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Franek Grabowski 16th February 2005 17:05

Me 109F development
Just struck me that I cannot find in my books a reliable date of start of Me 109F development. Appearance of similar Me 209 and Me 210 in 1938 suggest that modification programme started somewhere at the time, possibly later when some engineers were released from their duties with the above aircraft. Any clue on this?
Also, is it known when the first claims were filled on F and how many F-0 aircraft were sent to combat units? I know of Galland and Moelders' ones.

Tom D 16th February 2005 21:05

Bf 109 F Development

In Monogram's Close-Up 9, "Bf 109 F," by Thomas H. Hitchcock,it is stated on page 1 "Development of the Bf 109 F began some four years earlier, in 1938...., and on page 2 "By January 1939 design of the Bf 109 F had been establlished and plans were made to test as many of the features on existing airframes," and on page 4 "....the Messerschmitt works at Regensburg began tooling up for production of the Bf 109 F series," page 6 ".By late summer 1940 .... plans were finalized to commence production of the first series of of the Friedrich, the Bf 109 F-1, by October 1940, ....began leaving Messerschmitt's Regensburg factory late in November 1940."

I could not find much on the F-0, other than "... a preproduction batch of some twenty-five Bf 109 F-0 aircraft (W.Nr. 5601 to 5625) were completed over the next several months.... (page 4). "....Messerschmitt did not intend that the preproduction Bf 109 F-0s would be handed over to the Luftwaffe for operations....."


Gielle 16th February 2005 23:01

According to E. Mombeek's Jagdwaffe, The Battle of Britain, p. 295, the F-0 was first flown in action by Maj. Molders on Oct 22, 1940. On that day he claimed three kills (Hurricanes) NW of Maidstone, from 49th to 51st, which so could be the first victims of the Friederick.

According to different sources (Prien & Rodeike, Bf 109 F-K, an illustrated study), Maj. Molders (Stab/JG 51) first flown the F-0 on Oct 6th (no claims) or on 25th (52nd and 53rd claims, two Spitfires, NW of Dover and on Margate).
In Mombeek's book there's a picture of Molders' F-1 with 54 kill marks on its tail.

I don't know how accurate are the infos, but that's all I could gather


Franek Grabowski 17th February 2005 00:02

Thanks to both of you!
Information concerning development of Me 109F confirms my beliefs and fits to my very approximate calculations.
Concerning combat use of F-0, it is a little bit mysterious to me. I understand both Galland and Moelders got them in apporximatelly same time and flew them at least until December. Log books of both pilots survived, so if anybody on this board has seen them, please confirm the dates.
More surprising for me is lack of any info concerning other German pilots receiving it. My guess would be that either top scorers or Geschwaderkommodoren got them and in any case at least Wick should fly this variant as well.
Any clues?

Chris Goss 17th February 2005 12:23

Franek: I have a copy of the Moelders logbook and the dates are confirmed. However, I have never seen anything to confirm that Wick flew one-Galland certainly did at the end of the Battle. He had certainly handed his 109 E over, hence Hptm Asmus (I believe) was flying it when he was shot down

Franek Grabowski 17th February 2005 15:18

Thanks Chris but what dates? There is a clear conflict between Prien/Rodeike and Mombeek. Also, are you able to determine from the log book when Moelders exchanged his F-0 to F-2? Had he any interrim Me 109E?
Also, you state that the Galland's old aircraft was lost, so what was the one shown on a photo in JG26 photo book on page 63? It is attributed there to von Holtey of Erg.Gr. JG 26?
Anybody can confirm that the first claim for 109F was filled on 13.02.1941 by 91 Sqn and the first destroyed was claimed by the same unit on 11.04.1941?

Chris Goss 17th February 2005 15:49

Franek-I will have to look when I get home tonight. It was not Galland's ac that was lost but Moelders

Jim P. 17th February 2005 16:10

If I recall correctly from his FB, Moelders continued to fly his first 'F-0' (F-1?) well into the summer of 41. There were occasional flights in other machines during the spring, including Es, but WNr. 5628 was his primary machine.

Franek Grabowski 17th February 2005 19:09

Now I am pretty confused!
I always thought that Moelders flew F-0, externally distinguishable by a 'square' air inlet. WNr 5628 suggests it was early F-1/2 rather than F-0 which are reported to be in 5601-5625 block (I have also seen refernce to only 10 pre-production aircraft). Anyone know what happenned to F-0s? One was listed in IV/JG1 as late as Spring 1942 but I am not sure if it was not a clerk's error.

Gielle 17th February 2005 21:00

Still in the Prien and Rodeike's work the WNr. 5628 is listed as F-1. There are a couple of pictures of the machine, one said to be taken in october 1940 where the Messer is still with its Stammkennzeichen SG+GW, just arrived to the Stab/JG 51.
They dismiss the F-0 issue with "there was presumably a small F-0 series", and according to them, the first loss of a Friedrick (a F-1) occurred on Nov 11 1940, when WNr 5635, flown by the Staffelkapitan of 1./JG51, Oblt. G. Claus failed to return from a sortie off the English coast.

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