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  #1  
Old 30th April 2006, 20:44
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Late-war Bf 109 question

Yesterday I spoke to a veteran Mustang pilot who described to me a Bf 109 he shot down.
Firstly he mentioned it fired at him from the wings (he saw the smoke). Thus it must have had gunpods.
Secondly he said it didn't have a "blown" canopy but a "birdcage" canopy - i.e. the older style canopy (not the Erla/Galland Haube)
Lastly he said it was all "charcoal brown" without any "squiggles". I guess with squiggles he meant the mottling on the side. To me this sound like the late-war RLM 81/83 brown/dark green camouflage that extended down the sides, without mottle.

My questions is, has anybody ever come accross a Bf 109 in RLM 81/83 that still had the old-style canopy and gunpods?

I still have to get confirmation of the exact date of the encounter, but it was sometime during the last winter of the war.
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Old 30th April 2006, 21:14
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
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Re: Late-war Bf 109 question

In a word, no; at least I have not. Of course, Herr Doktor Prien may yet surprise us in his series. There is a shot of a crash-landed G-10 in his Schieffer 109 book. You can see the front part of the a/c with the wing gun pods, but not much else. No markings, etc.

It has been said here before, and is not meant to be disprectful, but beware of what WWII veterans say about aircraft details. The crewchief of the well-known P-51D, Millie G, insisted it was painted red over natural metal. Turned out it was olive drab or RAF dark green. Steve Ritchie was absolutely adament that the F-4E he flew on two of his MiG kills had a shark's mouth on the nose. It did not and this was only 4 months after the event! Not 60 years. Memories can be very tricky when you are concentrating on killing or being killed.
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Old 30th April 2006, 22:16
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Ruy Horta Ruy Horta is offline
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Re: Late-war Bf 109 question

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree.

Yes, an eye witness account can contain many errors, but OTOH when the senses are sharpened, there is room to remember minute details. Perhaps the pilot in question may be excused about the canopy, but noticing (cannon) fire is a different matter - this is the sharp end of stick so to speak.

Point is that little can be said with getting more details like location and date.
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Old 30th April 2006, 22:28
Harold Lake Harold Lake is offline
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Re: Late-war Bf 109 question

Not so fast. Of course there were 109s in the camouflage colors you mentioned. One is shown on page 43 of the old Monogram painting guide..a color photo of what the authors say is a Bf 109 G-6...and it has that old canopy and a three digit number [479] along the side in what looks like maroon edged in white. Can't say about any special armament on this one.

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Old 1st May 2006, 00:04
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Re: Late-war Bf 109 question

Thanks for the replies, guys!

To make sure, I showed the veteran a picture of both types of canopy and he basically said it could just as well have been the other one. He saw only one piece flying away when the pilot jettisoned the canopy, so I think we can rule out any "anomalies" - the target had an Erla Haube afterall. Also he mentioned he was pretty sure there was no aerial.

The date was 9 February 1945, around noon, near Magdeburg, heading south towards Leipzig. Scenery was forest and farmland - rural.

Is it safe to say he was battling a K-4? Or did G-10/14s also get equipped with gunpods? I don't think I've ever seen any pictures of late-war 109s with gunpods, but I do know JG 26 extensively used them on their K-4s (20 mm gondolas to be precise) but not on their G-10s.
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Old 1st May 2006, 01:17
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
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Re: Late-war Bf 109 question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyraider3D
Thanks for the replies, guys!

Is it safe to say he was battling a K-4? Or did G-10/14s also get equipped with gunpods? I don't think I've ever seen any pictures of late-war 109s with gunpods, but I do know JG 26 extensively used them on their K-4s (20 mm gondolas to be precise) but not on their G-10s.
Well, let’s see: First, there’s no documented evidence that the K-4 ever flew with wing gun pods. The K-6 was supposed to have built-in wing guns (not pods), but there’s no evidence they flew operationally.

Skyraider: As for JG 26 what evidence do you have they flew with the K-4 with gunpods in February 1945? III./JG 26 flew K-4s in Dec. ’44 to mid-January ’45, but then in mid-January reequipped with the D-9. That means that all JG 26 units flew the D-9 in mid-Jan ’45 onward. If there were any K-4s in JG 26 from mid-January ’45 onward, they did not lose any—something hard to believe. The last K-4 loss for III./JG 26 (the only 109-equipped JG 26 unit at this point) is 14-Jan-45. In fact, their losses on 9-Feb-45 are none, either 109s or 190s. The first III./JG 26 loss (the previously 109 equipped unit) is 28-Jan-45 indicating this previously 109 unit was now operational with the D-9. While our records for late 1944 and 1945 are not complete, they are not THAT inaccurate.

As for the color photo on page 43 of Monogram’s C &M classic, this is not totally reliable. The KZ of this wreck were likely red, as stated, but they are very dark red/brown in the photo, indicating the colors in the photo might be off. Ergo, there’s brownish looking stuff in the C & M pattern where there really not might be any. WWII color photos, reproduced now are notoriously fickle. You just cannot rely on them for accuracy, especially in subtle browns, greens or grays. Some are accurate, most are not.
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Old 1st May 2006, 01:55
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Re: Late-war Bf 109 question

You´re too fast for my reply, John...
@Skyraider: What are your sources about the "...extensivley..." using of gondola weapons on the K-4? O.K., even the late war versions of the Bf 109 could be equipped with gunpods, but I´ve never seen any picture of Messerschmitts with this Rüstsatz during the last months of WW 2...
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Old 1st May 2006, 06:27
Yves Marino Yves Marino is offline
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Re: Late-war Bf 109 question

And what about the so called G-16?
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Old 1st May 2006, 11:28
Heuser Heuser is offline
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Re: Late-war Bf 109 question

Hello Yves,
I´ve got no sources about really existing G-16...

Regards, Heuser
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Old 1st May 2006, 11:39
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Re: Late-war Bf 109 question

John, I never said JG 26 used K-4s in February 1945 I merely gave them as an example of gunpod use on the K-4. I am well aware the whole of JG 26 was flying Doras by then and therefore the 109 we're looking for can't be a JG 26 example. The information about the gunpods I got from Donald Caldwell's books. The introduction of the K-4 is described (Nov. '44). Let me quote directly from the book:
Quote:
The 30 mm cannon were extremely potent weapons, but had a tendency to jam, and apparently all of the K-4s supplied to the Third Grupe were also equipped with the 20 mm guns in the despised underwing tubs. Uffz. Georg Genth's regular aircraft was a G-10, but on occasion he flew a K-4. He preferred the G-10 as a dogfighter, as the K-4's bulky armament sharply reduced its maneuverability.
I've never heard of gunpod use on the G-10/14 and I don't think any G-6 was ever painted in brown/green camo.
But I have never seen gunpod on any late war 109s myself...

Heuser, III/JG 26 used their K-4s quite a lot and if they all have gunpods that means they must have been used extensively.
The books I refer to are this one (p.292) and this one (p.379).


I had never heard of the K-6 variant with built-in guns. The veteran described smoke coming out of the wings when the 109 fired directly at him (and thus missed as the 109 pilot didn't use enough deflection). He didn't mention gunpods and when I asked about it he merely said the smoke was going over the wings. I'll show him a picture of the gunpods and see what he says.
I'm aware memory can be flakey after 60+ years, but he is 100% sure the 109 fired from its wings as he could see the gun smoke. One would definitely remember being shot at, so we can safely assume it had wing guns.


I really appreciate your help, guys, and hopefully we can find out what unit the 109 belonged to.

The USAAF unit involved was the 357th FS/355th FG by the way.
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