Asisbiz IL2 BE Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 Asisbiz IL2 BE Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 NM Asisbiz IL2 BE Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 V0A Asisbiz IL2 BE Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 V0B Asisbiz IL2 BE Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 V0C Asisbiz IL2 HM Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944
Asisbiz IL2 HM Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 NM Asisbiz IL2 HM Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 V0A Asisbiz IL2 JV Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 Asisbiz IL2 JV Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 NM Asisbiz IL2 ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 V01 Asisbiz IL2 ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 V02
Asisbiz IL2 ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 V03 Asisbiz IL2 ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 V05 Asisbiz IL2 ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11 ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 V0A Asisbiz IL2 ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11. ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 Asisbiz IL2 ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II.JG11. ((+ Gunther Specht Wunsdorf Hannover 1944 NM


Messerschmitt Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944

Skins Compatibility:IL2 Sturmovik Forgotten Battles (FB), Ace Expansion Pack (AEP), Pacific Fighters (PF), 1946

HM Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944
HM Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944 NM
HM Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944 V0A

Historical skins of Bf 109G-6/AS - II./JG11 of Kdr. Gunther Specht, Wunsdorf-Hannover - 1944 Iron Cross for 30 victories in nose. Skin made by Harpia Mafra55 Template made by Jester Internal made by Shooter Harpia Mafra55 mauriciomarcosmafra@ig.com.br

1.JaVA Serval JV Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944
1.JaVA Serval JV Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944 NM

Specht was a 'man of action'. Even though he lost an eye in December 1939, during an attach on an RAF Wellington, he returned as a fighter pilot. In all he would be shot down 6 times. After flying Bf110's Major Specht turned to single seat fighters and got promoted to commander of JG11 in April 1944. With a final score of 34 victories he would become missing in action during Operation Bodenplatte. Believing that these forward bases would be vulnerable on New Year's Day, the Germans began hoarding their Luftwaffe units for one final strike known as Operation Bodenplatte. In the early morning hours of January 1, 1945, 900 German fighters and bombers struck at these bases in Western Europe. JG11 would attach the airfields Y-32 and Y-29, the last beging the home base of 366th and 352nd Fighter groups. P-47's of 390th FS 366th FG had already taken off from Y-29 to start a mission when Melvyn Paisley spotted AAA over Y-32 and recognized many enemy aircraft. The P-47's dropped their ordinance to engage the enemy, giving 352nd FG the time to get their Mustangs airborne. JG11 lost 8 aircraft to 390th FS, 23 to 352nd FG and about 65 to AAA. One of the casualties was Major Specht, the commander of JG11. Ironically the pilot (Johnson) of the only P-47 who was shot down, bailed out and landed close to the Gunther Specht crashed aircraft. The aircraft had bellied in and it's pilot (Specht) was dead in his cockpit, so Johnson took his papers and pistol as ante for the next poker game. I used the excellent template made by TonyT to create this skin. I won't call it a perfect historical skin since the sources I have differ about it's looks. Made by 1.JaVA Serval Squadron page: http://www.1java.org Skinners Heaven (for skins, skinning tips, a skinners forum, markings, colorchips etc): http://www.skinnersheaven.com

skuli thor ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944
skuli thor ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944 NM
skuli thor ST Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944 V0A

Bf 109G-6/AS, flown by Maj. Gunther Specht, Gruppenkommandeur II./JG11, Wunsdorf, April 1944. Internals by FBS. Includes a blank version. skuli thor skuli thor@hotmail.com

axis-and-allies Boelcke BE Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944
axis-and-allies Boelcke BE Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944 NM
axis-and-allies Boelcke BE Bf 109G6AS Stab II./JG11 ((+- Gunther Specht Wunsdorf-Hannover 1944 V0A

Axis and Allies http://axis-and-allies-paintworks.com/


Wünsdorf, Germany Map


Knights Cross

Gunther Specht

Gunther Specht was born on 13 November 1914 at Frankenstein in Niederschlesien. Specht was serving with ZG76, at the beginning of World War 2, flying Bf 110 Zerstorer twin-engined fighters. Leutnant Specht was assigned to 3./ZG76. On 29 September 1939 he achieved his first victories when he shot down two RAF Hampden twin-engine bombers. On 3 December 1939, he shot down a RAF Wellington twin-engine bomber over the North Sea. However, his aircraft received hits in the cockpit from return fire seriously wounding him and necessitating a ditching in the sea. He subsequently lost the sight in his left eye. Specht did not let the disability deter him from combat flying. On 23 May 1940, he shot down three RAF Spitfire fighters. However, his aircraft was shot up in the engagement necessitating a forced-landing between Calais and Boulogne. Specht again received serious wounds, which would keep him from combat duty for some time. On his recovery, Specht became a staff officer and, on 31 October 1941, Gruppenkommandeur of III./Nachtjagdschule 1, a position he held until 31 October 1942. At the end of 1942, Specht returned to a combat role. On 26 February 1943, as a member of 10./JG1, he shot down a USAAF B-17 four-engine bomber.

In May 1943, Hauptmann Specht became Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG11. At the end of 1943, he had 24 victories to his credit, including 14 four-engine bombers. Despite his visual handicap, he became one of the leading Viermottoter. On 20 February 1944, he force-landed on the Danish Aroe Island as a result of technical trouble with his Bf 109 G. On 8 April 1944, Major Specht was awarded the Ritterkreuz for 31 victories. On 15 May 1944, Major Specht became Kommodore of JG11. In July, he again suffered head injuries in a forced-landing. Despite suffering severe pain from his injuries, Specht remained on combat duty. Specht was listed as missing in action over Asch, Belgium on 1 January 1945, during operation Bodenplatte, in Fw-190A-9 (W.Nr. 205033) "Black 4". It is presumed he was a victim of flak. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Oberstleutnant and was recommended for the Eichenlaub.

Gunther Specht shot down 34 enemy aircraft. All his victories were recorded over the Western front and include 15 four-engine bombers.

List of aerial victories forGunther Specht

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
1. 29.9.1939 10:01 Hampden 3./ZG 26 SE Helgoland Hampden of 144 Sqn RAF
2. 29.9.1939 10:05 Hampden 3./ZG 26 SE Helgoland Hampden of 144 Sqn RAF
3. 3.12.1939 - Wellington 3./ZG 26 Near Heligoland Wellington Ia (N2880) "Z" of 38 Sqn RAF
4. 23.5.1940 - Spitfire 3./ZG 26 Calais-Boulogne Spitfire of 92 Sqn RAF. P/O Paul Klipsch
5. 23.5.1940 - Spitfire 3./ZG 26 Calais-Boulogne Spitfire of 92 Sqn RAF. S/L Roger Bushell
6. 23.5.1940 - Spitfire 3./ZG 26 Calais-Boulogne  
7. 26.2.1943 12:18 B-17 10./JG1 80km NW Borkum  
8. 14.5.1943 12:10 B-24 II./JG11 E Schleswig  
9. 15.5.1943 - B-17 II./JG11    
10. 19.5.1943 - B-17 II./JG11    
11. 11.6.1943 18:05 B-17 II./JG11 84/7/1/5, 8000 m  
12. 25.6.1943 8:52 B-17 II./JG11 Ost S/AQ-5/6, 7900 m  
13. 26.7.1943 11:42 B-17 II./JG11 Ost S/FS-5/4, 8200 m  
14. 28.7.1943 9:02 B-17 II./JG11 Ost S/RS-4/7, 5200m  
15. 17.8.1943 15:00 B-17 II./JG11 22km NNE Diest  
16. 17.8.1943 15:20 B-17 II./JG11 2km W Hergarten  
17. 4.10.1943 10:16 B-24 II./JG11 Ost S/TN-6, 4500m  
18. 8.10.1943 16:39 B-24 II./JG11 North Sea  
19. 9.10.1943 - B-17 II./JG11    
20. 13.11.1943 - P-38 II./JG11 Bremen-Zuider Zee  
21. 26.11.1943 - B-17 II./JG11 Bremen-Zuider Zee  
22. 29.11.1943 - P-47 II./JG11 Bremen-Oldenburgh  
23. 20.12.1943 - P-51 II./JG11 Bremen P-51 of 354 FG USAAF
24. 22.12.1943 - P-47 II./JG11 Munster-Osnabruck  
25. 5.1.1944 - P-38 II./JG11 Kiel-Cuxhaven  
26. 30.1.1944 - P-47 II./JG11 Pl Qu 05 Ost S  
27. 11.2.1944 12:15 P-51 II./JG11 Near St Wendel, 8000 m  
28. 21.2.1944 13:54 P-47 II./JG11 Hannover-Liethe area, 8000 m  
29. 22.2.1944 13:25 P-51 II./JG11 Blomberg area  
30. 22.2.1944 13:42 B-17 II./JG11 Detmold area, 7100 m  
31. 11.9.1944 - P-51 JG11 unknown place, 150 m  
32. 26.9.1944 14:04 Typhoon JG11 Deventer  
33. 26.9.1944 14:04 Typhoon JG11 Deventer  
34. 5.12.1944 12:35 P-51 JG11 S Mittellandkanal  

Victories : 34
Awards : Ehrenpokal (23 August 1943)
Deutsches Kreuz in Gold (25 November 1943)
Ritterkreuz (8 April 1944)
Units : ZG26, JG11
http://www.luftwaffe.cz/specht.html

Asisbiz Database of 33 aerial victories for Gunther Specht

Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location
29-Sep-39 Gunther Specht 3.ZG26 Hampden 5900m 10.05 SE Helgoland
29-Sep-39 Gunther Specht 3.ZG26 Hampden 1800m 10.01 SE Helgoland
03-Dec-39 Gunther Specht 1.ZG26 Wellington 3000m   NW Helgoland
23-May-40 Gunther Specht Stab I.ZG26 engl.Jager 1700m   Raum Calais
23-May-40 Gunther Specht Stab I.ZG26 engl.Jager 5500m   Raum Calais
23-May-40 Gunther Specht Stab I.ZG26 engl.Jager 5000m   Raum Calais
26-Feb-43 Gunther Specht 10./JG1 B-17 Fortress 6500m 12.18 50km NNW Borkum
14-May-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-24 Liberator 7500m 12.14 Eckenforder Bucht
19-May-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 5500m 13.17 05 Ost N/8562 S. Pellworm
11-Jun-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 3600m 18.05 05 Ost S/84715
25-Jun-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 7900m 08.52 AQ 56 (off Friesian Islands)
26-Jul-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 6000m 11.42 FS-5.4 8.200m (N. Wagenfeld)
28-Jul-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 5200m 09.02 RS-47 (S Darmstadt)
17-Aug-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 6000m 15.00 22km NNE Diest
17-Aug-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 6000m 15.20 2km W Hergarden Kr Schlieden
04-Oct-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-24 Liberator 4500m 10.16 05 Ost S/TN 6
08-Oct-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-24 Liberator 7800m 16.39 AR-6 in See (NW Nordholz)
09-Oct-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 4200m 15.30 MI-8
13-Nov-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 P-38 Lightning 6000m 11.20 05 Ost N/FQ-7.3 (Furstenau)
26-Nov-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 7000m 12.30 ER-27
29-Nov-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 P-47 Thunderbolt 8800m 15.30 EQ-57
20-Dec-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 P-51 Mustang 9000m 11.50 in Raum Bremen
22-Dec-43 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 P-47 Thunderbolt 6000m    
05-Jan-44 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 P-38 Lightning 2500m    
30-Jan-44 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 P-47 Thunderbolt      
11-Feb-44 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 P-51 Mustang 6000m 12.15-30 SP-6 8000km (S. Idar-Oberstein)
21-Feb-44 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 P-47 Thunderbolt 8000m 13.54 Leteln (NE Minden)
22-Feb-44 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 P-51 Mustang 800m 13.35-45 Blomberg-Akland (E. Detmold)
22-Feb-44 Gunther Specht Stab II./JG11 B-17 Fortress 5500m 13.42-55 Blomberg-Detmold
11-Sep-44 Gunther Specht Stab /JG11 P-51 Mustang 7200m   Ort unbekannt
26-Sep-44 Gunther Specht Stab /JG11 Typhoon 2000m 14.04-06 05 Ost S/HN-GN (Deventer)
26-Sep-44 Gunther Specht Stab /JG11 Typhoon 2000m 14.04-06 05 Ost S/HN-GN (Deventer)
05-Dec-44 Gunther Specht Stab /JG11 P-51 Mustang 4900m 12.35 GT Stadthagen

Günther Specht (13 November 1914 – 1 January 1945) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace during World War II.

Specht joined the heavy fighter wing (German: Zerstörergeschwader 26) (ZG 26) "Horst Wessel" in early 1939. The unit was initially equipped with Messerschmitt Bf 109s and later with the Bf 110. In 1939 he was wounded by an RAF tail gunner and blinded in one eye. He returned to active duty and was shot down six times during the war. After his recovery in 1939, he chose to return to active service but was shot down again in France and was seriously injured. These injuries kept him grounded for the next two years. In 1942 he returned to active duty with 1st Fighter Wing (Jagdgeschwader 1 Oesau; JG 1)). He was then made Group Commander (Gruppenkommandeur) of II Group of JG 11 (II./JG 11) and promoted to Major. He was appointed as Wing Commander (Geschwaderkommodore) of JG 11 and was listed as missing in action during the attack on the Allied bases at Asch and Ophoven as part of Operation Bodenplatte. He was posthumously promoted to lieutenant colonel (German: Oberstleutnant) and was recommended for the Oak Leaves (German: Eichenlaub) to the Knight's Cross, which was refused for unknown reasons.

Specht was considered as one of the best fighter leaders during the war and was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). During his combat career he was credited with 34 enemy aircraft destroyed, all downed on the Western Front.

Personality

Specht was born on 13 November 1914 in Frankenstein (modern Ząbkowice Śląskie) of Prussia (modern Poland). Specht was small in stature but full of energy. He had a distinguishing patch of gray in his hair just above his forehead. He was a perfectionist with a high sense of duty, and expected his men to follow his high standards. Although he lost his left eye in late 1939, according to Squadron Leader (German: Staffelkapitän) Heinz Knoke of 5./JG 11, he could see like a vulture and was an excellent marksman. Specht also had an eye for detail, and he wrote detailed mission log reports for future use.[2][3][4][5]

Specht's personal emblems adorning his aircraft included a design by Specht of a pencil superimposed on a chevron (termed a winged pencil) as a wry comment on being deskbound following his injuries. It may also have symbolized his possible desire to pilot the Dornier Do 17, nicknamed the "Flying Pencil". His single-engine aircraft with JG 11 sported a green spinner and a Knight's Cross painted on the cowling after he was awarded the honour in April 1944.[6][7][8]

Specht would not allow women on the group base, considering them an unnecessary diversion. According to Knoke, one time Specht's wife came to visit him on the II./JG 11 base but was held at the guard room on Specht's orders and refused to receive calls from the guard. Instead he asked Knoke to pass a message to her to 'put herself on ice', saying that he would only have time for her after the war. Specht however did not survive, dying five months before the war in Europe came to an end.[2][3]

Formation leadership

After taking command of II./JG 11, Specht led the group on every mission in which it participated. Following each mission, he wrote detailed and analytical mission reports. He soon gained a reputation as one of the most reliable formation leaders, with II./JG 11 reputed to be one of the best units among the fighter force (German: jagdwaffe) on Reich air defense (German: Reichsluftverteidigung).[2][9]

On 17 August 1943 Specht led the group from Gilze en Rijen on an intercept and sighted the B-17 Flying Fortresses of 381 Bombing Group near Antwerp. He waited for 30 minutes until the escorts turned back at Eupen before attacking. Within the next half hour, sixty percent of the bombers went down. Specht himself was credited with downing two as his 16th and 17th victories.[10]

On 11 September 1944 Specht and the JG 11 staff flight (German: Stabsschwarm) led a combined formation of II./JG 4 (Sturm) (German: Sturmgruppen) and III./JG 4. Due to Specht's skills, they positioned themselves against thirty-four B-17s of the "Bloody 100th" and fifteen B-17s were downed before the escorting P-51s arrived. Specht was credited with one P-51.[11][12]

Military career

Heavy fighters

At the beginning of the Phoney War in late August 1939, Specht was an Oberleutnant serving with 3rd Staffel, Zerstörergeschwader 26. On 29 September 1939 11 Royal Air Force (RAF) Handley Page Hampden medium bombers of No. 144 Squadron RAF conducted an armed reconnaissance operation near Heligoland in the German Bight. One six-strong aircraft formation attacked two destroyers unsuccessfully, while five bombers led by Wing Commander J. C. Cunningham were intercepted by Specht's unit. All five were shot down and Specht claimed his first two victories.[4][13][14][15]

On 3 December 1939, 24 RAF Vickers Wellington bombers from Marham and Mildenhall bases attacked Heligoland. These were intercepted by I./ZG 26 along with other Messerschmitt Bf 109 units. Specht attacked one bomber over the North Sea, and his aircraft was hit by return fire from the Wellington's tail gunner, seriously wounding him in the face and forcing him to ditch the aircraft. He subsequently lost the sight in his left eye. Specht resumed combat flying despite the handicap. He would eventually be shot down six times during the war.[16] He was shot down by Corporal Copley of No. 38 Squadron RAF.[17]

On 23 May 1940 Spitfires were encountered by Bf 110s and Bf 109s for the first time. The engagement resulted in the loss of two Bf 110s and two Bf 109s. However, Specht would claim three RAF Supermarine Spitfire fighters shot down. The British No. 92 Squadron RAF involved lost three Spitfires in the entire engagement. Squadron Leader Roger J Bushell became a prisoner of war while Paul H. Klipsch and Patrick Alexander George Learmond were killed in action.[13][18] During the course of this battle, Specht and his rear gunner/radio operator were wounded, force land near Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer with a damaged aircraft. Specht's wounds were serious enough to keep him from combat duty for almost two years.[4][13][14]

Upon recovery Specht served as Group staff officer (German: Gruppenadjutant) of I./ZG 26. His aircraft at the time had group identifier (German: Gruppenkennung) U8+BB. It carried the group staff flight (German: Gruppenstab) emblem of a winged pencil which had been designed by Specht.[6][7]

Specht was appointed as Gruppenkommandeur of the night fighter training group (German: Ergänzungsgruppe) of Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 on 31 October 1941. Located at Ingolstadt-Manching, Specht instructed pilots in conversion to night fighting. Paul Zorner, a future night fighter expert, was one of his students. This was the last time Specht flew a twin engine aircraft.[3]

Single-engine fighters

A year later, with the training group converted into a night fighter school (III./Nachtjagdschule 1), Specht returned to active combat with a transfer to 10 Staffel, Jagdgeschwader 1 (10./JG 1), operating from Mönchengladbach (moved to Deelen in February 1943) and equipped with the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. On 26 February 1943, he shot down his first USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress.[4][19]

On 14 May, Captain (German: Hauptmann) Specht moved to Jagdgeschwader 11 and became Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 11, equipped with the Bf 109G Gustav.[2][9][12] JG 11 was a newly formed day fighter unit operating across the north German plains.

After joining JG 11, Specht continued to claim Viermot (German slang for heavy bombers). His fifth victory with JG 11 was on 25 June 1943 giving him a total of 12. He claimed one a month later during Blitz Week, when bombers targeted the Blohm & Voss U Boat yards in Hamburg and the synthetic rubber factories of Continental AG and Nordhafen in Hanover.[12][20]

On 4 October 1943, Specht led II./JG 11 with III./JG 11 and Jasta Heligoland to down four B-24 Liberator bombers out of twenty three, one being credited to Specht. Specht became increasingly critical of the relatively weak armament of the Bf 109 during this time. By the end of 1943 Specht had a total of 24 victories, including 14 heavy bombers, one of the leading Viermot (heavy bombers) experts. He was also II./JG 11's leading scorer, having claimed 17 victories in 1943.[4][21][22]

On 11 February 1944 II./JG 11 engaged escort fighters returning from a raid on Frankfurt with Specht downing 2nd Lieutenant Richard McDonald of the 354th Fighter Group, who crashed his P-51 Mustang "Plane Jane" near Oberalben.[23] Nine days later, Specht had to crash land on the Ærø Island as a result of technical problems with his Bf 109G. On 15 March II./JG 11 lost six killed in action, two wounded, and eight aircraft lost, resulting in Specht declaring the unit non-operational for six weeks to rest and replace losses.[4][21][22]

On 8 April 1944 Specht was awarded the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes for 31 victories on the Western Front. While II./JG 11 was still rebuilding at Eschborn, Specht was moved to wing command flight (German: Geschwaderstab) as kommodore-in-training, and was replaced by Major Günther Rall from JG 52. On 15 May 1944 Specht was appointed Geschwaderkommodore (Wing Commander) of JG 11 after Hermann Graf was wounded. In July, Specht had to crash land again and suffered head injuries. Despite severe pain from his injuries Specht remained on combat duty.

During Operation Market Garden, the Allied parachute landings in the Netherlands, JG 11 was credited with 22 aircraft downed on 22 September, with two credited to Specht. Four days later, Specht claimed two RAF Hawker Typhoons near Deventer.[4][8][24][25][26] According to RAF records only three Typhoons were shot down on 26 September; two to flak and one in aerial combat against Jagdgeschwader 53 Bf 109s near Apeldoorn. No fighters were recorded lost near Deventer.[27] However, it may be the case that loss records were lost or not well kept, meaning Specht's claims cannot be traced and may well be accurate.[28]

Operation Bodenplatte

On New Year's Day 1945 the Luftwaffe launched Operation Baseplate, a low-level fighter attack targeted at Allied airfields throughout France, Belgium and the Netherlands in support of the German Army in Battle of the Bulge. JG 11 was assigned the USAAF airfield at Asch (Code Name Y–29) and the RAF airfield at Ophoven north of Asch. The 366th Fighter Group (366th FG, Ninth Air Force) and the 352nd Fighter Group (352 FG, Eighth Air Force) were based at Asch. No. 41, No. 130, 350 and No. 610 Squadrons of the 2nd Tactical Wing were based at Ophoven.[4][26][29]

For this mission Specht wore his full dress uniform with medals instead of his flight suit. JG 11 was based at Darmstadt-Griesheim, Zellhausen, and Gross-Ostheim. I./JG 11, III./JG 11 (Fw 190 A–9), and II./JG 11 (Bf 109G) mustered sixty-five aircraft for this mission. Specht flew Fw 190 A-9 (Wk. Nr. 205033) "Black 4". At 8:08 am[c] the aircraft took off and assembled over Aschaffenburg with two Junkers Ju 188 'Pathfinders' to navigate. After assembling, Specht ordered all aircraft to fly at 400 feet (120 m) to the target area, climbing to 1,500 feet (460 m) prior to commencing the attack. Some P-47 Thunderbolts of the 390th Fighter Squadron, 366th FG, were already airborne and Mustangs of the 487th Fighter Squadron, 352nd FG, were on the runway. The formation was disrupted by flak, and several German aircraft were shot down.[a][3][29]

The P-47 and P-51s took a heavy toll of JG 11; some 25 pilots were lost, including Specht, who was posted missing, along with other senior officers of JG 11.[1][4][26][30]

Death and confusion

There was some confusion over the circumstance of Specht's death. Lt. Melvin Paisley and his wingman Flight Officer Dave Johnson were flying 366th FG P-47s; Johnson shot down two German fighters before his aircraft was heavily damaged from return fire. Bailing out, he landed in a field near Asch. A Bf 109 he had shot down had belly landed close by and Johnson rode a borrowed bicycle over to inspect it. The aircraft was intact but the pilot was dead. Johnson took the pilot's identification card and gun and rode back to base. The identification card identified the pilot as a Oberstleutnant (German: Oberstleutnant); however, the card actually belonged to Oberleutnant (German: Oberleutnant) August Engel of 8 Staffel.[31]

Further research has revealed more detail. German records confirmed Specht flew a Fw 190, not a Bf 109, and that he was a Major at the time, confirming Johnson's victim was most likely to have been Engel. Johnson's claim form revealed he had claimed a Bf 109, not an Fw 190. The ID card of Johnson's victim was passed on to a member of the ground crew who spoke German. This individual stated that the rank was given as Lieutenant Colonel. The incorrect identification was most likely a language error and misunderstanding of German ranks. This may have caused the belief that Johnson had killed Specht. Johnson died in October 1976, and aviation historians were unable to secure his version of events.[32]

Specht was officially listed as missing in action over Maastricht, and to date he remains missing. The cause of his demise is unknown.[33] Specht was promoted posthumously to Oberstleutnant and nominated for the Eichenlaub to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. The Oak Leaves were not awarded. Specht shot down 34 aircraft including 17 heavy bombers. All his victories were recorded over the Western Front and included 15 four-engine bombers.[1][4][26][31][34][35][b]

Awards

  • Iron Cross in 1939 2nd and 1st Class.[26]
  • Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe on 23 August 1943 as Hauptmann and Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 11.[36]
  • German Cross in Gold on 25 November 1943 while serving in the II./JG 11.[37]
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 8 April 1944 as Major and Gruppenkommandeur of the II./JG 11.[38]

Dates of rank

  • August 1939: Leutnant[4]
  • 23 May 1940: Oberleutnant[4]
  • May 1943: Hauptmann[4]
  • 8 April 1944: Major[4]
  • 1 January 1945: Oberstleutnant.[4]

Notes

Citations

  1. Caldwell & Muller (2007), p. 182
  2. Caldwell & Muller (2007), p. 91
  3. Zorner (2007), pp. 125–139
  4. Obermaier (1986)
  5. Weal (1999b), p. 54
  6. Weal (1999a), pp. 36,49
  7. Weal (1999b), p. 93
  8. Weal (2006), pp. 70–71
  9. Weal (2006), p. 26
  10. Weal (1999b), p. 36
  11. Caldwell & Mulller (2007), p. 233
  12. Aces of the Luftwaffe.
  13. Weal (1999a), p. 37
  14. Caldwell & Muller (2007), p. 36, 78
  15. Weal (1996a), pp. 20–21
  16. Weal (1999b), p. 101
  17. Holmes 2010, p. 32.
  18. Droog, Bart. "RAF - No. 92 Squadron." Traces of World War 2 23 January 2008. Retrieved: 20 September 2010.
  19. Holm (1997–2003)
  20. Weal (1999b), p. 30
  21. Weal (1999b), p. 51
  22. Caldwell & Muller (2007), p. 124,184
  23. Reardon (14 July 1997), The Patriot Ledger
  24. Caldwell & Muller (2007), p. 184
  25. Weal (1999b), p. 71
  26. Gunther Specht on World War 2 Awards
  27. Franks 2000, p. 101.
  28. Franks 2000. p. 7.
  29. Parker (1998), pp. 383, 385–391
  30. Weal (1999b), p. 84
  31. Parker (1998), pp. 385–391.
  32. Manrho & Pütz 2004, pp. 148—149.
  33. Manhro and Pütz 2004, p. 279.
  34. Manrho & Pütz (2004), p. 149.
  35. Weal (2006), p. 84
  36. Obermaier (1989), p. 208.
  37. Patzwall and Scherzer (2001), p. 450.
  38. Scherzer (2001), p. 711.
  39. Manrho and Pütz 2004, p. 167.

Bibliography:

  • Caldwell, Donald; Muller, Richard (2007). The Luftwaffe Over Germany: Defense of the Reich. MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1-85367-712-0.
  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (1986). German: Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945. Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
  • Franks, Norman (2000). Fighter Command Losses of the Second World War: Volume 3, Operational Losses, Aircraft and Crews 1944-1945. (Incorporating Air Defence Great Britain and 2nd TAF. Midland. ISBN 1-85780-093-1.
  • Holm, Michael (1997–2003). "Jagdgeschwader 1 "Oesau" Organization". http://www.ww2.dk/air/jagd/jg1.htm.
  • Holmes, Robin (2010). The Battle of the Heligoland Bight, 1939: The Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe's Baptism of Fire. Grub Street. ISBN 978-1-906502-56-0.
  • Kacha, Petr. "Günther Specht". Aces of Luftwaffe. http://www.luftwaffe.cz/specht.html. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  • Manrho, John; Putz, Ron. (2004). Bodenplatte: The Luftwaffe's Last Hope–The Attack on Allied Airfields, New Year's Day 1945. Hikoki Publications. ISBN 1-902109-40-6.
  • Obermaier, Ernst (1986). Die Ritterkreuzträger der Luftwaffe Jagdflieger 1939–1945. Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-87341-065-7. http://www.luftwaffe.cz/specht.html.
  • Parker, Danny S. (1998). To Win The Winter Sky: The Air War Over the Ardennes, 1944–1945. Da Capo Press. ISBN 1-58097-006-0.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). German: Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941–1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8.
  • Reardon, Maurice F. (14 July 1997). "German researchers uncover local man's WW II plane". The Patriot Ledger. http://www.flugzeugabstuerze-saarland.de/html/oberalben.html.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). German: Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives. Scherzers Militaer-Verl.. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Weal, John (1996). Bf 109D/E Aces 1939–41. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-487-9.
  • Weal, John (1999a). Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerstorer Aces of World War 2. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-753-5.
  • Weal, John (1999b). Bf 109 F/G/K Aces of the Western Front. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85532-905-8.
  • Weal, John (2006). Bf 109 Defence of the Reich Aces. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-879-3.
  • Zorner, Paul (2007). German: Nächte im Bomberstrom: Erinnerungen 1920–1950. NeunundzwanzigSechs-Verl. ISBN 978-3-9807935-9-9.
  • "Günther Specht". World War 2 Awards. STIWOT. http://www.ww2awards.com/person/26963. Retrieved 18 May 2010.

Web References:

  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%BCnther_Specht

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