Focke Wulf Fw 190 A-5

Flown by Uffz. Günther Freitag, 8./JG 26, Nordholtz/Germany, June 17, 1943


Supermarine Spitfire MK IX

Flown by W/C Johnnie E Johnson. Kenley Wing, Kenley/England, June 17, 1943

On this Thursday, 17 June 1943 at mid afternoon Wing Commander Johnnie Johnsson led his No 144 Wing (Canadian) on another large scale Fighter Command Rodeo to Pas de Calais.

The Luftwaffe Fighter controller awaited the bombers but since no bombers materialized he finally vectored two JG 26 Gruppen towards the last formation of the sweep - the Kenley Wing.

The two Gruppen followed a well-practice tactic, One Gruppe, the third, stayed below the Spitfires as targets for a bounce, while Hauptmann Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland climbed with his second Gruppe to catch the Spitfires in their dive.

W/C Johnson "swallow the bait" and dived down followed by the whole of his Wing. Catching up with the last enemy machine trailing the formation he was able to score hits in the machine flown by Uffz Günther Freitag who was KIA.

Then Johnsson Wing split up and began climbing to deal with the second Gruppe. During this dogfight Oblt. Horst Sternberg was able to score hits on a Spitfire, the machine probably flown by S/Ldr Phil Archer, the commander of the 401 Sqn who was killed. Then Sternberg was rammed by another Spitfire, and had to bail out with injuries. The Spitfire who rammed him was probably flown by F/O Marshall who was able to nurse his battered Spitfire back to his base for a safe landing.

In all the Kenley Wing claimed three enemy fighters this day (in fact two was lost including Sternbergs rammed Fw 190) losing two of their own including the Spitfire Mk IX flown by F/O McNamara who also was KIA.

Please note that there is not any photos of Freitags machine, Its therefor based on other machines from the III./JG 26.

© Claes Sundin 2016