Thursday 28 December 2017

2./Nahaufklärungsgruppe 13 Frankreich, NAG 13 Fw 190 at Cuers, south of France, June 1944 -ebay photo find #235

" ..our birds in front of the airship hangars.." NAG 13 Fw 190s presumably at Cuers-Pierrefeu, north of Toulon, around May-June 1944.

on offer here

Below; via wiki a view of the French naval air base Cuers-Pierrefeu, located 5 km north of Toulon, in September 1944. The U.S. Navy blimp squadron 14 (ZP-14) was based at Cuers-Pierrefeu, blimp K-112 (shown) was the first to arrive on 17 September 1944. Also visible are Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. VIII fighters of No. 451 Squadron, RAAF (in the forground is s/n MT952).

2./Nahaufklärungsgruppe 13, equipped with Bf 109 G and Fw 190 A, was commanded by Oberleutnant Walter Erhard, and sent to Cuers "a few weeks" before the Allied Landings in Normandy. On 14 June 1944 Erhard was reported missing near Ajaccio in Fw 190 A-3 W.Nr. 130340 during a sortie over Corsica.

On 29 June Ofw. Wilhelm Stockburger was reported missing in Fw 190 A-4 W.Nr. 145656, MIA following combat five km south of Nice.

French post-war Me 163 Komet


This is Kevin Callahan's fine Academy 72nd scale Me 163 with post-war French registration, a representation of an example seen post-war at French AF flight test centre Bretigny (Centre d'essais en vol) where according to the 'Flugzeug Profile' text below it was flown as a glider. It is believed that this machine was WNr. 10061 'yellow 13', previously allocated British AIRMIN No. '203' and which was handed over to the French during March 1946 ..

via Kevin Callahan

" ....One day I was exercising my Google Fu concerning Me-163 Komets. The main thing I was looking for was photos of the captured RAF example that was repainted in British markings. What I actually ran across was a paint job that I had never seen on a Komet before. It was on a Rocketeer sheet, but I soon found out that the sheet was long out of print. ....

....Komets are simple kits. I used the Academy version which I had in the stash. The one trouble I had was with the Master turned brass pitot and gun barrel set. Since this was an unarmed glider, I didn’t use the gun barrels and the pitot proved to be close enough to scale and is admirably thin. Me-163s are one of the few aircraft that I have done a long series of ...... The attraction is that there are nice models – specifically Academy – of the main variants, and numerous kits – in both plastic and resin – of many of the lesser known variants. I supposed you could consider much of the Lippisch output to be in the Komet bloodline, since many of them strongly resemble the Me-163s. But even the major 163 subvariants (DFS 194, A, B, S, C, P-20 jet, I-270, 263, J8M1) are pretty well covered. Painting was easy, with only two colors (red and Alclad White Aluminum) required on the fuselage/wings. The decals also performed as expected. The result is a fairly unique model in any lineup of Me-163s..."

Kevin's 72nd scale blog is here

Sunday 24 December 2017

Gustavs of II./ JG 3, Schipol late 1943, Jochen Prien's Jagdfliegerverbände series

Part of a series of pictures taken around Joachim Kirschner's II./ JG 3 "Schwarze 1" at Amsterdam Schipol in the autumn of 1943 and published in Jochen Prien's Jagdfliegerverbände 10/II. Note the toned-down camouflage finish. Since II./ JG 3 were the foremost fighter group when it came to attacking incoming 8th USAAF bomber formations around the late autumn 1943 period, their aircraft featured low profile camouflage and markings - the usual yellow recognition markings on the lower engine cowling or on the rudders were rarely seen. In addition, several machines of  4. and 5. Staffeln featured white or black outline Kennziffer respectively as another attempt to tone down the appearance of the a/c - you can just see part of this in the second photo above, where part of "black 1" is visible, consisting of an outline only. The pilots pictured on Hptm Kirschner's Bf 109 were Uffz.Johann Frohlich and Uffz Rudolf Stephan...

below; the red dot indicates II./JG 3.

latest new Luftwaffe books and the contenders for Luftwaffe 'book of the year' ? Jochen Prien's Jagdfliegerverbände series

The latest Prien/Stemmer/Bock Jagdfliegerverbände volume arrived here a while ago -apologies for not talking about it sooner! I do appreciate of course that this volume has been out for a while and there is probably no need to introduce this series to the hard-core enthusiast. There is even talk that Vol 13/III may be published soon as well - see the annoucement from Jochen Prien below. Volume 13/II is entitled Reichsverteidigung 1944 and covers 'Defence of the Reich' from June to December 1944 and operations in the West from October 1944 to the end of that year in 600 pages of closely-typed German text. The photo content is quite simply amazing and superbly reproduced on thicker, glossy paper with many images via the 'Archive of Modern Conflict'. Look out for some colour shots of JG 300 Bf 109s and a good number of rare images of JG 302 machines. There are many other photographic highlights, one of my personal favourites being a view of Gkr. Siegfried Lemke of III./JG 2 with his pilots in front of some of the unit's Fw 190s dating from October 1944. Lemke is of course a pilot about whom very little is known.

"...tomorrow the complete manuscript of JFV 13/III will go to the printer. It will cover the service of the Luftwaffe day fighter units in the West from 1 January to 30 September 1944, thus completing the narrative part of the year 1944 for Reichsverteidigung and the West. The new Volume will comprise 678 pages with 246 photos. Vol. 13/IV and V will complete this part of the series with the usual General Part - command-structure, strength, newly introduced a/c types, camouflage and markings etc. - a very short summary of each unit's service and of course the usual tables with claims and losses etc..."

New from Lela Presse is this reissue (in French) of Peter Taghon's LG 1 history (Volume 1).  While this is a soft-back card-covered book, the paper is nice and thick and glossy and a world away from the thin almost see-though paper of the original German language edition. So the reader can enjoy much better photo reproduction, Thierry Dekker artworks and a Bundesarchiv colour series devoted to the unit - some of the images are reproduced in full A-4 page size. Taghon's book was of course largely devoted to personal accounts by the veterans themselves and is thus very 'immediate' with little in the way of footnotes or other obstacles to hamper 'readability' (aside from the language issue if you can't manage the French of course..).

.. My (purchased) copy of Philippe Saintes history of JG 54 arrived from Lela Presse. As an 'Avions' subscriber you get a reasonable discount. I've only spent a short time with my copy before going to work, but it looks great. A very nicely done volume - card covered softback, thick glossy pages. Loads of images -850 according to the blurb- over 304 pages. A small amount of over-lap with another recent JG 54 publication. Some profile artworks vertical full page, others are printed across the A-4 page horizontally and are much smaller. I noticed that the photo of the actual machine is more often than not printed alongside the artwork.Some colour pics. All of it well crammed in. French text. Admittedly not 850 photos as advertised - apparently there are 'only' 813 photos within the book's 304 pages. Not bad, and while some photos look a little 'dodgy' this is a good replacement for the 'old' Schiffer JG 54 photo album! As for 'known' photos, well of course, you could hardly leave them out without spoiling the 'story'. Of course Philippe's 2-part history of JG 54 is no photo album, there being acres of text and thirty colour profile artworks. There are plenty of images that are 'new' to me although some of them are necessarily a little small. And for every page 221 ( a view taken from the ground of a Staffel at altitude) you have a page 261 (four views of Helmut Biederbick's Bf 109 F 'white 7').  Publisher Lela Presse is here and you can download their 2018 catalogue as a PDF.

Below; note roughly over-sprayed 02 Grau upper surface finish

A quick mention for the latest issue No. 5 of Many Souffan's "Aces" quarterly from Heimdal - something of a JG 53 'special' with over 70 pages covering the unit and its personalities. A fine card covered publication with stiff spine, recommended! Of particular interest was the article devoted to fighter aces and their relationships with the propaganda services of the Reich including Luftwaffe PK reporters, illustrated with rare ECPA-D photos.

The latest issue of 'Aces High' from AK-Interactive has arrived. Issue 11 is something of  a 'first' being devoted to a single aircraft type, in this instance the Fw 190. Designed essentially to promote their series of weathering products this is another superbly produced magazine. According to Luftwaffe blog correspondent Laurent Friedine who has already purchased it, " le résultat est très agréable et donne envie de passer à l’action..". - ..very nicely done and certainly inspires you to get down to action straight away! Inside there are lots of builds from talented modellers based around photo coverage and detailed how-tos on camo schemes and markings with plenty of hints and tips on finishing your latest Fw 190 and above all plenty of inspiration to get going and actually build something! ( ..the JG 54 A-5 is magnificent!).

Joyeux Noël et bonnes fêtes de fin d'année a tous mes correspondents français et belges!

Major Ritterkreuzträger Kdr. II./SG 1 Ernst-Christian Reusch -ebay photo find #234. Fw 190 F-8 ace Schlachtflieger

amazing photo series currently on offer from an album in the family of Ritterkreuzträger Ernst-Christian Reusch.

Above; according to the seller the snapshot above shows Maj. Otto Ernst on the left and Ernst-Christian Reusch on the right, both leading personalities in II.St.G 1 mit der Führung der Geschäfte beauftragt (m.d.F.d.G.b.)

Career bios via the invaluable de Zeng/Stankey Luftwaffe Officer career summaries resource at

ERNST, Otto. (DOB: 05.02.10). (DKG). 01.12.39 Hptm., in St.G. 51. 09.41 Hptm., appt Kdr. Stukavorschule 2 (to c.02.42). 01.04.42 promo to Maj. 01.03.43 Maj., awarded Ehrenpokal. 08.43 Maj., appt Kdr. II./St.G. 1 (to 13.10.43 WIA). 31.08.43 Maj., awarded DKG, II./St.G. 1. 18.10.43 Maj., appt Kdr. II./SG 1? (to ?).

 REUSCH, Ernst-Christian. (DOB: 10.09.16 in Wiesbaden). (R, DKG). 09.39 in St.G. 1. 04.02.42 Oblt., awarded DKG, II./St.G. 1. 01.11.42 promo to Hptm. 03.11.42 awarded Ritterkreuz on basis of recommendation made while Staka 5./St.G.1 21.10.43 appt Geschw. Adj. and Ia of SG 1. 01.05.44 Hptm., appt Kdr. II./SG 1 (to 21.01.45 WIA). 01.11.44 promo to Maj.
Reusch was severely injured during a forced landing following engine failure of his Fw 190 F-8 shot down S of Mohrungen. †26.01.45 in a hospital in Danzig of his wounds. Buried at Rahmel, near Gdingen. Credited with 765 combat sorties.
Seen again below, right

A number of views of Reusch in his Fw 190 F-8 Kommandeur machine 'double chevron A' with wing-racks faired over, universal wing (outer wing cannon bulges, no outer wing armament fitted.

Monday 18 December 2017

Dornier Do 335, Neubiberg aerodrome - ebay photo find #233

Via Historical Media;

  " ..a series of original photos taken by LT. COLONEL Alan D. CATTERALL in and around Neubiberg aerodrome. He served in the 32nd Service Group and later commanded the 492nd Air Service Group. This unit was responsible for decommissioning and scrapping captured Luftwaffe aircraft. This is a super rare original photo - NOT a reprint!..."

On offer here

Neubiberg Fliegerhorst was located in Bavaria 8 km SE of Munich and 2.8 km WSW of the suburban town of Neubiberg. Constructed 1933-35 and began operations as a Luftwaffe Fliegerhorstkommandantur by the autumn of 1935. Used mainly as a recruit and replacement training base and flight training centre to mid-1943, then as an aircraft park and transit depot, primarily for refitting and re-equipping fighter units. During 1944 Neubiberg became a primary air defense base for the Munich area and home to both day and night fighter combat units. Via

Above;  Luftwaffe aircraft wrecks at Neubiberg during September 1945. The airfield at Neubiberg was dubbed 'Camp Rattle' following its capture in April 1945.

Below; Dornier Do 335 A-10 (240112) at Neubiberg shortly after the war ended. This aircraft was transferred to RAE Farnborough in the UK for evaluation and crashed on 18 January 1946 killing the pilot Group Captain Alan F. Hards after the rear engine caught fire and burnt through the elevator controls. According to the 'Skylighters' site this aircraft was also flown by the Americans at Camp Rattle. In a few short weeks, German civilians would be paid to help American GIs to burn both German and American aircraft

...On February 1945  the Stab and 1. and 2. Staffeln of Fernaufklärungsgruppe 5, equipped with Junkers Ju 290 and Ju 88 flew into the airfield. At the beginning of April the airfield received three Staffeln of III./NJG 6, each comprising 12 aircraft, from Leipheim (Swabia) as a result of US Army attacks over Ulm (Baden-Württemberg). The Gruppe moved on 28 April to Bad Aibling (Bavaria). The airfield was subjected to Allied air attacks having as target mainly the parked aircraft in view of the possible re-use of its structures after the war. Up to mid-April 1945 V. Gruppe NJG 2 continued its training and night missions against targets in flight and on the ground. From 19th April V. Gruppe continued its missions from a wooded area near Brunnthal (Bavaria), where aircraft box areas under the trees were prepared and an airstrip flattened on a nearby meadow. On 23 April Hitler’s personal physician transited on the airfield directed to Munich for accomplishing a special mission ordered directly by Hitler. On 24 April, an attack on the airfield conducted by four  US P-51 Mustangs set alight numerous German aircraft parked on the airfield. The last mission of V. Gruppe took place on 28-29 April. At the end of April the airfield received some aircraft of the Nahaufklärungsgruppe (Close Reconnaissance Group) 14 and 11 Ju 87 D of the NSG 1 (Solltau, 2005). On 30 April 1945 at about 23:00 a mixed combat group of the US Army formed by a column of the 27th Tank Battalion reinforced by infantrymen of the 2nd Battalion of the Infantry Regiment 242 arrived on the airfield. They destroyed 88 mm air defense guns, captured about hundred intact barracks and about hundred aircraft including some new Me 262 jets. The action terminated on 1 May at about 6:00 with the surrender of 71 German officers, 955 commissioned officers and soldiers and 500 assistants (Solltau, 2005)...

 Giancarlo T. Tomezzoli (2016) The “Fliegerhorst” of Neubiberg (Munich-Germany) in Archaeological Discovery 04, pages 69-86.

Soltau, G. (2005). Die Fliegerhorst Neubiberg Im Spiegel der deutschen Luftfahrtgeschichte. Oberhaching: AVIATIC VERLAG GmbH.

Saturday 16 December 2017

Fokker T.VIII seaplane in Luftwaffe service - ebay photo find #232

three excellent views of the rare Fokker T. VIII in Luftwaffe service, here coded 'D1' of the Seeaufklärungsgruppe 126

The Fokker T.VIII-W was a twin-float twin-engined torpedo bomber and reconnaissance sea plane   designed in 1937 for the Dutch Naval Air Service (Marine Luchtvaardienst, or MLD) which saw service in small numbers in both the Luftwaffe and the RAF during 1940. By the time of the German invasion of the Low Countries in May 1940 eleven had been delivered to the MLD and others were in various stages of construction on the Fokker production line. 
These aircraft were eventually completed - despite a shortage of suitable propellers -although the Fokker works were largely given over to repair work on Ju 52s and DFS 230 glider construction. The T.VIII were known as T8W in the limited Luftwaffe service. The Finns had placed an order for two machines. In November 1940 it was reported that WNr. 5636 was damaged in a storm., dismantled and temporarily parked. WNr. 5637 underwent engine modifications.
The Luftwaffe ended up with twenty-five T.VIIIs, which they used on anti-shipping and reconnaissance patrols and for air-sea rescue over the North Sea and Mediterranean. 

17.06.41 RM 6/191  - repainting of captured aircraft. According to decision of the F.L. Fü.Stab, aircraft of the type Fokker T.8-W are to be finished on the lower surfaces in yellow only.

On 28 June 1941 1./KüFlSt 706 had four Fokker T.8 floatplanes on strength.

05.08.41  1/KüFlSt 706 rejected Fokker T.8-W for frontline use. The aircraft were then 'offered' to Seeaufklärungsgruppe 126. All Fokker T.8s in supply and at 1./706, 8 in total, were assigned to 1./126 in Athens-Skaramanga.

A number of serviceable T.VIIIs escaped to France on the German invasion before eventually crossing the Channel where they equipped No.320 (Dutch) Squadron of Coastal Command.

Bombing up a KG 30 Ju 88, crash-landed Ju 88C of NJG 2 - ebay photo find #231

on offer via Manuel Rauh