Some previous parts of our Bf 109E 1/48 Royal Class articles were focused on various bonuses like the Brassin wheels, metal thermo mug, or the ¼ scale Bf 109E instrument panel. So the next step should be an introduction of selected markings available by the decal sheet (designed by Eduard, printed by Cartograf). Of course, this is not a bonus itself, but let me know who else than Eduard would offer you twelve decal options at once?
Bf 109E-3, flown by Hptm. Dr. Erich Mix, Stab I./JG 53, Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, November, 1939
JG 53 conducted experiments with camouflage colors at the beginning of WWII. This led to the birth of colorful aircraft, but the identity of the colors used remains a mystery. The theory we used for our color scheme says that the RLM 70/71 colors were overpainted with segments of RLM 02 grey-green. Period photos of the aircraft betray little about the pattern of upper surfaces so we used pictures of similarly camouflaged aircraft as a source.
Dr. Erich Mix is a very interesting person. He fough in the Great War as a member of Jasta 54. He flew the Fokker D.VII and downed three enemy airplanes. He managed to destroy six enemy aircraft in the air during WW2, three with I./JG 53 and two as CO of III./JG 2 in the Frech and British skies and another one in 1941. He became CO of I./JG 1 in late 1941 and from 1942 to 1943 he led the whole JG 1. He was active in public life also. He was a member of NSDAP, two times joined the SS, and was elected as mayor of Wiesbaden. After the war he became a member of local parliament, worked for the German Red Cross etc.
Bf 109E-3, 6./JG 26, summer 1939
This Bf 109 E represents the camouflage scheme used on German 109s prior to WWII and in its early phases. The dark green RLM 70 and 71 color on the upper surfaces are complemented with light blue RLM 65 on lower surfaces. The white tail and wingtips were used during war games. A few months later, the mountain goat / chamois emblem of the 6th Staffel appears just below the cockpit. The unit badge of JG 26 is present on both sides of the fuselage and the yellow of the 6th Staffel adorns the spinner as well.
Bf 109E-3, W.Nr. 2486, flown by Lt. Ioan Di Cesare, Escadrila 57, Grupul 7 Vanatoare, Karpovka – Stalingrad airfield, Soviet Union, November, 1942
The Romanian air force, apart of their own local aircraft, used aircraft purchased abroad. The Bf 109 of various subtypes were among them. The E-3 illustrated was delivered from Germany in the typical export camouflage of RLM 71 and 65 colors. The Donald Duck artwork was the unit badge of Grupul 7 (Group). Five white stripes on the left side of the fuselage symbolize Di Cesare´s ground victories during Operation Barbarossa, two kill marks on the fin denote his aerial victories. Apart of the pilot ‘DIC’ initials, the „Hai Fetito!” (Go ahead Fetita) inscription was also painted on both sides of the engine cowling. This references to the pilot´s favourite racehorse philly ‘Fetita’. Ioan Di Cesare is a Rumanian aces with 16 confirmed victories.
Bf 109E-3, flown by Hptm. Werner Mölders, CO of III./JG 53, May, 1940
Werner Mölders flew this aircraft from late 1939 to June 6, 1940. On that day, he was shot down by French pilot Lt. René Pommier-Layragues (6 v. in total). The fin sports eighteen white kill marks. Up to the time of his death, Mölders downed 115 enemy aircraft, the first of them during the Spanish Civil War and he became the most successful pilot of this WWII prelude. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Werner Mölders died on November 22, 1941 onboard an He 111 bomber during the journey from Crimea to Germany to take part in Ernst Udet´s funeral.
This E-3 is interesting as its wing and horizontal stabilizer upper surfaces, formerly painted RLM 70/71, are oversprayed with light RLM 02 splotches.
Bf 109E-4/B, W.Nr. 3605, flown by Ofw. Reinhold Schmetzer, 8. /JG 77, Soviet Union, July 20, 1941
On July 20, 1942 Ofw. Reinhold Schmetzer was forced to carry out a belly landing due to engine damage after a clash with a MiG-3 fighter. The Soviet fighter became Schmetzer´s twentieth victory. The badge on the cowling is that of III./JG 77. The rudder sports nineteen Abschussbalken – the kill marks that symbolize Schmetzer´s wartime successes.
The camouflage scheme was adjusted to the local conditions on the Eastern front. A rather light scheme of RLM 71/02 was ovepainted with dark green RLM 70 or 71 color on the upper and side surfaces. The fuselage gun cowling is likely a spare part and wears its original camouflage colours. The 250kg bomb is attached to the fuselage rack.
Bf 109 E-7, III./ZG 1, Belgorod and Kuteinikovo airfield, Soviet Union, May to August, 1942
The Wasp artwork is familiar to most fans of the Luftwaffe due to its presence on Bf 110s of ZG 1. The artwork was created by Lt. Richard Malchfelder, and was originally composed of three small wasps. In the first half of 1942, the wasps were painted on the noses of Bf 109 E-7s from III./ZG 1. The artwork disappeared from the 109´s during the unit´s transfer to North Africa in August 1942 and the unit was gradually re-armed with the Me 210 twin-engined heavy fighters.
The aircraft illustrated had been used by various fighter units before its deployment with III./ZG 1 and many colorful splotches were applied of the fuselage during that period. Four 50kg bomb are attached to the multiple fuselage bomb rack.
Bf 109E-3, Oblt. Josef Priller, Staffelkapitän 6./JG 51, France, Autumn 1940
The personal mount of Josef Priller underwent several camouflage color modifications throughout its career. The initial scheme was probably composed of RLM 70/71/65. Later, the underside light blue was extended up the sides of the fuselage and this color was subdued by the application of irregular squiggles of RLM 02 and 71. Furthermore, the upper surfaces of the wing, originally composed of broken lines, were augmented in a similar manner as the fuselage sides.. At the time, the aircraft also received a yellow nose section and rudder. The extent of the front end yellow coloring is not clear, and we are offering one option. The emblem of II./JG 51 ‘Gott strafe England!’ (God punish England!) is sprayed on without the usual white background, a black raven with an umbrella symbolizes Prime minister N. Chamberlain. The 6th Staffel marking – the Ace of Hearts – subsequently was used on Priller’s later aircraft as a personal marking. The kill marks denoting Priller’s aerial victories on the tail partially obscured the Swastika. Brewmaster Josef Priller attained 101 aerial victories in 1,307 operational flights between 1939 and 1945. The pictured aircraft was later inherited by another well-known Luftwaffe pilot, Hptm. Herbert Ihlefeld, who used it in 1941 in the Balkan campaign.
Bf 109 E-4, W.Nr. 1480, flown by Oblt. Franz von Werra, Wierre-au-Bois, France, September 2, 1940
The illustrated Emil became the subject of a fascinating event that delivered the first German ace, Oblt. Franz von Werra, into British hands.
On the morning of September 5, 1940, Franz von Werra was shot down over Kent. He managed a successful belly landing, was taken prisoner, and his plane was scrutinized by RAF experts. Von Werra attempted to escape on several occasions, and finally succeeded in Canada during transfer to a POW camp. He managed to go through the United States, to South America, and then back to Germany, where he rejoined the Luftwaffe. He served on both the eastern and western fronts, but had strict orders to avoid the shores of England. The Channel, nevertheless, proved fateful for him when, on October 25, 1941 as CO of I./JG 53, he disappeared over it.
W.Nr. 1480 carried the standard camouflage of 02/71/65 with white identification markings. These included the rudder and wingtips. The RAF report suggests that the engine cowl was in RLM 65, was cleaner than the rest of the airframe, and may have been a replacement off another machine. The tail surfaces carried victory marks (eight in the air and five on the ground). Positioning of them was different on each side of the fin. The RLM65 color extended to the upper surfaces of the leading edge wing.
Bf 109 E-3, W.Nr. 5819, Obstlt. Adolf Galland, CO of JG 26, Audembert, France, December, 1940
Adolf Galland, ace and future General, flew the illustrated Emil in the fall of 1940 to the beginning of 1941 as CO of III. Gruppe, and later of the entire JG 26. The tactical markings on the aircraft kept pace with those changes. The standard camouflage of 02/71/65 was darkened on the fuselage sides with RLM 02/71. The yellow cowling was complemented by the yellow rudder that also bore the kill marks. The surface area of the original RLM65 was not enough for them, and the yellow was oversprayed with fresh RLM65 for the next row of kill marks. The most typical changes for 5819 at this time came with the personal emblem of Mickey Mouse and most of all the installation of the ZFR-4 telescope (installed together with the regular Revi). It didn’t serve as an actual sight as it did for the identification of far off aircraft. Galland replaced Werner Mölders who commanded the German fighter force as General der Jagdflieger. Later on he became famous for locking horns with Hermann Göring. He established JV 44 at the end of the war, the famous unit well known for its Me 262 jet fighters and colorful Fw 190 D piston fighters. Galland managed to shot down 104 enemy airplanes and was awarded with Knight Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, the highest German WWII military medal.
Bf 109E-7, 2./JG 27, Ail-el-Gazala airfield, Libya 1941
One of the most interesting tropical Emils is ‘Black 3′. She wore a typical European camouflage scheme of RLM 71 and 02 on the uppersides and RLM 65 on the
undersides. It was darkened with dark green (RLM 71 in all probability) stripes on the fuselage. This modification was done by ground personel of probably another unit
in Europe as a similarly camouflaged Emil was photographed in JG 3 service. Formerly all-yellow cowling was overpainted with the same colour on its uppersides.
The older fuselage number was overpainted with RLM 02 and replaced by ‘Black 3′ with thin red outline.
Bf 109E-7, „Schwarze 8“, 2./JG 27, Ain-el-Gazala airfield, Libya 1941
This aircraft was assigned to Lt. Werner Schroer, a member of 1st Staffel of JG 27 according to some sources. This seasoned pilot achieved 61 kills over Africa. The first of them was a Hurricane downed on April 19, 1941 over Tobruk, Libya. Later on, Schroer served as Gruppenadjutant of I./JG 27. The end of the war saw him as Geschwaderkommodore of JG 3 with 114 kills to his credit (including 26 four-engined bombers). He was awarded the Ritterkreuz on October 21, 1942 and on April 19,
1945 he became a recipient of the Schwerten.Nevertheless this Emil belonged to 2nd Staffel of JG 27, in all probability, and Schroer never served within this part of JG 27. So, four kill marks on the rudder belonged to another, unidentified, pilot. The red spinner and red outline of the fuselage number are 2nd Staffel identifiers.
Bf 109E-7, III./JG 77, Belgrad – Semlin airfield, Yugoslavia, May, 1941
This aircraft initially belonged to Oblt. Hubert Mutherich of 5./JG 54, as indicated not only by the unit marking on the nose, but also by the kill marks on the rudder and the name ‘Lilo’ under the canopy. After the aircraft was transferred over to III. Gruppe JG 77, it gained not only the 8./JG 54 emblem (the comical bird) and II./JG 54 (the Aspern Lion), but also the wolf head on the engine cowl. The aircraft gained an interesting addition to the camouflage paint in the form of sprayed areas of RLM 70 and RLM 71. The port aileron was a replacement and carried yellow markings. Photographs also suggest that the aircraft could have carried a yellow stripe on the trailing edge of the flaps. At the time of the transference of this aircraft to III./JG 77, this feature became virtually indistinguishable.Mutherich, an ace with 43 kills, died in action against the Soviets, when on September 9th, 1941, he made a forced landing after combat with Soviet fighters. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross on August 6th, 1941.
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