Saturday, March 12, 2016

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. 


FalkeEins said...


any evidence linking Balthasar with the 'green 1'at all ?


FalkeEins said...

note 'white 1' had a light mottle by July 1940 - see here

Anders said...

Hi, it's possible that the Green 1 marking was applied when Oesau took over. There's one photo showing the machine with the capped spinner that Prien captions as beeing of Balthasars aircraft. A similar photo from a different angle shows that the Green 1 was applied at that time but I don't know the reasons for Prien's caption so I can't be sure.

I am aware of the lightly mottled sides but strangely, the mottles are gone in the photos that shows the white wingtips and rudder. Those white markings were only used for the first week of September so the date is pretty certain. Strange!

/ Anders

FalkeEins said...

indeed, neat work though..will certainly use these as refs for a build or two...

all over this this Czech forum as well