Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 of Oberleutnant Günther Rall of 8. / JG52, Russia, SEP42. Fine Molds kit.
Günther Rall flew this aircraft upon returning to 8. / JG52 after recovering from a broken back sustained when he was shot down on 28NOV41 after his 36th victory. By the end of the month he had brought his score to 90. The aircraft shows signs of overpainting on the fuselage sides. Rall was superstitious about the number thirteen and preferred that number on his assigned aircraft.
Rall was promoted to Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 52 in July 1943 and in September was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. In April 1944 he was transferred to the Western Front and command of II./JG 11. Like so many Experten transferred from the Eastern Front, he found combat against the Americans and British to be a much different thing than fighting the Russians. On 12MAY44 Major Rall found himself facing the P-47 Thunderbolts of Colonel Hubert Zemke and his “Wolfpack”. Unable to evade or outrun the powerful Thunderbolts, Rall bailed out of his damaged Messerschmitt with a severed thumb. He survived the war as the third-highest scoring fighter pilot with 275 victories. Post-war he served in the German Bundesluftwaffe, retiring with the rank of the rank of Generalleutnant.
Günther Rall passed away on 04OCT09 at the age of 91.