Wednesday 9 September 2015

II./ JG 51 " verschnupfte Rabe .." runny-nosed Raven emblem "Gott Strafe England" - last edit March 2017

" A couple of photos of JG 51's 'Weeping Bird' emblem..."

difficult to avoid this phrase on certain forums/Facebook pages dealing with Jagdwaffe emblems. Yet for decades - as early as Ries' "Photo Collection Luftwaffe Embleme 1935-1945" and his "Dora Kurfurst ... vol 1." -  the raven has been the " verschnupfte Rabe .."  - lit. the 'runny nosed' raven, full of cold -  those are not tears ! As to colours;  the bird's body could be either red or brown; if the umbrella is red (as usually believed), then the body is probably a light brown. Later representations of the emblems feature the "Gott strafe England" inscription...

Emblem originated with 2./JG 71, the "Chamberlain-Staffel". These photos taken sometime in September/October 1939, shortly before or shortly after the 2./JG 71 was renamed 4./JG 51. The aircraft would be a Bf 109 D-1.

 Bf 109 E "Red 7" of II./ JG 51. The oversized Balkenkreuz and general surroundings indicate that the photo was taken sometime in October/November 1939. This photo along with other details can be found in Michael Meyer & Paul Stipdonk's Das Jagdgeschwader 51; Eine Bilddokumentation uber die Jahre 1938-45, page 131.

Second image above; the starboard-side insignia from the Bf109 E-3 of Lt. Johann Böhmm from 4./JG 51 that was shot down near Ealham, Kent, on 8 July 1940. This was the first Bf 109 to come down in England during the war. This insignia still exists in a private collection. The shield is white, but it's been partially over-sprayed with the green mottled fuselage camouflage, which makes the white on the shield look less intense than the white wing patch. The body and head of the bird is a light brown, the umbrella and lettering are red, although the three drops from the bird's beak are not red but black with light brown highlights. The beak, glasses, umbrella handle & tip and feet are black, as is the outline and detailing of the wing. The shield is outlined in black.  Since this was a 4 Staffel a/c, perhaps that accounts for the very dirty (over-sprayed) white shield background. Could 6 Staffel a/c have had yellow shields? For some examples, such as the Yellow 10 of Fritz Beeck downed on 24 August 1940 (below), this certainly looks possible. On another example, it's pretty clear that the background colour of the insignia was the underlying camouflage colour, with the detailing simply painted against that background.

A member of the Home Guard stands by the rear fuselage of Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 (W.Nr. 5587) 'Yellow 10' of 6./JG 51 'Moelders', which belly landed with a smokng engine at East Langdon in Kent, 24 August 1940. The pilot, Oberfeldwebel Beeck, was captured unhurt. Note the II Gruppe " verschnupfte Rabe .." emblem and the inscription "Gott Strafe England".

Below;  original Associated Press photograph of "Air Force man examining the umbrella mascot (weeping pelican) on the side of a Messerschmitt 109". (sic!)

Bf109 E-4 (5587) 10+ of 6./JG51 was escorting Ju 88's attacking RAF Manston on 24 August 1940 when attacked by Hurricanes of 32 Squadron and Defiants of 264 Squadron. The engine was damaged and the pilot Oberfeldwebel Beeck made a forced landing at East Langdon, Kent at 12.55pm.

JfV Teil 9/II,page 392. captioned as Bf 109 E-4 “Yellow 1”, WNr.5057, of  Staka 6.Staffel Oblt. Josef Priller, taken in the second half of October 1940 in Mardyck. In Prien’s book more of the finer details can be seen. The black frame around the shield is imposed upon a white line which contrasts against the background colour and also intersects the thin mottling behind and above the raven’s head. The white line is most clearly visible in the upper part of the emblem. This shows that the frame was painted on top of the underlying camouflage and mottling.

Below; Bf 109 E assigned to Horst Tietzen of 5./JG 51, around 29 July 1940...