Saturday, March 12, 2016

Bf109E-4 of Walter Oesau - 1559 Part 2

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVTkJUa3AtVVRHcG8/view?usp=sharing 
In January 1941 Walter Oesau replaced Wilhelm Balthasar as Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG3 and also took over the Bf109E-4 W.Nr 1559. In the first photos of Oesau and his "Green 1" it's evident that at some point, a cap has been added to the spinner and the fuselage has had yet another repaint. This time a more neat spray of possibly RLM 70 is covering the entire sides and upper fuselage. The flaking yellow paint is still evident as is the pennant on the aerial mast.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVekdEa1VJdG83Uk0/view?usp=sharing 
In the last known photographs of 1559, the upper part of the engine cowling has been replaced by one without any yellow paint, just leaving the lower part in yellow and still showing the lower part of the old "White 1" marking carried since the spring or early summer of 1940. 

Bf109E-4 of Wilhelm Balthasar - 1559 part 1

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVamRKNXppc3BwcDA/view?usp=sharing
White 1 of Wilhelm Balthasar, a Bf109E-4 with the W.Nr 1559, served the Luftwaffe for a long period and went through many changes. The profile above shows the aircraft at the end of the Battle of France while Balthasar served as Staffelkapitän of 1./JG1. Although the aircraft looks very clean, some details points to a recent repaint. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVWXF3ZHZnMkd3dkE/view?usp=sharing
The next profiles show the aicraft looking very similar but a bit more weathered. The white rudder and wing tips were only used in the first week of September 1940. At that time, Balthasar had just began his service as Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG3. Strangely, the markings from Balthasars time with 1./JG1 was still retained. (1./JG1 had since then been redesignated as 7./JG27)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVSlR6cEFKQ21KajQ/view?usp=sharing 
At the end of September 1559 had gone through several changes including a new III./JG3 emblem, heavily mottled sides that appeared to have been brush painted on around the emblems and a yellow nose and rudder. It appears that the yellow paint adhered very poorly to the brush painted areas where the diagonal part of the yellow cowling can be seen to be flaking very badly. 


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVREdBRFcwbFpEeU0/view?usp=sharing 
Later in 1940 a green "1" and horizontal bar was added to the markings. It is unclear when this was done but seems likely to have been done before Balthasar handed over the command of III./JG3 and 1559 to Walter Oesau. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Spitfire Mk I of 66 Squadron

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVQU5pX1k4QjNLSXM/view?usp=sharing
The subject of my first Spitfire Mk I is the aircraft flown by 66 Squadron CO Rupert Leigh. The red spinner, the Squadron Leaders badge below the wind screen and the light serial number all adds interest to this machine. The main reason for me to take an interest in this aircraft was the story about the Canadian pilot P/O Hugh William Reilley who tragically was killed at the controls of R6800 on October 17, 1940. The interesting story about Hugh William Reilley can be read by clicking here

As this is my first Spitfire Mk I I'm sure there'll be an error or two on the template. If a reader spots something, don't hesitate to let me know. I'll be very grateful for any feedback. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bf109E-4 Stab III./JG53

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzT90eXSUSBVVkNLT3lINGpYODg
The first known photograph of this aircraft was taken some time in the summer of 1940. Visible on the photo is the small Ace of Spades emblem as well as a Gruppenkommandeurs markings and two victory bars on the tail. That victory tally does not match any of the III gruppe commanders in 1940. The best match would be that of acting Gruppenkommandeur Rolf-Peter Pingel who although having several earlier victories to his credit, scored two victories during his time with III./JG53 in June 1940. 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzT90eXSUSBVTVZjQmlPcXdmd0U 
The second known photo shows the same aircraft with some additional mottle and or dirt as well as the red ring around the engine cowling. This photo is often claimed to show the aircraf of Harro Harder which is very possible given the red ring marking that was applied in August. As Harder obviously didn't fly this aircraft the day he was shot down, it's possible, but far from certain, that it was also flown by his replacement, Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke. 
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzT90eXSUSBVQ09pRlRfRUxBRWs
A third photo shows this aircraft again in November, now having had the small triangle painted out to create the markings of a Gruppe Adjutant, who at the time was Erich Schmidt. More interesting is the yellow I.D. colors, the reapplied and enlarged Ace of Spades emblem and not least, the painted out swastika, a feature of III./JG53 aircraft at the time. 

All in all, as if the paintshcemes and markings aren't interesting enough, it seems as if this aircraft was flown by at least three, if not four, of the Luftwaffe aces of the Battle of Britain!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Spitfire XII of 41 Squadron

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVRHpYZzZPaHpEaW8/view?usp=sharing
A rare Spitfire XII that was delivered to 41 squadron on September 29th, 1943. It served with 41 Squadron until June 9:th, 1944 when it was hit by Flak over Carentan. The pilot, F.O. J G H Refshange, was wounded and bellylanded MB794 which was never recovered. 

Normally, Spitfire XII's in the MBxxx serial range was equipped with a retractable tail wheel but for some reason, MB794 had the regular fixed version as seen on Spitfire XII's in the ENxxx serial range.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bf109G-6 at Wunsdorf

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVbGhRLWNZU1VCUms/view?usp=sharing
A very colorful Bf109G-6 found at Wunsdorf by Canadian troops at the end of WWII. The camoflage scheme seems to consist of a base of late war colors taken down the sides of the fuselage, on top of which a light color has been mottled. In the profile I've opted for RLM 02 for the mottles. This color seems to give the most correct contrast with the darker colors. What's interesting is that there seems to be a dapple of darker spots at the lower part of the fuselage that are darker than both main colors of the camouflage. 

More than one aircraft has been found in this scheme so it's certainly not a one off. The question is whether it might have been an enhanced version of the austerity scheme seen on Erla built Bf109G-10's or something else completely. The WNr's of these aircraft shows that they were all old aircraft that had had a major overhaul at a repar facility which might be the origin of all the aicraft in this intriguing scheme. Similar spots were found on the noses of some Fw190D-9's and on the sides of a few Me262's though so there might have been a more elaborate plan with the use of this scheme. 

No "Christmassy" profile from me this year either, but a Merry Christmas to all nevertheless!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bf109E-1/B of Andreas Walburger

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzT90eXSUSBVYlRPaGZjV2RHeDQ/view?usp=sharing
Flown by Andreas Walburger of 5./JG27 this aircraft was forced down after being attacked by Spitfires during an escort mission to London on September 15th 1940. The aircraft had an ETC 500 bomb rack but no bombs were carried as the mission was an escort mission. The spinner was reported to be half white and half red and traces of the original Stammkennzeichen was found on the fuselage.