Do 17Z-2, 10./ZG 26, Castel Benito, Libya, 1941
The Do 17Z, used by several Luftwaffe bomber units in the early phases of the Second World War, took part in every conflict undertaken
by Nazi Germany. North Africa was no exception. Here, however, the use of the type was largely symbolic, and a few served with the 10.
Staffel Zerstörergeschwader 26, a unit flying the twin-engined Bf 110. This particular aircraft was discovered by advancing British troops at
Castel Benito in Libya. Aircraft used in North Africa were camouflaged to suit the environment with upper and side surfaces painted RLM 79
with squiggle patterns of RLM 80, while the lower surfaces were in RLM 78. It is not clear from photographs if this aircraft had the RLM 80
squiggle pattern applied. As with other aircraft on the southern front, this plane carried a white fuselage band ahead of the tail surfaces and
white lower wingtips.
Do 17Z-3, fvänr. Olli Kepsu, 2/LeLv 46, Linnunniemi landing ground, Finland, February 1942
Finnish bomber units suffered combat losses through the summer and fall of 1941 that they could not replace from local sources. Help
came in the form of fifteen Do 17Z aircraft gifted by the Luftwaffe, which was in the process of phasing the type out of service. These aircraft entered Finnish inventory during January and February 1942, and began operational flights from April with LLv 46. Five of the Finnish
airframes survived World War Two combat and the last was retired on October 1st, 1952. One of them was coded DN-55, which also was
the last Finnish Air Force aircraft to fly a Second World War mission, when it photographed German units on April 4th, 1945, in the vicinity of
Kilpisjärvi. The Dorniers reached the Finnish units at the beginning of 1942 camouflaged in RLM 70/71/65, in the same scheme as they were
flown by the Luftwaffe. The Finns also used temporary white paint as a winter camouflage, and in the case of DN-55, this paint was applied
over the RLM 71 fields.
INFO Eduard - February 2021