Wednesday 19 October 2022

Fw 190 & pilots from the album of Heinz Stöwer I./JG 11 - ebay photo find #358


The following images are from the album of Jagdflieger Heinz Stöwer (left) who flew with JG 1 and JG 11. He was KIA in late May 1944 with 3./JG 11 being shot down in combat with fighters near Blumenthal. He had claimed around 15 victories in total including B-17s on Feb 21 and 22 during 'Big Week'. During February 1944 and flying out of Husum I./JG 11 claimed 31 Viermots during the month having been ordered to only attack American bombers. (Prien, JfV Teil 13/V p38) Seven defensive missions were flown during the month for 10 Fw 190s and four pilots lost. Stöwer claimed two more B-17s on March 29 and  April 09. He claimed two B-17s on April 11, 1944 for his 10th and 11th victories. On 29 April he claimed his 12th (a B-24). I./JG 11 claimed 43 Viermots and 8 fighters during April 1944. Two more B-17s fell to Stöwer's guns during May - I./JG 11 flew eleven defensive missions in the month for only 22 Viermots claimed, evidence of increasing American air superiority over Germany. On the last of these missions on May 30, Stöwer was shot down and killed by escort fighters in his Fw 190 A-7' yellow 1' (WNr. 430694).

The tall Major Anton Mader, first Kommodore of JG 11 - seen here with the Kommandeur III./JG 11, Anton Hackl. Hackl took over the leadership of JG 11 following Kommodore Graf's downing on March 29, 1944. 
JG 11 was established in April 1943. Kommodore Mader, born January 7, 1913 in Castelnuovo joined the Luftwaffe after the annexation of Austria. At the outbreak of war he commanded 3./JG 76 and then served on the staff of JG 2 and I./JG 2. In June 1941 he took up the post of Kommandeur II./JG 77, fighting at the head of his unit in Russia and Africa. Having scored 40 victories he was awarded the Knight’s Cross. 

Kommandeur I./JG 11. was Hptm. Irwin Clausen (left), born on August 5, 1911 in Berlin. Clausen began his career in the Navy and in 1935 moved to the Luftwaffe. In September 1939, with the rank of Feldwebel he scored his first victory over Poland with I./LG 2. During operation “Barbarossa” he commanded 1./JG 77, and from July, 1942 he was Staffelkapitan of 6./JG 77. In July he tallied some 45 victories within three weeks. Because of his distinctive facial profile he was nicknamed “Caesar”. As an Oberleutnant, having scored 52 victories he was awarded the Knight Cross on May 19, 1942. On July 23, 1942 he was awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knight’s Cross on the occasion of his 101st victory. 

3. Staffel JG 11 Fw 190 A-6 - note mid-wing pitot tube position and the thin white fuselage bands on these machines. The first Fieseler-produced Fw 190 A-6s arrived at 3./JG 11 in late July 1943 in Husum. 'Yellow 7' (below) is Fieseler WNr 530106 and was regularly flown by FhjFw. Hans-Georg Guethenke and belly-landed by this pilot on August 17, 1943. (see Rodeike, p205)

The 3. Staffel cowl emblem can be seen on the A-7 below along with the yellow fuselage band. Although previously published in at least two works, this image recently sold on ebay for 665 euros!

" ....With Oblt. (Hans-Heinrich) Koenig leading we headed towards the formation all guns blazing. Suddenly there was a flash. Koenig had failed to pull up in time and had smashed full tilt into a B-17...."  Fritz Engau's account of I./JG 11 in action on May 22, 1944 here