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(34) Messerschmitt Bf 109s over the Mediterranean

Color profiles: Arkadiusz Wróbel, captions: Maciej Góralczyk
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References:
Mombeeck, E. Luftwaffe Gallery No. 2, Linkebeek 2011.
Mombeeck, E. Luftwaffe Gallery JG 26 Special Album 1937-1945 No. 1: The Abbeville Boys, Linkebeek 2011.
Prien, J., Rodeike, P., Stemmer, G. & Bock, W. Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945, Teil 5, Heimatverteidigung 10. Mai 1940 bis 31. Dezember 1941, Einsatz im Mittelmeerraum Oktober 1940 bis November 1941, Einsatz im Westen 22. Juni bis 31. Dezember 1941, Die Ergänzungsjagdgruppen Einsatz 1941 bis zur Auflösung Anfang 1942, Eutin 2003.
Prien, J., Rodeike, P., Stemmer, G. & Bock, W. Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945, Teil 8 Band I, Einsatz
im Mittelmeerraum November 1941 bis Dezember 1942, Eutin 2004.
Prien, J., Rodeike, P., Stemmer, G. & Bock, W. Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945, Teil 8 Band II, Einsatz
im Mittelmeerraum November 1941 bis Dezember 1942, Eutin 2004.
Prien, J., Rodeike, P., Stemmer, G. & Bock, W. Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945, Teil 11 Band I, Einsatz
im Mittelmeerraum 1.1. bis 31.12.1943, Eutin 2010.
Prien, J., Rodeike, P., Stemmer, G. & Bock, W. Die Jagdfliegerverbände der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1934 bis 1945, Teil 11 Band II, Einsatz
im Mittelmeerraum 1.1. bis 31.12.1943, Eutin 2011.
Roba, J.-L. & Pegg, M. Luftwaffe Colours: Jagdwaffe Volume Four Section 2: The Mediterranean 1942-1943, Hersham 2003.
Luftwaffe im Focus Edition 19, Bad Zwischenahn 2012.
Luftwaffe im Focus Spezial Edition 3, Bad Zwischenahn 2008.

 

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7/N; probably W.Nr. 4139, “White 11”, flown by Lt. Theo Lindemann of 7./JG 26, Ain-el-Gazala, Libya, summer 1941. This aircraft carried a RLM 71/02/65 scheme with densely mottled fuselage sides. The nose, rudder and most likely also the elevators were painted yellow. The main part of the spinner had a finish of two third RLM 70 and one third white, the tip was white, and the backplate was RLM 70. A broad white Mediterranean theatre band was applied on the rear fuselage. A colour photo proves that the emblem of 7. Staffel was black during that period. Note the dark canopy framing, lack of Geschwader emblem under the windscreen, and the RLM 65 background of the swastikas, which had been masked before camouflaging the fuselage sides. Lt. Theo Lindemann shot down his first victim, a Martin 167 bomber, on 21 August 1941, west of Sidi Barrani. That was also the penultimate victory of 7. Staffel in African skies. The unit’s withdrawal to France started in late August 1941.

Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 trop; flown by Ofw. Karl-Heinz Bendert of Stab II./JG 27, Derna, Libya, December 1941. The mount of Ofw. Bendert was finished in a RLM 78/79 mid-demarcation scheme. It probably carried a white fuselage band on the rear fuselage, which partially overlapped the Gruppe marking. The badge of II./JG 27 was applied on both sides of the engine cowling, while the emblem of Stabsschwarm most likely appeared on the port side of the fuselage only. The spinner remained in factory finish of two third of RLM 70 and one third white. The rudder sported eight small black victory bars. Ofw. Bendert scored his eighth victory on 13 December 1941. He later belonged to the infamous “Experten Schwarm” from  4./JG 27, which members claimed false victories during the summer of 1942. [Drawings by Arkadiusz Wróbel]


Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 trop; W.Nr. 8665, flown by Lt. Gustav Frielinghaus of Stab II./JG 3, Sicily, Italy, early 1942. This aircraft was camouflaged in a RLM 78/79 mid-demarcation scheme with white band around the rear fuselage and yellow engine undercowling. The spinner was painted black or RLM 70 with a yellow tip and the backplate partially oversprayed RLM 78 or white. As the machine was acquired from the Geschwaderstab of JG 3, the rarely seen emblem of that sub-unit may be seen under the windscreen. The plane was initially in poor condition, thus it was taken over by the Technical Officer of II./JG 3, Lt. Gustav Frielinghaus. Later W.Nr. 8665 was handed to the Kommandeur of II./JG 3, Hptm. Karl-Heinz Krahl.  [Drawings by Arkadiusz Wróbel]

Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4/Z; W.Nr. 13060, “Yellow 2”, flown by Uffz. Karl-Heinz Witschke of 3./JG 77, Comiso, Italy, early July 1942. The actual colours of this plane are hard to recognize on the archive photos. The authors decided to depict it in RLM 74/75/76 scheme with yellow engine undercowl. The spinner was RLM 70 with yellow tip. The aircraft carried a white Mediterranean theatre band around the rear fuselage and the badge of 3. Staffel aft to the band. The engine cowling sported the name of deceased Staffelkapitän, Hptm. Werner Tismar, who died on 25 April 1942 in Russia. Uffz. Karl-Heinz Witschke was shot down by the famous Canadian ace George “Buzz” Beurling and crashed his ‘Yellow 2’ in La Valletta on 29 July 1942.  [Drawings by Arkadiusz Wróbel]

Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2 trop; “Black 7” of 2./JG 77, Tunisia, early 1943.  [Drawings by Arkadiusz Wróbel]

 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2/R2 trop; “Black 19” of 2.(H)/14, La Marsa, Tunisia, March 1943. This photo reconnaissance fighter was one of the nine Gustavs-2 used by 2.(H)/14 in March 1943. It was finished in a RLM 74/75/76 scheme. The identification markings consisted of a yellow engine undercowling and white fuselage band and wing tips. The spinner originally had a finish of two third RLM 70 and one third white, but the white part was darkened for some reason. The unit emblem was applied on both sides of the engine cowling. Note the name “Edith” painted under the windscreen on the port side of the fuselage and overall worn appearance of this heavily used plane.  [Drawings by Arkadiusz Wróbel]

Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6; “Yellow 13”, flown by Uffz. Hans Jegg of 9./JG 53, Italy, summer 1943. “Yellow 13” was probably fitted with gondola-mounted cannons. Its RLM 74/75/76 camouflage was applied in a typical style for Mtt Regensburg-built Bf 109 G-6s. The plane had yellow engine undercowling, white fuselage band and underwing tips, and black spinner with thin white spiral. It also sported the emblem of JG 53 on both sides of the engine cowling and a personal talisman of the pilot in form of a green four-leaf clover painted aft the cockpit, near the plane’s individual number. Uffz. Jegg claimed his first victory on 30 August 1943.  [Drawings by Arkadiusz Wróbel]

Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 trop; “Black 8” of 5./JG 27, Trapani, Italy, summer 1943. There aren’t too many examples of aircraft sporting the emblem of 5./JG 27. The latter was introduced during the unit’s deployment in North Africa, but it seems that it was quite rarely used. The style of the RLM 74/75/76 camouflage of this Gustav-6 suggests that it was built by Mtt Regensburg plant. The plane’s engine undercowling was painted yellow, while the spinner, wing tips, and fuselage band were white. Late variant of II./JG 27 badge was applied on both sides of the engine cowling.   [Drawings by Arkadiusz Wróbel]

 

 

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