Messerschmitt Bf 109

Ground operations around a Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7 of the Luftwaffe’s Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG27) possibly during it’s brief operational spell in Gela, Sicily between the 3rd and 24th of May 1941. During its stay in Sicily, III./JG27 operated over Malta. The 109 has still got the original JG27’s emblem used prior to the move to North Africa. The 109s in the background seem to have a North African camouflage. This is the first time we’ve seen the rank markings displayed on the nose instead of close to (before or after) the fuselage’s Balkenkreuz. In this case the rank seems to be that of a Geschwader Adjutant (Wing Second-in-Command). The markings on the engine cowling are characteristic of III./JG27 and were inherited from the Gruppe’s predecessor, I./JG1.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7

The Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109 (most often by Allied pilots and aircrew), was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser during the early to mid-1930s. It was one of the first truly modern fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, a retractable landing gear, and was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine.

The Bf 109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. From the end of 1941 the Bf 109 was supplemented by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

Originally conceived as an interceptor, later models were developed to fulfill multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter-bomber, day-, night-, all-weather fighter, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft. It was supplied to and operated by several states during World War II, and served with several countries for many years after the war. The Bf 109 was the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 airframes produced from 1936 up to April 1945.

The Bf 109 was flown by the three top-scoring German fighter aces of World War II, who claimed 928 victories among them while flying with Jagdgeschwader 52, mainly on the Eastern Front, as well as by Hans-Joachim Marseille, the highest scoring German ace in the North African Campaign. It was also flown by several other aces from Germany’s allies, notably Finn Ilmari Juutilainen, the highest scoring non-German ace on the type with 58 victories flying the Bf 109G, and pilots from Italy, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria and Hungary. Through constant development, the Bf 109 remained competitive with the latest Allied fighter aircraft until the end of the war.

Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4/trop, W.Nr. 8673 – 3./JG 27 – Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Marseille in September 1942.


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German Military History with a focus on World War 2 History including other areas of German History