Monday, 4 December 2017

Fw 190 A-6 night fighters of 2./JG 2 - August 1943 - Luftwaffe models

During July 1943 2./JG 2 based in northern France was 're-trained' as a night fighter unit. On July 22, the squadron’s pilots and part of the technical staff were sent to Tours for ‘blind’ flying instruction on the Arado 96, with landings and take-offs going on past midnight. This training ended on August 7 with certification for the Schein III blind flying course.

A member of this training "Kommando", Uffz. Jürgen van Beuningen, wrote to his mother:

"..Dear Mother,

Currently, I am training to fly on instruments without visibility. At first it did not go well because when you are used to flying a fighter, you lose the habit of piloting with your senses. However, with some gray hair inflicted on the instructor and a lot of patience, I finally got there. Flying blind can be compared to an attempt to walk on a narrow plank blindfolded with someone guiding you: "More left, more right, take a step above a hole, go down a bit or over etc." Apart from the fact that, in practice, there is nobody to give such indications. So you have to judge everything based on the indications of your instruments. It is a real achievement when you get there. [...]

In addition, the stress of perhaps having to bail out is ever present - to evacuate the cockpit by day is already scary but it becomes a matter of luck during the night because you cannot know where you will come down [...] "

On 9 August 2./JG 2 took off following an alert at 23:35, probably to intercept a Mosquito of No. 418 Sq. on a mission to Evreux....

Ofw. Josef Bigge recalled the sortie;

"..following completion of our training as night fighters, we returned to our airfield at St. André during the afternoon of 7 August. That same evening, we were airborne to fly our first sorties on instruments in the Focke-Wulf 190. In the meantime our control centre and our aircraft were fitted out with the necessary communications equipment for blind flying. In addition, our planes had been painted in a dark finish. This quickly turned out to be a mistake. After several tests, we had opted for a uniform sky blue on the lower surfaces and a light blue/grey finish on the upper surfaces. Our first night sortie quickly followed on 9 August at 23:35. The mission was directed from our operations centre in the presence of the fighter commander for the area (Jagdfliegerführer Jafü). The radio and navigation communication worked perfectly but, although I was airborne for around an hour and 45 minutes, I could not locate the enemy. I landed at 01:20..."

My Fw 190 A-6 model below - from the elderly Airfix kit in 72nd scale, reworked with a few spares from the Eduard and Zvezda kits- shows 'black 14' from 2./JG 2. The overall hell-blau-grau 76 finish is roughly oversprayed over the standard grau scheme. In the unpublished photos used as reference for this model even the exhaust staining and the spinner and fan blades have been over-painted in RLM 76. Balkenkreuze are the simple black outline type. Rudder and lower engine cowl in yellow.. 

Owl decals for Detlef Grossfuss' 'Black 13' and Ofw. Bigge's 'Black 2' of the Fw 190 nightfighter Staffel 2./JG 2 

More on 2./JG 2 during the spring of 1943 under the one-legged Oblt. Karl Haberland on this blog at the link below