Tuesday 9 November 2021

Wolfdieter Huy's 'ship kill' rudder markings

This photo of a Bf 109 rudder displaying an unlikely tally of 13 ships sunk recently sold for 334 euros. Aside from perhaps Liesendahl's JG 2 Jabo Staffel, there is probably only one other JG with this many shipping claims - III./JG 77. This is therefore most probably a machine featuring a unit tally rather than an individual pilot's score. 

From Del Davis; 

 " ..based upon Wolfdieter Huy's dark camouflage and that of other aircraft in the III./JG-77, I would say that is an aircraft from that Gruppe. Also although this score does not match the ship count on Huy's known rudders, the shape and features of the ship profiles are consistent with his. This theory would place this aircraft in III./JG77 in Romania in summer / fall 1941..."

 Below a comparison shot of this rudder with  two views of Huy's Bf 109 Friedrich WNr. 8282


During the summer of 1940 - with the re-designation of the carrier Gruppe II./186 as III./ JG 77 - Oblt. Wolfdieter Huy was appointed Staffelkapitän of the new 7./JG 77. As the new Gruppe had to have a Jabo-Staffel (a fighter squadron that could occasionally operate as a light bomber with a 250 kg bomb under its belly), 7. Staffel was designated to fulfill this role. With his men, the new Kapitän was stationed from late November in Brittany, training with cement bombs anchored off the Breton coast. On 28 March 1941, JG 77 left France for Detta in Romania and the launch of the Blitzkrieg in the Balkans and Greece. On the first day of 'Marita', 6 April 1941, Kapitän Huy flew three Stuka escort missions bombing Belgrade. On completion of the missions, the Bf 109s strafed Yugoslav troops. Flights of this type continued for the next few days. On the 14th, 7./JG 77 operated from Greece, this time concentrating on the retreating British Expeditionary Force. The fighter bombers of 7./JG 77 were fully deployed, attacking the ships evacuating the Allies. On 17 April, Oblt. Huy flew two bombing sorties. On one mission he claimed a hit on a cargo ship of about 4,000 tons. On 20 April, during the attack launched by the Luftwaffe on Athens, Huy escorted Stukas and then, during a second mission, bombed the port of Piraeus, scoring a hit on a 3,000-ton cargo ship. The following day back over the Athens area Huy was reportedly credited with another ship damaged, possibly sunk. On the 22nd, III./JG 77 moved to Almiros to get closer to the evacuation of the expeditionary force. Once again operating with Uffz. Pichler, the Kapitän of 7. Staffel dropped his bomb on a cargo ship of some 3,000 tons. Over the following days, 7./JG 77 carried out various missions: escort, strafing, etc. On the 25th, during two Jabo operations off Eleusis and then off Chalkis, Huy dropped his bombs on two cargo ships of 4,000 tons. And, on the 27th, in the Nafplio sector, Huy (assisted by his wingman, damaged a ship of about 20,000 tons....With the successful conclusion of 'Marita' Huy's Staffel continued their anti-shipping missions against Royal Navy vessels operating off Crete. On the morning of 22 May, Huy claimed a bomb dropped effectively on a cruiser and returned to Molaoi. During the attacks on 'Force C', the cruisers Naiad and Carlisle were damaged by Bf 109s and Ju 87s. Huy was airborne again around noon and is reported to have seriously hit HMS Warspite (some sources say this was HMS Valiant which was not badly damaged). Ordered to concentrate their attacks on Royal Navy ships these actions were highly risky for the Bf 109 pilots of JG 77 as Huy's wingman Uffz. Pichler discovered to his cost, having to crash-land his aircraft at Molaoi, damaged by enemy fire (the pilot escaped unhurt). On 29 May Huy placed his bomb on the light cruiser HMS Dido evacuting British troops from Crete to North Africa..

Below; Oblt Huy received the RK on 5 July 1941 for his 7 victories and succesful Jabo attacks during the battle of Crete.

Also on this blog;

5./JG 77 ace Rudi Schmitt in the battle for Crete  here