By the start of April 1942, III./JG 54 was re-equipped with 47 Bf 109 F-4s, 38 of which were ready for use. Even the pilot situation looked good as numerous young fighter pilots had arrived from the training units. This resulted in a significant increase in total pilots available with the Gruppe now having 52 pilots, though only 27 were to be found ready for action.
The weather was, as always during April, changeable with sunshine some days and heavy snowfall on others. This of course affected the number of missions flown on a daily basis. And if the weather was not an inhibiting factor, the unit had to deal with recurring VVS attacks on their base, Siwersakya. During April, the Gruppe conducted freie jagd and escort missions for Ju 87 Stukas and Ju 88s attacking ships and the Soviet Navy in Leningrad's harbor.
During the latter part of the month the Gruppe also flew numerous missions over the Wolchow battlefield. Throughout April III./JG 54 filed claims for a total of 45 Soviet aircraft shot down, most of them fighters such as the MiG-3, Yak-1, I-16, and the P-40. The most numerous bomber type downed was the twin-engine Pe-2.
From the German perspective they were debited with the loss of three Messerschmitts with another seven machines damaged though none through air-combat. During the following month, May 1942 the Gruppe would lose another eight Bf 109s three of them due to air-combat. Another seven machines was damage due to all causes as the pilot losses was three pilots, two MIA and another pilot listed as POW.
During the month the III./JG 54 filed claims for another 33 absschüsse. One of the pilots lost was Oblt. Hakon von Bülow, who was shot down in air combat on this day, 13 May. He manage to belly-land his Bf 109 F-4 south of Gorochowitz and was promptly taken prisoner.
Not much is know about von Bülow other than he claimed his first on 1 August 1941, a SB-2, than follows another four claimer during the year. His final and sixth abschüss was claimed on 31 March 1942. a R-5.
Oblt. von Bülow´s
Bf 109 F-4 wears the typical dark green camouflage of RLM 70
and a lighter green grass camouflage color typical for JG 54
aircraft and perfect for low flying over the vast areas of the
Russian pine forests. Also, typically for JG 54, was that this
machine sported the respective Staffel, Gruppe and Geschwader
insignias. all of the six of his black-painted Abschussbalken
are visible on the rudder.