Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2

Profile no 64. Flown by Oberfeldwebel Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert, 4./JG 77, Castell Benito/Libya, January 1943.

When Feldwebel Ernst-Wilhelm Reinert of 4./JG 77 was injured in combat with a Pe-2 on the Eastern Front on July 23, 1942, he ended a remarkable victory tally 28 Soviet aircraft had been brought down by him in slightly more than a fortnight. Half a year later, he would repeat this feat against the western allies over Tunisia. Reinert opened his score in the Tunisian war zone by downing a Curtiss P-40 on January 2, 1943. On January 11, 1943 he bagged four Spitfires, and on February 26, another four Allied fighters fell before his guns. His most successful days over Tunisia were March 13, and April 1, 1943, when he brought home five kills each day. On April 19, 1943, Reinert brought home his 150th victory, achieved against a Spitfire. With forty-nine kills from January through April 1943, Reinert was the most successful fighter ace during the Battle of Tunisia. In August 1943 he was appointed Staffelkapitän 1./JG 77, and in 1945 he assumed command of IV./JG 27. One month later, Reinert was awarded with the Swords to the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves. Reinert carried out more than seven hundred combat sorties between June 1941 and May 1945. He was credited with 174 victories (103 on the Eastern Front), plus 16 aircraft and 10 tanks destroyed on the ground.

© Claes Sundin 2009 text: Christer Bergström 2002

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