Bf 110G-4 of Oberst Helmut Lent, IV /NJG1, Leeuwarden Netherlands, Spring 1943. Eduard kit, Aimes decals. FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 array replaced with the turned brass aftermarket version from Master Model, the small FuG 218C antenna is scratchbuilt. Helmut Lent began the war flying the Messerschmitt Bf 110 with Zerstörergeschwader 76 in the heavy fighter role. He participated in both the Polish and Norwegian Campaigns, during the latter he landed his damaged Bf 110 at Fornebu and negotiated the surrender of the Norwegian forces there. He participated in the Battle of Britain and had achieved eight day victories before being trained as a night fighter pilot. As a Nachtjagder he scored steadily, eventually reaching the total of 110 victories and being awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. He was killed on 05OCT44 when his Junkers Ju 88 crashed while attempting to land at Paterborn after the runway was damaged by USAAF B-17s.
The Bachem Ba 349 Natter was a single-use point defense interceptor. It was a desperate attempt to defend Germany against Allied bomber streams. The Natter was powered by a Walter HWK 109-509C-1 liquid rocket engine supplemented by four Schmidding SG 34 solid rockets for take-off. The Natter was constructed of wood and was designed to be disposable. Armament consisted of 33 R4M rockets in the nose. It was to be launched vertically when Allied bombers were overhead, flying into the bomber formation and launching its rockets. The pilot was then to glide clear, the aircraft separating and both the pilot and rocket engine were to return by parachute.
The first manned launch resulted in the death of the test pilot, Lothar Sieber. Subsequent manned launches were successful. Several Natter were produced. Most were expended in testing, none were used operationally.
Johannes “Macky” Steinhoff was one of the legends of the Luftwaffe, having flown throughout the entire war on every major front. He flew a total of 993 sorties and was credited with 176 victories. He was shot down himself on twelve occasions but only bailed out once, preferring to crash land his aircraft due to a mis-trust of parachutes. He scored six of his victories while flying the Me 262 with JV 44, but two weeks before the end of the war his jet crashed during take-off, leaving Steinhoff with severe burns. After the war he became a General in the West German Air Force. He died in February 1994 at the age of 80.
Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a of Rudolf Rademacher, 9. / JG 7.
Revell of Germany kit. Rudolf “Rudi” Rademacher opened his account flying with 3./JG 54 “Green Hearts” on the Eastern Front. He flew as a wingman to Walter Nowotny with 1./JG 54. His best day was 05JUL43 when he was credited with seven victories. He was transferred to 1./Jagdgruppe Nord as an instructor where he continued to score and was wounded while attacking a B-17 in September. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross and after recovering from his injuries he joined 11./JG 7 and learned to fly the Me 262. He scored at least sixteen victories with the Me 262, Toliver places his final tally at 126.
This is the 2004 Hasegawa He-111H-6 kit updated to H-20 configuration. The model represents the aircraft of bomber “ace” Oberleutnant Dietrich Kornblum, Staffelkapitän of 4./KG 53, located at Piastow, Russia in June 1944. Kornblum was awarded the Knight’s Cross after completing 400 missions. The aircraft has been overpainted with RLM 76 “clouds” and black undersides over the standard Luftwaffe RLM 70 / 71 splinter scheme. The dorsal turret transparency was formed using the “plunge mold” technique.
Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2 of Major Günther Lützow Stab / JG3, Russia, Summer 1941. Fine Molds kit.
Günther Lützow scored his first five victories as a member of Germany’s Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War, including the first victory ever credited to the Bf 109. During the Battle of France he added nine more to his score, with another nine during the battle of Britain. When Operation Barbarossa began he was a Major and Geschwaderkommodore of JG 3, this is Lützow’s mount depicted in the model.
Lützow continued to score regularly against the Russians and on 24OCT41 he became the second Luftwaffe Jagdflieger to achieve the one hundred victory mark (after Werner Mölders). He was outspoken in his beliefs and made no secret of his distaste for the SS and the National Socialist Party. This resulted in his being transferred to various staff positions, but he was a central figure in the Fighter Pilot’s Muntity where he criticized Herman Göring directly, which resulted in his exile to Italy. He returned to Germany to fly the Me 262 with Galland’s JV 44 and was credited with two additional victories, bringing his total to 110. On 24APR45, just two weeks before the end of the war, Oberst Günther Lützow went missing in his Me 262 while intercepting USAAF B-26s over Donauwörth, Germany.
Here is White 11 of Oberfeldwebel Heinz Marquart, 13 /JG 51 at Schmoldow, Germany, May 1945. He was shot down in this aircraft by an RAF 41 Squadron Spitfire XIV on 1 May 1945, the day before his unit surrendered. His comrades assumed he was dead, but he survived and was in a hospital as the war ended. Heinz Marquart finished the war with credited with a total of 122 victories.
There is considerable confusion concerning White 11, several sources attribute the White 11 surrendered to the RAF on 2 May at Flensburg as being Marquart’s mount. That aircraft had unpainted gun covers, but it obviously cannot be the same White 11 shot down the day before. Jerry Crandall resolved the disparity during an interview with pilot Heinz Radlauer – mechanics had painted White 11 on two different 13 Staffel Doras!
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.