Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Maintenance of German Aircraft by Hungarian Ground Crew

Hungarian mechanics servicing the DB 601 engine of a Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 belong to 1. Ungarische Jabostaffel (1st Hungarian Fighter-Bomber Squadron). This photograph was taken in February 1943. The mechanics were exposed to the bitter cold on the open airfields. This man is wearing a fleece cap and vest. The aircraft has a black spinner. On 20 December 1942 the squadron had eight Bf 109 F-4 fighters on strength. At the end of December, after 140 mainly close-support missions, the squadron was withdrawn from the front and replaced by Staffel 5/1 and 5/2. The pilots of these two units had to be retrained too. Staffel 5/2, commanded by Hauptmann Heppe, used three Bf 109 F-4s bearing the aircraft codes V- + 08, V0 + 10 and V- + 12. The photograph presented here were taken during Staffel 5/2’s conversion training. Staffel 5/1 continued training through all of January 1943, several times having to hastily abandoned airfields after Russian forces broke throught the lines. On 20 January the Staffel was at the Uman airfield. At the beginning of April Staffel 5/1 was combined with Gruppenstab 5/1 at Kharkov-South. In April the Staffel finally went into action, flying fighter-bomber missions with I./JG 52 commanded by Hauptmann Horst-Günther von Fassong

Source :
 "Luftwaffe im Focus", Spezial No.1 - 2003

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