Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Bundesarchiv Photo report series #4 II./JG 27 Trapani, Sicily, June 1943

PK photographer Büschgens was on Sicily during May 1943 and took a nice series of images featuring the men and machines of II./JG 27. The 'official' caption reads; " Nordafrika, Tunesien.- Leutnant Hans Lewes mit Schwimmweste bekleidet vor einem Jagdflugzeug Messerschmitt Me 109 mit Tropenfilter stehend.."

Above; Lt. Hans Lewes of 5./JG 27 seen on the field at Trapani during May 1943. Good view of the sand filter and the white wing-tip and spinner on what was probably a G-4 minus Gondelkanonen. A drop tank is fitted. Lewes was KIA in 'Black 1' on 10 June crashing 25 km south of Marsala most likely as a result of damage in combat. 10 June was a day of peak Allied air activity over Pantelleria with 1350 machines over the island including 650 Viermots..and a 'black' day in the history of II./JG 27. The Gruppe put up 12 Bf 109s and in the face of overwhelming Allied numerical superiority no fewer than nine pilots were shot down and killed. II./JG 27 was withdrawn to the southern Italian mainland from 20 June after these heavy losses..

Below; maintenance Instandsetzung on a G-6 Trop. "Red 1" in Trapani during May 1943. Just visible part of the Sonnenschirm fitting below the windshield.

More from this series in the II./JG 27 Gruppe history from Messrs. Prien/Stemmer/Rodeike. See also JfV 11/I - caption info from the accounts in these works..

Overlooking Trapani and background to this Gondelwaffen-equipped Gustav is Monte Erice which is where the Gefechtsstand of the JaFü Sizilien was located..this is 'Yellow 6'. Note the WerkNr. 16 600 has been chalked onto the prop blade (left) just below the technician's head..

Above; "Red 1" - just visible below the cockpit is the 5.Staffel emblem. Below; "Yellow 8" of 6.Staffel, a G-4 Trop. Note the white wing-tips and fuselage band..