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Old 23rd January 2012, 00:23
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
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Larry Hickey
Profile info For Maj. Grabmann's Bf110 while Gesch Kde of ZG76 early BoB


Have just acquired on eBay the new photos of Maj. Grabmann's Bf110, M8+XE, taken early in the BoB during July or August, 1940. I want to use these for a color profile for the EoE project for that period of time. I've published posts about Grabmann and his a/c a couple of time before.

Two new questions.

1) Is there any evidence for fighter-style Stab Chevrons/bars on the noses of ZG76 Gruppenstab Bf110s at any time in 1939-40? I ask this, because this was apparently Standard practice for the Gruppenstab and I Gr Stab in ZG26. We know that Stab I./ZG76 used them in front of the "M8" unit code on the fuselage, but not on the a/c noses. II and later III Gruppe of ZG76 respectively had the shark's mouth and the 3 wasp insignia on their noses so there was really no room for them on their a/c at that position, and no indication that I know of that they used them with the a/c code like I Gruppe did.

Unfortunately, the four photos that I know of showing Grabmann's M8+XE during this period don't clearly show the nose at all, so I can't tell if he used any insignia, personal or otherwise, on the nose of his a/c or not. Any evidence for that?

2) The a/c photos in question show Grabmann's a/c with one white victory tab on the fin. According to my info, during 1940 he had 1 victory during the WC (FC), and five more during the Battle of Britain. We now know the dates of all of his five BoB victories, but don't know the date for the one during May-June, 1940, during the WC. Anybody have that? Note: he was shot down on 18.5.40 and did not escape from captivity until 24.6.40, so that period is ruled out. Given the rigors of his experiences during this period, I really don't know when or if he returned to duty as the CO of ZG76 before the end of the WC.

We know that this a/c, M8+XE, was actually shot down into the Channel with the Gesch Adj aboard on 27.9.40. Grabmann was awarded the RK on 14.9.40, so this a/c with his additional victory tabs added, could reasonably be construed to represent the a/c that he generally flew at the time of this award. His plane would have only been displaying five of his 1940 victory total on his RK award date, as his 6th victory wasn't achieved until 27.9.40. So this a/c, displaying 5 victory tabs should be accurate for his RK a/c. Anybody disagree?

A final question. So far, we still haven't been able to locate any crash photos for the plane that Grabmann lost on 18.5.40, or any confirmed photos of it taken before that time. That probably carried a solid uppersurface green camouflage, and I also believe carried the code M8+XE. A probable photo of this a/c as M8+XE can be seen on P. 84 of the Vasco/Cornwell Bf110 1940 book, "Zestörer" but with an inaccurate caption. Does anyone know of any other photos of that a/c, or photos of the crashed on May 18th, which was probably badly smashed since Grabmann bailed out.

According to the EoE Luft Loss DB: "May 18, 1940: Stab ZG76 Messerschmitt Bf110C-1. Shot down in combat with Hurricanes 10km north-west of Douai 7.10 p.m. Possibly that attacked by P/O Atkinson of No. 213 Squadron. FF Major Walter Grabmann (Geschwaderkommodore) baled out and captured – later released, BF Fw Richard Krone killed. Aircraft M8+XA 100% write-off. (Ring) (LJH note: was this perhaps coded M8+XE?).

One thing I want to add on here, as far as I can remember, we have no photos of Stab./ZG76 Bf110s employing a white or yellow nose during the latter half of the Battle of Britain. Does anyone know of any photos existing showing this? This will ultimately be necessary to do the Stab./ZG76 Profiles for Sept., 1940, and Oct-Dec., 1940.

Thanks for help anyone can give me to wrap up Grabmann's a/c with ZG 76 during 1940.

Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator

Last edited by Larry Hickey; 23rd January 2012 at 03:37.
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