Me 262 B-1a/U1 Red 8

Monday, May 25, 2020

Junkers 88 G-6 4R+EP of 6./NJG2 - eBay find #5


Two recently sold photographs of German aircrafts collected to be scrapped confirm the identity of this rather uniquely camouflaged Junkers 88G-6 of 6./NJG2, 4R+EP as Werknummer 620507. We are able to track a few stations of 620507 “career”: Abnahmeflug, approval flight, on September 25th 1944 at Bernburg, with II./NJG2 in January and February 1945, suffering 20% damage during landing at Mainz Finthen returning from a sortie the night of February 13th to 14th, and finally, captured at the end of the war at Leithorst Fritzlar where below photographs were taken.


Image #1: source eBay auction May 2020
Image #2: source eBay auction May 2020

While I am not aware of photographs that show without doubt both, Werknummer and unit markings, other documents equally provide very strong evidence that 620507 was 4R+EP. The General Quartiermeister loss report of March 11th 1945 lists 620507 as 20% damaged on February 14th at Mainz Finthen. With the same date, 4R+EP is documented in flight logs of Robert Lüddeke and his crew. For the night of February 13th / 14th, the RAF main targets were Böhlen and Dresden. According to the OKL morning report of February 14th, three night fighters were deployed under the orders of Jafü Mittelrhein - senior signals officer middle Rhine. Oberfeldwebel Lüddeke and his crew members Kurt Wacker and Ulrich Hess with 6./NJG2 was one of those. They took off from Mainz Finthen at 20:56 hours and returned in the early hours of the 14th. Kurt Wacker reported that flight with 4R+EP in his flight log adding the comment “Bauchlandung", belly landing. The Gen.QuM loss report describes the incident with “Fahrwerkschaden” or landing gear damage, leaving it open whether this captures the cause or the outcome. The aircraft suffered said minor damage and the crew remained uninjured and the morning report completely omitted or failed to mention the accident.

Image #3: source March 11th report in Flugzeugunfälle und Verluste bei den fliegenden Verbänden
Image #4: source page of flight log Kurt Wacker, expired eBay auction

The later stations of 4R+EP from Mainz Finthen to Fritzlar are unknown; although the above mentioned complete flight logs may contain more information. Other II./NJG2 logs show that the II. Gruppe operational base moved from Mainz Finthen by mid March to Illesheim and, by the end of March to Pocking.

Through the February accident the aircraft very likely suffered damage to its Jumo engines and its nose. Photographs taken at Fritzlar after its capture show that it had a replacement starboard engine - discernible by its factory applied RLM 71 surface color. Also the nose section which caries the aircraft’s individual letter “E" has a color application that is distinctly lighter and clearly different from the RLM 76 application to the forward fuselage. The port engine’s spinner has apparently received an over-spraying in what appears to be white or very light RLM 76, although it is unclear when this was applied, below and Janowicz, 2005, p.81. Noteworthy are also the white tips fo the lower radar struts, and that the starboard engine spinner and flame dampers are missing in all Fritzlar photographs.

Image #5: source FOLD3

The most distinct feature of 4R+EP are wide, dark colored bands diagonally applied to fuselage and vertical tail over a standard RLM 75 grey violet mottles over RLM 76 light blue camouflage with a front to back, top to bottom direction. Photographs prove that the bands are applied in the same fashion on both sides, Janowicz, 2005, Williams, 2005, p.167 and below, and as a likely consequence are joint at the upper fuselage. A still from a film shot by US Forces reveals that the upper surfaces of wings and horizontal tail planes had large patches of darker color with only small surrounding areas in RLM 76. The still below indicates that this color scheme rendered the aircraft much less standing out from the ground than a lighter colored object. Why this singular aircraft received this unique scheme for better protection from detection has to be subject to speculation. Similar to another 6./NJG2 Junkers 88 G-6, Werknummer 622126 4R+PP, the unit markings were in RLM 77 grey.

Image #6: source expired eBay auction

Image #7: source still from German Aircraft at Abandoned Airfield in Germany After End of World war II in Europe 

A topic of much passionate debate among Luftwaffe researchers and modelers is which colors were applied, and how did they actually look like. Black and white photographs make it very difficult to identify a specific color with certainty. And even in the case of 4R+EP, where color film material exists, the task is not easier. Images #5, 7 and 8 show a contrast difference between the port engine cowling and the bands. This appears to be supported by images #1 and 2 with regard to the camouflage color applied to the Junkers 87 next to our aircraft in comparison to the visible bands on fuselage and tail. Jumo power eggs wore factory applied RLM 71 dark green. Gaemperle, 2011, p.14 assumes that the same color together with RLM 70 was applied to the Junkers 87. Given that reference, the color of the bands is clearly lighter than RLM 71 - or RLM 70 which is even darker than RLM 71. The still from the color film in my perception shows the forward fuselage band with a hue of green rather than brown or grey. This would make RLM 82 more likely than RLM 74 grey green or RLM 81 dark brown or brown violet depending on the author. Another factor of how colors appeared in reality and on photographs is how they were applied. Image #5 appears to show a slightly darker border delineation of the band, an indication that paint was more densely applied there, as well as some darker patches throughout the band. These darker border can also be discerned in the photograph published in Williams, 2005 and Janowicz, 2005. 
  
Image #8: enlarged from image #9 

The final still shows the subject aircraft furthest to the left and lined up with Junkers 88 G-1 and Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4 at Leithorst Fritzlar. The links to the films shot at Fritzlar have been researched and posted by Martin Trnkus of the Luftwaffe Research Group, https://luftwaffe-research-group.org/threads/fritzlar-leithorst-fritzlar-nord-notlandeplatz.4062/page-4., see post #78.

Image #9 source: still from The Spirit of Liberation 1944 - 1945

Sources:

Boiten Dr., E.W. Theo, Mackenzie, J. Roderick, 2008
Nachtjagd War Diaries, Volume Two April 1944 - May 1945
Red Kite, Walton on Thames, Surrey

Gaemperle, Roger S., 2011
Captured Eagles, German WWII Aircraft Captured By The Allies, Volume I 
Vintage Eagle Publishing, Zürich, Switzerland 

Generalquartiermeister 6. Abteilung 
Flugzeugunfälle und Verluste bei den fliegenden Verbänden
BAMA, signatur RL2-III/

Green, Brett, 2006,
Götterdämmerung, Luftwaffe Wrecks and Relics
Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, UK 

Harder, Fritz, Flugbuch

Janowicz, Krzysztof, 2005
Junkers Ju 88, Vol. III
Kagero Monographs, Lublin, Kagero Publishing s.p., Poland

Luftwaffenführungsstab Ic
Morgenmeldung Reichsgebiet 14.02.1945
BAMA, Signatur RL2-II/388

Stevens, Georg, von zur Mühlen, Konstantin,
The Spirit Of Liberation 1944-1945
Vimeo Video

Unknown Author
German Aircraft at Abandoned Airfield in Germany After End of World war II in Europe 
Available through CriticalPast, www.criticalpast.com

Wacker, Kurt, Flugbuch

Williams, David P., 2005 
Luftwaffe Colours - Nachtjäger Volume Two
Classic Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, Surrey

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Heinkel 219 DV+DI WNr. 190113 - eBay find #4






Above set of photographs, recently sold at eBay, depicts one of the Heinkel 219 used for ejection seat test at the Erprobungsstelle Rechlin. Photo #1 has previously been published. Although the same appears true for the others, closer examination reveals differences. Presumably, all in-flight photos are stills from films produced during the tests. Above photographs show rather distinct cloud formations and the ground appears as if covered in snow. In photo #3 the shadow from the wing appears right beneath indicating the sun high in the sky. Photographs published in modell magazin and by Ron Ferguson show the wing throwing its shadow backwards on the fuselage, partially covering the markings, thus indicating an early morning or late afternoon flight time.

This Heinkel 219 with the Stammkennzeichen DV+DI was Werknummer 190113. The last three numbers can be seen in photo #1 beneath the cockpit and at the nose. Ron Ferguson, p. 21, identifies this aircraft as an A-0 series, to be precise as A-042. In his Research Paper he also argues that its assigned Versuchmuster number was V19, p. 79.

E5, the department of Erprobungsstelle Rechlin responsible for testing aircraft equipment carried out ejection seat test with Heinkel 219 during the period October 1943 to June 1944. The summary of these tests resulted in a report dating from August 3 1944. The Heinkel 219 aircraft documented in these tests are Heinkel 219 V6 DH+PV, Werknummer 190006 and the above DV+DI. If the flight log of Joachim Eisermann, Oberleutnant with E'Stelle Rechlin, is any indication, then flight tests started on 29 October 1943, when he notes for his first flight in DH+PV “start of ejection seat tests”.

From Eisermann’s log, DV+DI was only part of the test program from February 23rd to May 6th 1944: the former date illustrates when he first transferred DV+DI from Heinkel’s production facility at Vienna-Schwechat, and the latter documents when he returned the aircraft back there. The majority of Eisermann’s test flights in DV+DI took place at Udetfeld, an airfield in Upper Silesia, between end of February and March 23rd, see below’s page from J. Eisermann’s flight log. Later, the aircraft was on several occasions used for tests at Rechlin.  
Joachim Eisermann worked after the war of VFW Fokker and wrote about his experiences for the in-house magazine (reprinted in modell magazin 02/1979). Challenges during the tests included the ejected seat hitting his tail plane - flight in Heinkel 219 V6 on November 1943 - irregular and completely unpredictable trajectories of the ejected seat and an opening of the seat’s parachute while still attached to the aircraft. In the latter instance a disastrous outcome was only averted through Eisermann’s unperturbed reaction to turn the aircraft during its steep descent to deflate the parachute.
 
Eisermann piloted Heinkel 219 V6 on May 19th 1944 when with Wilhelm Buss, a parachutist assigned to E'Stelle Rechlin, a person replaced the test dummy and was ejected at 1200m alt. at 310km/h. After two more successful tests with Wilhelm Buss on June 12th and 13th, the system was approved and went into production according to Remp, p. 62. This timeline is however at odds with other information according to which Heinkel 219 production with ejection seats started earlier. The first operational usage of an ejection seat in the Heinkel 219 occurred the night of April 11th to 12th 1944 when the pilot Uffz. Herter and his radio operator Gefr. Prebix were forced to use their ejection seats after their Heinkel 219 190073 was shot down by a RAF night fighter of the 239 Sqn., Ferguson, p.107. At least two other operational emergency ejection occurrences are documented before June 13th. 

Back to DV+DI, the aircraft appears to carry the standard camouflage of RLM76 with RLM75 applied in dapples. The Stammkennzeichen is also applied under the wings as seen in photo #3. Modifications for the tests include the removal of the SN-2 FuG220 antennas, although the brackets were retained. It appears that the radar equipment remained on board, Buss report quoted in Remp, p.60. The rear parts of the canopy are removed, as well as the fame dampers on the engines. For higher precision measurement of the seat trajectory, a red and white striped band was applied horizontally on the fuselage, and vertically on the vertical tail fin. The latter partially covers the Hakenkreuz.


Sources:

Bateson, Richard P., 1970
Heinkel He 219 Uhu
Aircraft Profiles 219, Profile Publications Ltd, Windsor, Berkshire, England

Beauvois, Heinrich, Kössler, Karl, Mayer, Max, Regel, Christoph, 2002
German Secret Flight Test Centers to 1945
Midland Publishing, Hinchley, England

Eisermann, Joachim, flight log

Eisermann Joachim, 1979
“Plötzlich ging die He kopfüber!”
modell magazin 02/1979, p.18-19, Alba Publikationen, Düsseldorf, Germany   

Ferguson, Ron F., 2012
The Heinkel He 219 - A Research Paper
3rd edition, Maldon, Victoria, Australia, distributor Wing Leader

Murawski, Marek J., Rys, Marek, 2012
Heinkel He 219 Uhu
Kagero Monographs 3D Edition Vol. I, Lublin, Kagero Publishing s.p., Poland

Remp, Roland, 1999
Der Nachtjäger Heinkel He 219
Aviatic Verlag GmbH, Oberhaching, Germany 


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Satellite Field Brunnthal and its Aircraft


In previous blogs, Junkers 88 G-6 at München Brunnthal and Junkers 88 G-6 of V./NJG2, I have discussed the Junkers 88 G-6 night fighters found at the Brunnthal scrap yard, and in particular those of V./NJG2. With about half of all more or less intact aircraft at the collection point individually identified, it is time to provide an analysis of the complete line-up. In most instances only one publication source is listed although for the majority of aircraft several photographic records exist and multiple views are documented. Uncertainties about Werknummer or unit association of individual aircraft are marked with an (*) and elaborated in the comment section.

I am very grateful to Scott Pinkowski for his permission to republish photographs taken by his grandfather, Jerry Pinkowski, who served with the 347th Ordnance Depot Company and whose devotion to photography has presented us with a considerable number of “Lost Images of WW2” which Scott has published on his website, including those of Brunnthal, lostimagesofww2.  
 
This is work in progress. Other researchers may have drawn different conclusions, so this list will perhaps spark discussion and debate.

Aerial view of the scrap yard, Loy (2010), p.43


No.
Aircraft
Werknummer
unit markingmain sourcecomment
1
Ju290A-7
290110191
9V+AB
Stab/FAGr5
Crandall (2011), p.7


2
Si204D

- - - - - -
+KK
BFS34
Jerry Pinkowski Collection

3
Ju88G-6
621353*
number “5” on tail plane
Likely V./NJG2* 
Birkholz (1996), p.35 
Werknummer confirmed, association with #3 almost certain. Unit not confirmed, but usage of numbers on tail plane in line with other V./NJG2 aircraft
4
Me410

- - - - - -
F6+CK
1./(F)122
Proulx (2007), p.29

5
Bf110G-4
730286*
2Z+MU
10./NJG6
Proulx (2008), p.25 
Werknummer acc. to Proulx (2008), p.25. Alternative possible endings 95, 96 or 85
6

He111H

- - - - - -

+RW*
Jerry Pinkowski Collection
Likely 5J+RW, Yellow R of 12./KG4, see Gaemperle (2011), p.11 and 12
7

Si204D

- - - - - -
SR+AK, white 90
Blindflugschule
Loy (2010), p.45

8
Ju88G-6
622345*
U5+OT
V./NJG2
Green (2006), p.29
Werknummer almost certain, discernible from internet photograph
9
He111H

- - - - - -

Birkholz (1996), p.35 


10
He111H

- - - - - -*

Internet photo
Werknummer looks like 7617 - - with the last numbers potentially 0, 8, 6 combinations
11
Ju88G-6
621650
n/a



12

Ju88G-6

62 - - - - 4*

n/a
Gaemperle (2011), p.13
Werknummer possibly 6237-4
13
Ju88V-17
880017

DI+MW
Gaemperle (2011), p.13

14
Bf110G-4

- - - - - -

+AA
Jerry Pinkowski Collection

15
Ju88G-6
622901
U5+GT
V./NJG2
Janowicz (2005), p.73


16
Ju88C-6

5556

Proulx (2007), p.21
LEMB Ju88G-6 database, LEMB Ju88G-6 database, post #481

17
Ju52

- - - - - -



18
Ju52

- - - - - -



19
He111H

- - - - - -
+FW
Jerry Pinkowski Collection

20
Ju88C-6

- - - - - -

+OW, Yellow O
Proulx (2007), p.21 
Neil Page’s FalkeEins blog, falkeeins.blogspot

21
Ju88G-6
621602
number “9” on tail plane
V./NJG2* 

V./NJG2 Flugbuch entries confirm usage of aircraft marked “9” 
22
Ju88G-6
- - - - - -* 
n/a

Possibly 620154, Werknummer confirmed at Brunnthal, association with #22 uncertain
23
Ju88G-6
- - - - - -

n/a
Gaemperle (2011), p.21 and 53

24
Ju88G-6
- - - - - -
n/a


25
Me410

- - - - - -

Birkholz (1996), p.67
Gaemperle (2011), p.21

26
Me262A-1
170071*
White 2*
III./EJG2*
Birkholz (1996), p.67
Although the tactical marking is not discernible from the photograph, the upper fuselage camouflage pattern appears identical to other White 2 photographs. Unit association with III./EJG2 acc. to Brown et al. (2012), p.107
27
Ju52


BL+YA*
Internet photo
Stammkennzeichen acc. to Göran Larsson, www.luftwaffe-research-group.org
28
Ju188*


Gaemperle (2011), p.13
aircraft type very likely, but not confirmed
29
Ju88G-6
622322
U5+NT
V./NJG2
Gaemperle (2011), p.52-54

30
Ju88G-6
- - - - - -
U5+FT
V./NJG2
Green (2006), p.29

31
He111H
3832

+D-
Birkholz (1996), p.67

31a
He111H

+FL
Internet photo

32
He111H


Internet photo
Marking appears to be a Stammkennzeichen KG+
33
Me262A-1a/U4

White 34
III./EJG2*
Brown et al. (2012), p.107
With III./EJG2 acc. to Brown et al. (2012), p.107
34
Me262A-1b
111685
9K+FH, white F1./KG51
Green (2006), p.29

35

Ju87


TK+H-*
Green (2006), p.29
Stammkennzeichen likely TK+HD, which the LRG database lists as Ju87C-0  V10, WNr. 4820, www.luftwaffe-research-group.org/SktzT
36
JuW34hi


Internet photo
37
Me262A-1
111617
White 9
III./EJG2*
Warbirds Photo Album, Vol.4, p.68
With III./EJG2 acc. to Brown et al. (2012), p.107
38
Ju88G-6
621591
number “24” on tail plane
Likely V./NJG2* 
Green (2006), p.29
Unit not confirmed, but usage of numbers on tail plane in line with other V./NJG2 aircraft
39
Bf110G-4


Warbirds Photo Album, Vol.4, p.68

40
JuW34hi
3075
BB+MO*
Internet photo
Stammkennzeichen not confirmed, acc. to LRG, www.luftwaffe-research-group.org
41
Ju88G-6
62295-*
U5+AT
V./NJG2
According to Steve Sheflin, Werknummer is 622951
42
He111H


GW+DG
Green (2006), p.29
eBay March 2016 photo

43
Ju52

8T+DN
5./TG2
Jerry Pinkowski Collection

44
Me410
130320
BK+ZP
Green (2006), p.79

45
Me410


+EK
Proulx (2007), p.14

46
unidentified




47
He111H

G1+
KG55
Internet photo

48
Ju88G-6
622990
U5+DT
V./NJG2
Loy (2010), p.46

49
Ju188


Internet photo

50
Me410
130335

Internet photo

51
He111H


+CW 
Proulx (2007), p.29

52
Bf110G-4


+CU
Crandall (2011), p.7

53
He111H
Si104


Crandall (2011), p.7


South - West corner entrance area


Southern perimeter - Ju88G-6 tail planes

#1 - Ju290A-7

Scrap in front of Ju290A-7

#2 - Si204D

#6 He111H

#11 - Ju88G-6

#19 - He111H

#42 - He111H

#50, #48, #43 - Me410, Ju88G-6, Ju52

#43 - Ju52

#48 - Ju88G-6

#50 - Me410

Scrap yard at Brunnthal - Bf109


References

Birkholz, Heinz (Editor), 1996
Jet&Prop Foto-Archiv Band 6
VDM Heinz Nickel, Zweibrücken, Germany

Brown, David, E., Poruba Tomáš, Vladař, Jan, 2012
Me 262 Production and Ar 234 Final Operations
JaPo, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Crandall, Jerry, 2003
Wings of the Black Cross, Number 1
Eagle Editions Ltd., Hamilton 

Crandall, Jerry, 2011
Wings of the Black Cross, Number 7
Eagle Editions Ltd., Hamilton

Gaemperle, Roger S., 2011
Captured Eagles, German WWII Aircraft Captured By The Allies, Volume I
Vintage Eagle Publishing, Zürich, Switzerland

Green, Brett, 2006
Götterdämmerung, Luftwaffe Wrecks and Relics
Ian Allan Publishing, Hersham, UK

Janowicz, Krzysztof, 2005
Junkers Ju 88 vol. III
Kagero, Lublin, Poland

Loy, Norbert, 2010
Feldflugplatz Brunnthal
Jet&Prop 4/2010, Verlag Heinz Nickel Buchvertrieb, Zweibrücken, Germany

Luftwaffe Warbirds Photo Album Vol.4, 1993
Delta Publishing Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan

Proulx, Mark, 2007
Wings of the Black Cross, Number 4
Eagle Editions Ltd., Hamilton

Proulx, Mark, 2008
Wings of the Black Cross, Number 5
Eagle Editions Ltd., Hamilton

Proulx, Mark, 2012
Wings of the Black Cross, Number 9
Eagle Editions Ltd., Hamilton