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Old 21st November 2021, 17:58
INM@RLM INM@RLM is offline
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Re: Bf-109 to identify - III./JG 27

This loss of 19-May-40 is also worth considering.

From Peter Cornwell's Battle of France, Then and Now p.326:
"I./JG1 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3. Wrecked in forced-landing at St Quentin due to petrol failure. Pilot believed unhurt. Aircraft a write-off.
Confirmed in the table at Prien+Stemmer+Rodeike+Bock: Jagdfliegerverbände Teil 3 p.81 as 75% damaged but the entry above is rather more revealing.

I./JG 1 had only transferred forward from Gymnich near Cologne in the Rhineland to Charleville on the evening of 16th May. Charleville lies at the very edge of the featureless, rolling but almost-flat-as-a-pancake plain stretching from the Ardennes to the French coast. St Quentin sits in the middle part of that plain. Not easy to find your way in a single-seater when you are unfamiliar with such terrain. Either returning alone from a combat mission or the Rottenflieger happened to have been able to use less fuel. Very embarrassing given that the aircraft's back is well and truly broken, but somewhat understandable as to the getting lost.

So circumstantially this looks a reasonably good fit.

The ambulance was not for the pilot. The aircraft has been photographed in the middle of being dismantled, and it is clearly apparent that the wing cannon and the cowling machine guns have already been recovered.

The presence of the ambulance is probably only precautionary; a SOP at every recovery where the aircraft was know to be fitted with 'live' armament. Given the relaxed postures of the individuals in this photo, it probably does not indicate that there had been an accident during removal of the armament and ammunition.

The WNr. is unreadable in this reproduction but there is plentiful evidence of I./JG 1 having on charge in this period multiple examples of Bf 109 E-3s marked in this identical style from the large Erla block W.Nr. 1074 to 1574. The distinctive marking of the Rotring oil filler cap on these aircraft is also clearly apparent here. (Photos in PSRB: Jagdfliegerverbände Teil 3 especially pp.82/5.)

[The Messerschmitt Änderungs Anweisungen Übersicht confirms the sub-type as E-3; Erla E-4s only began with WNr. 1575.]
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