Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 trop

White 1, W.Nr. 10117, flown by Leutnant Albert Helm, 4./JG 3, San Pietro/Italy, March 1942

Beside finish off my profile book No 12 and as I have number of new profile books in the pipeline, I have to continue to find new profile subjects and make new profiles. During this week I have made two new Bf 109 K-4s, one from JG 52 and another from JG 3. However I have concentrate on making Bf 109 F-4 trop machines from II. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 3, specific from the February to late April 1942.

During this time the unit was based in the Mediterranean area, Italy and North Africa. During this period of little more than two months of action the II./JG 3 claimed a meagre seven abschüsse for an loss of 20 Bf 109s. Most of them the due to accidents but five was lost in combat, three of them in air-combat.

The pilot losses amounted to two pilots killed, two prisoner and another five wounded. One of the serious losses was that of the Gruppenkommandeur Hptm. Karl-Heinz Krahl that was shot down and killed by British AA-defence when he was strafing the Luca base at Malta.

The reason for the poor result and high losses was probably because of the pilots was mostly engage in training. Its interesting to compare this result with another Mediterranean Geschwader, the II./JG 27 who during the same period amassed a total of 42 victories.

The Bf 109 F-4 trop´s made during the week is the machines flown by: Lt. Albert Helm (White 1 of 4./JG 3), Lt. Josef Reisinger (Black 8 of 5./JG 3), Uffz. Franz Schwaiger (Yellow 3 of 6./JG 3) and finally the machine of Uffz. Robert Weinländer (Yellow 11 of 6./JG 3).

This machine "Mellsch" was the personal mount of Lt. Helm, a pilot that is not know to have score any victories during the war. The only successful pilots among these four, were Franz Schwaiger who after downing a B-17 on 24 April 1944 for his 67th confirmed victory was killed by a US pilot after he jumped out of his bellied aircraft.

This profile would probably be included in my Profile Book No 15.

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