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Luftwaffe Camouflage and Markings 1933-1945 by Kenneth A. Merrick
with Jürgen Kiroff

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Old 19th March 2006, 14:50
Andreas Brekken's Avatar
Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Bf 109's, vol 2 p 251

The photograph show two aircraft, one Bf 109 F-4 (probably tropicalized) marked 'Weisse 4 + ~', and a Bf 109G-2/trop marked 'Weisse <3 +'.

Now, Merrick identifies this in the caption (which is quoted here in full):

'LEFT: Identification of III. Gruppe aircraft took two forms, both of which appeared at the same time, either as a vertical bar or as a horizontal 'sine wave' form. The Bf 109 F-4 trop in the background has the latter form of marking, in this instance its white colouring, plus the 'White 4' marking identify it as a 4. Staffel, III. Gruppe aircraft (possibly of JG 77). Note particularly the form of the '4' marking and compare it with the style of the 'White 3' marking on the Gruppen-Adjutant's Bf 109 G-2 trop, W.Nr. 10681. Both aircraft were camouflaged in standard 78/79 tropical finish, with a full array of North Africa tactical markings in white. (J. Crow).'

Now - something must have gone terribly wrong here - the 'White 4' would in my opinion identify an aircraft as belonging to the first Staffel of it's Gruppe. In this case the III. Gruppe as given by the wave behind the Balkenkreuz. So - at this stage of the war that would be the 7. Staffel of Jagdgeschwader X (presumably JG 77).

Also - I think the caption lacks in that it should probably say that the '<3 +' marked aircraft would indicate that the aircraft did probably not belong to III. Gruppe, but rather was an aircraft from either Geschwaderstab or I. Gruppe Stab as it had no additional marking behind the Balkenkreuz. It could of course also be a Gruppenstab aircraft of II. or III. Gruppe.

The fact that there is a difference in the shade of the '4' and '~' when compared to the white colour fo the Balkenkreuz and the tailband could also mean that the code on this aircraft could be yellow rather than white is also a point I would like to discuss, although it could be different types of paint used causing this.

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