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Old 21st December 2012, 19:18
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Hello,

For the work up for Lt-Maj. Helmut Wick for the color profile part of the EoE Project, I have these questions:

1) Wick reportedly joined 1./JG53 as a Lt. during 8.39, apparently shortly before the start of the war. At that time the unit was commanded by Hptm Werner Mölders. Does anyone have any information/photos on what a/c number Wick flew during his brief service with that unit?

2) Sometime prior to his first victory, achieved with 3./JG2 on 22.11.39, he transferred to that unit, and apparently began flying "Yellow 2," Does anyone know on what date he moved from 1./JG53 to 3./JG2?

3) At that time, his a/c would have probably had a standard 70/71/65 color scheme with dark green uppersurfaces. I've never seen photos of this a/c or him posing with a victory tab on the tail of this aircraft. Has anyone else seen one? A photo does shows the tail of a/c of Ofw Erwin Kley, who scored one confirmed and apparently another claimed victory on that same day. This appears on P.284 of the Jagdwaffe series, Vol One, Section 3 "Sitzkrieg." (The same photo appears on P.70 of the Mombeeck/Roba/Goss history of JG2, Volume I). The photo sequence of which this is a part says that the photos were taken at the time of the unit's first victories, but 22.11.39 is probably too early for the a/c in these photos, including Kley's, to have displayed a 1940-style camouflage. Some units did adopt the new camouflage scheme prior to the end of 1939, but I've never been aware the 3./JG2 was one of them.

This shows the use of black victory tabs after Kley's a/c was presumably repainted about January in the new 1940 scheme. It would be reasonable to expect that Wick would also have posed for a photo with his initial victory claim tab on the tail of his a/c, either in very late-1939 or early-1940. Are any such photos known to exist? I know that color profiles (ie Ringlstettler's Wick bio) have been published of Wick's early 1940 Bf109E-3 with a single white victory tab on the fin, but I've never seen any photographic evidence to support this artwork. Are these profiles based upon anything other than conjecture?

4) Does anyone know the date that Wick was formally promoted from Lt. to Oblt., sometime after he took over as Sta Kap of 3./JG2 on 22.06.40. His victory listings in Prien et.al., Vol 4/I lists him as a Lt. on 17.07.40 for his 14th victory, but by his next one on 11.08.40 he is listed as an Oblt. When was he promoted?

5) I have dozens of photos in the EoE DB for Wick's Bf109E-4, WNr.5344, from late-August (22 Victories), until his death in late Nov. with 56 victories, so please don't respond by posting these. I would appreciate photos of any of his tails showing anything less that 22 victory tabs, which he carried at the time that he won the RK. I do have three photos of his Bf109E-3 around June 12/13, 1940 when he suffered a gear collapse, with his fin at that time displaying 12 victory tabs. If anyone knows the exact date of this incident, or has very clear photos of this a/c, I'd would appreciate knowing about it.

Any help here would be greatly appreciated.

Larry Hickey
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Old 21st December 2012, 19:48
edwest edwest is offline
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Re: Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Hi Larry,


Just a pointer to those who might have this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Helmut-Wick-Il...pr_product_top


Maybe the info you seek is contained within, including photos.



Best,
Ed
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Old 21st December 2012, 20:44
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Ed,

Thanks for posting this. I've already used this book and others in my research and mention it in my post.

Regards,

Larry Hickey
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Old 21st December 2012, 21:22
edwest edwest is offline
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Re: Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Right. Then perhaps this:


http://falkeeins.blogspot.com/2009/1...-wnr-5344.html




Ed
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Old 22nd December 2012, 03:34
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Hello,

I should note that a color profile of Wick's "Yellow 2," the a/c in question from the late-winter/spring of 1940 with the 1940 camouflage and one white victory tab, is also profiled on P.293 of the French-language version of "Dans Le Ciel de France:Histoire de la JG2 "Richthofen," Vol I: 19394-1940, by Mombeeck, Roba & Goss. It is also carried in the English-language version of the same publication.

Regards,

Larry Hickey
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Old 22nd December 2012, 16:27
Thierry K Thierry K is offline
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Re: Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Hello Larry
Wick's "yellow 2"s profile is from Thierry Dekker who joined the board a few time ago.
Please check your mailbox.
Regards, Thierry
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Old 22nd December 2012, 18:55
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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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
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Old 22nd December 2012, 19:11
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Thierry K,

Thanx for your comments. I noticed that Thierry Dekker had recently joined the board. An excellent profile artist, whose work I greatly enjoy. I'll have to make a note to get in touch with him when I get some time (when does that ever happen?). I still owe you an answer to your last email, which I'll get to as soon as I can.

I've now cleared a few spaces off my TOCH PM mailbox for anyone who may be trying to get in touch with me.

Regards,

Larry Hickey
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Old 22nd December 2012, 22:03
edwest edwest is offline
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Re: Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Larry,


Here's a shot with 13 victories. Of the quality, all I can say is something is better than nothing.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/ww2images/6896588621/



ed
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Old 22nd December 2012, 22:34
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Need info on early war history and a/c markings of Lt Helmut Wick

Ed,

Thanx for continuing to take the time to support the EoE Project.

Unfortunately, in this case the photo is grossly mis-captioned, as it shows neither Wick nor his a/c. IIRC Karl Ries says the aircraft tail is that of Otto Bertram (another source claims it is Siegfried Schnell's--or maybe he inherited it when Bertram left). Schnell is the one on the left behind the tailplane, with "Assi" Hahn next to him putting on his glove. Wick is neither of the other two. Since Bertram was an RK winner, the tail of this a/c will relate to another, later profile in the EoE Project series. So will the a/c of both Schnell and Hahn.

Larry Hickey

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