Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Oblt. 'Sepp' Wurmheller Staffelkapitän 9./ JG 2 Fw 190 A-6 and A-5 ' yellow 2 '

In late August 1943 PK photographer Engelmann was in Vannes, France to take pictures of Oblt. Josef Wurmheller posing alongside his new Fieseler-manufactured Fw 190 A-6 (WNr. 530314) "Yellow 2". Of the dozen or so images he captured here are some of the better ones. Note the last four numerals of the Werknummer above the swastika on the tail fin and the 78 victory bars on the yellow rudder scoreboard - his 78th was a Spitfire shot down during the evening of 22 August 1943.

 Note that it is quite tricky keeping tabs on Wurmheller's tally from his rudder scoreboards - below, his previous mount Fw 190 A-5 WNr. 7334, also "Yellow 2", which had been destroyed in a taxiing accident on 29 July 1943 at Vannes nearly one month previously, featured a rudder scoreboard showing a total of 80 victories!

Wurmheller was seriously injured on 23 September 1943 during a bombing raid on the airfield at Vannes. Airborne to counter a 1st BD raid on Nantes the Staffelkapitän of 9./ JG 2 landed back at Vannes just as the airfield came under attack from another wave of bombers. Wurmheller scrambled down from the cockpit of his machine just moments before it was obliterated by a direct hit. 'Sepp' was seriously wounded by shrapnel.

9./ JG 2 mechanic Ogfr. Willi Kittel reported;

" .. although our field at Vannes was being bombed, Oblt. Wurmheller was forced to carry out an emergency landing. He put down without any difficulty. Barely moments after leaving the cockpit he was hit in the head by shrapnel. As I was his first mechanic and quite close to him, it was natural that I drove straight out to him and was the first on the scene. He was lying unconscious on the ground. We loaded him into our ambulance and took off at top speed for the hospital in Vannes. When he returned to the Staffel two months later he had an enormous scar on the side of his head that ran down to his neck...."

Mombeeck, " Dans le Ciel de France", Vol 4, p186

Erik Mombeeck has done a fantastic job on his 4 hardback volumes devoted to JG 2. The latest tome in the series covers 1943 and the increasingly ferocious large-scale combats against USAF B-17s over France.

More at http://luftwaffe.be

Also on this blog Wurmheller at Dieppe, August 1942