Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4


Profile number 9. Bf 109 E-4. Flown by Oberleutnant Werner Machold, 9./JG 2, France, September 1940.

The outbreak of WW II saw Werner Machold as an NCO pilot with I./JG 2 Richthofen. Born on July 29, 1911, Werner Machold was among the oldest of the first fighter aces of the Luftwaffe. However, his Gruppenkommandeur, Hauptmann Erich Mix, was a veteran pilot from WW I who in 1940 was in his forties. But the 13 victories achieved by Mix in a two-month period is a clear evidence that he was still going strong. Mix soon noticed the talent of Oberfeldwebel Machold and placed him in the position of a section leader. On May 14, 1940, when JG 2 achieved twenty victories, Oberfeldwebel Werner Machold achieved his first two kills against French M.S. 406 fighter. Five days later, he shot down an RAF Hurricane, and brought home two victories each on May 20 and May 21, 1940. His eighth victory was scored against a Spitfire over Calais on May 26, 1940. No 9 and 10, a Morane and a Bloch 150 on June 3, 1940. During the subsequent Battle of Britain, Machold rose to one of the most notable German aces. He knocked down three Hurricanes in a row on August 30, 1940. Three days later he repeated the same feat, only this time against three Spitfires. Having achieved 20 victories, all but six against RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes, Machold was awarded with the Knight's Cross on September 5, 1940. Later, Machold was promoted to Oberleutnant and put in charge of 7./JG 2. Machold's last two victories were attained against RAF Spitfires over the English Channel on May 19, 1941.
During a low-level attack against a British convoy in the English Channel on June 6, 1941, Machold's Bf 109 received a hit in the radiator, and the pilot had no other option but to belly-land on the British southern coast. The victor in 32 aerial combats would spend the remainder of the war in a POW camp.

© Claes Sundin 2009 text: Christer Bergström 2002

Published by Schiffer Military History Book 2002 ISBN: 0-7643-1559-5