Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oberleutnant Hans Philipp in 1/72 Scale

Hans Philipp was credited with his first victory on the fifth day of WWII, a Polish PZL P.24 near Radomsko.  He continued to score during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, and was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 20OCT40 for 20 victories.  He then flew in the Balkan Campaign, where he added two Yugoslavian-flown Bf 109’s to his total.

JG 54 was re-equipped with the improved Bf 109F-2 for Operation Barbarossa.  Philipp continued to score steadily against the Soviets, who were overmatched in both equipment and in training.  In March 1942 he was presented with the Swords and had achieved his 100th victory, the fourth Luftwaffe pilot to do so.  A year later he had achieved 200 victories.

Philipp was transferred to the West to command JG 1 in April 1943 to combat the ever-growing streams of American heavy bombers.  Like many Luftwaffe fighter pilots, Philipp found the transition from fighting small groups of Soviet tactical aircraft to large formations of American heavy bombers and their escorts difficult.  On 08OCT43 he led his Geschwader against a formation of B-17 Flying Fortresses escorted by P-47 Thunderbolts.  His Fw 190A-6 was hit by defensive fire from a B-17, Philipp bailed out but was too low for his parachute to open and he was killed.  Some sources credit LCOL Robert Johnson, an ace with the 56th FG with downing him.  Philipp was credited with 206 victories.

The model depicts Philipp’s Bf 109F-2 of 6./JG 54 in Russia, July 1941. RLM 74 / 75 / 76 camo with 70 squiggles on the fuselage sides.

14 thoughts on “Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oberleutnant Hans Philipp in 1/72 Scale

  1. Located this interview at banner:
    Not long before he passed away in December, 1998, Robert S. Johnson was interviewed by Colin D. Heaton, of Military History magazine. Excerpts of that interview follow:

    Military History: Tell us about some of the types of missions that the 56th Fighter Group performed.

    Johnson: We started flying bomber escort. The first missions were just flights over the coastline into France to get a feel for the terrain and the enemy-controlled area. We occasionally met the enemy over the North Sea, and sometimes they came over to visit us. They would strafe the fields and that type of thing. As time went on, we pushed them back from the coastline, but that comes later in the story. That was where I received my combat and aerial gunnery training, against the best the Germans had.

    MH: That’s true, you were flying against Jagdgeschwader 2 (JG.2) and JG.26 a lot–and they were definitely a sharp group of pilots.

    Johnson: Yes, that’s correct. They were at Abbeville and along the coast, right across from us.

    MH: I understand that Oberstleutnant Hans Philipp, leader of JG.1, was one of your victories?

    Johnson: That was on October 8, 1943. My wingman and I had become separated, as sometimes happens in combat. We were trying to find some friendly airplanes to fly home with. I had just shot down a Messerschmitt Bf-110, which was my fourth kill. As I pulled up from that dive I saw four FW-190s attacking the bombers. I rolled over until I was upside down so I could watch them, as they were some 5,000 feet below me. I was inverted and continued my dive, shooting while pushing the nose forward to give the necessary lead for my bullets to intercept one of the planes. I was shooting at the leader, and his number three or four man pulled his nose up, shooting at me as I was coming down. I continued the attack, and just as I hit the leader, knocking him down, I felt a thump in my airplane. How badly I was hit I didn’t know, as I was very busy. I leveled out after that, and I found out 50 years later that my fifth victory was Hans Philipp, a 206-victory ace from the Russian Front. I pulled up right in the path of a group of Bf-110s and FW-190s coming in behind the four I had engaged. I immediately threw the stick left and dropped the nose. Nothing happened when I hit left rudder, and then I knew that my rudder cable was shot away. I had no rudder control at all, only trim tabs.

    MH: What went through your mind at that time?

    Johnson: Well, the main thing was to get clear of that cluster of enemy fighters. I dived away with the throttle wide open, and I saw some friendly P-47s and joined up with them. My first thought was to bail out, but I pulled up alongside them and found I could still fly, even with 35 feet of rudder cable piled up in the cockpit. Those planes were from the 62nd Squadron, part of our group. They said, “Sure, come aboard.” Ralph Johnson turned out to be leading the flight. I still had the throttle wide open, and he said, “Jesus Christ, Johnson, cut it back!” I was running away from them. Well, I chopped the throttle back and we returned to England, landing at Boxted, which was the first base we came to. Ironically, we were later stationed there as a group. There was one little opening in the clouds below, and I saw there were some runways. At the time, we had a bomber and a Piper Cub­type airplane ahead of us, and we let them land first. They said, “Bob, since you’re banged up, you go in first.” I told them: “No, I have plenty of fuel, and if I mess it up none of you could get in. I’ll just stay up here and come in last.” They all landed and got out of the way. I came in a little hot, but I still had aileron control–no problem there. I came in, touched the wheels first, then the tail wheel dropped. I had to hold the left rudder cable in my hand so that I could get to my brakes. The minute I touched down I was pulling on the cable, using the brakes, and was able to stop. I pulled off the runway in case anyone had to come in behind me. I climbed out and walked the entire perimeter of that base; I could not see due to the foggy weather. I later found the other guys at the control tower, waiting on me. The next morning we looked at the airplane, which was only 50 yards from the tower, but I had walked in the opposite direction for about 2.5 miles to get to that point. We had some guys come over and put a new rudder cable in.

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