Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-14

Yellow 4, W.Nr. 460408, flown by Gefreiter George Kuhr, 3./JG 76, Freiburg/Germany, 29 September 1944

This Jagdgeschwader was established on 20 July 1944, and came under the command of Major Anton Hackl from III./JG 11. From that date, JG 76 up to its reorganization in October of 1944, saw very limited combat. During its three months of existence as a fighter unit, 46 Allied aircraft were claimed shot down, mainly during operations in response to Operation Market Garden.

One of the first notable losses was the Kommandeur of III./JG 76, Ritterkreuzträger Hptm. Egon Albrecht-Lemke. He was intercepted, shot down, and killed over Creil on 25 August, by P-51 Mustangs supporting American ground forces approaching Paris. Hptm. Hans Morr took over the command of the Gruppe. Up to 29 September 1944, a total of 24 aircraft were claimed by JG 76. The first ones were on 28 August when six P-38s were claimed by III./JG 76 over Creil. On 11 September followed another five P-51s claimed downed near Kassel. And finally on 12 September seven B-17s were downed. The next day, 15 Messerschmitts made low-level strafing attacks on troops around Nijmegen with no losses suffered.

On 24 September, 26 Bf 109s of JG 76 joined III./JG 11 and IV./JG 54 as part of the temporary tactical formation, Gefechtsverband Späthe, in anti-fighter sweeps over the Netherlands. Two fighters were lost on 26 September flying ground-attack missions. On 27 September 1944, a formation of some 29 I./JG 76 Bf 109s were attacked by RCAF Spitfires of No. 412 and No. 443 Squadrons over the Arnhem-Nijmegen area, with five Bf 109s lost. On 29 September 1944, eight further aircraft were lost in return for six Spitfires and a P-47 claimed. One of the losses this day was that of Gefreiter George Kuhr from 3./JG 76, forced to make a belly-landing in his "Yellow 4" in the Nijmegen area due to battle damage.

The final victories for the unit were filed in October, one of them when Lt. Fick of 2. Staffel claimed a Spitfire on 2 October. Thereafter followed a total of thirteen P-47s claimed through October. After Major Anton Hackl left JG 76 for II./JG 26, Major Ernst Düllberg took over the leadership of the Geschwader for another eight days before the reorganization which resulted in I. and III./JG 76 from 10 to 20 October 1944, being renamed as IV./JG 300.

Note that this G-14 is a typical Erla-produced machine with its distinctive soft-mottled spotted camouflage consisting of RLM 70 and RLM 74/75. Note also that this machine was renumbered sometime during its operational career.

This profile and caption is taken from my Profile Book No 11, and this Bf 109 G-14 is the 98th profile presented in that book.

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