Bf 109 F-2 'yellow 8' flown by Fw. Heinz Jahner of 9./JG 2, seen here on the right. Jahner was shot down and bailed out injured on 2 July 1941 during 'Circus' no. 29. He 'claimed' his first victory, a Spitfire at 12:37 during this sortie but it proved to be his last as he never returned to front-line duties. He ended the war with JG 106. On the left, his wingman Uffz. Karl Nowak and Uffz. Johann Straub in the middle. Jahner recalled his last sortie with JG 2 in Volume 2 of the Mombeeck/Roba "Dans le Ciel de France -histoire de la JG 2 'Richthofen' -1941";
"...My experience led me to being directly assigned to Stab II./JG 2 with whom I flew many sorties, usually alongside 'Assi' Hahn. However, I was transferred to 9./JG 2 to compensate their somewhat heavy losses while also continuing to fly with the Gruppenstab. It was also with the Gruppenstab that I flew my my last combat sortie of the war. On 2 July 1941, I took off around noon with my Kaczmarek, Uffz. " Buck 'Nowak.' Assi Hahn was unable to fly the sortie and was replaced by an Oberleutnant (I forget the name). We started the climb for altitude and had reached one thousand metres when we we were hit on the bounce by nine Spitfires from much higher up. I threw my aircraft into a tight turn but a Spitfire had me in his sights and my machine took hits. Becoming uncontrollable, my 109 went nose down. I jettisoned my canopy, threw off my straps and jumped clear. I realized then that my rudder had been torn off, probably by an explosive shell ... but in a way this was fortunate for me because it meant that I couldn’t collide with it. After deploying my parachute (probably prematurely), I lost consciousness and was dumped heavily on the ground in an orchard without having regained all my senses. Men of a flak unit based in the orchard later reported that they had observed the fight and that my descent had lasted twenty minutes. Being deprived of oxygen at altitude severely affected my health and I had to stay for two months in hospital. I briefly rejoined my Staffel but most of my friends had gone, except Lt. Schnell who was then in command. However, my health did not permit me to fly fighters and I was posted to a training unit.."
Nowak was an ace with around 12 claims. His first was a 266 Sqn Blenheim shot down on July 4, 1941. He was KIA on June 12, 1942, his Fw 190 shot down off the Isle of Wight.
Below; Me 109 F 7./JG 53 with 38 victories flown by Lt. Hermann Neuhoff (3rd from left) RK on 19 June 1942. On April 10 as Staffelführer 6./JG 53 Neuhoff was shot down by a Hurricane (but may have fallen to a JG 53 Bf 109) and taken captive. He was subsequently awarded the RK for his 40 victories (23 in the East).
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