Profile no 125. Focke Wulf Fw 190 D-9

White 3, W.Nr. 500572, flown by Oberleutnant Jan Heinrich Schild, 5./JG 26, Husum/Germany, 1 May 1945

On 1 May 1945, according to his logbook, Jan Schild flew this machine the same day as he was appointed as the new Staffelkapitän of 5./JG 26. In fact, during the first five days in May he flew in four different Doras participating in a total of 11 missions. These including, escort, air-combat with Spitfires, ground-attack, fighter sweeps, and transferring aircraft. This machine was found belly-landed at Løgumkloster in Denmark on 5 May. On that day, an II. Gruppe pilot on route to Lister in Norway crash landed " White 3" due to unknown causes, perhaps the pilot decided to abort and be captured. Oblt. Jan Schild however on the same day flying in another Dora-9, "White 1", probably the machine of the former Staffelkapitän, Oblt. Peter Crump however, continued his course as ordered towards Norway. He landed at Lister air base at 09:00 after a 45 minutes and rather hazardous flight. In Schilds own words: "The approximate flying time in our Fw 190 D-9s was 35 minutes. Because of the bad weather, clouds down to 150-200 meters, rain visibility between three and five kilometers, the transfer flight proved to be very dramatic. We flew in bad-weather formation: that is, the aircraft were about 10-15 meters apart, with the lead aircraft (myself) doing the navigation. After about thirty minutes, I should have had the Norwegian coast in sight. Even after another two or three minutes, which seemed like an eternity, I could not see land. After informing the formation behind me by radio, I changed the course by about 30 to 35 degrees, shortly after changing the course, I sighted land, and just where it should be, an airfield at the tip of a peninsula. Lister was a hazardous airfield, surfaced with wooden planks, steel mats, and rubble. All of the aircraft landed safely with the exception of one". Thereafter followed a lengthy and dreadful time as POW in Norway, whereas their comrades in northern Germany were soon released by the British and could return to their homes. Note that this Dora-9 had the whole tail section replaced at some point, perhaps due to battle damage, with the machines Werk Number painted on by hand.

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