Wednesday 20 May 2015

Hptm. Wilhelm Balthasar's 1./ JG 1 Bf 109 Emil (Staffelkapitän 7./JG 27) during the campaign in the West (Westfeldzug)

Bf 109 E-4 WNr. 1559 of Wilhelm Balthasar, 1./ JG 1 (photo in Jean-Louis Roba's archive and published in Batailles Aériennes no. 72 'The RAF in France')

Balthasar was one of the top scorers in the Westfeldzug - he claimed a Blenheim on 13 June over Sezanne for his 30th ...with 1./ JG 1.

Below; his 'white 1' has here received a light mottle application along the fuselage, making it difficult to determine if this machine is 1./ JG 1 or 7./ JG 27, 1./ JG 1 being renamed in July 1940.  Click to view large

Currently on offer here

His 13.06.40 Blenheim appears to have been his last victory with 1./ JG 1. Note the 36 victory marks over the rudder/fin include at least 11 ground 'victories'! He was awarded the RK on 14 June 1940 and the garland over the cowl may well be the celebration of this award (see Prien JFV Teil 3 page 84). In July 1./ JG 1 was re-named 7./ JG 27 probably during the first week of July. Balthasar was briefly Staffelkapitän of 7./JG 27 (ex 1./JG1) although you will be hard-pressed to find this in any bios on the net.

inscription on reverse of photo above;

" ...Hptm. Balthasar's aircraft in Brussels on his return from Berlin after the award of the RK - 22 aerial vics and 14 destroyed on the 'ground'. The cockpit cabin is decorated with roses.."

Barely a month or so after this re-naming, Balthasar departed for JFS Werneuchen- via Brussels-Evere (below; note SABENA building on the right of picture) - a new assignment to which he took his same WNr 1559. This same machine then went with him in September 1940 to the Stab III./ JG 3.

Note light mottle on rear fuselage and rudder

prior to mottle

Thierry Dekker artwork Batailles Aériennes 72

More rare pics of Balthasar's III./ JG 3 Emils on this blog