Tuesday 3 May 2022

Bf 109 Gustav, 4.(F)/123, Staffelkapitän, Oblt. Werner Kohla, Bernay, Normandy, June 1944


First in a series of posts showing 'new' images from the album of Staffelkapitän  4.(F)/ 123 (Eins), Oblt. Werner Kohla. (Kohla replaced StaKa Feilmayer lost on 17 August) A good friend of the blog has owned a set of negative strips from Kohla's album for many years and not scanned them before until now.

Standing by with an extinguisher, ground crew prepare for an engine test run following an intervention. 4.(F)/ 123 (Eins) flew armed Messerschmitts on tactical 'battlefield' recce sorties over the 'Invasionsfront' during the summer of 1944. Possible location is Nonancourt (Eure), northern France,  late August 1944...or earlier. In June 1944 the unit was flying out of Bernay, just east of Lisieux..

The aircraft appears to be a G-5 or G-6  with Erla Haube - but whether 'classic' Beulen or 'refined cowl' feature is difficult to determine. ( .in his 'La Luftwaffe face au débarquement' page 268, J-B Frappé suggests the Erla Haube is evidence of a camera-equipped G-8) Note the cowl cover on the ground - the 'refined cowl' cover? The unit did have at least one up-rated G-6 (G-6/R2 with the AS engine and refined cowl) during this period. Other images in the sequence show 'standard' Gustavs.  Note possible light blue-grey finish  (windscreen) - no doubt one reason the machine is pushed under the trees..

This image on the negative strip was labelled " Uffz. Parsi ".