Thursday, April 30, 2015

Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 of Gerhard Stamp, III./JG 300 "Wilde Sau".

JG 300 Wilde Sau was the brainchild of bomber pilot Major 'HaJo' Herrmann who had advocated for the use of single-engined as night fighters against RAF Bomber Command once the use of 'Window' had made German radar systems ineffective. Targets were to be identified by having the bombers silhouetted against the search lights and fires in and around a bombing target, thus not relying upon radar. Trials with a Versuchskommando Herrmann started at Deelen on June 26, 1943, and the first combat mission was flown on the night of July 3/4 against a force of some 653 RAF aircraft attacking Cologne. JG 300 was formally established on August 30, 1943, and the sister units JG 301 and JG 3012 were combined with JG 300 to form the 30. Jagd-Division, albeit with a limited compliment of aircraft. The units had a not inconsiderable amount of success during 1943, although there were many accidents, especially during nighttime landings. The Wilde Sau units were increasingly committed to daytime operations during 1944, and they were duly worn down by the Allied onslaught.

Since night flying with single-engine aircraft required considerable skill, many JG 300 pilots were former bomber pilots, and so was Gerhard Stamp. He was born on June 3, 1920, and even before joining JG 300, he was credited with sinking 35,000 gross register tons (GRT) of Allied merchant shipping as well as the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender on July 11, 1941 and various aircraft and vehicles on the ground while flying a Junkers Ju 88 in Lehrgeschwader 1 over the Mediterranean. Another 45,000 GRT of shipping was claimed as damaged. Stamp then proceeded to hold various positions in JG 300 before taking command of 10./NJG 11 (another night fighter unit) in October 1944. His final position during the Second World War was as the commanding officer of Kommando Stamp, an experimental night fighting unit equipped with Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighters that was formed in December 1944 and tasked with bombing enemy bombers with 250- and 500 kg bombs. Kommando Stamp did claim some successes using this tactic, although these successes seem to be unconfirmed. Stamp flew 300 bomber missions and 100 fighter missions, and he claimed five enemy aircraft, although only four seem to have been confirmed:

- August 23, 1943: unidentified four-engine aircraft claimed at 01.30 over Berlin (3./JG 300)
- September 23, 1943: Lancaster claimed at 23.15 10 km west of Mannheim (8./JG 300)
- February 3, 1944: B-17 (Stab I./JG 300)
- March 22, 1944: Lancaster (8./JG 300
- October 7, 1944: P-51 claimed at 11.55 around Querfurt and Naumburg (Stab I./JG 300)

Stamp was also shot down once, on June 29, 1944, while flying a Bf 109 G-6/U-2 near Lodersleben.

Major Gerhard Stamp was decorated with the Ritterkreuz, and he joined the Bundeswehr in 1956 for a second military career. He retired in 1978 as Oberst i. G. and he passed away in 1998.

I had purchased EagleCals' Bf 109 Gs and Fw 190s JG 300 Part Three several years ago, and I had already finished a Fw 190 of "HaJo" Herrman with these excellent decals ( Now I thought it was time for a Bf 109.

The Academy Bf 109 G-6 kit is easy to build with neither sink holes, nor flash or gaps that need to be filled. The cockpit is decent, although it lacks a sight which had to be scratch built in this case.The markings are actually of an aircraft from III./JG 11 that was flown by III./JG 300 and repainted as a night fighter. It was used by Oberleutnant Stamp in September and October 1943. It was painted RLM 75 and RLM 74 with a dark gray layer of paint to obliterate the Hakenkreuz, the crosses on the fuselage and most of the stencilling for some reason. The yellow band as well as the tiger's head is from JG 11, while the Ritterkreuz, the ship's silhouettes and the bomber clasp are Stamp's personal markings. The underside is black with the crosses covered with a thin layer of dark paint to provide a form of low visibility markings.

The decals

Gerhard Stamp

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Release of "One of Thousands: A Navigator in the European Air War".

Dear Friends, my book "One of Thousands: A Navigator in the European Air War" is now available for purchase in softcover and as an e-book. I would be honored if you would consider adding this to your library:

Jules “Julie” Lasner volunteered for service after the United States entered World War II, and he was trained as a navigator in a B-17 Flying Fortress. Lasner flew twenty-seven missions over occupied Europe during the final phases of a strategic bombing campaign against Germany, dodging the Luftwaffe’s anti-aircraft defenses in the cold, wintry skies. Based on interviews with Lasner as well as his wartime correspondence, this book offers a glimpse into his experiences as a member of the 8th Air Force. Along with thousands of others, he pounded the Third Reich around the clock in a four-engine bomber over the last eight months of the war. This account offers an insider’s look into the state of the German air defenses as well as some of the effects of the strategic bomb offensive.