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Old 17th January 2006, 06:53
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Larry Hickey
The correct codes for the a/c flown by Oblt. Hans-Joachim Jabs during 1940

Since I'm on II./ZG 76 (see previous post), I'm trying to determine the appearance of the aircraft of Lt./Oblt. Hans-Joachim Jabs during the French Campaign and the Battle of Britain as a part of a major project on Luftwaffe Knight's Cross Holders and major "aces" during 1940. An analysis of the published and available photography of the Bf-110s of 6./ZG 76, indicates that, insofar as was possible, the individual plane letters were based on the first initial of the family name of the assigned pilot. Using this system, one would expect Jabs to be flying M8+JP. However, there were two pilots in the Staffel (Lt. Jasehob +15.5.40) duing this period with a family name beginning with J, and there is no photographic evidence that I know to indicate that Jabs flew M8+JP.

Back in the 1960s a US flying magazine published an article by Walter Musciano, based on info from Jabs, that his Battle of Britain 110 was M8+IP. The only photo of M8+IP that I know of shows the plane in the air pealing off from a formation. But it carries no victory tabs, while adjacent M8+GP carries two, indicating that this was during either the FC or early in the BoB. By the winter of 1940/41 photos confirm that Jabs flew a 110 with the codes M8+IP (see P. 109/9 of the Nauroth/Held book on the 110). This a/c carried the W.Nr. 3866. However, this was a replacement for the plane (s) Jabs flew during the FC and BoB. Indicating that Jabs may have flown several aircraft during this period is a letter he wrote to John Vasco several years ago stating: "During the Battle of Britain (and French Campaign) I shot (down)19 aircraft. I personally had to make three emergency landings in the area and at the beach of France." A well-known photo on page 77/78 of the Nauroth/Held book (and a color profile derrived from it in the Osprey's 110 book by John Weal) says Jabs flew M8+NP, which is now known to have been the a/c of Oblt. Nacke, the Kap. of 6 Staffel. So apparently, Jabs never flew M8+NP as "his" a/c. Now, John Vasco has just published (P. 39, The Messerschmitt Bf 110 in Color Profile 1939-45-Schiffer) an excellent photo of M8+GP with a row of 7 white victory tabs on the fin. "GP" was reported to be the a/c of Lt. Guth, who was WIA on 23.5.40, but he only had two victories recorded by this time, and apparently didn't score more with that unit during 1940. So, who took over M8+GP and racked up the additional victories in this a/c? The total can only reflect the scores of Nacke, Herget or Jabs. Herget is known to have flown "HP" as his regular a/c, at least during the spring of 1940. So, who flew GP after Guth was WIA? Could this have been Jabs' after losing his "regular" a/c to one of those crash-landings? Or did Herget or Nacke fly it after loosing their assigned a/c? I know that Nacke later cracked up "KM," so he didn't always fly "NP."

So, does anyone have anything to add to the evidence that would confirm the aircraft that Jabs flew during the spring/summer/fall of 1940? Does anyone know if his logbook from that period has survived ? Does anyone have clear photos of RKT Herget's 110, M8+HP? My only photo, via Chris Goss, shows the a/c in the air at some distance with probably a single victory tab on the tail.

Thanks for any and all help.
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