Sunday, February 12, 2017

54 Squadron Spitfire

One of the Spitfires featured in a series of photographs for Life Magazine propably taken at Hornchurch in the summer of 1941. The Sky tailbands have been applied in line with the tail unit panel line rather than horizontal. A single victory marking in the form of a swastika can be seen below the canopy. On the starboard side the inscripton "The Swan" could be seen below the windscreen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fw190A-2 of Max Buchholz

Fw190A-2 flown by Max Buchholz of 5./JG1 at Katwijk 1942 showing his personal sea gull emblem that could also be seen on his Bf109F and Fw190A-5. I've been busy with commision work for a while but hopefully will be able to update a little more frequently once my Fw190 template evolves.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Bf109E-4 of Walter Oesau - 1559 Part 2 
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. 
In the last known photographs of 1559, the upper part of the engine cowling has been replaced by one without any yellow paint, just leaving the lower part in yellow and still showing the lower part of the old "White 1" marking carried since the spring or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
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.
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) 
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. 
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
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
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. 
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.
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
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.