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|Gerhard Barkhorn (deceased)|
Gerhard Barkhorn joined II/JG52 in August 1940. In June 1943 he was promoted Kommandeur II/JG52, and in November that year he became only the fifth fighter pilot to reach 200 victories. He achieved his 300th victory on 5th January 1945. Promoted Komodore of JG6 near the end of the war, he was then summoned by Galland to join JV44. Barkhorn flew 1104 missions, and with 301 victories was the second highest scoring Ace in history. He was awarded the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. Born 20th May 1919, died alongside his wife 8th January 1983 in a car accident.
Items Signed by Gerhard Barkhorn (deceased)
Packs with at least one item featuring the signature of Gerhard Barkhorn (deceased)
|Squadrons for : Gerhard Barkhorn (deceased)|
|A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Gerhard Barkhorn (deceased). A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.|
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 JG52
The most successful Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II, with a claim total of more than 10,000 victories over enemy aircraft. It was home to the top three scoring Experten of the Luftwaffe, Erich Hartmann, Gerhard Barkhorn and Günther Rall. The unit flew the various marks of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 exclusively through the war.
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JV44
A special fighter unit of top German fighter ace pilots in the Luftwaffe during the last months of World War II. The main aircraft used by the unit was the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter. They were known by various nicknames, including Der Galland-Zirkus (The Galland Circus).
The commander of JV 44 was General Adolf Galland (103 victories) the former General der Jagdflieger who had recently been sacked from his command by Hermann Göring for attacking the operational policies and tactics used by the Luftwaffe High Command. It was hoped by Galland's superiors that a front line command would result in his death in action, thereby removing the problem of Galland's criticism. This unit was composed of highly experienced pilots who were from Galland's former staff or were otherwise co-opted by Galland from units which had been disbanded or were being re-equipped. It had relatively few operational planes available for any single sortie and was repeatedly forced to relocate due to the approach of Allied ground forces. At war's end the unit was disbanded and its brief history came to an end.
|Aircraft for : Gerhard Barkhorn (deceased)|
|A list of all aircraft associated with Gerhard Barkhorn (deceased). A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Messerschmitt
Number Built : 1400
The Messerschmitt Me-262 Swallow, a masterpiece of engineering, was the first operational mass-produced jet to see service. Prototype testing of the airframe commenced in 1941 utilizing a piston engine. General Adolf Galland, who was in charge of the German Fighter Forces at that time, pressured both Goring and Hitler to accelerate the Me-262, and stress its use as a fighter to defend Germany from Allied bombers. Hitler, however, envisioned the 262 as the aircraft which might allow him to inflict punishment on Britain. About 1400 Swallows were produced, but fortunately for the Allies, only about 300 saw combat duty. While the original plans for the 262 presumed the use of BMW jet engines, production Swallows were ultimately equipped with Jumo 004B turbojet engines. The wing design of the 262 necessitated the unique triangular hull section of the fuselage, giving the aircraft a shark-like appearance. With an 18 degree swept wing, the 262 was capable of Mach .86. The 262 was totally ineffective in a turning duel with Allied fighters, and was also vulnerable to attack during take off and landings. The landing gear was also suspect, and many 262s were destroyed or damaged due to landing gear failure. Despite its sleek jet-age appearance, the 262 was roughly manufactured, because Germany had lost access to its normal aircraft assembly plants. In spite of these drawbacks the 262 was effective. For example, on April 7, 1945 a force of sixty 262s took on a large force of Allied bombers with escort fighters. Armed with their four nose-mounted cannons, and underwing rockets the Swallows succeeded in downing or damaging 25 Allied B-17s on that single mission. While it is unlikely that the outcome of the War could have been altered by an earlier introduction or greater production totals for this aircraft, it is clear to many historians that the duration of the War might have been drastically lengthened if the Me-262 had not been too little too late.
See our aviation history timeline for all today's historical aviation events - air victories, aircraft losses and pilot details.
|RECENT UPDATES TO OUR AVIATION HISTORY DATABASES|
|New victory claim added : Fw190 (Probable victory.) claimed on 23rd September 1943 by Stanislaw Brzeski of No.302 Sqn RAF|
|A. R. Clough added to aircrew database.|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Hampden AD734 : Airframe notes updated (added 11-02-1941 : Hampden was abandoned after flying into a balloon cable over Birmingham. It's believed that the Hampden was set onto auto-pilot following the collision, and eventually crashed into the Irish sea.)|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : G. Targett : Squadrons updated (added No.83 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : T2282 : Squadrons updated|
|99th Bomb Group added to the squadrons database.|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : S. J. Congdon : Squadrons updated (added No.51 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Aircrew database for : Pates : Squadrons updated (added No.149 Sqn RAF), Squadron service dates updated|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Wellington R1646 :|
|Updates made to Airframes database for : Hampden AD719 : Airframe notes updated (added 10-02-1941 : Hampden was shot down by an intruder and crashed near Grange Farm in Sudbrooke, Lincoln. Sergeants Butterworth and Caldwell were killed.)|
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