Thursday, 17 September 2015

Aces and pilots of III./ JG 54 (2) - Gustavs in the Defence of the Reich - Reichsverteidigung 1944 - Wochenschau Nr. 721

In an item devoted to the 'Schlagkraft unsere Verteidigung'  - ('..the striking power of our defence..over 200 British and American aircraft shot down in one 48-hour period..') the weekly news broadcast shown in German cinemas on 10 June 1944 incorporated footage of the fighters of 8. Staffel JG 54 on an Alarmstart. This footage was most probably filmed at Lüneburg earlier that year. Among the featured aircraft was Bf 109 G-6 "Schwarze 8", probably the machine flown by Uffz. Günther Sahl, shot down on 9 April 1944 over Schleswig Holstein (WNr. 26 048)- identified on p283 of Prien JfV 13/I Reichsverteidigung 1944. Note the blue fuselage band with its black Gruppenbalken, the white outline fuselage cross, an over-painted Kennziffer directly aft of the 'black 8'  and the green heart featuring the Gruppen emblems below the cockpit.

Also featured in the broadcast footage is a Bf 109 G-6 Kanonenboot likewise probably lost on 9 April 1944! This is a 'White 1' with Gondelwaffen - the underslung MG 151s. Note the 7./JG 54 emblem on the cowl and the absence of the FuG 16 D/F loop antenna. 'White 1' was most likely flown here by the Staffelkapitän Oblt. Rudolf Klemm - compare with the much clearer images on page 284 of the Prien JfV 13/I.

Klemm had been appointed Staffelkapitän of 7./JG 54 on 1 February 1944 and had accumulated 27 victories at this time. He recorded his 32nd victory on 8 April. On 9 April III./ JG 54 intercepted large bomber formations over Kiel. Klemm was shot down and wounded at the controls of Bf 109 G-6 “White 1” WNr. 15 573- falling to the P-47 escort. In total III./ JG 54 lost seven Bf 109s for one P-47 claimed on 9 April 1944. Klemm returned to the Eastern Front with JG 54 later that summer. ..

Also on this blog

Aces and pilots of III./ JG 54 - Gustavs defending the Reich, Lt Eugen Zweigart
Pauke! Pauke! IV./ JG 3 and Sturmstaffel 1 in action against the US 8th Air Force, 11 April 1944