Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3

Black 9, W.Nr 1475, flown by Unteroffizier Karl Steffen, Bukarest/Rumania 23 April 1941

This day this Bf 109 E-3 was damage at Pipera when it was hit by another Emil during takeoff, sustaining 40% damage, with most of the rear fuselage destroyed. In December 1940 the 8. Staffel started arrive in Bukarest and during the spring the unit flew practice flights, and most important conducting training of Rumanian pilots. And on 21 March the whole III./JG 52 participate in a parade for the Rumanian king Michael. On 27 May however the 8. Staffel led by Oblt. Günther Rall was transferred to Greece and is was not until 10 June 1941 that the unit was back in Rumania. A week later the Gruppen handed over their Bf 109 Emils to the Rumanians as the latest Messerschmitt fighter, brand new Bf 109 F-4s had arrived. On the 21 June the Gruppe was transferred once more, this time 100 km North East of Bucharest protecting the Ploiesti Oil fields from VVS bomber attacks.

Karl Steffen would file his first abshusse, a Spitfire downed over Dover on 29 June 1940. He would later distinguished himself fighting over Crimea, flying low lever sorties. He would receive the Rittercreuz on 1 July 1942 for 47 confirmed victories. He was listed as MIA on 8 August 1943, after a force landing in Soviet held territory. By that time Ofw. Steffen had been credited with a total of 59 kills.

This profile is one of four profiles made during the week and this profile would be included in profile book No 12

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