Sunday 30 November 2014

Bf 109 Jabos of JG 2 1941 - Oblt. Frank Liesendahl, Kapitän of 6./JG 2 - Channel Front aces (4) Ebay photo find #104

JG 2 assigned 2., 6. and 7. Staffeln during the autumn of 1940 to the specialist anti-shipping Jabo role. According to Erik Mombeek in his history of JG 2 "Dans le Ciel de France" (Vol II) JG 2 had approached this new commitment only half-heartedly and during the spring of 1941 was still training with 50 kg cement bombs in the Seine estuary. The Staffeln of neighbouring units (such as JG 26 for example) had made considerably more progress.

Fritz Schröter recalled the training sorties flown by 6. Staffel - the so-called Jagdbomber Staffel;

  " ..Some distance to the north of Beaumont-le-Roger- in the Seine estuary to be exact- lay a ship wreck which made an ideal target for our training exercises. We approached it at wave-top height or from the direction of the shore at low altitude. At a precise distance from the target we would pull up three hundred metres before diving back down towards the wreck, throwing the throttle wide open in order to make ourselves as difficult a target as possible for potential anti-aircraft gunners. The bomb would be jettisoned just before the target disappeared beneath the nose of the aircraft, followed by a sharp pull-up which took us virtually through the masts and superstructure of the vessel. If we had judged the distance and speed correctly, the bomb struck the ship at the waterline. A 250 kg bomb could tear a breech large enough to sink a ship. Otherwise a near miss would detonate with the force of a sea mine. However during training we only employed 50 kg bombs -which had far less explosive force- in order not to totally destroy our practice target..."

Above; in the spring of 1941, 6./JG 2, the Jabostaffel of II. Gruppe, took on strength several of the new Friedrichs - note the Staffel emblem painted on the bright yellow cowling.

Pilot accounts from the Jabostaffel of I./ JG 2 focus on the relatively inauspicious results achieved by the Jabos - on the morning of 17 May 2./JG 2 flew a sortie that saw the unit dropping its twentieth 'live' bomb. According to Oblt. Dietrich Wickop's account (quoted in 'Dans le Ciel de France' );

"..Mund and Niesmann flew a Jabo mission against a convoy south of Swanage. The secondary target was the port of Swanage but no shipping was sighted in either location. Mund then headed west towards Portland before coming across a well defended convoy. He attacked but on his first pass his bomb failed to release. On the second pass the bomb hit the water some two hundred metres from the ships. No-one saw where Niesmann's bomb fell. A pity that things again turned out as they did.. I have promised myself that next time I will get one directly on target. To ensure that it doesn't bounce like it did last time I've had a large metal ring attached to the casing of the next bomb I haul. Let's hope that this provides the solution !..."

During the evening of 17 May 1941, Oblt. Frank Liesendahl’s Jabostaffel 6./JG 2 (whose emblem in close-up above clearly hints at its specialist mission) claimed considerable damage inflicted on a cargo ship of some 2,500 GRT. However Uffz. Helmut Ries failed to return from this sortie.

Oblt. Frank Liesendahl’s rudder does not display any victory bars but is seen here in 1942 (see 'blue 1' below) decorated with the silhouettes of the ships sunk or damaged as a result of his attacks, including an armed merchantman of some 10,000 tonnes GRT (third silhouette from the top) which was claimed on 23 June 1941 during what was almost certainly the last Jabo sortie flown by  Liesendahl's 'first' Jabostaffel  6./JG 2. On 10 July 1941 Liesendahl, Kapitän of 6./JG 2, was wounded in combat with a British fighter.. he nevertheless managed to land his aircraft in Abbeville but for the second time in just over a year he started a two-month stay in hospital. After the first three sihouettes, Jabo successes resumed in 1942 following Liesendahl's return to JG 2. By that time command of 6./ JG 2 had reverted to Lt. Erich Rudorffer and new Jabostaffeln had been established...

Below; close-up of the ship-munching fox emblem of 10.(Jabo) / JG 2 also affords a good view of the belly  ETC 250 rack enabling a  250 kg bomb to be hauled. Probably Liesendahl's F-4/B "blue 1"

All images above are currently offered on here

Saturday 29 November 2014

JG 27 Bf 109s, Beute Blenheim IV, Bf 110 ZG 52 - ebay photo find # 104

More 8./JG 27 Bf 109s from the 'Liebhold' album.

Liebhold with Italian comrades, "Red 7" in the background - note "striped" upper surface camouflage

Below; "writing a few words of greeting to my beloved Marianne following my award of the EK II. 24 January 1943 "   - Liebhold with Schroer in deckchair and sunglasses and Schroer's "Red 1" in the background. 8./ JG 27 on detachment to Maritsa, Rhodes

Michael Beuckmann's ebay sales are here and include this I./ JG 54 F/G

Manuel Rauh's ebay sales - see below for link. Nice view of the Kommandeur machine II./ JG 27 at Trapani, Sicily and an Emil of  I./ JG 27 "white 12" downed in the West

Beute Blenheim IV "YH-F"

Images from the album of a veteran of III./ KG z.b.v. 1. Ju 88 and Ju 87 B in North Africa. Note the Balkenkreuz positioned on the white theatre band

Arado Ar 66

Manuel Rauh's current ebay sales are here 

 Bf 110 C/Ds displaying the Drachenwappen (dragon emblem ) of ZG 52 on the nose on offer here

JP Militaria Ebay sales here

Thursday 27 November 2014

an ace of I./ JG 26 Lt Karl Willius, Do 17 of KG 76, Ju 52 in the Demyansk pocket ebay photo find # 103

current sales from seller iq152 here

Below; an ace of I./ JG 26, Karl 'Charly' Willius. His aircraft - probably FW 190 A-3 'Yellow 5' (WNr. 5227 - ?) is displaying under the cockpit the flags of the nations against which he has flown ; the Netherlands, Belgium, France, probably followed by the 'Union Jack' of the UK and the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union (?) In late January 1943, I./JG 26 was moved to the northern Front in the East in an exchange with III./JG 54. The 'Schlageter' appear to have welcomed this shift with a certain relief - they no doubt imagined that pickings might be easier on the Eastern Front and their chances of suvival, when faced with a perceived weaker enemy, commensurably improved.. In addition they were to convert on to the latest FW 190 A-4 and FW 190 A-5 sub-types. These aircraft were marked up with a wide yellow theatre band around the rear fuselage. Willius flying with 3./JG 26 retained his preferred number 'Yellow 5' in the East. He already had a certain amount experience flying in Russia, having flown extensively in combat with JG 51 before moving back to the Western Front during August 1941.

Hospitalised in Louvain, Belgium with a short illness during November 1943, Willius married his nurse and his wife later gave birth to a baby girl. As Staffelführer with the rank of Leutnant in 2./JG 26, Willius was shot down by P-47s on 8 April 1944 while combatting a USAAF raid over Holland and listed as missing. He would be awarded a posthumous Ritterkreuz for his 50 victories including 11 four-engine bombers (his last a B-24 on the 8 April raid). His body, still at the controls of his Fw 190 A-8 'Black 5' (WNr. 170 009), was discovered in the Zuider Zee on 23 October 1967!

Above, Do 17 crash-landed during the campaign in the West - emblem of KG 76 on the nose. Below; Stuka of III./ StG 1

 Above; JG 5 Emil and Beute Fokker T-8

Ju 52 in Greece - inscription on reverse reads "..before take off for Crete..". Picture dated 1942

Unidentified machine with Kommandeur chevrons

More from Michael Meyer;

above; Ju 52/3m "GA+WW" of 4./KGrzbV 900 in Roslawl during February 1942 prior to flying into the Demyansk Kessel (pocket). The crew of pilot Jürgen Pfau is seen shovelling snow away from the machine. Below; another Ju 52/3m of 4./KGrzbV 900 "GA+WW" assigned to Fw. Kramer also in Roslawl in February before flying into the pocket.

Pilot Fw. Becker hugging the ground (im Tiefflug) en route into the Demyansk pocket at the controls of Ju 52/3m "CH+HY" of 4./KGrzbV 900 during March 1942.

Michael Meyer's current Ebay sales are here

.. an interesting Gustav apparently on the strength of IV./ JG 51 but featuring the JG 2 Adlerflügel or 'exhaust eagle' from the previous post - evidently a machine previously assigned to JG 2 (posted by 'Laco Pilot' on the Bf 109 FB page)

and finally today a few from Marko Auer's current sales, link below;

emergency landing at sea off the coast of Norway

and below, three views of a Klemm KL 35 trainer from the Flugzeugführerschule  FFS A/B 9 in Grottkau..

 Marko Auer's Ebay sales are here

Tuesday 25 November 2014

scenes from Théville - Fw 190s of III./JG 2 during June 1942 " In the skies of France " Vol 3 Mombeek/Roba

A selection of early JG 2 Fw 190s. For the text that follows I've relied heavily on Erik Mombeek's superlative " In the skies of France " Vol 3. (French text only).

A-2/3 "Yellow 4" of  III./JG 2 machine at readiness. Ground crews taking a break.

III./ JG 2 took delivery of its first Fw 190s during May 1942, a month later than Greisert's II./ JG 2 and following a visit to Beaumont by the C-in-C of Luftflotte 3 GFM Hugo Sperrle. The first three images below show a Fw 190 A-2/3 'gelbe 2'. My first thought was that this could be "Sepp" Wurmheller's although I have to thank George Morrison for a more positive identification - too few Abschussbalken. This 'yellow 2' was most probably the regular machine assigned to Ofw. Karl Nowak and shows some ten rudder victory markings. His Warte would add just two more - his 11th and 12th returned on 3 June 1942- before he was shot down and killed by Spitfires over the Channel on 10 June 1942. The stylised eagle's head design was of course a feature of 9./ JG 2 machines. Wurmheller flew with 5./JG 53, then the Stab JG 2 (still using 109 Fs), then 1./JG 2. He flew several "weisse 3" before choosing "gelbe 2" in 9./JG 2.

Below; markings option in the Eduard Fw 190 'Early Versions' Royal Class box (released December 2017)

Below; well-known PK- Foto of the machine assigned to the Kommandeur Hptm Hans Hahn - Fw 190 A-2 (WNr. 223). This was a Focke Wulf aircraft constructed in the spring of 1942 and delivered to the Stab III./ JG 2. According to Peter Rodeike's caption commentary ("Jagdflugzeug 190" page 68) the upper surfaces  may have received a partial overspray with a "dunkelgrünen Farbton". Note though the much better quality reproduction below and in the Mombeek/Roba volume 'Dans le Ciel de France'. The aircraft is wearing the small white fuselage band commonly seen on Stabsmaschinen of III./ JG 2. The yellow rudder displays 61 victory Balken, Hahn claiming two Spitfires around midday on 6 May 1942 for his 60th and 61st. Scrambling from Théville to head off Circus no. 159 (Bostons to Caen) the Fw 190s of III./ JG 2 tangled with Spitfires over the French coast north of Fécamp 'chasing' the RAF fighters back across the Channel; 

" it was a magnificent warm day, not a cloud in the sky and no wind. From out in the middle of the Channel you could see the two coastlines and visibility was such that I could see the Isle of Wight and the English coastline all the way to Dover..."  (Lt. 'Poldi' Wenger 3./ JG 2)

Below; "blue 11", a Friedrich of the Jabostaffel JG 2

Above; possibly a scene from Beaumont-le-Roger where the Friedrichs of 1./ JG 2 operated alongside the Geschwaderstab.

Below; Fw 190 A-2 "white 11' of 7./ JG 2 (WNr. 105) features the Staffel Zylinderhut emblem on the nose (a thumb pressing down on the British top hat)  rather than the III. Gruppe cockerel's head. After only a few hours flight time the exhaust has already stained the lower forward fuselage and this area of the airframe would soon be over-painted with the usual black trapezoidal eagle wing or Adlerflügel shape outlined with a white border. Probably assigned to Ofw. Alfred Knies, the preferred wingman of Stk. Egon Mayer. (cf. Mombeek "Dans le ciel de France " - Vol 3.) Knies claimed a Spitfire shot down on 6 June 1942.

Above; Fw 190 A-2/3 "gelbe 11" (probably WNr. 2187) of 9./ JG 2 features the stylised eagle wing with an Adlerkopf (eagle's head) on the cowling. Note the small bulge on the gun cowling, a feature of Arado-built Fw 190s. "Yellow 11" was the usual aircraft of Ofw. Fritz Hartmann - the rudder featured at least eight Abschussbalken by the time Hartmann handed the machine over to 8. Staffel later that year where his victory markings were removed. See photos on p176 in Erik Mombeek's superlative " In the skies of France " (Vol 3)

Two views of Fw 190 A-2 (WNr. 2194 ?) "white 12" of 7./ JG 2 which sustained 20% damages in a forced landing at Théville on 6 June 1942. 7. Staffel pilots claiming Spitfires in June 1942 include Ofw. Willi Stratmann, Uffz Guenther Toll and Lt. Jakob Augustin. Augustin flew "white 8" (WNr. 333) and returned his 12th victory on 6 June 1942. Stk. of 7. Staffel, Oblt. Egon Mayer returned his 43rd and 44th victories on 3 June 1942 at the controls of his usual "white 7". JG 2 filed some 23 claims for Spitfires on this date alone. In a letter home, another 7./ JG 2 pilot Uffz. Otto Kleinert wrote;

"... on one of my first sorties from Théville with 7./ JG 2 on 3 June 1942 we ran into a formation of about ten Spitfires and shot them all down - our Focke Wulfs are largely superior to their machines. I flew as Lt. Augustin's wingman but really saw very little of the action, so close did I stick to my leader's rudder. After we landed I was somewhat surprised to learn that we had accounted for so many enemy machines. Of course as a relative beginner I had little appreciation of the bigger picture..."  ( 'In the skies of France' -Vol 3)

Offered on Ebay via solo-fotos here

Our look at Erik Mombeek's superlative "Dans le ciel de France" Vol 3 elsewhere on this blog

another small Luftwaffe blog article that looks a little more critically at over-claiming in JG 2 during 1941