One of the least known theaters of the airwar was the Arctic Front. JG 5 was stationed there throughout the war, flying out of bases in Norway. Rudi Linz was one of the more successful JG 5 Experten, claiming a total of 70 victories.
On 09FEB45 RAF Coastal Command launched a strike on German warships in Førde Fjord, Norway, including the destroyer Z33. Linz led his Staffel to intercept the strike which consisted of more than 30 Beaufighters escorted by a dozen Mustangs. In the ensuing action 9 Beaufighters and 1 Mustang were shot down, while the Germans lost 4 (some accounts say 5) Fw 190’s. One of the pilots killed that day was Rudi Linz.
The model represents the Fw 190A-8 of Rudi Linz, Staffelkapitän of 12./JG 5 in Norway 1945. Kit markings were used, but they should include a green heart on the port side along with the name “Gretel”. Also it is unlikely that JG 5 aircraft carried the underwing rocket launchers.
Fritz Tegtmeier opened his account on the first day of Operation Barbarossa. His score built up slowly, and he was sidelined for several months due to injuries sustained in a collision with a Bf 110. Returning to duty in April 1942 he scored steadily until May 1943 when he was posted to instructor duty with 53 victories. In September he returned to the front with 3./JG 54. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross for 99 victories in March 1944, and was subsequently promoted to Leutnant and made Staffelkapitän of 3./JG 54. He was undertaking conversion training on the Me 262 with JG 7 at the end of the war. He was credited with 146 aerial victories.
This is the Fw 190A-6 of Fritz Tegtmeier of 3./JG 54, stationed at Wesenberg, Estonia, March 1944.
One of the lesser-known Luftwaffe Experten, Albin Wolf was transferred to JG 54 Grünherz (Green Hearts) in May 1942, then fighting the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. He did not score his first victory until August, when he downed an Il-2 Sturmovik. After that he scored steadily, being awarded the Knight’s Cross for 117 victories on 22NOV43. He was shot down and killed on 02APR44, his final score was 144.
The model depicts the Fw 190A-5 piloted by Albin Wolf of 3. /JG54 in Russia. The camo is a field-applied scheme of RLM 71 / 02 / 79 over 76.
Joachim Brendel claimed his first victory a week after Operation Barbarossa began. His score grew slowly as he was assigned a number of ground attack sorties, but was promoted to Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 51 in May 1943. The Staffel was heavily committed to the Battle of Kursk, where Brendal was credited with five victories in one day on 12JUL43 bringing his score to 57. Two weeks later he was shot down and wounded by anti-aircraft fire, but managed to make his way back to German lines. He was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 51 in September 1944, and awarded the Oak Leaves in January. Brendal survived the war with a total of 189 victories to his credit.
The model represents the Fw 190A-6 of Joachim Brendel of 1. / JG51 at Orel, Russia, December 1943. Camouflage is the standard RLM 74 / 75 / 76.
Otto Kittel spent the war flying against the Soviets on the Eastern Front. He claimed his first two victories during the first days of Barbarossa, a pair of SB-2 bombers. He achieved his 100th victory in September 1943, and was awarded the Knight’s Cross a month later. He was presented with the Oak Leaves in May 1944, credited with his 200th victory in August, and received the Swords in November. On 14 February 1945 (some sources say the 16th) he was intercepting a flight of Il-2’s when his Fw 190A-8 was hit by return fire and crashed. Kittel was the fourth-highest scoring fighter pilot in history, and has the dubious honor of being the highest-scoring fighter pilot to be killed in combat. He was credited with 267 victories, all in the East, including 94 Il-2 Sturmoviks.
The model represents Kittel’s Fw 190A-8 assigned to 3./JG 54 at Riga-Skulte Latvia, June 1944.
Egon Mayer fought entirely in the West. He was credited with his first victory, an MS 406, during the Battle of France. His JG 2 “Richthofen” fought in the Battle of Britain and remained on the Channel Front. Mayer scored steadily against the RAF, and was awarded the Knight’s Cross in August 1941 after his 21st victory.
As the American presence grew, Mayer was promoted to Hauptman and commanded III./JG 2 as Gruppenkommandeur. He identified the nose armament of the American heavies as a defensive weak point, and developed the head-on attack which became the preferred Luftwaffe interception tactic. On 23NOV42 he was credited with two B-17’s and a B-24 using these tactics.
On 01JUL43 Meyer was appointed Geschwaderkommodore of JG 2. He continued to lead his pilots on interceptions of American heavy bomber raids and was able to score consistently. On 02MAR44 he was leading an attack on a B-17 formation when he was shot down and killed by an escorting P-47. His final tally reached a total of 102, and included 51 Spitfires and 26 heavy bombers.
The model represents the Fw 190A-2 of Oberleutnant Egon Mayer of 7./ JG 2, at Theville France, June 1942.
Max Stotz began his aviation career in 1935 in the Austrian Air Force, and continued on in the Luftwaffe after the Anschluss, Germany’s annexation of Austria. He scored his first aerial victory, an RAF Blenheim on 05NOV39. He continued to score against the British and French during the Battle of France. His unit was transferred to support the invasion of Yugoslavia, but he didn’t add to his tally again until the invasion of Russia.
Stotz continued to add to his score while flying against the Soviets, being awarded the Oak Leaves for his 100th victory on 30OCT42. One month later he was credited with ten victories in a single day. His luck ran out on 19AUG43 when he was shot down by a Yak-9. He successfully took to his parachute but came down in Soviet territory and was not seen again. He was credited with a total of 189 victories.
The model depicts Stotz’ Fw 190A-5 of 5. / JG54, Russia, Spring 1943 in a field-applied camouflage. I interpreted the upper surface colors as being 02 / 79 / 70 / 83 based upon what I saw in the photograph, my best guess.
Josef “Sepp” Wurmheller opened his account during the “Phoney War”, a Fairey Battle on 30SEP39. His fortunes were mixed during the Battle of Britain, where he claimed four further victories but was shot down himself on three occasions. His most successful day was during the Dieppe Raid on 19AUG42, when he was credited with seven victories over four sorties.
The majority of Wurmheller’s victories were scored in the West, 93 in all including 56 Spitfires and 21 four-motor bombers. He was briefly deployed to the East where he added 9 Soviet aircraft to his total. He was dogfighting with Allied fighters on 22JUN44 when he collided with his wingman, both German pilots were killed. Josef Wurmheller’s final score was 103.
The model represents the Fw 190A-5 of Josef Wurmheller while assigned to 9. / JG2, France, July 1943.
Franz Eisenach scored his first victory on 08NOV42, a Russian-flown P-40. He continued to score steadily, his best day was on 14SEP44, when he claimed five Il-2 Sturmoviks and four Pe-2s. He was wounded seriously enough to require hospitalization on three occasions – once while crash landing after being shot down by Russian fighters, another bailing out wounded after his aircraft was hit by flak, and lastly after being injured during a bombing raid on his airfield. Eisenach survived the war, and was credited with a total of 129 victories, all in the East. The model depicts the Fw 190A-8 of Major Franz Eisenach, Gruppenkommandeur of I. / JG54, at Schrunden, Courland, November 1944.
Walther Dahl claimed his first victory on the opening day of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. He continued to score against the Soviets, his total reaching 51 victories by July 1943, when he was assigned to the West as Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 3. He successfully made the transition from East to West, although he was shot down by RAF Spitfires on 17AUG43 had had to make a belly landing in his Bf 109. The Luftwaffe became more and more desperate to stem the flow of Allied bombers, and Dahl took command of JG 300 in June, 1944. JG 300 was formed as a special unit whose pilots were to close in on American bomber formations to point-blank range, ramming their targets if necessary. While these tactics were sometimes successful, they were also costly to the Luftwaffe, especially if Allied escort fighters were present. Dahl was one of several prominent Jagdflieger who locked horns with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, being relieved of command on 30NOV44 for refusing Göring’s order to intercept an American raid in poor weather, only the intervention of Adolf Galland preventing his court martial. Dahl was quickly reinstated and promoted, and continued to fly combat missions until the end of the war. He was credited with his last victory, a P-51 Mustang on 26APR45, bringing his total to 128.
The model depicts Dahl’s Fw 190A-8 of Stab /JG 300, at Jüterbog, Germany, December 1944.
WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT― Thomas Jefferson