Thursday, September 24, 2015

Refuelling of Messerschmitt Bf 109

In the summer of 1940, Major Adolf Galland’s III.Gruppe / Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) “Schlageter” was based at Caffiers airfield east of Calais, from where it flew missions over England. There III./JG 26’s technical officer, Hauptmann Rolf Schödter, took a series of color photographs. This photo depict the Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 “Weiße 13”, flown by Leutnant Walter Blume of 7.Staffel / III.Gruppe / JG 26. The four black victory bars on the rudder date the photograph between 25 July 1940 (Blume’s 4th victory) and 15 August 1940 (when Leutnant Blume was lost). Also in evidence are the yellow identity markings introduced by Luftflotte 2 at the beginning of August, which were applied to the wingtips and outer horizontal stabilizers and, in some cases, the top of the rudder. The presence of these yellow markings suggest that the photographs must have been taken in the first two weeks of August. With the repair completed, a member of the ground crew fills the glycol tank of “Weiße 13”. Note the red servicing instructions applied by band beneath the filler point: “Füllung… 50% Wasser, 50% Glycol, 1.5% Schutzöl” (Filling… 50% Water, 50% Glycol, 1.5% Preservative Oil). The bullet hole is clearly visible in the machine-gun cover in the foreground. The shape of the hole shows that the bullet came from behind. Also note the Geschwader emblem of JG 26 and the black spinner. Strangely the work is being watched by a civilian in overalls (possibly a team member of Profesor Kurt Tank, Focke-Wulf’s chief designer).

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

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