10 Straffel IV. Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 53 - 10./JG53(Jabo)
Messerschmitt F-4B 10./JG53(Jabo) St. Pietro, Sicily March 1942
Photo 01: Ground staff at St. Pietro in March 1942 using a makeshift loading device to mount these weapons.
Messerschmitt F-4B 10./JG53(Jabo) (W +) Gela, Sicily 1942 02
Photo 02: Apart from the normal 250 kg bomb, the Bf 109Fs of the Jabo Staffel of JG53 could also carry an alternative load of four 50kg bombs.
Messerschmitt Bf 109F 10./JG53(Jabo) (W +) Gela, Sicily 1942 03
Photo 01: Shows an aircraft at Gela in April still waiting to be loaded.
Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4B 10./JG53(Jabo) (White 1+) Sicily 1942
Profile 01: Messerschmitt Bf 109F.4 White 1 of 10.(Jabo)/JG53, Sicily, 1942 White 1 was finished in standard 74/75 and 76 camouflage colours applied in a splinter pattern of 74 and 75 on the wing uppersurfaces and a mottle of these colours over the Blue 76 fuselage sides. As the position of the white fuselage band is further forward than usual, the Staffel badge showing a bomb exploding on a silhouette of Malta appears on the camouflage finish. Unusual on this aircraft is the palm-tree and swastika emblem painted beneath the windscreen.
Profile 02: artist Thierry Dekker
Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 10./JG53(Jabo) (White 1+) Sicily 1942
Photo's 01-03: This Bf 109F-4, White 1 of 10.(Jabo)/JG53, was photographed after its port undercarriage leg collapsed while preparing to take off for a mission, trapping its 250kg bomb beneath the fuselage. The identity of the pilot is not known but the rudder appears to be marked with two black victory bars. In addition to the PikAs badge on the engine cowling, the Staffel badge appears on the rear fuselage. The Jabo Staffel was the only one to have a Staffel badge, but this aircraft carries an additional emblem under the windscreen which appears to be based upon the palm-tree and swastika design of the Afrika Korps Photo 03: as shown painted on the front mudguard of a German lorry.
Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/B 10./JG53 (White 2+) Gunther Fronhofer WNr 7488 Sicily Apr 4, 1942
Photo 01: Bf 109F-4 White 2, W.Nr 7488, of 10.(Jabo)/JG53 at Gela carrying a 250 kg bomb. This aircraft was lost while being flown by Ofw. Gunther Fronhbfer on a mission to Malta on 4 April 1942.
Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4B 10./JG53 (W3+) Felix Sauer WNr 7473 Pozzallo Sicily Mar 27 1942 00
Image 01: Messerschmitt Bf109F.4 White 3 flown by Uffz. Felix Sauer of 10.(Jabo)/JG53, Sicily, March 1942 Uffz. Sauers White 3 was camouflaged in the standard 74/75/76 scheme of the period and had additional 02 mottles on the fuselage sides. Further areas of 02 either side of the fuselage Balkenkreuz reveal where either the four-letter factory delivery code had been removed or an earlier identity had been overpainted. The Green 70 spinner had a white segment and the Staffel badge was superimposed on the white fuselage band.
Messerschmitt Bf 109F 10./JG53 (W3+) Felix Sauer WNr 7473 Pozzallo Sicily Mar 27 1942 01-03
Photo's 01-03: On 27 March 1942, Uffz. Felix Sauer of 10.(Jabo)/JG53 experienced engine failure and forced landed his Bf 109F-4, W. Nr. 7473, coded White 3 on the beach near Pozzallo.1t was little damaged during the landing but was later declared a 90% loss, probably on account of the salt-water damage caused by the rising tide.
Pilots 10./JG53 Jabo Felix Sauer 1941 01-02
Photo 02: Uffz. Sauer in his rubber dinghy. Note the makeshift sail.
Pilots 10./JG53 Jabo Felix Sauer 1941 03
Photo 03: While in hospital, recovering from his ordeal, Uffz. Sauer was presented with the Iron Cross, First Class, for his 90-plus flights over Malta.
Pilots 10./JG53 Jabo Felix Sauer 1941 04
Photo 04: Felix Sauer enjoying four weeks convalescence leave in picturesque surroundings. Note the EK 1 pinned to his left breast pocket and the Frontflugspange, or War Clasp, above the left pocket flap. Soon after returning to his unit, Sauer was posted back to Germany where he joined JG104. Later commissioned, he remained with that unit untill the end of the war.
Pilots 10./JG53 Jabo Felix Sauer 1941 05
Photo 01: In a deliberate attempt to enhance the terror effect of falling bombs, cardboard whistles were sometimes attached to the tail fins, as seen in this view showing Uffz. Felix Sauer of 10.(Jabo)/JG53 at Gela in April 1942.
Messerschmitt Bf 109F 10./JG53(Jabo) (White 5+) Comiso, Sicily 1942
Photo 01: Ground crew loading White 5 of 10.(Jabo)/JG53 with a 250kg bomb.
Messerschmitt Bf 109F 10./JG53(Jabo) (W5+) Comiso, Sicily 1942 02
Photo 01: Excellent close-up view of the emblem of 10.(Jabo)/JG53.
Photo 01: Ground crew loading White 5 of 10.(Jabo)/JG53 with a 250kg bomb.
Gunther Fronhofer - Günther Fronhöfer
Units:Flugzeugführer 10(Jabo)/JG-53 (4/42 N.Afrika)
Awards:Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft:Bf 109F-4/B WNr 7488 'White 2' (lost)
Remarks:MIA 4 April, 1942 after aerial combat over Malta, reason unknown. His first mission over Malta was in March, 1942. Pictured with Jabo Staffel Flugzeugführer in the JG-53 Chronicles by Jochen Prien.
Dr. Felix Sauer
Units:9./JG-53(10/39), 3./JG-53('40), 6./JG-53(4/41), 10(Jabo)./JG-53 (1/42 San Pietro), JG-105, JG-11 wars end
Awards:EK 2, Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft:Bf 109E-3('39), Bf 109F-2'Yel 12' (4/41) in 6/JG-53, Bf 109F-4/Z WNr 7473 'Wh 3' (90% dam 3/27/42) in 10(Jabo)
Remarks:Shot down 16 May, 1942 by Spitfires off Pozzallo Malta in his Bf 109 F-4 Werk # 7282 'White 6' and rescued by an Italian torpedo boat after bailing safely. He lost 'White 3' when he belly-landed on 27 March, 1942 in water just off shore at Pozzallo, on the Sicilian coast due to engine failure (Prien). The AC was written off due to salt water corrosion. He also flew the Bf 109F-4/B in the Jabo Staffel. One known victory, his 1st, a Blenheim at Map Quadrant 33-1 on 28 August, 1941. Battle of Britain pilot in 3/JG-53. Deceased 4 July, 1999.
Asisbiz Database of 2 aerial victories for Dr. Felix Sauer
'The probability of rescue is fading away...
On 16 May 1942, engine failure forced Uffz. Felix Sauer of 10. (Jabo)/JG53 to land in the sea 65 km south of Pozzalo where he climbed into his dinghy to await rescue. This is his account of subsequent events:
First Day: The sea is empty. In the distance, Malta is visible on the skyline. I wonder, will anyone look for me? And then my comrades are back again, this time with two rescue aircraft and with plenty of protection. But dusk is setting in. My comrades fly past hardly ten metres above my head. To attract their attention I fire my whole supply of signal flares, but they fail to see me. For a while they fly back and forth, but when it begins to get dark they disappear to the north. Night is falling. The sea is calm. I start to check on my supplies: three bars of caffeine chocolate - they will hardly be of any use as they make you thirsty - some Pervitin lozenges; an aluminum Leica film container full of sugar, but not a drop of drinking water! While checking my provisions, the breeze blows me towards the coast. At the same time I am able to observe a night bombing attack on Malta. Later, I notice two small boats approaching and searching the waves with the beams from their searchlights. Apparently the British are looking for me, but I trust my comrades. Best to risk waiting for them to find me.
Second Day: Morning dawns. The sun has just risen when another rescue aircraft appears. It passes within 50 metres without discovering me. The breeze carries me south, but Malta remains in sight. I try to amuse myself by watching the duels between English and Axis fighters. It is a fascinating fight which lasts all day. At dusk I catch sight of the small island of Filfar. The breeze carries me away from Sicily and takes me to the south of Malta. What's that over there? British motor torpedo boats. There is no choice left now... It would be better, to attract their attention. During the day I had discovered one left-over signal flare cartridge in the bottom of the dinghy. When the British approach to within five kilometers, I fire the signal, but they disappear towards Marsaxlokk Bay, leaving huge waves behind them. It is highly unlikely they have seen me, for they were in a great hurry. And yet the British had seen me! One hour later - it is already night - two small boats turn up, searching the waves with their lights. They come very close and I shout at the top of my voice, again and again, but the boats depart without having found me.
I deliberate: my comrades have given me up and even the British cannot find me.Who will help me now? Certainly not the fly which buzzes around me all day long (most probably it will be asleep now, perched on one of my shoulders like a chicken in a coop), and my only other companion, a seagull. Only the breeze is of use to me now. At the moment it blows from the south. If it continues like that I might find myself west of Malta tomorrow, and near the shore. Then someone would surely see me.
I carry with me a yellow silk cloth fixed to a telescopic metal tube, extendable like a photographer's stand, which is supposed to help attract attention. However, I decide to put up the rod as a mast and use the cloth as a sail. I fix the mast with a strap to one foot, tie one side of the sail to the rod and hold the other in my hand. In this way I can stretch out fairly comfortably in the dinghy so that I can keep the mast up for as long as possible. Slowly the breeze carries me north again. Thank God, I do not feel very thirsty yet.
Third Day: At last another day dawns. Over there, those might be the mountains of Sicily. And that peak over there must be Mount Etna. I hope the breeze keeps up but, alas, it shifts and takes my tiny craft back south. Although the hope of reaching Sicily is gone, Africa is not so far away. I drop a scrap of paper into the water and watch it drift away to estimate its relative speed. Adding the probable speed of the waves I conclude - quite philosophically - that, give~ its speed, I might reach Libya in four days. Then, incredibly, the wind changes direction yet again. Now it is blowing from the west, so where ',ill I land blown in this direction?? Most probably in Crete. Excellent!!! I will now try to reach Crete. It is a long way off, but perhaps in seven days...
Fourth Day: Slowly the dreaded thirst is setting in, the kind of thirst you cannot resist. The sea has been calm during the night and in the morning I find that a little moisture has condensed in the dinghy. Dew; many tiny drops. With a bit of gauze I collect these tiny traces of the precious water and manage to quench my tormenting thirst. I will be able to manage till tomorrow.
Fifth Day: Next morning came the big disappointment. The waves have kept the boat moving during the night and there is not a trace of dew. Never mind, there will be something else. I have an idea which might work. I remember that in desalination, twigs are used to facilitate the condensation of salt. I might help myself in a similar way. Instead of twigs I take a bit of gauze, fill the shell case of a signal flare with sea-water, put the gauze on top and expose the shell case to the sunlight. I hope that as the water evaporates, it will be caught in the gauze and may be drinkable, but after two trials I have to admit that this is not a success. The salt has condensed, but the water tastes as bitter as before. And what if I drink the salt water? Actually, the main thing is to avoid the salty taste in the mouth for it produces the feeling of thirst. The sugar! It might serve as an antidote. In the morning I swallow three shell cases of sea-water with some sugar, that's the magic formula. I feel I may be able to manage like this.
Sixth and Seventh Day: On and on I drift - eastwards - in absolute solitude. In the distance, four Spitfires fly past and then six German transport aircraft. Those are the only things I see. As the hours pass, I realise that I am losing my strength. The probability of rescue is fading, but I am still hopeful. Although my comrades have certainly given up the search, the British won't come back and while the sea is not a road where a Good Samaritan passes every day, there is still the Almighty who knows everything and therefore knows of the airman in his tiny dinghy.
On the back of my wife's photograph I start my last letter to her, continuing it on a scrap of cardboard and then on a bit of paper I dig from my pocket. The rather shaky pencilled marks express my last thoughts which I hope will one day be read by my wife, even though they may be affected by the salty waves:
Eighth Day: Dawn of a new day. I know this is the last time I will see the sun. I may last long enough to see it set, but never again will I see it rise from the dark of the night to shed light and hope upon this earth. Not unless... But to the south there is something. It is not water or dolphins, nor clouds or a mirage. A mirage would not have such solid, geometrical outlines. A miracle! A large boat is coming straight towards me, as if obeying a secret command. This is something difficult to believe and yet I am not overwhelmed. In my heart of hearts, at the very root of my faith, I felt and knew that this must happen, and that sustained me with a last effort I raise the little sail so that they may see me more easily. But there is no need. On board the boat - the torpedo-boat Turbine - the alarm has been raised. Now I am able to recognize the flag: red-white-green. Italians! Hurrah!! When I am taken aboard, helpless and hardly able to move, I burst into tears. But when I an taken ashore I am already a changed man, thanks to the kind and extremely devoted care of my Italian comrades, although I am still feeling weak and hardly able to stay on my feet.
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/