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


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, 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
EoE Project Coordinator
Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
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