JG 300. On the night of 18/19 November, Wischnewski claimed two RAF four-engine bombers shot down from a force of 300 raiding Mannheim to record his fifth and sixth victories. By the end of the year, he had seven victories to his credit. Wischnewski recorded five victories in January 1944, including doubles on each of the nights of 2/3 January (9-10) and 28/29 January (11-12). Wischnewski would also record many day victories when JG 300 was switched to the day fighter role. Serving with 2./JG 300, he recorded his first day victory on 21 June 1944, when he claimed a USAAF B-24 Herauschuß. On 29 July 1944, Fahnenjunker-Oberfeldwebel Wischnewski shot down two USAAF B-17 four-engine bombers and a USAAF P-51 fighter but he was then shot down himself. Wounded in the left leg and foot, he baled out of his stricken Bf 109 G-6/U2 “Red 2” near Gelbstadt at low level. The force of his parachute opening wrenched his arms out of their sockets. Because of the low-level bale-out, Wischnewski’s landing was heavy resulting in further injuries. He was hospitalised at Apolda for six months. Wischnewski’s injuries precluded a return to combat. Hermann Wischnewski was credited with at least 24 victories in over 500 missions. The preponderance of his missions were flown as a transport pilot. He recorded 18 victories by night. Of his 6 day victories, four were four-engine bombers.

 (pilot biography compiled with the help of the Lorant/Goyat JG 300 history, both volumes translated by this blog author....if you think you've read any of the above on one of Dan Case's FB pages then you very probably have since he lifts just about everything I write and research on this blog and posts it elsewhere without acknowledgement of course...just check the dates of posting )

This close-up of the main image depicts  another "White 1", the aircraft assigned to the Staffelkapitan of 1./JG 300 Olt Gerhard Pilz. Note what appears to be the wilde Sau boar's head emblem on the nose of this machine. A photo of the other side of this line-up has been previously published in the Lorant/Goyat history of JG 300 and originates from former JG 300 fitter Erwin Dill's album. However this veteran stated that these pictures were taken at Herzogenaurach near Nürnberg. This new view clearly shows the Saint-Augustin convent in the background, which situates the image firmly at Bonn-Hangelar during the spring of 1944.

This brings me to a point raised by Don Caldwell in the Foreword to his "Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich" ;

  ".. photos and document, once freely shared in the 1980s and 1990s now appear on ebay to be sold to wealthy collectors, frequently never to be seen again by the general public. The small band of serious air war historians and enthusiasts has fought this pernicious trend by freely sharing this material..."

Only in this instance it is one of those 'serious air war historians' that has managed to secure these images at great personal expense. He elected to acquire them, precisely because he was able to identify exactly how 'key' these images are in the history of JG 300 - the 'enthusiasts' however continue to post them in 'their' on-line 'collections', tamper with what are pretty poor quality scans under the pretext of 'cleaning them up' and present them to the world while unable to provide any context or story. To have them loosely and inaccurately labelled as most on-line image collections do, serves in my view to depreciate their value somewhat and leads to misinformation and myth. And before anyone bothers to say, yes, I'm aware that I am no better, but in this instance, a vague caption will have to suffice, at the request of the images' new owner. After all what will make the REAL difference is the details that their new owner will be able to develop around these images, setting their context, sense and perspective. Because these images will re-appear in a revised edition of their unit's history. They are first grade testimonies, the full impact of which will only become apparent over time, when their secrets are revealed....

And a comment on our forum spat regarding the posting of these images. As far as I am concerned I think its reasonable enough to re-post pictures of this quality during an Ebay auction (most sellers who I have contacted are happy to let me do this..), but I would expect to take them down at the end of the auction when/if the new owner requests this. After all, most enthusiasts - and certainly not David Weiss - wouldn't dream of spending 1,000 euros on a set of images, would they? In my view the new owner is perfectly entitled to 'protect' his investment. I, for one, am happy these images have been bought by a 'serious enthusiast/historian'.. .

Below; a new image of "White 7" 1./ JG 300. Note the wavy camouflage finish taken over the spinner on the lower images and the absence of red fuselage band.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Bf 109 G-4 "Red 7" first flight / Hispano Aviacion H. A. 1112 M-1-L, W.Nr. 139 (EADS) - latest Bf 109 images found on the net

The Bf 109 G-4 / Hispano Aviacion H. A. 1112 M-1-L, W.Nr. 139 (EADS) is once again airworthy and its first flight post-restoration was flown by Klaus Plasa. Unfortunately, due to minor technical problems after the first flight, the machine's participation in Switzerland on 6 September at the Air14 PAYERNE did not take place as advertised. Safety first!

Fly in Bf 109 G-4 "Red 7" restored after its Roskilde airshow crash, a must see!.. a single click to view here..


"new" Bf 109 images found on the net -

6 -107 of 2. Staffel Jagdgruppe 88 of the Legion Condor

III./ JG 54 Emil

"white 14" , a 1./ JG 2 Emil down somewhere in the West, note the cowl 'Bonzo' dog emblem..

JG 5 Friedrich

possibly a G-14, here with Erla Haube and FuG 16 Morane mast

unknown Emil

- " ..probably 1940, likely with these markings. Only JG 3 and JG 53 used the vertical bar to denote a III. Gruppe aircraft. Of the two, JG 3 would be more likely to be missing any unit emblems but I’d say JG 53 is still a contender too.."

markings commentary via Anders H

provisionally identified as "Gelbe 3" of 11./ JG 54, photographed in Dorpat during the spring thaw 1944. Note the partial yellow Rumpfband

Thursday 16 October 2014

Ofw. Ernst Richter II./ JG 11

courtesy Michael Meyer's ebay sales here

 Ofw. Ernst Richter photographed in April 1944 serving with 4./ JG 11 in Husted prior to being posted as as an instructor to 4./JGr West during the summer of 1944 based in Märkisch-Friedland.

   (below)  Pilots of 16./EJG 1 in front of their Fw 190s at Mühldorf during February 1945. The Staffel shifted on 26 January 1945 from Märkisch-Friedland to Pretzsch and from moved on to Mühldorf on 12 February 1945. Left in the photo below (and fourth left in the bottom image) is Fluglehrer (instructor) Ofw. Ernst Richter. Richter survived the war with some twenty victories claimed, flew some 60 sorties as Nowotny's wingman and signed some 130 of Nowotny's Abschußmeldungen! (no mention of him at all in the Kracker archive...)

Wednesday 8 October 2014

new Claes Sundin Luftwaffe fighter profiles book soon!

exciting news from Claes Sundin

" ...I just wish to let you know that my new profile book will be published later this month, on the 24th of October.

As an old customer of mine you have the possibility to pre-order the book now, to ensure you will be one of the first to receive it...

- This book follows the same layout of my previous profile books 
- I have increased the number of additional artwork to around 100
- I have written som short text to all the 124 profiles included
- Included in the book you will also find a chapter about Luftwaffe day fighter markings
- Non of the profiles included have been published before in my previous two self published Luftwaffe Fighter books.

This is my best work to date.

If you are interested in pre-ordering my new book No 3,
-  Just drop me a line (with your shipping address) and I will file you as a customer for this book and also send you all the information you will need for the payment.

Please spread the word, a new Luftwaffe Profile book is out...."

PS. Read more about the book:

This will undoubtedly be another work of the highest class - artwork is often a matter of personal preference but Claes has to be the best in his field. I'm just sorry I missed his "RLM 04" limited edition book.

Saturday 4 October 2014

JG 53 Gustav, Haifischgruppe Bf 110 - Marco's current Ebay sales at koelsch333

nice detail views of a JG 53 Gustav, KG 40 Condor, Bf 110 with shark mouth and night Blitz Ju 88 on offer here courtesy of Marco at koelsch333. Click to view full screen

Me 110 C/D "3U+GT" 9./ZG 26, Kommandeur I./ NJG 4 Maj. Wilhelm Herget

Me 110 C/D "3U+GT" 9./ZG 26 seen over the Channel during the summer of 1940

Below; Me 110 C of 9./ZG 26 in formation (Verbandsflug) over France during the campaign in the West May/June 1940.

Above; Me 110 C of 9./ZG 26 (note Staffel cockerel emblem on the nose) following an emergency landing on the Channel coast during May-June 1940.

Currently on offer from Michael Meyer here

Darius Werner at DW-Auktion is currently offering a series of photos of  Nachtjagd ace and later Kommandeur I./NJG 4 Maj. Wilhelm Herget

above; nice informal shot of strolling II./ZG 76 pilots; those with "?" above them have been kindly identified by G.R. Morrison. On the far left is Walter Borchers (then flying with the 4./ZG 76, never mind what Wiki says), and the pilot wearing the Sonnenbrille (second from the right) is Hans-Joachim Jabs.

Hermann Graf Kommandeur JGr. Ost Fw 190 A-4 WNr. 634,

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.

 This particular image apparently depicts his Fw 190 A-4 and is currently on here. His A-4 featured a yellow engine cowling decorated with a red tulip pattern while his assigned 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. I guess it must be the gaudy markings that make this particular A-4 look so 'toy-like' .........

See this blog post for more on Graf's Fw 190 A-5

and a 'faked' image of Graf's A-4 by way of comparison