Saturday, 26 March 2016

Anti bomber pilots, in defense of the Reich. Part 3

Messerschmitt Bf109G of Major Walther Dahl's III./JG 3 undergo enginbe maintanance at Leipheim in March 1944. The aircraft in the features a typical spinner spiral and the white fuselage band of the Geschwader, as well as the black vertical bar of III. Gruppe
Fw190 'Yellow 13' prepares o start up at Störmede in the spring of 1944. It is believed that this aircraft may have been one of those flown by Hauptmann Rüdiger Kirchmayr, Staffelkapitän of5./JG 1 and victor over 14 four-engined bombers

Major Heinz Bär, the Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 1, addresses his pilots at Rheine in March 1944. Pilots who claimed Viermot victories in April 1944 included Rüdiger Kirchmayr (far left), Otto Bach (front row, eighth from left), Leo Schuhmacher (front row, ninth from left) and Kurt Niedereichholz (front row, tenth from left)
Major Walter Matoni accounted for 14 Viermots shot downduring a career that saw him fly more thaan 400 operational missions. He is seen here during the finl months of the war, having received the Knight's Cross for around 30 victories. Matoni was commanding II./JG 2 at this time.
Major Anton Hackl, Kommodore of JG 76 (right), assist in rolling out his Fw190 during the summer of 1944. In addition to his leadership of JG 76, Hackl was an acting Kommodore of JG 11, Kommandeur of II./ JG 26 and acting Kommodore of JG 300. He was a recipient of the Swords to the Knight's Cross, and was credited with 192 enemy aircraft destroyed, including 34 Viermots, ranking him as the second highest-scoring bomber-killer after Goerg-Peter Eder
In late October 1943 Rolf-Günther Hermichen, seen here (left) being interviewed for a propaganda radio broadcast, was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 11 at Husum. He led this unit successfully until April 1944, after which he took over command of the fighter training unit II./ JG 104. Hermichen was a true 'bomber-killer', and his tally of Viermots eventually stood at 26. He was awarded the Ok Leaves to the Knight's Cross on 19 February 1945 and survived the war.
Underoffizier Gerhard Vivroux and Feldwebel Hermann Walhfeld pose for the camera in front of an Fw190A-7 at Salzwadel in early 1944. All but one of Vivroux's 11 victories were four-engined bombers. The Focke-wulf has been fitted with armoured glass panels to the cockpit for defence during close-range attacks on bomber formations.
Wolfgang Kosse (second rom right) of Sturmstaffel 1 describes his shooting-down of B-17 north of Hamm on 23 March 1944 to one of the Sturmstaffel's officers, Major Erwin Bacsila (right). To the left of Kosse is Unteroffizzier Kurt Röhrich, who also claimed a B-17 during the mission. Listening to Kosse third from left is Leutnant Rudolf Metz.
A pair of Fw190As of 6./JG 1 in their crude earth revetments at Störmede in April 1944. The aircraft in the foreground bears the winged '1' emblem of Jadgeschwader 1 and the red fuselage identification bands of the Geschwader
Major Heinz Bär was one of the Luftwaffe's most accomplished jagdflieger and unit commanders by war's end, having  achieved around 220 aerials victories. his bluntness brought him into conflict with Göring who, later in the war,
quietly transferred him away from front line command and assigned him to lead the Me262 training and conversion Gruppe, III./EJG 2
Major Heinz Bär visits the wreckage of B-17F MISSOUACHITA of the 91st BG, which he shot down on 21 February 1944. He is accompanied by his two usual wingmen, Oberfeldwebel Leo Schuhmacher and Feldwebel Max Sauer (killed on 29 March 1944). Bär insisted on the fact that his wingmen were sufficiently experienced to be able to lead the Gruppe themselves in case of hiss absence 
Wearing a prized American flying jacket, Oberfeldwebel Leo Schuhmacher (left) of Stab II./JG 1 joins his commanding officer, Heinz Bär (centre), and Feldwebel Max Sauer in examining the top turret of B-17F MISS OUACHITA
Oberfeldwebel Otto Bach (centre) of 5./JG 1 with his ground crew in front his Fw190, which bears the winged '1' emblem of JG 1. Bach shot down a B-17 near Fallersleben on 11 April 1944 for his 13th victory.
Smoke clouds around a B-17 as it takes hits from a Luftwaffe fighter during a rear -mounted attack

Photos taken form Luftwffe Viermot Aces 1942  - 45, Robert Forsyth

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