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|Click Here For Full Artist Print Indexes||Aviation History Archive|
The Focke-Wulf 190 development project began in 1937. Conceived as a hedge against total dependence on the Messerchmitt 109, the 190 was designed by Kurt Tank utilizing a radial engine. This was against generally accepted design criteria in Germany, and many historians believe that the decision to produce a radial engine fighter was largely due to the limited manufacturing capacity for in-line, water-cooled engines which were widely used on all other Luftwaffe aircraft. Despite these concerns, Tanks design was brilliant, and the 190 would become one of the top fighter aircraft of WWII. The first prototype flew in mid-1939. The aircraft had excellent flying characteristics, a wonderful rate of acceleration, and was heavily armed. By late 1940 the new fighter was ordered into production. Nicknamed the butcher bird, by Luftwaffe pilots, early 190s were quite successful in the bomber interceptor role, but at this stage of the war many Allied bombing raids lacked fighter escort. As the war dragged on, Allied bombers were increasingly accompanied by fighters, including the very effective P-51 Mustang. The Allies learned from experience that the 190s performance fell off sharply at altitudes above 20,000 feet. As a result, most Allied bombing missions were shifted to higher altitudes when fighter opposition was likely. Kurt Tank had recognized this shortcoming and began working on a high-altitude version of the 190 utilizing an in-line, water-cooled engine. Utilizing a Jumo 12-cylinder engine rated at 1770-HP, and capable of 2,240-HP for short bursts with its methanol injection system, the 190D, or Long Nose or Dora as it was called, had a top speed of 426-MPH at 22,000 feet. Armament was improved with two fuselage and two wing mounted 20mm cannon. To accommodate the changes in power plants the Dora had a longer, more streamlined fuselage, with 24 inches added to the nose, and an additional 19 inches added aft of the cockpit to compensate for the altered center of gravity. By mid 1944 the Dora began to reach fighter squadrons in quantity. Although the aircraft had all the right attributes to serve admirably in the high altitude interceptor role, it was not generally focused on such missions. Instead many 190Ds were assigned to protect airfields where Me-262 jet fighters were based. This was due to the latter aircrafts extreme vulnerability to Allied attack during takeoff and landing. The 190Ds also played a major role in Operation Bodenplatte, the New Years Day raid in 1945 which destroyed approximately 500 Allied aircraft on the ground. The High Command was impressed with the 190Ds record on this raid, and ordered most future production of the Doras to be equipped as fighter-bombers. In retrospect this was a strategic error, and this capable aircraft was not fully utilized in the role for which it was intended.
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|Fw190 Aviation Art Prints, Paintings and Drawings|
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|Top Aces for : Fw190|
|A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.|
|Gunther Rall||275.00||The signature of Gunther Rall features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Alfred Grislawski||133.00||The signature of Alfred Grislawski features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Dieter Hrabak||125.00||The signature of Dieter Hrabak features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Heinz Marquardt||121.00||The signature of Heinz Marquardt features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Hugo Broch||81.00||The signature of Hugo Broch features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Adolf Glunz||72.00||The signature of Adolf Glunz features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Heinz Lange||70.00||The signature of Heinz Lange features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Hermann Buchner||58.00||The signature of Hermann Buchner features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Gunther Seeger||56.00||The signature of Gunther Seeger features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Herbert Koller||49.00||The signature of Herbert Koller features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Gerhard Schopfel||45.00||The signature of Gerhard Schopfel features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Norbert Hannig||42.00||The signature of Norbert Hannig features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Erwin Leykauf||33.00||The signature of Erwin Leykauf features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Werner Hohenberg||33.00||The signature of Werner Hohenberg features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Willi Reschke||28.00||The signature of Willi Reschke features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Wolfgang Schenck||18.00||The signature of Wolfgang Schenck features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Siegfried Muller||17.00||The signature of Siegfried Muller features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Hans-Ulrich Rudel||11.00||The signature of Hans-Ulrich Rudel features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Alfred Ambs||7.00||The signature of Alfred Ambs features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.|
|Signatures for : Fw190|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Leutnant Alfred Ambs
| Leutnant Alfred Ambs |
Born in Gladbeck on the 23rd January 1923, Alfred Ambs joined the Luftwaffe on the 10th July 1942. Initiqally attached to a training unit, he flew Ju88s, Me110s, Me109 and Fw190 aircraft. He was in the following units : Flg.Rgt. 53, Luftkriegsschule 3, Flugzeugführerschule C14 in Prague. Flugzeugführerschule B33 (Prague-Rusin), and Zerstörergeschwader 101. As the war situation worsened, Ambs was transferred to train on the new Messerschmitt 262 fighter with JG7 in Lechfeld. Flying with this unit, Ambs shot down 6 Allied aircraft to finish the war an Me 262 jet Ace. He flew his last mission on 23rd March 1945, and had flown a total of nearly 75 missions on the Me262. Sadly, Alfred Ambs passed away on 30th March 2010.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Oberfeldwebel Erich Axthammer
| Oberfeldwebel Erich Axthammer |
Born 3rd December 1920, he joined the Luftwaffe in November 1938, learning to fly on Me109s and Me110s. He was posted to the eastern front flying the Hs123. In March 1943, he joined SG1, again on the eastern front, flying over 300 missions with the Hs123. He then served with 1./SG152, 5./SG77 and later 8./SG10 from August 1944. After 505 missions he was awarded the Knights Cross on 28th April 1945. He also flew the Fw190. In a final total of 530 missions, 305 of which were on the Hs123, he destroyed many ground targets, including armoured vehicles, supply vehicles and flak guns. After the war he became a miner, but rejoined the Bundesluftwaffe in 1958, as a carrier and helicopter pilot, retiring in 1979.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Leutnant Hugo Broch
| Leutnant Hugo Broch |
Vital to all fighter units are the pilots who make such superb wingmen that their leaders are loath to part with them. Hugo Broch was one such wingman. Having joined VI./JG54 in January he flew first with Horst Adameit (166 victories), and later with Bazi Sterr (130 victories), but soon demonstrated his own skill in combat. By the end of 1944 he had lifted his personal score to 71 victories. One of JG54s great Fw190 Aces, Hugo Broch saw combat on the Eastern and Baltic Fronts, and completed the war having flown 324 combat missions, and claiming 81 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Feldwebel Erich Brunotte
| Feldwebel Erich Brunotte |
Born in 1923, Erich Brunotte joined the Luftwaffe and started immediate pilot training in June 1941. He flew on the Eastern Front with 1./Gruppe Nauhaufklarungs Geschwader 102, and later transferred to fly with IV./Jagdgeswader 51 Molders, in the 13th Staffel. Promoted to Unteroffizier in December 1944, and Feldwebel in April 1945, he flew most marks of the Bf109, and the Fw190. His very last combat mission was in the Fw Dora 9 on 3rd May 1945 at Flensburg in northen Germany.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Oberst Hermann Buchner
| Oberst Hermann Buchner |
Hermann Buchner was born in Salzburg, Austria, 30th October 1919. Hermann Buchners first combat role was ground attack. After 215 combat missions he was badly injured when his Me109 exploded at 22,000ft. Returning to action in 1943, he flew a further 200 missions before again being wounded. Back in action a third time, he fought in the Crimea and Romania. After 500 ground attack missions he transferred to join Nowotny, the Me262 jet trials unit, and then 9./JG7. He was the first jet pilot in history to score a victory. Hermann Buchner had 58 air victories plus 48 tanks, numerous trucks and anti-aircraft units. He was awarded the Knights Cross in July 1944. Hermann Buchner died in Lorsching, 1st December 2005, aged 86.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Leutnant Jorg Czypionka
| Leutnant Jorg Czypionka |
Very few Luftwaffe pilots flew the Me262 jet as a night-fighter. Jorg Czypionka was one of them. In 1944 he flew Fw190 and Me109 night fighters before moving to 10./NJG11 flying high altitude Me109s. In January 1945 he joined a new unit - Kommando Welter - which was formed within 10./NJG11 to counter the RAF Mosquitos flying fast intruder operations. Equipped with single seat Me262 fighters he flew his jet 'Red 6' alongside the top scoring jet ace of all time, Kurt Welter, scoring two confirmed night victories over Mosquitos.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Gustav Drees
| Unteroffizier Gustav Drees |
Born in 1923, Gustav Drees was called up for military service in 1942, and with a passion for flying joined the Luftwaffe. After training as a fighter pilot he was immediately posted to the Eastern Front with his first front-line unit - JG54 Green Hearts, where he flew the Me 109. In very early 1943 he became one of the first of the JG54 pilots to fly the Fw190A in combat. With four air victories to his credit with JG54 in Russia, towards the end of the war he was posted to join JG 108 in Austria, where he stayed until the end.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Karl-Georg Genth
| Karl-Georg Genth |
12th Staffel D-9 pilot Uffz Karl-Georg Genth, who flew with III./JG26. Genth was shot down in Yellow 15 near Enschede on 7th March 1945 by Tempests of No.3 Squadron, bailing out and hitting the tailplane of his D-9, and breakinghis left arm in the fall. Genth also flew the 109G-6, G-10 and K-4 variants, and flew with the extremely popular Hptm Walter Krupinski on several missions in which Krupinski was Gruppenkommandeur. Genth also took part in the air battle which brought down the famed Tempest ace Foob Fairbanks on 28th February 1945. Genth tallied a final total of 2 victories.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Oberleutnant Adolf Glunz
| Oberleutnant Adolf Glunz |
Adolf Glunz served with 4/JG-52 on both the Channel Coast and then in Russia. Returning to the English Channel with II./JG-25 he became one of the most successful fighter pilots on the Western Front. Adolf Glunz saw combat continuously right up to the war end and, remarkably, was never shot down or wounded in over 574 missions, many whilst flying the Fw190. Awarded the Knight's Cross in 1943, he acheived a personal score of 71 victories. He died 1st August 2002.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Hauptmann Alfred Grislawski
| Hauptmann Alfred Grislawski |
Alfred Grislawski joined 9./JG52 in 1940, quickly becoming an Ace. An outstanding fighter pilot, his air victories were 133 in over 800 combat missions until he was severely wounded. he was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. Died 19th September 2003.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Leutnant Norbert Hannig
| Leutnant Norbert Hannig |
Norbert Hannig began operations with JG54 on the Eastern Front near Leningrad in early 1943, flying first the Messerschmitt Bf109G, later converting to the Fw190. He became a Staffelkapitan with JG54, notching up an impressive 42 victories. Towards the end of the war, in early 1945, he converted to fly the new jet fighter, the Me262, and flew it in combat with III./JG7 from their airfield base at Brandenberg-Briest.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Oberst Hajo Hermann
| Oberst Hajo Hermann |
Hans-Joachim Hermann was born on August 1st 1913 in Kiel, Germany. Hans-Joachim Hermann began his military career as an infantry officer, but after his introduction to gliding – and an invitation from Herman Göring, he transferred to the newly-created Luftwaffe and was commissioned in 1935. In August 1936, Herrmann was in the first group of Germans to arrive in Spain to support General Franco's Nationalist forces. Initially Hans-Joachim Hermann flew bombing operations in the Junkers 52 before becoming a founder member of the Condor Legion, whosemain mission was to attack airfields and defensive positions near Madrid. Many more bombing operations followed, and in April 1937 he returned to Germany. When Germany invading Poland Hermann took off in his Heinkel He111 to bomb railway lines in Poland on the first day. This was the first of 18 targets that Hermann attacked before his unit moved to support the German invasion of Norway. His unit was deployed to bomb targets near Oslo and Stavanger and after the fall of Norway, Hermann's unit was re-equipped with the Junkers 88 and moved to support the German army during the blitzkrieg across the Low Countries and France. During the battle of Britain Hermann was the commander of the 7th Staffel of KG-4, and he led many bombing attacks on England. His first target was oil refineries at Thames Haven and on the night of the 7th / 8th of September 1940 he attacked London. This was his 69th operation against England, when he bombed the India Dock. By the end of the Battle of Britian Hajo Hermann had flown 21 missions over London. A formidable figure in the Luftwaffe, Hajo Hermann was originally awarded the Knight's Cross in 1940 as a bomber pilot. In February 1941 while based in Sicily, Hermann led dive-bombing attacks against airfields on Malta. He was also ordered to hold the British Fleet in check. Attacks against the Royal Navy's heaviest ships followed. On April 7th 1941 following the German advance into Greece, Hermann's unit started mining and bombing operations in the eastern Mediterranean. On one attack, against shipping in Piraeus harbour, Hermann's bomb hit Clan Fraser, which was carrying 350 tons of high explosive. The resulting explosion sank 10 other ships and closed the port for many months. Hermann flew over 320 operations with KG4. In July 1941 Hermann was appointed commander of a bomber group, initially based in France to attack targets in England, before moving to a new base in the far north of Norway. His unit attacked Allied convoys heading for Murmansk with supplies for the Russians - these artic convoys included PQ-17, which was continously attacked. PQ -17 would lose a total of 24 merchantmen and only 11 ships made it through. With II./JG30, Hermann sank a total of 12 ships and in 1942 Hermann was assigned to the general staff in Germany, where he became a close confidant of Göring. In July 1942 he was appointed to the Luftwaffe operational staff. During the summer of 1943 as the Royal Air Force carried out night bombing raids, Hermann devised the tactic of using day fighters to hunt alone rather than in packs. As a bomber man himself, his ideas initially gained little support from the Luftwaffe's night fighter staff, but Göring supported the idea. Flown by experienced night fighter pilots and ex-instructors, the fighters waited in the darkness above their Allied targets, using the light of fires below to illuminate the bombers before attacking. He was responsible for the formation of JG300 and founded the highly successful Wilde Sau (Wild Boar) tactics of free roaming Fw190 night fighters. Hermann himself flew more than 50 wild boar missions and was twice forced to bail out of his stricken fighter. In December 1943 he was appointed Luftwaffe Inspector of Aerial Defence. At the end of 1944 he led the 9th Flieger division and created the famous Rammkommando. Hermann was credited with shooting down nine RAF bombers. After being Inspector General of night fighters, Hermann was appointed to command the First Fighter Division, when he continued to fly on operations. At the end of the war he was captured by the Russians. He spent 10 years in Soviet camps and was one of the last to be released, returning to Germany on October 12th 1955. Hajo Hermann awarded the Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves and Swords. Sadly, we have learned that Hajo Hermann passed away on 5th November 2010.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Oberfeldwebel Werner Hohenberg
| Oberfeldwebel Werner Hohenberg |
Werner Hohenberg joined JG52 in July 1942, flying with 8th Staffel. On July 9th 1942 he was badly wounded when his aircraft was hit by Russian flak, causing him to be in hospital until November 1st, 1944. He was then posted to JG2 'Richtofen' on the Western Front. On January 1st, 1945 he took part in Operation Bodenplatte, and was again shot down, this time by US flak. Landing behind British lines he was taken POW. Werner Hohenberg flew over 200 combat missions, scoring 33 air victories. He was awarded the Iron Cross. He died in October 2001.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Dieter Hrabak
| Dieter Hrabak |
Dieter Hrabak was shot down in his first aerial combat during the Polish Campaign. He survived to become one of the Luftwaffes most respected and popular leaders. He scored his first victory in the Battle of France, and got 15 more during the Battle of Britain. By Eagle Day he was in command of II./JG 54, which he led until taking command of JG 52 in 1942. He was the first JG 54 Ace to be awarded the Knights Cross. He ended the war back in command of JG 54, and was credited with 125 victories.
Dieter Hrabak was born on 19th December 1914 in a small village near Leipzig. Upon graduation from high school, he hoped to become a commercial pilot, but in 1934 Hrabak joined the Reichsmarine. Within 6 months he transferred to the newly formed Luftwaffe for flight training. By April 1939, Hrabak was recognised as an experienced pilot and given command of a squadron in Vienna. On his very first combat mission in September 1939 over Poland, he was shot down - the first of 11 times. Hrabaks first aerial victory came during the Battle of France. Flying an Me109, he claimed five more victories before the armistice. In the summer of 1940, his squadron was incorporated into a newly formed fighting wing, JG54 Green Hearts. Hrabak commanded II./JG54, one of the wings three groups as the Luftwaffe began its assault on England. During the Batttle of Britain he brought his score to 16 Royal Air Force fighters and Field Marshal Goring personally decorated him with the Knights Cross. In the spring of 1941, II./JG54 flew in the short campaign against Yugoslavia. When Operation Barbarosa began in Russia, he flew on the northern sector of the front and fought over Leningrad. In November 1942, Hrabak took command of JG52 on the southern front and fought over Stalingrad. In August 1943, he got his 100th aerial victory and in November, Hitler awarded him Oak Leaves to the Knights Cross. In early 1944, JG52 achieved its 10,000th aerial victory - the most by any Luftwaffe wing. In October 1944, he returned to his old wing, the Green Hearts, as Commander. Flying the Focke Wulf Fw190, he fought until near the end of the war in Kurland. After the war, he worked in the auto and chemical industry. He was a key architect in rebuilding the modern German Air Force. In 1953, Chancellor Adenaur asked him to help form a new German Air Force. Hrabak personally interviewed most of the officers who would form the nucleus. In mid-1955, he came to the United States and trained on modern jets. In the summer of 1956, he returned home to command the Advanced Pilot Training Centre at Furstenfeldbruck AB. By 1960, he commanded all GAF flying training centres. Two years later, he took charge of the air defence sector covering northern Germany and the Netherlands. In 1964, he was named NATOs Chief of Air Defence, Central Europe, until he became special manager for the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. Finally, as a major general, he commanded the GAFs tactical command, retiring on 1st October 1970. He died on 15th September 1995.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Heinz Kern
| Unteroffizier Heinz Kern |
Heinz Kern qualififed as a Luftwaffe pilot and was posted to join III./JG5 Eismeer. He flew both the Me109 and Fw190, and saw action in France, Austria, Norway and Finland. Flying with II./JG5 he flew escort missions in the northern Arctic waters to the Tirpitz, and later flew with IV./JG5
Click the name above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Kurt Kesten
| Unteroffizier Kurt Kesten |
Kurt Kesten was born in 1922 and entered the Luftwaffe in 1941. He flew many types of training aircraft, and later flew the He-111, Do-17, and ju-88. Kesten served with SG 3, KG 30, and KG (j) 30 where he flew the FW190 F Mistel combination. His last assignment prior to the end of the War was at Rostcock-Marienehe, a former Heinkel factory airfield, where he flew the Mistel combination. After Mistel operations had ended Kesten flew a number of fighter-bomber missions in the FW-190 F. Kesten was awarded the Iron Cross Class 2. He currently resides in Hannoversch-Munden, Germany.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Gunther Kolb
| Unteroffizier Gunther Kolb |
Gunther Kolb joined I./JG5 in the autumn of 1944 under the command of Major Weissenberger. A few weeks later, at the end of that year he was posted to join IV./JG5 in norway, where he flew both Me109s and Fw190s on coastal and shipping patrols until the end of the war.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Feldwebel Herbert Koller
| Feldwebel Herbert Koller |
Posted to II./JG54 on the Eastern Front, Herbert Koller flew Fw190s with 5./JG54, scoring his first victory on 19th February 1943, over an Il-2. By the end of the year his victory claims had risen to 12, including 8 Il-2 Shturmoviks, and a Boston bomber. The year 1944 saw intense combat 5./JG54 on an almost daily basis, and month by month Herbert Kollers victories continued to mount, by the end of 1944 his tally had risen to 48. His final, and 49th victory came on 9th April 1945 when he downed a Yak 3.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Gerhard Kott
| Unteroffizier Gerhard Kott |
Luftwaffe Fw190 with 8 victories.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Major Heinz Lange
| Major Heinz Lange |
At the outbreak of war Heinz Lange was with I./JG21 scoring his first victory in October 1939. He flew 76 missions in the Battle of Britain with 8./JG54, and never lost a wingman. After flying in the Balkan campaign he took part in the invasion of Russia, scoring 7 victories during the first week. In October 1941 he was given command of 1./JG54 and in 1942 command of 3./JG51. In January 1944 Heinz Lange returned to JG54 to command 1.Gruppe and then back to JG51 where he was appointed Kommodore of JG51 Molders, leading IV./JG51 at the same time. Heinz Lange flew over 628 missions and achieved 70 victories. He was awarded the Knight's Cross. Born 2nd October 1917, died 26th February 2006.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Oberleutnant Erwin Leykauf
| Oberleutnant Erwin Leykauf |
Born in January 1918, Erwin Leykauf learned to fly at glider school and Luftkriegschule, before being called up to fly at the beginning of the war. He flew with JG21 at the beginning of the Battle of Britain, which soon became JG54 where he scored his first 7 victories. Transferring to the Balkans and later the Eastern Front he was forced into an emergency landing behind enemy lines during Operation Barbarossa, eventually making his way back to rejoin his unit. On the night of 22nd - 23rd June 1942, he claimed 6 victories in less than one hour. In August 1943, Leykauf began converting with JG54 to the Fw190 fighter. At the end of the war he was with JG7, flying the Me262, although he did not get a chance to fly any missions on the jet fighter. Erwin was awarded the Iron Cross I and II and his victories had climbed to 33.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Oberfeldwebel Heinz Marquardt
| Oberfeldwebel Heinz Marquardt |
In late 1941 Heinz Marquardt was with a training squadron south of Paris. In August 1943 he was posted to join IV./JG51 in Russia, achieving his first victory two months later. Shot down eight times, he once achieved twelve victories in a single day. Awarded the Knight's Cross in November 1944, he flew a total of 320 missions, and scored 121 victories. Sadly, Heinz Marquardt died 19th December 2003, aged 80.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Oberfahnrich Heinz Meyer
| Oberfahnrich Heinz Meyer |
One of the most successful of the younger Stuka pilots, Heinz Meyer joined the Luftwaffe in January 1940, and completed his Stuka pilot training in 1942. In July of that year he first saw action 3./St.G. 102 in Foggia, Italy, whilst flying on an armed reconnaissance mission. In February 1943 he joined 8./SG2 Immelmann on the Eastern Front. With his Staffel he was one of the most highly regarded pilots on the entire Eastern front and took part in the Battle of Kursk with Rudel. Heinz flew his 500th combat mission on 31st May 1944, and received the German Cross in August 1944. By the end of the war he had completed 618 combat missions, including 30 in the Fw190, and destroyed 40 tanks, 40 gun positions, 100 vehicles, 3 bridges, 2 ammunition dumps and 2 supply trains. He was awarded the Knights Cross on 17th April 1945.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Leutnant Siegfried Muller
| Leutnant Siegfried Muller |
Born in 1924, Siegfried Muller first flew with JG1 Molders in the south of France. In 1943 he took part in the air battles over Salerno and Monte Cassino. He joined IV./JG3 Udet in June 1944, where he was promoted to Staffelkapitan of 16 Staffel /IV Sturm Gruppe flying heavily armoured Fw190s. With this Gruppe he took part in the Ardennes Offensive and on 1st January 1945, Operation Bodenplatte. At the end of the war he was attached to JG7 for training on the Me262 jet fighter. Awarded the Iron Cross 1 and 2, he scored 17 victories, including 9 four-engined bombers.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Leutnant Wilhelm Noller
| Leutnant Wilhelm Noller |
Wilhelm Noller joined the Luftwaffe in 1939 and trained as a bomber pilot. In May 1942 he was posted to join 2./StG 2 fighting on the Eastern Front. He took part in the battles of Kursk and Stalingrad, and became one of the most successful pilots of StG 2. By early 1943 his combat mission total passed the 500 mark, rising to over 800 by the end of the year. He was awarded the Knights Cross in April 1944, a few weeks after passing the 1000 mission mark. After a period instructing, he returned to combat in February 1945, flying the Fw190 with 7./SG 10 in Czechoslovakia. Wounded in April 1945, and hospitalised in Prague, he was taken prisoner by the Soviets when they took over the city in May. Transported east by rail towards Russia, he jumped from the moving train and escaped back to Germany. During the war he had flown 1058 missions, destroyed 86 tanks, 2 armoured trains, plus many vehicles, boats and bridges. He also gained 2 victories in aerial combat. Wilhelm Noller passed away on 26th December 2011.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Hauptmann Gunther Nordenholtz
| Hauptmann Gunther Nordenholtz |
After joining the Luftwaffe in December 1941 and training as a fighter pilot, Gunther Nordenholz joined JG11 where he flew Messerschmitt Bf-109s and Fw190s, scoring a victory over a P-51 Mustang. He flew against the heavy bombers of the US Eighth Air Force in the “Defense of the Reich”, and fought in combat against B-24s over western France during the Normandy Invasion. Posted to Bremen in late 1944, he was wounded during an air raid at his base, before being transferred to the Eastern Front. He finished the war flying the Bucker Bu181 and was captured by the British on 8 May 1944, later rejoining the new German Air Force as an instructor.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Feldwebel Heinz Radlauer
| Feldwebel Heinz Radlauer |
Heinz Radlauer learnt to fly gliders in 1940, aged 17, and joined the Luftwaffe in August 1941. After Fighter School, in June 1944 he was posted to join JG51 Molders then fighting on the Eastern Front near Minsk, scoring his first victory in October of that year. Heinz Radlauer fleew the Bf109G, the Fw190A, and at the end of the war the Fw190D, by which time he had notched up over 100 combat missions, flying his last combat mission on 30th April 1945. Credited with 15 air victories, all on the Eastern Front, he was awarded the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of General Gunther Rall
| General Gunther Rall |
A young pilot with III/JG52 at the outbreak of war. He quickly demonstrated his natural ability and leadership qualities, scoring his first air victory early in the Battle of Britain, and by July 1940 was leading 8/JG52. After transfer to the Eastern Front his air victories mounted at an astonishing rate. A crash hospitalised him but within nine months he was back in the cockpit, and, when commanding III/JG52, gained the Wings 500th victory. Gunther fought throughout the war to become the 3rd highest Ace in history with 275 victories. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Gunther Rall was born on March 10, 1918 in the small Bavarian town of Gaggenau, Baden. Immersing himself in Boy Scout activities during the difficult economic times in Germany following WW 1, Rall finished school in 1936 and joined the German Army. Influenced by a friend, who was a young officer in the Luftwaffe, Rall entered pilots school in 1938. His initial posting was with JG52. He attained his first aerial victory during the Battle of France in May of 1940. During the Battle of Britain JG52 absorbed many casualties, and Rall was promoted to Squadron Commander at the young age of 22. With his fair-hair and smooth complexion the young officer looked even younger than his years. But behind this pleasant exterior was a fierce competitor with the heart of a tiger. Later, Ralls squadron would support the attack on Crete, followed by deployment to the Southern Sector on the Eastern Front. Ralls victory totals began to mount. Following his 37 th victory, GiInther was himself shot down. He was lucky to survive the crash, but with a badly broken back he would spend most of the next year in various hospitals. In Vienna at the University Hospital he would meet his future wife, Hertha. Miraculously, Rall recovered and returned to the Luftwaffe in August of 1942. By November his score exceeded 100 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves to accompany the Knights Cross he was awarded only weeks earlier. As the War progressed against Russia, Rall began to encounter ever more experienced Soviet pilots flying better performing aircraft. Despite this fact, and being shot down several more times himself, Ralls victory tally kept rising. By March of 1944 the ace had attained 273 aerial victories. With the War now going badly for Germany, Rall was transferred to the Western Front. He was able to attain only two more victories against the swarms of Allied bombers and fighter escorts which now pounded Germany every day and night. In May of 1944 Rall was shot down by a P-47. Losing his thumb in the battle he remained out of combat until later in 1944. Ralls final assignments included flying 190Ds as Kornmodore of JG300, and flying the Me-262 jet. Ralls 275 aerial victories (attained on less than 700 combat sorties) make him the third highest scoring ace of all time. If not for the down time suffered as a result of his broken back, Rall might have actually equaled or exceeded Erich Hartmanns alltime record of 352 aerial victories. Rall was not much for socializing during the War. He was a fierce competitor with a businessmans attitude about flying. He was an excellent marksman, and possibly the best deflection shot expert of the War. He continued to fly with the Bundeslufwaffe following the War, serving as its Commander-In Chief in 1970-74. Sadly Gunther Rall died on 4th October 2009.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Oberfeldwebel Willi Reschke
| Oberfeldwebel Willi Reschke |
One of the outstanding younger Luftwaffe pilots, Willi Reschke was one of the leading members of JG300 Wilde Sau flying the Fw190A in the 'Defence of the Reich'. Towards the latter months of the war he transferred to the Stabsschwarm of JG301, still flying the Fw190A. Awarded the Knight's Crossin April 1945, he was credited with 26 victories - all in the west - including 18 four engined bombers.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Hans Rudel
| Hans Rudel |
Hans Rudel, born in July 1916, was the most decorated Nazi pilot. In 2,530 combat missions flying dive-bombers, mainly on the Russian front, Rudel was credited with destroying 519 tanks, 150 gun emplacements and 800 combat vehicles of various types. According to Luftwaffe records, he also sunk a Russian battleship, a cruiser, a destroyer, 70 smaller craft and numerous trains. For this he was awarded the Golden Oakleaves with Sword and Diamonds to the Knights Cross. He was the only recipient of this award. He was also the first German pilot to reach 1,000 sorties. Of his over 2530 sorties, some 400 were in the Focke-Wulf 190 fighter, in which he was credited with 11 air victories. He was so effective that Joseph Stalin himself put a price of 100,00 rubles on his head. He flew more than 600,000 km; fired over 1,000,000 machine gun rounds; dropped over 1,000,000kg of bombs; fired over 150,000 rounds of 20mm ammunition and over 5,000 rounds of 37mm ammunition. He hated to take home leave or sick leave and even after he had his leg amputated, he was back in the air within weeks. He did not limit his attacks to Russian tanks, trains, ships or aircraft. On more than one occasion when food was in short supply, he would bomb rivers and both the German airmen and Russian civilians would feast on the stunned fish that floated to the surface. Rudel was shot down several times, but escaped serious injury until April 1945, when he lost a leg in combat. Rudel flew the Ju87 B-2 Stuka dive bomber and, in all of its ugliness, the bomber was made famous by him. His accomplishments with an aircraft that was outdated and vulnerable were incredible. He was captured by Allied forces at the end of the war, and released from a POW camp in April 1946. He died 18th December 1982.
The signatures : Hans Rudel had arranged to be interviewed by a professor of military history, who was also an author, in 1982. Many similar interviews had been conducted with other military heroes, during which the interviewee had signed various photographs, blank sheets and bookplates for use in the author's publications, although many were never published as intended. Rudel was also due to sign such items. However, the interview had been arranged to be conducted at a Luftwaffe reunion, which Rudel could not attend due to ill health. However, a friend of Rudel's, a RCAF mechanic, took the items to him to be signed, which they duly were, although Rudel died before any interview could take place. Cranston Fine Arts purchased the signatures from the original collection. All signatures on prints are therefore 'mounted' signatures, placed in a mount with the print, rather than the print itself being signed.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Major Erich Rudorffer
| Major Erich Rudorffer |
Erich Rudorffer was born on November 1st 1917 in the town of Zwickau in Saxony. Erich Rudorffer joined the Luftwaffes I./JG2 Richthofen in November 1939, and was soon flying combat patrols in January 1940 and was assigned to I/JG 2 Richthofen with the rank of Oberfeldwebel. He took part in the Battle of France, scoring the first of his many victories over a French Hawk 75 on May 14th, 1940. He went on to score eight additional victories during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. Rudorffer recalled an incident in August 1940 when he escorted a badly damaged Hurricane across the Channel - ditching in the English Channel was greatly feared by pilots on both sides. As fate often does, Rudorffer found the roles reversed two weeks later, when he was escorted by an RAF fighter after receiving battle damage. By May 1st 1941 Rudorffer had achieved 19 victories, which led to the award of the Knights Cross. In June 1941 Rodorffer became an Adjutant of II./JG2. In 1942 Rudorffer participated in Operation Cerberus (known as the Channel Dash) and flew over the Allied landings at Dieppe. Erich Rudorffer along with JG2 was transferred to North Africa in December 1942. It was in North Africa that Rudorffer showed his propensity for multiple-victory sorties. He shot down eight British aircraft in 32 minutes on February 9th 1943 and seven more in 20 minutes six days later. After scoring a total of 26 victories in Tunisia, Rudorffer returned to France in April 1943 and was posted to command II./JG54 in Russia, after Hauptmann Heinrich Jung, its Kommodore, failed to return from a mission on July 30th 1943. On August 24th 1943 he shot down 5 Russian aircraft on the first mission of the day and followed that up with three more victories on the second mission. He scored seven victories in seven minutes on October 11th but his finest achievement occurred on November 6th when in the course of 17 minutes, he shot down thirteen Russian aircraft. Rudorffer became known to Russian pilots as the fighter of Libau. On October 28th 1944 while about to land, Rudorffer spotted a large formation of Il-2 Sturmoviks. He quickly aborted the landing and moved to engage the Russian aircraft. In under ten minutes, nine of the of the II-2 Sturmoviks were shot down causing the rest to disperse. Rudorffer would later that day go on and shoot down a further two Russian aircraft. These victories took his total to 113 and he was awarded the Oak Leaves on April 11th 1944. Rudorffer would on the 26th January 1945 on his 210th victory receive the addition of the Swords. In February 1945 Rudorffer took command of I./JG7 flying the Me262. He was one of the first jet fighter aces of the war, scoring 12 victories in the Me262. He shot down ten 4-engine bombers during the Defense of the Reich missions. He was the master of multiple scoring - achieving more multiple victories than any other pilot. Erich Rudorffer never took leave, was shot down 16 times having to bail out 9 times, and ended the war with 222 victories from over 1000 missions. He was awarded the Knights Cross, with Oak Leaves and Swords.
Click the name above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Major Wolfgang Schenck
| Major Wolfgang Schenck |
Born 7th February 1913, Wolfgang Schenck joined the Luftwaffe in 1936. After training he was assigned to JG132 flying Me109s before the squadron was renamed ZG1 and converted to Me110s. He took part in operations against Poland, Norway and France but was hospitalised for three months after being wounded. After recovering, he joined EG210, an experimental squadron, to develop fighter bomber tactics. Renamed as SG210, the squadron later took part in the advance into Russia, where Schenck was awarded his Knights Cross. In March 1942 Schenck took command of 1./ZG1, and was awarded the Oak Leaves to his Knights Cross with this unit. He went on to command SG2, flying Fw190s in the Mediterranean. Later, from December 1944 to January 1945, Schenck commanded KG51, flying the newly developed Me262 jet fighter-bomber. Flying over 400 missions, Schenck scored 18 aerial victories and sunk 28,000 tons of shipping. Wolfgang Schenck passed away on 5th March 2010.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Hauptmann Karl-Fritz Schlossstein
| Hauptmann Karl-Fritz Schlossstein |
Karl-Fritz Schlossstein initially flew Me110 heavy destroyers with JG5, when th Group first arrived in Norway in 1942 to provide air cover for the convoys supplying the rapidly increasing German garrison in that country. He commanded 13(Z)/JG5 from the summer of 1942 to June 1943, and then converted to fly Me109s. Later in Norway he flew the Me410 Hornet with ZG76, but finished the war with JG54 Greenhearts flying Fw190s in the Defence of the Reich.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Major Gerhard Schopfel
| Major Gerhard Schopfel |
Gerhard Schopfel was Staffelkapitan of 9./JG26 at the outbreak of war, and became Kommandeur of III./JG26 in August 1940. In December 1941 he succeeded Adolf Galland as Kommodore of JG26 until Januray 1943. Later, Kommodore of JG4 and JG6. He flew over 700 combat missions, achieving 40 victories, all in the West. He was awarded the Knight's Cross in 1940. Died 17th May 2003.
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by Oberleutnant Gunther Seeger
| Oberleutnant Gunther Seeger |
In February 1940, Gunther Seeger was an Unteroffizier with 3./JG2, scoring his first victory in the early days of the Battle of Britain. he served on the Channel Front until December 1942, including several months with the Geschwaderstabsschwarm. He transferred to the Mediterranean theatre with II./JG2 before joining 6./JG53. In February 1943 he joined 7./JG53 becoming Staffelkapitan in September 1944. Awarded the Knight's Cross, Gunther Seeger scored 56 victories.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Unteroffizier Karl-Heinz Wiesner
| Unteroffizier Karl-Heinz Wiesner |
Karl-Heinz Wiesner was born at Charlottenhof/Gorlitz in 1921. He entered the German Air Force in 1941. Wiesner flew captured French aircraft including the Saiman 202 and Cuadron 445. His last assignment was at Rostock-Marienehe where he first flew Mistel combinations, and later Fw-190 fighter bombers. He served with Sammelgeschwader 200 at Gatow, KG 30, and KG (j) 30 where he flew the Mistel combination. Following the cessation of Mistel operations he was assigned to Schlachtgeschwader 3 flying fighter bomber missions in the Focke-Wulf Fw-190 F. Wiesner's last rank was Unteroffizier, and he received the Iron Cross Class 1. He currently resides in Germany at Fuldabruck-Dornhagen.
Click the name above to see prints signed by Leutnant Kurt Wuppermann
| Leutnant Kurt Wuppermann |
Kurt Wupperrnann was called up in 1942, and with a love of flying, joined the Luftwaffe. After completing his pilot training, he was posted to join JG54 Greenhearts flying the Fw190A-8. Transferring to the northern sector of the Eastern Front, he notched up three quick victories and flew oil combat operations continually until 18 December 1944, when he was shot down over the Baltic near Riga, making an emergency landing. On theground, he was rescued by Strafgeschwader 291, but had suffered bad facial injuries. So great was the need for experienced pilots in the last months of the war however that after six weeks in hospital he was patched up and flying combat again.
|Squadrons for : Fw190|
|A list of all squadrons from known to have used this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.|
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG1
German World War II fighter unit or wing which used the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf Fw 190 aircraft, between 1940–1944. The name of the unit derives from Jagd, meaning hunt and Geschwader, meaning wing. First formed in May 1939 in eastern Prussia, I./JG 1 was one of the original groups created by the Luftwaffe as part of its expansion plans.
Between 1940 and 1942, JG 1 operated primarily over the Western Front and northern occupied Europe. During the initial days of the war, JG 1 faced little resistance, apart from occasional Royal Air Force (RAF) excursions. The unit was rarely engaged in large-scale confrontations during this time. From late 1942 onwards it was tasked with defense of the Reich duties. After D-Day, elements of JG 1 were moved to France and were tasked with air support to the army Wehrmacht, along with their air defense role. Operation Bodenplatte severely reduced the strength of JG 1.
Towards the end of the war, the unit was disbanded and its remaining pilots and aircraft were re-organized. What remained of these groups surrendered to Allied forces at the end of the war.
JG 1 was the first unit to attempt 'aerial bombing' techniques against the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) heavy bomber formations. It was the only unit to be equipped with the Heinkel He 162 jet fighter.
In 1944 the Oesau suffix was added to the unit's title, after its late Geschwaderkommodore Oberst Walter Oesau (127 kills), who was killed in action. Some 700 enemy aircraft were claimed shot down during the war.
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG11
Full profile not yet available.
Country : Germany
Founded : 1st May 1939
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG2
Jagdgeschwader 2 was formed from parts of Jagdgeschwader 131 Richthofen on 1 May 1939 in Döberitz and its first commander was Oberst Robert Ritter von Greim. At the outbreak of the war JG 2 was tasked with defence of the Reich and based in the Berlin area under Luftgaukommando III. Stab and II. Gruppe were equipped with the Bf 109E and were located at Döberitz with 10.(N) staffel flying the Bf 109D in Straussberg.
10.(N) Staffel was one of the first night fighter units formed in the Luftwaffe. Later this staffel was expanded into IV.(N) Gruppe. This Gruppe gained the Luftwaffe’s first night kill over the RAF Bomber Command on the night of 25/26 on April 1940 when Ofw Förster shot down a Handley Page Hampden.
The unit saw little combat until the Western offensive against France and the Low Countries from 10 May 1940 onwards. During the campaign against France, JG 2 was tasked with escorting raids and defending German airspace to the south of Heinz Guderian's Panzer forces which were encircling the French and the British Expeditionary Force further north. Leutnant Helmut Wick, who later became part of a trio of outstanding aces (including Adolf Galland from Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) and Werner Mölders from Jagdgeschwader 51 (JG 51)) in the Battle of Britain, attained his first and the Geschwader's second kill on 22 November 1939, a French Curtiss Hawk Model 75. The first victory for the JG 2 was scored by Oberfeldwebel Kley (3. Staffel) at the same day.
JG 2 took part in the Battle of Britain, operating Bf 109Es over the South Coast of England and the English Channel from bases in Cherbourg and Normandy. Major Helmut Wick emerged as one of the Battle’s top Luftwaffe aces, claiming 31 kills for a personal total of 56, before being killed (MIA) in action versus Spitfires of No. 609 Squadron in November 1940. Wick was seen to bail out successfully but was not found by German Air/Sea Rescue attempts. The Spitfire who dispatched him was immediately shot down by Oberleutnant Rudolf Pflanz. Ofw. Schnell, Ofw. Machold and Olt. Hans Assi Hahn also claimed heavily during this period, with 16 kills each. Some 42 JG 2 pilots were killed or made POW during the battle.
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG26
Jagdgeschwader 26 Schlageter was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. It operated mainly in Western Europe against Great Britain, France and the United States but also saw service against Russia. It was named after Albert Leo Schlageter, a World War I veteran and Freikorps member arrested and executed by the French for sabotage in 1923.
Commanders of II. Gruppe JG 26
Hptm. Werner Palm, 1 May 1939 – 27 June 1939
Hptm Herwig Knüppel, 28 June 1939 – 19 May 1940
Hptm Karl Ebbighausen, 20 May 1940 – 31 May 1940
Hptm. Erich Noack, 1 June 1940 – 24 July 1940
Hptm Karl Ebbighausen, 25 July 1940 – 16 August 1940
Hptm Erich Bode, 17 August 1940 – 3.10.40
Hptm Walter Adolph, 4 October 1940 – 18 September 1941
Hptm Joachim Müncheberg, 19 September 1941 – 21 July 1942
Hptm Conny Meyer, 22 July 1942 – 2 January 1943
Maj Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland, 3 January 43 – 17 August 1943
Hptm Hans Naumann, 18 August 1943 – 8 September 1943
ObLt Johannes Seifert, 9 September 1943 – 25 November 1943
Maj Wilhelm Gäth, 26 November 1943 – 1 March 1944
Hptm Hans Naumann, 2 March 1944 – 28 June 1944
Hptm Emil Lang, 29 June 1944 – 3 September 1944
Hptm Georg-Peter Eder, 4 September 1944 – 8 October 1944
Maj Anton Hackl, 9 October 1944 – 29 January 45
ObLt Waldemar Radener, 30 January 1945 – 22 February 1945
Hptm Paul Schauder, 23 February 1945 – 1 May 1945
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG3
Jagdgeschwader 3 (JG 3) Udet was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. The Geschwader operated on all the German fronts in the European Theatre of World War II. It was named after Ernst Udet in 1942.
Commanders of IV./JG 3
Major Franz Beyer, 1. June 1943
Hauptmann Heinz Lang , 11 February 1944
Major Friedrich-Karl Müller, 26 February 1944
Hauptmann Heinz Lang , 11 April 1944
Major Wilhelm Moritz, 18 April 1944
Hauptmann Hubert-York Weydenhammer, 5 December 1944
Major Erwin Bacsila, 5 January 1945
Oberleutnant Oskar Romm, 17 February 1945
Hauptmann Gerhard Koall, 25 April 1945
Hauptmann Günther Schack, 1 Mai 1945
Country : Germany
Founded : 26th June 1943
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG300
Jagdgeschwader 300 (JG 300) was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. JG 300 was formed on June 26, 1943 in Deelen as Stab/Versuchskommando Herrmann, from July 18, 1943 as Stab/JG Herrmann, and then finally redesignated on August 20, 1943 to Stab/JG 300. Its first Geschwaderkommodore was Oberstleutnant Hajo Herrmann.
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG301
Full profile not yet available.
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG5
Eismeer was a Luftwaffe fighter Wing that served during World War II. As the name Eismeer (Ice Sea) implies, it was created to operate in the far North of Europe, namely Norway, Scandinavia and northern parts of Finland, all nearest the Arctic Ocean. Just over two dozen fighter aircraft that once served with JG 5 during the war still survive in the 21st century, more than from any other combat wing of any of the Axis air forces of World War II.
Country : Germany
Founded : August 1939
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG51
Jagdgeschwader 51 Mölders was a Luftwaffe fighter wing during World War II, named after the fighter ace Werner Mölders in 1942. JG 51's pilots won more Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes than any other Jagdgeschwader, and flew combat from 1939 in all major theatres of war. Flying Bf 109s and then FW 190s, the wing claimed over 8,000 air victories. Experten included 'Toni' Hafner, Heinz Bär, Richard Leppla, Karl-Gottfried Nordmann, Günther Schack and the legendary Mölders.
Formed in August 1939, and commanded by 48-year-old World War I ace Onkel Theo Osterkamp, the early months of the war JG 51 was based in the West, fighting in the French campaign, and in the Battle of Britain. From late June to mid July JG 51 was the only fighter Geschwader engaged against the RAF constantly. During the whole battle JG 51 lost 68 pilots, the highest casualty rate of the Luftwaffe fighter units engaged. JG 51 was one of the two Geschewader that had four Gruppen. The other being JG 1.
Four Bf 109 of JG 51 in France 1940Whilst based out of the Belgian airfield at Mardyik in late 1940, the German ace Josef Pips Priller was a Staffelkapitän with JG 51, flying Bf 109-E Yellow One. Josef Priller went on to score over 100 victories, the third highest scoring Luftwaffe day fighter ace on the Western Front, fighting solely against the Western Allies.
Against the Western Allies JG 51 had claimed 345 aircraft destroyed by May 1941. JG 51 were therefore one of the Jagdwaffe's elite units, with 'top ten' aces at this time including Werner Mölders with 68 claims, Walter Oesau with 34 claims, and Hermann-Friedrich Joppien with 31. Major Werner Mölders became unit Geschwaderkommodore during July 1940 and led the unit into the invasion of Russia in June 1941.
Claiming 69 kills on the first day of the offensive, by 30 June 1941 JG 51 became the first fighter Geschwader to claim 1,000 air victories (113 kills in 157 sorties were claimed for the day). On 24 June JG 51 claimed 57 bombers shot down for the day. Mölders became the first fighter pilot to reach 100 claims in August and in the same month JG 51's Oberfeldwebel Heinz Bär reached 60 claims and was decorated with the Oak Leaves. A total of 500 Soviet claims was reached on 12 July 1941, although 6 pilots had been lost by JG 51 in the intervening 3 weeks since the offensive had started.
After Mölders' departure in September 1941 (and death later that year) the Geschwader adopted his name as a title of honor in early 1942. Jagdgeschwader 51 Mölders was to remain on the centre sector of the Russian front throughout the rest of 1941. However Oberstleutnant Friedrich Beckh ( one of the few fighter pilots to wear spectacles) proved an uncharismatic commander after Mölders, and it was not until Major Karl-Gottfried Nordmann took over in April 1942 that a worthy successor to Mölders was found. In the period 22 June - 5 December 1941 the unit destroyed 1,881 Soviet aircraft, in return for 84 losses in aerial combat and a single aircraft on the ground.
Air support for the Wehrmacht's Army Group Centre was entrusted to General Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen's VIII. Fliegerkorps. In early January 1942, among the fighter units available to von Richthofen were II, III and IV/ JG 51. With the onset of the sub-zero conditions of the Russian winter, the majority of JG 51's available aircraft became grounded.
The Russian winter counter offensive forced III./ JG 51 into flying numerous fighter-bomber operations in direct support of the infantry, and the gruppe filed few aerial 'kill' claims through January 1942. II./ JG 51 however, accounted for most of VIII. Fliegerkorps's aerial victories during the Soviet offensive. Particularly successful was the duo of Lt. Hans Strelow and Ofw. Wilhelm Mink, both of 5. JG 51. They claimed five MiG-3s of 16 IAP on 4 January (Mink claimed three) and 9 days later Mink claimed a Pe-2 and Strelow destroyed two R-Z biplanes for his 30th and 31st victories. On 4 February, Strelow increased his victories to 36 by shooting down four Russian aircraft. The 19 year-old Strelow claimed his 40th victory on 28 February and claimed 4 victories on both 6 March and 17 March. The next day he was awarded the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes and also shot down seven Soviet aircraft. He was awarded the Eichenlaub on 24 March, his claims total at 66.
7./JG 51, (with Bf 109G-6's) was attached to II./JG 1 in May 1944 from Brest-Litovsk, with pilots arriving at Störmede late in May and hurriedly converting to the FW-190. (It was later renamed 8./JG 1 on 15 August 1944 when the four-Staffeln Gruppe became standard) 7. Staffel was led by Ritterkreuzträger (Knight's Cross winner) Hptm. Karl-Heinz Weber with 136 confirmed kills. Its two other experten were Lt. Friedrich Krakowitzer (23 kills) and Ofhr. Günther Heckmann with 12 kills.
7./JG 51 joined II. Gruppe with 15 pilots on strength at the end of May, and during the first two months of the Normandy campaign the staffel was decimated, with twelve pilots killed, one POW and one severely wounded.
As the war turned against Germany JG 51 was forced to operate closer and closer to Germany, finally staging out of East Prussia.
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of SG10
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Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of SG2
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Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of SG3
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