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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Junkers 88 G-6 +BN with FuG 218 - eBay Find #2

In May 1945 only a few days after its capture, Bad Aibling airfield, or more precisely Mietraching airfield after the municipality it is actually located in, was turned into PWE 26 - Prisoners of War Enclosement - by the US Army. In the beginning, without further preparations the prisoners of war were herded together at the tarmac and adjacent grass area together with the aircraft parked there. Jerry Crandall published an aerial view of the field, p.104, 105, as does this recently auctioned photograph, eBay Ju88G-6 +BN Bad Aibling

Surrounded by prisoners, we see one of the rare FuG218 equipped Junkers 88 G-6 in front of the airfield main building with the partially legible marking +BN. Readers of Peter Evans’ LEMB forum might remember a photograph of this aircraft after it was moved further out on the airfield, however the letter “B” was partially covered, LEMB Two new Ju88G-6 night-fighter images. Jerry Crandall also published that photograph, p.103, but cut off the markings.

Besides the FuG218, this Junkers 88 G-6 was equipped with two MG schräge Musik which are installed in parallel behind the cabin. The Balkenkreuz at the fuselage as well as on the upper wing consists of the late war simplified black outlines. The fuselage camouflage seems a base of RLM76 with regular mottles of RLM75 which are limited to the fuselage top section but do not cover to the sides. As far as my analysis of the photograph goes, the same camouflage scheme has been applied to both upper wings although only a small portion of the starboard wing is visible on the photograph.

Even under magnification, it is unclear whether or not the aircraft carried the first two letters of the aircraft code. This may be due to the quality of the reproductions of the existing photographs, or the letters may have been omitted; there are several instances documented where late war night fighters did not carry any unit code, but only their individual aircraft code; photographic evidence exists of aircraft of V./NJG2 and I./NJG6 that were marked this way. 

Although we cannot completely exclude that the aircraft carried its Stammkennzeichen, this is highly unlikely the case: with its Sammelmitteilung 1 of 1st July 1944, the Technisches Amt within the RLM ordered that Stammkennzeichen were no longer applied. Assuming that “BN” is used as the Verbandskennzeichen, this aircraft was on strength with a 5. Staffel within the II. Gruppe. In April 1945, under Luftwaffe Kommando West, only NJG2 and NJG6 had a II. Gruppe associated.  

Unfortunately, neither above nor the second photograph allow for an identification of the Werknummer. However, a Ju88G-6 with FuG218 is documented at Bad Aibling, which carried the WNr. 622893. Regularly published is the nose section of this aircraft with a view towards a head-standing Focke-Wulf 190 A-3 White 8.

source: Fold3 Image Bad Aibling

The Imperial War Memorial Archives in London appear to have another photograph, published at LEMB by John McIllmurray, LEMB FuG218 V/R equipped Ju88G-6s post #11, which offers a complete view of the aircraft from the rear including the tailplane broken off and sitting at a 90 degree angle with the Werknummer visible. The angle of the shot does not show enough of the fuselage side to identify any marking with certainty, but it seems to consist of the late war Balkenkreuz and at least one letter. 

It seems an easy conclusion that above’s eBay find is actually 622893, if it were not for a few details which do not seem to match. On the IWM photograph, the port wing seems to be camouflaged in solid darker colors with segments of two different tones, including the port engine cowling. This seems to be confirmed by the section of the engine cowling visible on the above photograph. Although the quality of the IWM reproduction is rather poor, the schräge Musik seems to consist of one gun rather than two.

No hint as to the identity is offered through the two apparent different location of the photographs and the state of the aircraft. If the FW190A-3 serves as an indication, both aircraft were moved from their original parking position to a more dispersed location and later to an even more condensed area. During that last move, several aircraft were pushed into each other of otherwise damaged, like the Junkers 88 G-6.

Where does this all leave us in identifying the above photographed aircraft? With the desire to review the IWM photograph for better clues as to the markings and correct camouflage of the upper port wing. Bar that, this remains for the time being another unresolved question in our Junkers 88 G-6 database.


Crandall, Jerry, 2009, The Focke Wulf Fw 190 Dora, Volume Two Fw 190 D-9 D-11 D-13, Eagle Editions, Hamilton MT
Sammelmitteilung 1 by Reichminister der Luftwaffe und Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe, Technisches Amt, Nr. 237/44 of 01. July  1944

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