Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bf109E-1 of Ernst Arnold
75 years ago today, on August 30th, 1940, Ernst Arnolds aircraft was damaged when he was attacked by Spitfires. He managed to put it down in Kent in more or less one piece. His aircraft was the first that was recorded by intelligence as having a yellow nose were there's also photographs to back up the claim.  

The first records of a yellow nosed Bf109 coming down in England came a few days earlier, on August 28th when a Bf109E of III./JG26 was recorded as having a yellow nose from the spinner to the windscreen. On August 29th, Bernhard Lampskemper of 2./JG3 crashed his aircraft, Black 8, that was also recorded as having a yellow nose but also yellow wing tips. None of these aircraft have been photographed though, so one can only speculate on how far the yellow was taken back. There was a photo in the Jagdwaffe series claiming to show Lampskempers aircraft but that seems wrong. Looking at that photo and checking the details in the few mottles visible it's possible to find this aircraft among others in photos taken during the autumn or winter of 1940.

Adding further to the mystery and confusion of the introduction of yellow noses, on August 31st, aircraft from both I./JG3 and III./JG26 crashed in England and were photographed as well but neither reports nor photos shows any traces of yellow noses or the earlier yellow wing tip markings. On the same day though, I./JG77 having arrived at the channel only days before, lost several aircraft over England that was reported as having both yellow noses and yellow wing tips.

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