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Old 22nd December 2012, 19:55
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
Posts: 2,980
Larry Hickey
Re: Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Ed,

Your reference to the "falkeeins" website is helpful. I was not aware of the specific photo of Wick's "Yellow 2" with 18 victories. Another similar photo of this a/c at that time has been previously published on P.32 of Jerry Crandall's excellent "Major Hans "Assi" Hahn: The Man and His Machines." There are three factual errors in the caption for this photo on the "fakeeins" website. Prien's JFV #3 & 4/I indicates that this was taken after his 18th victory on 16 Aust (vice 18 Aug.), he was an Oberleutnant (vice Lt) by this time, and he WAS the Sta Kap of 3./JG2 (since 22 June). This a/c carried no yellow tactical markings of any kind, which is a puzzlement. I'll have to look though the EoE photo archive and see if this is consistent with other I./JG2 a/c during mid- to late-August, as I would have expected this a/c to have at least had a yellow upper tip to the rudder. Most Luft fighter a/c by 16 August carried both yellow (sometimes white) wing tips and horizontal tail tips, as well as the rudder tips, as the order to do this originated early in the month. This bears further study. Does anyone know why I./JG2 a/c would not have been carrying these yellow or white tactical markings in August?

Another very helpful photo is the 6th one down on the website, as this is the clearest view of the "kingfisher" emblem used on Wick's a/c that I've seen, although the photo itself is of very poor quality since it is an eBay auction image.

If anyone has better copies of either of these photos from which we can work, I would appreciate being contacted. Also, if anyone has any photos of Wick's a/c (W.Nr. unknown) showing his scoreboard during the WC/FC between the time of his 1st victory (carried that when the campaign started), and the 12th victory on June 12th, or his a/c displaying his 13th through 17th victories, please let me know.

The a/c on the website and in Jerry Crandall's book shows the markings on "Yellow 2" that Wick would have been flying on August 24th, the day of his 19th and 20th victories, thus qualifying him for his Knight's Cross. The next day he scored two more victories, pushing his total to 22. The scoreboard of this a/c was pretty well photographed and received a lot of publicity. I don't know if Wick's "Yellow 2" ever actually carried only 20 victory tabs, as this would have only been possible for a day or two, at most.

The most important markings info that we lack for Wick at this point is his a/c number during Sept.-Oct., 1939, when he briefly served with 1./JG53. We know exactly how the a/c would have been marked except for that number. This will likely be a very tough one to nail down, and perhaps we'll never know that, but it's certainly worth asking for. Who knows, perhaps some day Wick's FB will surface, as has that for the other two RK/EL winners for this period, Mölders and Galland. We also don't know for sure whether 3./JG2 was still flying 1939-camouflaged a/c when he joined the unit sometime in the weeks before 22 Nov. 1939, but I strongly suspect that they did. Pinning down his transfer date to 3./JG2 should help answer that question.

For the EoE Project, we're planning to do about 10 individual 4-view profiles of Wick's a/c in their various markings during 1939-40, plus inserts to these as rudder victory tabs evolved over time. We hope that this comprehensive treatment will definitively document his a/c and markings. We've already finished the 10 profiles for Werner Mölders, which cover his a/c to the end of 1940. There were some real surprises there. Next will be Galland, including his Hs123 with 4.(S)/LG2, which is already finished.

We're making progress here, and any further help will be greatly appreciated.

Larry Hickey
EoE Project Coordinator
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Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
http://airwar-worldwar2.com
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