Friday 23 December 2016

Hellblau-über-alles - overall RLM 76 Bf 109 G-6/AS Höhenjäger fighters of I./JG 3

I./ JG 3 received its first up-rated G-6/AS ('S' for Sonder or 'special') machines during May 1944 (cf. Prien 'Messerschmitt Bf 109 im Einsatz bei Stab und I./ JG 3', page 400). These first Erla-refurbished/built aircraft were manufactured at the Erla VII plant in Antwerpen and powered by the DB 605 AS engine, a stop-gap development which featured a larger blower taken from the DB 603. The bigger intake required a larger port-side engine bearer arm which in turn resulted in the new refined cowl shape, the so-called asymmetrical 'Ballungen' ahead of the cockpit as Jochen Prien refers to them.  'Ballungen' is a curious Messerschmitt term - for which I can find no translation- for the 'refined' G-6/AS cowlings. The G-6 MG cowl 'bulges' were dispensed with. It would appear that the sub-type was developed - aside from on-going issues with the DB 605 D engine - to fulfill a high-altitude interceptor role, the so-called "Höhenjäger".

The Bf 109 G-6/AS that served with III./ JG 1 and I./ JG 3 in the "Höhenjäger" role in early 1944  (high altitude fighter) were notable for being finished in an overall 76 scheme, the so-called Höhenanstrich. Elsewhere Ken Merrick has explained that Messerschmitt  -as a general rule - painted its airframes with an overall undercoat of 02 followed by a single protective coat of the lower surface colour, which may explain this so-called 'new' finish adopted by some units. At the same time other Defence of the Reich units were already experimenting with low-visibility schemes; JG 11 had even taken to dispensing with the Balken- and Hakenkreuze. That being so, the AS machines of both JG 1 and JG 3 featured standard black Balkenkreuze on the wing upper surfaces- not the white outline type so often seen. The yellow (cowl) ID markings were dispensed with. (cf. Prien, page 402-403) The AS series were also manufactured at other plants including Mtt Regensburg, although it would appear that there is no precise WNr. record. With MW 50 power boost the AS-engine was designated ASM.

Staffelkapitän 2./ JG 3 in early 1944 was Walter Bohatsch although through the spring of 1944 he flew infrequently. Based in Burg bei Magdeburg, 2./ JG 3 was deployed on high cover duties for the Sturm Fw 190s of the Sturmstaffel 1 and IV./ JG 3.

Bohatsch flew a Bf 109 G-6/AS 'Black 7', possibly the machine in the picture below..see page 404 of Prien's 'I./ JG 3 im Einsatz'

One of his  Staffel comrades was Uffz. Horst Petzschler below. 'Black 14' is WNr. 412 179. Note that unlike the camouflaged I./JG 3 machines during this period the "76" machines did not have a white fuselage band. This image is reproduced on page 405 of Prien's 'I./JG 3 im Einsatz' - the winged-U emblem is just visible on the engine cowl. This machine was lost on 28 May 1944 when Fw. Büssow was KIA near Belzig. Note the Erla-Haube (canopy) and the tall tail, standard on the G-6/AS.

Below; Bf 109 G-6/AS W.Nr. unknown "Schwarze 27", 2./JG 3

Seen near Cormeilles-en-Vexin, Summer 1944. Source: Collection Col. Reginald Franklin Conroy Vance, via Tom Barnes,

H Models Decals have a small sheet of black Kennziffer for these high altitude day fighter interceptor machines in their "Nachtjagdgruppe" series - well that's H Models Decals for you!

More overall blue Bf 109 schemes by H-Models Decals here

Wednesday 21 December 2016

more Luftwaffe Seaplanes - daily Ebay photo find #198

more from Oliver Rogge's current Ebay sales - He 59 Seenot air-sea rescue and He 115 at Schellingwoude.

Rare internal view of a Küstenfliegergruppe 106 He 115
Also on this blog -  a He 115 pilot recounts a combat sortie against convoy PQ 17 here

Me110 ZG 76 Haifisch Geschwader beim Start, Fw 190 Ergänzungs-Schlachtgruppe SG 152 - daily Ebay photo find #197

via Olivier Rogge Ebay sales

Me110 C/D ZG 76 Haifisch Geschwader beim Start

according to the seller a selection of FW 190 F/ G from the Ergänzungs-Schlachtgruppe, ( Micky-Maus Staffelwappen

"Triangle B" below was published by C.Ehrengardt in a recent Aerojournal "Fw 190 Jabo special" reviewed on this blog here. This machine is labelled as WNr. 1112 Fw 190 A-5 from 1./SG 152 early advanced operational school unit, an Einsatzkommando went to Italy and flew sorties around Monte Cassino and Anzio. I./SG 152 was established from the  Ergänzungs-Schlachtgruppe at Debkin Irena in November 1943 under Hptm. Karl Kennel

On offer here

FW 190 A der 11./EJG 1 - daily ebay photo find #195

FW 190 A der 11./EJG 1 wahrscheinlich im März 1945 in Münsteuer. Im der Kanzel der Gefr. Klaus Schlüter (in the cockpit and standing on the wing, bottom)

Latest auction here

Wednesday 14 December 2016

new and forthcoming - Heimdal's "ACES" magazine, 'Luftwaffe Aircraft in Profile No.6' Claes Sundin, 'Feldflugplatz Brunnthal', Luftwaffe Gallery 5 and Erik Mombeek's history of JG 2 Band 5 1943

"Aces" is a quality new quarterly aviation title in French from the leading independent publisher Heimdal under the stewardship of Georges Bernage ("39-45 Magazine"). Editors-in-Chief are Many Souffan and Jean-Charles Stasi both well known for their diligently researched books and articles. At first sight "Aces" seems to be a difficult subject to write about - the careers of the leading 'Aces' have surely been dissected over and over. However 'Aces' has undertaken to bring new and undiscovered facts, photos and artworks about the leading aviators in the history of air combat - and their machines - to a wider audience under the by-line 'Get closer to the aces and their machines!'

 The evidence here is that they have largely succeeded. A fine glossy A-4 card-covered publication with spine, each issue will be around 100-pages (text in French) with quality production values. The six subject articles are given from 10 to 24 pages each. Note that the Marseille 'dossier' in issue no. 1 is spread over three features. One that immediately caught my eye in this first issue discusses the Free French pilots in 73 Sqd Hurricanes - the so-called Escadrille Francaise no. 1 -that operated over Tobruk with the British. In two separate combats with the Emils of JG 27 James Denis shot down HJ Marseille twice! The personal accounts from the French pilots furnish enough detail to enable the artists (Nico Gohin, Vincent Dhorne) to produce profile compositions of some of Marseille's Emils including his E-7 WNr. 5160 'yellow 7' in which he was shot down on 23 April 1941. A neat touch are the diary and logbook reproductions that accompany the article. The feature on Marseille himself covers his career with accounts from those who were there (Emil Clade, Werner Schroer) Apparently Marseille never claimed his 159th - full details in this issue. Photographic reproduction is excellent - and as usual, the French have exploited the ECPA-D archives which seem to be too expensive for everyone else - one superb shot of Marseille strapping in to his F-4 WNr 10 059 is reproduced across two pages. Worth mentioning again that 'Aces' is published by Heimdal - armour fans will know the quality of their work. While UK publishers seem to exist on a diet of nice, glossy restored warbirds, Spitfires and the like, far too parochial all round, it appears that only in France ( and to a lesser extent in Germany) do they do 'real' aviation writing and research. Another 'Aces' spread below - six pages on the Bf 109s in Africa in colour - inspiration for modellers! Elsewhere in issue one of 'Aces' Spitfire fans will lap up the in-depth feature on leading French ace Jean Maridor, the 91 Sqd ace based at Hawkinge who carved out a reputation as a V-1 'hunter' and there are twenty-two pages of P-47s and P-51s as Christophe Cony of 'Avions' magazine produces a detailed feature on Don Gentile - Thierry Dekker artwork!

 The title is currently on French news stands or the usual retailers. A 'launch price' subscription is available directly from the publisher Heimdal via which enables the subscriber to get the equivalent of one issue free on a one-year sub and two issues free on a two year subscription.

December 2016 sees the publication of a new profile book from Claes Sundin - Luftwaffe Profile book no. 6 'Golden Edition'. This is an updated, re-worked and improved edition of the now impossible-to-find so-called 'Yellow Book' which as Claes explained to me recently was really a 'proof-of-concept'  work, the book that proved to Claes that he could successfully self-publish. Of course he now has a loyal and ready audience demanding new subjects. So book 6 has more and previously unpublished artworks drawn and 'painted' to the latest standards - all single-engine aircraft on this occasion - and much more extensive artwork texts proofed and corrected by leading commentators such as David E. Brown. More info and ordering details at the link that follows..

new Luftwaffe profile book from Claes Sundin

 Norbert Loy and Matthias Hundt published a fascinating article in "Jet & Prop" issue 4/10 on the satellite field at Brunnthal built to accommodate Luftwaffe aircraft as an 'Ausweichs' or diversionary field close to Munich in southern Germany. Brunnthal offered an 'alternative' to the regular fields at München-Neubiberg and München-Riem. By the spring of 1945 these fields were on the end of almost constant Allied air attacks as the Americans pushed further and further into southern Germany. Many different Luftwaffe types operated there in some numbers -almost 60 machines by the time the Americans arrived there including examples of the Ju-87, Bf-109 G-4, Me 410, He 111 G, Ju-W 34hi, Ju 52/3, Ju-88 G-6, Ju 290 A, Si-104 A, Si204 D and of course the latest jets produced in 'forest factories' such as the Me 262 A. Now Loy and Hundt's research has been published in book form..

Brunnthal was a so-called 'Schattenplatz' or 'shadow' field. It was constructed between the town of Brunnthal and the Hofoldinger forest bounded on one side by the Munich-Salzburg Autobahn. There were two takeoff and landing strips constructed, although one of these was the A8 Autobahn itself. Aircraft including Me 262s were hidden along the forest perimeter in specially cut-out boxes and it is reported that animals were used to tow the aircraft into position on the airfield because of fuel shortages - not the usual oxen or horses, but two elephants from the Munich zoo. However the elephants didn't perform that war service for long - they were not susceptible to obeying commands and at least one aircraft lost its wings as the elephant stomped into the forest ! The authors have eye witness accounts from American veterans and the local populace so covering the story of  Brunnthal airfield in detail.

Wars end in Bavaria. Allied troops moving along the Munich-Salzberg Autobahn towards Salzberg pass abandoned Luftwaffe jets including this Me 262 'White F' coded 9K+FH on the strength of KG 51 and probably re-assigned to JV44

A few key-points regarding the book:
Approx. 392 pages hard cover
Size 23 cm x 27,5 cm
40 pictures in colour and 178 in black and white
ISBN 978-3-938845-64-6
price: 45,00 Euro + postage The book can be purchased from:
as well as Ebay and Amazon (Search: Norbert Loy: Der Feldflugplatz Brunnthal)

Also received here recently were two books from Eric Mombeek - not purchased by myself I have to say and I can hardly comment on them objectively since I helped out and have a credit. This is Luftwaffe Gallery no.5 (which with the two 'specials' devoted to JG 26 and JG 77) makes seven of these fine publications now published. Superlative artwork as usual by Thierry Dekker -contents includes articles on JG 2, JG 5 and Wekusta 2

As far as I am aware these are the first accounts in English from pilots and crews of this little-known weather reconnaissance unit. Wekusta 2 is notable for having deployed the He 177 in the long-range weather recce role. The full story of Wekusta 2 is told by Pierre Babin in his French-language book from Heimdal devoted to the unit reviewed in a previous 'new Luftwaffe books' blog piece, see link below..

Page samples of the latest 'Luftwaffe Gallery' and ordering on Erik's site here

More on Wekusta 2 on this blog

"Am Himmel Frankreichs"  - In the skies of France - is the German edition of Eric Mombeek's superb JG 2 history. Possibly a better investment for many than the French edition - indeed the translator is a former Jagdflieger himself, Hans Berger. The text contains many of his notes and explanations which certainly adds to the value of the content. I reviewed the French edition covering the year 1943 on this blog here and included a translation of Georg-Peter Eder's account of the USAF raid on Rouen, 28 March 1943.

Monday 12 December 2016

Two pilots in the summer of 1944 in France Bf 109 G-6/AS - last edit November 2018 Lt. Hans-Ulrich Jung of III./JG 3

..And a request from Dr. Jochen Prien for a blog reader to identify these two pilots seen during the summer of 1944 in France; may be these two men have been the subject of another thread somewhere else before - apparently on-one seems to know their identity.

We can see a Leutnant wearing a German Cross in Gold (DKiG) and an Oberfeldwebel decorated with an Iron Cross 1st Class. Does anybody know who these two pilots are ?  The photos are part of a series of PK-photos taken in France now held by the Bundesarchiv. Several photos from this series showing a Bf 109 G-6/AS and a Bf 109 G-6/Bf 109 G-14 have been published many times over. But as far as I know they have so far eluded positive identification.

It is difficult to believe that no one out there would know at least the Leutnant with the DKiG as there were comparatively few Luftwaffe pilots of that calibre still around in France in the summer of 1944 - as Dick Clark states in his Normandy air war history ('Angels Eight'), "..there were the 'super aces' and then there were the rest.."

Edit - Lt. Hans-Ulrich Jung of III./JG 3 is the DKiG winner. Two pages of photos of Jung feature in the new book 'Heinz Sannemann -ein Jagdfliegerleben' published by Helios in May 2018. He came from IV.(Sturm)/JG 3 and was posted to III./JG 3 apparently when the Sturmgruppe left France after only a couple of days in June 1944.

 Looking at the other images from this BA-film is just as frustrating – there are a couple of photos showing a very dark Bf 109 G-6/AS almost II./JG 11 style with the fuselage Balkenkreuz and numeral almost completely over-sprayed, with our Leutnant sitting in the cockpit or on the cockpit sill in some of them, then you can see him in the cockpit of what looks like a freshly allocated Bf 109 G-6 or G-14 wearing the usual three-greys scheme and a white numeral, this a/c also shown from various angles. Click to view large

Then there are a number of images showing various Bf 109 G-6/14s taxiing on a large grass field, one a “black 2”, which offer no clue as to their unit. Many of the images from this Bundesarchiv series have appeared in various publications over the years with no positive unit identification, let alone a pilot name. By way of elimination the only units that come to mind are II./JG 11 (because of the G-6/AS), I./JG 5 or possibly a recce-unit such as (F)/123 or NAG 13.

Over to you the reader - any information gratefully received at falkeeins at aol dot com

Sunday 11 December 2016

more Wespengeschwader Bf 110s -daily Ebay photo find #194

Two views of Me 110 E "S9+MN" of 5./ZG in Brijansk Frühjahr/Spring 1942. following the re-designation of  5./SKG 210 in 5./ZG 1 on 4 January 1942

 Me 110 C/D "2N+BN" 5./ZG 1 vermutlich Gelsenkirchen-Buer im April/Mai 1940

Me 110 G-2 in Trapani Sicily during April/May 1943

Me 110 G-2 der 5./ZG in Trapani im April/Mai 1943. Am Cockpit der 1 Wart Erich Bierwirth.

Currently on offer here

Also on this blog " Sting of the Wasp!" -  Wespengeschwader photo selection

Luftwaffe hangars, shelters and airfield equipment, tankers and fuel bowsers - a photo compilation for modellers by Laurent Freidine. Last edited and updated December 2017

A friend of mine and regular blog reader Laurent Freidine from Paris is slowly assembling a very large Luftwaffe airfield diorama and over time has collected a large number of  airfield scene photos as reference for his buildings and airfield vehicles as well as ancillary pieces such as walls and aircraft shelters or 'hides'. We thought it might be a good idea to share some of these here for those looking for ideas when considering how to pose their finished models whether on a stand or in a diorama. Note that many of these images were taken in France, although the KG 40 airfield facilities and hangars in Bordeaux for example (see dispersal scene above) were largely redeveloped by the Germans. The relative paucity of pictures of hangar scenes here is perhaps an indication that the Luftwaffe did not always have the possibility of operating from 'fixed' installations at least during the early part of the war when the Wehrmacht was on the offensive.

-This page last edited and updated February 2020 with some more fire engine and refueling tanker shots -

 Above; a French-built Lorraine 24/58, with Granges bowser/tank bodywork in German service. There were two types of tanks on this truck, Grenchen or Satam. In pre-war France there were three manufacturers, LATIL, LAFFLY and LORRAINE, whose vehicles equipped the Liquid Fuel Companies in charge of refuelling French air force aircraft. It is not clear what became of these trucks after the armistice following the Battle for France. Some, in the 'free zone', remained in the Vichy army, others were used by the German army. The vehicle was heavy and consumed 90 litres of petrol per 100 km! Caption by Laurent Freidine.

Below; selection of Opel Tankwagen shots

At the bottom of this page some images of the Luftwaffe SIG Sturmstaffel hangar diorama as displayed at the IMPS Nats, Telford, England, November 2016

Below; Flugzeughallen Flugplatz KRAKAU, Polen 1942

Cazaux near Bordeaux in south-west France

Josef Wurmheller mit Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes (verliehen am 4. September 1941) und Schwimmweste und Wart auf Feldflugplatz vor seiner Messerschmitt Me 109 des Jagdgeschwader 2 (JG 2)

Niederlande, Fliegerhorst Volkel.- Bau eines Hangars.- Anbringung / Montage der Schiebetore aus Wellblech; 1942 Sommer   - hangar under construction at Volkel in the Netherlands during the summer of 1942 - mounting the sliding doors from corrugated sheeting..

Above; KG 55 at Chartres and below, a VIP seen at Fliegerhorst Buc also in France

 Below;  a Tankspritze TS 2.5 Henschel 33 Feuerlöschwagen fire engine truck, a rare sight in an ebay auction..

The Tankspritze TS 2.5 or Ts 2.5a (Kfz. 343) based on the Henschel type 33 FA 1 was frequently seen on front line airstrips. It had a water reserve of 2500 litres. The Ts 2.5 had a folding top while the Ts 2.5a had a hardtop as seen on the photo above. Below via

 From the excellent site

Henschel 33 Feuerwehr in service at Flugplatz Manching here

Below; a French farmyard barn hiding a Bf 109 Friedrich of JG 26. All these airfield buildings appear to have received some sort of camouflage finish although we have very little idea of the colours or paint used.  Laurent's French barn is carved from a soft white Tuffeau stone..

Below; Arsenal VG 33 at Rechlin

Below Luftwaffe SIG Sturmstaffel hangar diorama as displayed at the IMPS Nats Telford November 2016, pics courtesy of Kev Wilson of the Luftwaffe SIG. Hangar built by Mitch Thompson

More Luftwaffe airfields at Andreas Zapf's site Flugplätze der Luftwaffe site with details of the Zapf's Luftwaffe airfields book series here

Wiener-Neustadter-Flugzeugwerk WNF Werk 1 (Me109Produktion) Halle 58

 (NB: most of these pictures are sourced from expired ebay auctions. They can be removed or added to by emailing me at falkeeins at aol dot com.)