4. Staffel II. (J) Gruppe Lehrgeschwader 2 - 4(J)./LG2
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B 4./LG2 (▲+N) Josef Harmeling crash-landed Essex POW
Profile 00: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B of 4.(Schlacht)/LG2 flown by Ofw. Josef Harmeling Finished in an upper pattern of 02 and a locally mixed grey, the sides of the fuselage carried a fairly dense mottle in both of these colors. The cowling and rudder were yellow with the black and white Mickey Mouse Staffel emblem carried on each side of the cowling within a thin black circle. The spinner was painted blue with a white tip and a thin white concentric band aft of the propeller blades. The white 'N' was thinly outlined in black and the black Schlacht triangle carried a white edging with a thin black border.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B 4./LG2 (▲+N) Josef Harmeling crash-landed Essex 1940 01
Photo 01: Various views of 'White N', the Bf 109E-4/B flown by Ofw. Josef Harmeling of 4.(Schlacht)/LG2. On 29 October, Luftflotte 2 mounted an operation under the codeword 'Opernhall', during which Ofw. Harmeling carried out a Jabo attack at very low level against North Weald aerodrome. Climbing immediately afterwards, he descended to 3,000 feet to cross the coast on the return flight but was then attacked by two Hurricanes. The first attack damaged his radiator so that the engine started overheating, and also damaged his controls so that he was unable to defend himself. He tried to fly on but his engine temperature rose and then the engine started to seize up, obliging him to make a forced landing at Langenhoe, Essex. After examination by the RAF, the machine was placed on display in Scotland in early 1941 and is seen here
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B 4./LG2 (▲+N) Josef Harmeling crash-landed Essex 1940 02
Photo 02: dismantled but otherwise fairly intact. However, as the photographs of the aircraft in Dundee
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B 4./LG2 (▲+N) Josef Harmeling crash-landed Essex 1940 03
Photo 03: and in a sunny street in Glasgow illustrate, the condition of the aircraft gradually deteriorated.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 of II./(Slacht) LG2 white 'A' unknown pilot.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 4.(S)/LG 2 Lehrgeschwader 2 (C+▲) belly landed
Beachte das gelbe schmale Rumpfband zwischen dem Balkenkreuz und dem Schlachtgruppendreieck.
Note the yellow fuselage band narrow beam between the Cross and the battle group triangle.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E 4.(S)/LG 2 Lehrgeschwader 2 (F+▲) belly landed
Auf der Motorhaube sieht man das Staffelabzeichen der 4.(S)/LG 2, diese Einheit hatte normalerweise weisse Buchstaben. Eventuell wurde hier der Buchstabe absichtlich mit einer anderen Farbe abgedunkelt und nur die weisse Umrandung gelassen.
On the hood you can see the badge of the 4 Staffel (S) / LG 2, this unit usually had white letters. Maybe this is the letter was deliberately darkened with a different color, leaving only the white border.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1/B 2./JG27 (▲+G) 4./LG2 Paul Wacker W.Nr 6313 UK Nov 30 1940 01
Profile 00: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1/B, W.Nr 6313, flown by Uffz. Paul Wacker of 4./JG27, 30 November 1940 The markings on this aircraft originally led RAF Intelligence personnel to believe that Uffz. Wacker was attempting to deceive them by giving his unit as JG27. However, it was subsequently determined that the aircraft had recently been on the strength of II.(Schlacht)/LG2 and the markings had yet to be changed. The three victory bars on the tail therefore recorded the success of the original LG 2 pilot. The camouflage is believed to have consisted of 02 and a locally mixed grey and, when shot down, a triangular pennant was attached to the radio mast, as shown in the profile. As this pennant was quickly taken as a souvenir and does not appear in the photograph, details are based on notes given in the RAF Crash Report.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E 2./JG27 (▲+G) 4./LG2 Paul Wacker W.Nr 6313 UK Nov 30 1940 01
Photo 01: Uffz. Paul Wacker of 2./JG27 was on a reconnaissance sweep over England on 30 November when his engine blew a cylinder at 26,000ft and resulted in the pilot making a forced landing on farmland at Worth Matravers, Dorset. On interrogation, Wacker explained that the machine had only recently been transferred from II.(Schlacht)/LG2, which was why it still carried the Schlacht Gruppe's triangle and a white 'G' outlined in red, but that in due course these markings would have been painted out and the usual JG27 numbering applied. At the time of its forced landing the aircraft had a small red and white pennant attached to the aerial mast, on which was the name 'Gerda', and there were three victory stripes on the tail.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1/B. W.Nr.6313 coded 'White G' of 2./JG27 flown by Uffz. Paul Wacker. November 1940.
The aircraft is finished in RLM 71/02 on upper surfaces, and RLM 65 on the undersides, with color division line in the upper part of the fuselage. The camouflage is supplemented by a fine stippling of grey. Engine cowling. propeller spinner and rudder are yellow. Note modified canopy and armored plate behind pilot's scat. Uffz. Wacker was on a reconnaissance sweep over England on 30th November when his engine blew a cylinder and forced him down on a farmland at Worth Matra-vcrs. Dorset. The pilot was captured. During his subsequent interrogation he explained that his aircraft had only recently been transferred from 4.(Schlacht)/LG 2. hence the black. White outlined triangle and white. red-outlined 'G' markings on the fuselage. At the time of' its forced landing the aircraft had a small, trianguhu' pennant attached to the aerial mast, on which the name 'Gerda' was painted in red against white background. The three red victory bars, most probably painted on the port side of the rudder only, recorded successes scored by the aircraft's erstwhile owner, an unknown pilot of LG 2.
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 4./LG2 (▲+K) France 1940
Messerschmitt Bf 109E4/B 4./LG2 (▲+L) Calais-Marck France 1940
5. Staffel II. (J) Gruppe Lehrgeschwader 2 - 5(J)./LG2
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4/B II.(Schlacht)/LG2 (Yellow 14+) Otto Weiss Wevelgem, Belgium Sep 1940 01
Photo 01: A Bf 109E-4 fighter-bomber from Major Otto Weiss's II.(Schlacht)/LG2, photographed at Wevelgem, Belgium. Clearly visible is the single 250kg bomb under the fuselage, the unit badge and the characteristic blue and white spinner adopted by this Gruppe.
Pilots 3./LG2 Otto Weiss 1940 01
Messerschmitt Bf 109E 5.(S)/LG 2 Lehrgeschwader 2 black G (G+▲) salvaged after a heavy forced landing
Photo 01: Messerschmitt Bf 109E 5.(S)/LG 2 Lehrgeschwader 2 black G (G+▲) being salvaged. The machine looks like it is a complete W/off
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B 5./LG2 (▲+H) based Calais-Marck France during the Battle of Britain Nov 1940
Photo 01: A photograph of at Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B of II.(Schlacht)/LG 2 5./LG2 black 'H' in flight. Unusually, this aircraft carries four 50kg bombs on its centerline rack. A single 250kg bomb was a more normal load for this period of the Battle of Britain.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E 5.(S)/LG 2 Lehrgeschwader 2 black N (N+▲) belly landed France
Another Messerschmitt Bf 109E 5.(S)/LG 2 Lehrgeschwader 2 black N (N+▲) being salvaged. The machine in question due to the black letter 'N' belongs to the 5 Staffel however on the hood, is the badge of the 4 Staffel.(S)./LG 2
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 5./LG2 (T+▲) Lt. Werner Schlather WNr 6410 France Nov 1940 01
Pilots 5./LG2 Werner Schlather 1940 01
Photo 01: On 8 February 1941, II.(Schlacht)/LG2 mounted an attack against Hawkinge aerodrome. One of the aircraft was flown by Lt. Werner Schlather whose machine appeared suddenly over Hawkinge at quite low altitude, dropped a number of 50 kg bombs and machine-gunned parked aircraft. An anti-aircraft battery opened fire and claimed that the aircraft was hit by splinters from a 3 inch shell. Lt. Schlather's aircraft caught fire, crashed in flames and disintegrated at Arpinge Farm, Newington, one mile west of Hawkinge aerodrome. The markings on the aircraft depicted in this photograph, dated November 1940, correspond with those on Schlather's W.Nr. 6410 and might well therefore be the aircraft in which he met his death. The spinner was red and the fuselage markings black edged in white.
6. Staffel II. (J) Gruppe Lehrgeschwader 2 - 6(J)./LG2
Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4/B 6./LG2 (▲+C) Fw. Werner Gottschalk crash-landed Hawkinge
Profile 00: Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4/B 6./LG2 flown by Fw. Werner Gottschalk. At on , Fw. Werner Gottschalk of 6./LG2 took off from a small aerodrome approximately 40 miles S.E. of Boulogne. Although his aircraft was fitted with a bomb rack, on this occasion Gottschalk was flying an escort to Bf 109 bombers. The formation flew at 12,000 feet to the Thames Estuary and was near Chatham when this aircraft was hit by AA fire and the fuel tank holed. Gottschalk immediately turned for home, but his fuel ran out and he landed at Hawkinge at . This aircraft was finished in an upper surface camouflage that suggests 02 and a locally mixed grey, both the rudder and tips of the main wings were roughly painted white, through which could be seen an earlier application of yellow. The spinner was painted with bands of white and blue and the 6. Staffel 'cat with lantern and sword' emblem is understood to have been carried on both sides of the cowling. A white bordered black triangle was carried ahead of the fuselage Balkenkreuz while aft of the cross on both sides was a square styled yellow 'c' with a thin black outline.
Photo 01: The fuselage markings carried by Fw. Werner Gottschalk's Bf 109E-4/B.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 or E7of 6./LG2 (▲+H) being salvaged after belly landing in France 1940 01
Profile 01: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 or E7 of 6./LG2 (▲+H) being salvaged after belly landing in France 1940. Photo was probably taken during the Battle of Britain because of the markings and season. The Staffel emblem can be seen on the cowling lying near the hoist.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B 6./LG2 (I▲+M) Erhardt Pankratz WNr 3726 crash-landed Sussex 00
Profile 00: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B of 6.(Schlacht)/LG2, flown by Fw. Erhardt Pankratz Finished in an 02/71 upper scheme, a green 71 and dark grey mottle was applied randomly along the fuselage sides. The upper cowling and rudder were painted yellow and the spinner was reported as being painted pale blue with a white tip and a thin white concentric band immediately aft of the propeller blades. The 6. Staffel cat with sword and lantern emblem was painted black and was carried on either side of the cowling on a black bordered yellow disc. Although most other works state that the background colour to this disc was pale blue, the relevant crash report on this aircraft does not mention any colour and it is assumed from this that the disc was yellow. Both the 'I' (the significance of which is not presently known) and the triangle were black with a thin white border while the 'M' was edged in black.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/B 6./LG2 (I▲+M) Erhardt Pankratz WNr 3726 crash-landed Sussex 01-02
Photo's 01-02: At 10.30 hrs on the morning of , this aircraft, WNr. 3726, piloted by Fw. Erhardt Pankratz of 6.(Schlacht)/LG2, was flying near the English coast at a height of 12,000 feet together with four other aircraft from his unit, when he was attacked from out of the sun by 603Sqn Spitfires. Both petrol tanks were hit and Pankratz attempted to return to France but his engine failed and he forced landed near Peasmarsh, Sussex. Fw. Pankratz, who had flown throughout the French campaign, had only returned to his unit about two weeks previously following a period of illness and, since returning to his unit, had made four other war flights. On examination, a steel helmet was found in this aircraft. Clearly visible in these photographs are the fuselage markings, including the black equilateral triangle of the Schlacht, or ground-attack, units. It should be noted, however, that the parent Gruppe, II.(Schlacht)/LG2 was employed throughout the Battle of Britain in a strategic role, as opposed to its customary tactical ground-attack role.
- COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4B 6.LG2 (^+C) Werner Gottschalk France 1940
- COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4B 6.LG2 (^+C) Werner Gottschalk France 1940 NC
- COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4B 6.LG2 (^+C) Werner Gottschalk France 1940 NM
- COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4B 6.LG2 (^+C) Werner Gottschalk France 1940 SNM
- COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4B 6.LG2 (I^+M) Erhardt Pankratz France 1940
- COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4B 6.LG2 (I^+M) Erhardt Pankratz France 1940 NC
- COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4B 6.LG2 (I^+M) Erhardt Pankratz France 1940 NM
- COD game skin by ES Bf 109E4B 6.LG2 (I^+M) Erhardt Pankratz France 1940 SNM
- ES Erik Schramm http://www.adlerhorst-hangar.com/
- COD game skin by WN Bf 109E4B 6.LG2 (I^+M) Erhardt Pankratz WNr 3726 crash landed Sussex 1940
- WN Wotan Cat The Slayer 05.03.2012 http://forum.aviaskins.com/
II. (Schlacht)/Lehrgeschwader 2
A feature of operations on 2 September was that on this date II.(Schlacht)/Lehrgeschwader 2, at that time the Luftwaffe's only dedicated ground-attack Gruppe, flew its first operations of the Battle of Britain. Originally trained for tactical intervention in ground operations and equipped with Henschel Hs-123 biplanes, this Gruppe had earlier carried out spectacular and successful low-level attacks during the campaigns in Poland and France. Shortly after the French campaign, the Gruppe transferred to its home base at Braunschweig-Waagum for re-equipment and re-training on the Bf 109E. Training revealed that due to the greater flying speed of the Bf 109, pilots found it more difficult to fly than the Hs-123 and some 20% of the pilots had to be replaced.
The re-fitting of Bf 109s with bomb-racks, bomb fuzing battery box and the necessary electrical release gear to convert the aircraft to fighter-bombers was carried out at Boblingen. Here the pilots also practised dive bombing, low-level attacks and oblique attacks as well as fast strafing runs against ground targets. Because of its specialised missions, II.(Schlacht);LG2 found that it needed fewer armors than previously but required instead special-technical bomb personnel. Additionally, it was discovered that the Gruppe required a larger stock of tyres than normal as the strain imposed by the heavy bomb load made it necessary to change tyres after every seventh or eighth take-off.
Under its Gruppenkommandeur, Major Otto Weiss, the Gruppe transferred to the Channel coast in early September for operations against England. Due to the expected enemy fighter opposition, it was recognised that operations would have to be carried out with strong fighter cover and for this reason the Gruppe was stationed at Calais-Marck and ordered to co-operate closely with the resident fighter Gruppe, I.(jagd)/LG2, commanded by Oblt. Herbert Ihlefeld. On 2 September, II.(Schlacht)/LG2 took part in some of the five daylight attacks launched against targets in the East Kent - Thames Estuary area. Most of these raids were turned back before serious damage could be caused and there were no losses to either II.(Schlacht)/LG2 or its fighter escort. Until 15 September, all further cross-Channel fighter-bomber operations by the Gruppe were carried out with the whole of Erp.Gr210, but after this date, II.(Schlacht)/LG2 flew only with the similarly equipped 3./Erp.Gr210, which was then detached from its parent Gruppe for the purpose.
Units: 6(Schl)/LG-2 (Channel)
Awards: Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-4/B WNr 5567 'Yellow ^+C' (lost 9/6/40)
Remarks: POW after being hit by flak at Hawkinge.
Units: 4/LG-2 (Channel)
Awards: Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-4/B WNr 5593 'White ^+N' (lost 10/29/40)
Remarks: POW shot down over Langenhoe Essex, UK.
Josef Harmeling was shot down by a Polish Pilot, Michal Maciejowski, of 111 RAF Squadron, on 29 October 1940. He survived, but was wounded, after landing in the fields around Wick Farm, Langehoe. Apparently he was captured by the local gamekeeper, Jum (short for Jumbo) Brown, who was a private in the Essex Home Guard. He took his riffle over 2 fields to the plane, where he called on harmeling to surrender. Fortunatly for Harmeling he did, as Jum was a crack shot. Jum prevented him setting fire to the plane and as a result a complete plane, with all it's ammunition, fell into British hands. Jum took Harmeling home for breakfast. When he had finished his breakfast, Jum marched him across to the local Regular Army detachment. Jum said that when Harmeling crashed, the British plane followed him down to see that he landed alright and that the 2 pilots waved to each other. Jum was awarded a Certificate by the Home Guard in recognition of his bravery in single handed sorting out the capture of plane and pilot.
The following is a translation of a letter (*) by Josef Harmeling describing his ordeal :-
Here is an account of my sortie on 29th October 1940, on which date I became a prisoner of war in England.
It was late in the afternoon, about 1700 hours (local time) when about 40 Messerschmitts Bf 109's of my Gruppe took off from Calais/Marck airfield. We headed on a course for London and reached the English coast at about 6,000 metres.
Our Gruppe's objective was an airfield to the north-east of London (North Weald). This was a diversionary feint attack about 20 kilometres from the primary target and we took the opportunity to descend to about 4-500 metres for the attack.
It was at this altitude that we struck at the target with bombs and our fixed armament and it was during this low-level attack that I received a hit in the radiator system, presumably from the ground defences. The result was that the coolant temperature rose quickly and the motor commenced losing revs. with alarming speed. However, I sought to gain height, in case I had to get out in an emergency.
Soon after this two British fighters, a Spitfire and a Hurricane attacked me and I was unfortunately wounded in the head and right arm whilst at an altitude of about 80 metres.
Eye witnesses later reported that my machine burned where it came to rest in a rural area near Colchester. After my (pancake) landing I summoned my strength to jump out of my aircraft and attempt to destroy it but some British soldiers intervened. By now I had recovered and took the opportunity to thank those who helped me. They were, to me, safety- although enemies, those who first gave me aid.
The Doctor who removed a fragment of metal from my person also treated me in an exemplary manner... signed Josef Harmeling
Units: 6(Schl)/LG-2 (Channel)
Awards: Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-4/B WNr 3726 'Yellow I+M' (lost 10/5/40)
Remarks: POW after making a force landing at Pelsham Farm, Peamarsh after suffering engine damage during combat.
Awards: Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-7 WNr 6410 'T' (lost)
Remarks: KIA during aerial combat, crashing at Arpinge Farm, Newington, Kent. Buried Hawkinge Cem., Kent, German Plot 'O', Row 3, Gr 2. Source: M.Croft.
Units: Stfkpt JG-134, Stfkpt 5/LG-2(9/39), Kdr II(Sch)/LG-2(8/40), Kdr III./JG-51(10/41 SU), Kdr Sch.G-1
Awards: RK(5/18/40)-EL(12/31/41), EK 1 & 2, Wound Badge, Assault Operational Clasp w/Pendant
Known Aircraft: Hs 123, Bf 110, Bf 109E-7 in SchG-1 in 6/42, Hs 129, Ju 87D in '42
Remarks: Polish Campaign, Channel pilot, Barbarossa pilot. 520 combat missions. Also Kdr I/StG-2 in October, 1942. His last assignment, in June 1942, Inspector General, Close Support Aviation. Nick-named 'Kalinin Lion' for his relentless dive bombings and low level attacks against the Soviets in the Kalinin area, northwest of Moscow. Awarded the EL as the first Schlachtflieger of the Luft.. Died of a serious illness 19 August, 1955.
Some of the most widely used Book References:
- Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase One: July-August 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 1) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Eddie J Creek (Author)
- Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Two: August-September 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 2) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
- Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Three: September-October 1940 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 3) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
- Jagdwaffe: Battle of Britain: Phase Four: November 1940-June 1941 (Luftwaffe Colours: Volume Two, Section 4) Paperback Eric Mombeek (Author), David Wadman (Author), Martin Pegg (Author)
Some of the most widely used Magazine References:
- Airfix Magazines (English) - http://www.airfix.com/
- Avions (French) - http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/rubrique10.html
- FlyPast (English) - http://www.flypast.com/
- Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) - http://vdmedien.com/flugzeug-publikations-gmbh-hersteller_verlag-vdm-heinz-nickel-33.html
- Flugzeug Classic (German) - http://www.flugzeugclassic.de/
- Klassiker (German) - http://shop.flugrevue.de/abo/klassiker-der-luftfahrt
- Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://boutique.editions-lariviere.fr/site/abonnement-le-fana-de-l-aviation-626-4-6.html
- Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://www.pdfmagazines.org/tags/Le+Fana+De+L+Aviation/
- Osprey (English) - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/
- Revi Magazines (Czech) - http://www.revi.cz/