Focke Wulf Fw 190 D-9

Flown by Leutnant Peter Crump, 13./JG 26, Varrlbusch/Germany, March 19, 1945.


North American P-51D Mustang

Flown by 1st/Lt. Elmer K. Nieland, 83rd Fighter Squadron, 78 FG, Duxford/England, March 19, 1945.

On this Sunday, 19 March 1945, the USAAF 8th Air Force dispatched 1200 bombers and nearly 700 fighters to attack Germany. The fighters svept the air in front of the bombers, which by now had no industrial targets left to attack and where reduced to bombing railroad yards and airfields.

The 78th Fighter Group was assigned the task of neutralizing the airfields around Osnabrück, which included all of JG 26 and JG 27 bases. The forty-seven Mustangs of the 78th FG reached the area at 12.30 and fell upon the Messershmitts 109:s of IV/JG 27. This melee was rather one sided and this Jagdgruppe lost 11 fighters, and only manage to claim one Mustang in return.

As the II/JG 26 took off in the middle of this airbattle one Fw 190 D-9 was also shot down by the US Fighter Group. However when IV/JG 26, who returned from a Frie Jagd mission, reached the area the tables was suddenly turned and the attackers was on the receiving end of the melee.

During this fight the forth Gruppe claimed six P-51 Mustangs during a 15 minutes long engagement, losing two Dora-nine of their own. By others Oblt. Dortenmann of 14./JG 26 claimed two Mustangs, including the machine flown by the commander of the 84th FS, Major Downing.

Lt. Peter Crump the Staffelkapitän of the 13./JG 26 on the other hand, recalled "I've spotted a lone Mustang and caught up with him over our home airfield, Varrelbush, after making a tight bank in the opposite direction, Unnerved, he immediately tried to take flight, and I was able to shoot him down without much resistance. The pilot flying this machine was Lt. Elmer K. Nieland who was able to bail out from his stricken machine and taken prisoner. With moderat burns to his neck he was invited to the JG 26 mess later that evening and Peter Crump was able to congratulate him on his survival.

When returning to England the pilots from the 78 FG filed rather inflated claims, in all they claimed 25 Messerschmitts and five Fw 190:s, with a further three more probebles and 12 damaged German fighters, those claims is in fact more than twice the actual Jagdwaffe losses of 14 fighters. However on the German side the JG 27 claim is hard to verify and just five Mustangs was lost during the clash with the IV/JG 26.

Peter Crump´s 31st and last victory was over a USAAF P-47 Thunderbolt, claimed NE of Münster on 28 March 1945, which after he was grounded due to blood poisoning and was not able to return to duty until 1st of May. On this date he was promoted to Oberleutnant and was appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 26. Finally on 2 May, he flew his 202nd and last combat mission of the war. All his victories were scored on the Western Front and includ seven Four-engined bombers.

Peter Crump's personal Fw 190 D-9 "White 16" (W.N.r. unknown) was to be destroyed in a bombing raid on the airfield on 24th of March.

Please note that there is not any photos of any of those two machines, both is therfore based on other machines from the two units and the space of time.

© Claes Sundin 2016