KITS 03/2023

WNr. 5819, Obstlt. Adolf Galland, CO of JG 26,

Audembert, France, October–December 1940

Adolf Galland, the ace and future General, flew the

portrayed Emil during through fall of 1940 up to the

beginning of 1941. He was CO of III. Gruppe at the time,

later he took command of the entire JG 26. The tactical

markings on the aircraft kept pace with these promotions.

The standard camouflage of RLM 02/71/65 was darkened

on the fuselage sides with RLM 02/71. The yellow cowling

was complemented by the yellow rudder which also

sported kill marks. The surface area of the original RLM

65 was not large enough for them, and so the yellow

was oversprayed with fresh RLM 65 for the next row of

kill marks. The most typical changes for WNr. 5819 at this

time came with the personal emblem of Mickey Mouse

and most of all the installation of the ZFR-4 telescope

(installed together with the regular Revi). It didn’t serve

as an actual sight as it did for the identification of distant

aircraft. After the death of Werner Mölders Galland

replaced him as the German fighter force commander

(General der Jagdflieger). Later he became famous for

locking horns with Hermann Göring. He established JV 44

at the end of the war, the unit well known for its Me 262 jet

fighters and colorful Fw 190Ds. Galland managed to shoot

down 104 enemy airplanes and was awarded with Knight

Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds.

WNr. 1559, Hptm. Wilhelm Balthasar,

CO of 7./JG 27, Carquebut, France, July 1940

The future Knight Cross with Oak Leaves recipient Wilhelm

Balthasar was born on February 2, 1914, in Fulda. In 1933 he

joined Reichswehr, in 1935 he was transferred to Luftwaffe

by his own request and underwent the pilot training. During

the Spanish Civil War, he initially served with bomber and

reconnaissance units, since September 1937 with fighter

detachment of the Legion Condor. In March 1938 he returned

to Germany. At the outbreak of World War II Oblt. Balthasar

served as 1. Staffel JG 1 commander. This unit saw combat for

the first time during the offensive against The Netherlands,

Belgium and France. It was the time when Balthasar

demonstrated his marksman skills as he shot down 23

enemies during the Western Europe campaign. As of June 5,

1./JG 1 was re-designated as 7./JG 27. On September 1, 1940,

he was promoted to command III./JG 3 and in the air battles

over the Southern England he achieved further seventeen

kills. In the meantime, on February 16, 1941, he was appointed

Commanding Officer of JG 2. Balthasar run out of his luck

during the combat with the RAF fighters over Aire on July 3,

1941. In the dive, the wing of his Bf 109F-4 wing collapsed and

Balthasar perished at the impact with the ground. Balthasar’s

aircraft, camouflaged in RLM 71/02/65 colors, carried the

non-standard marking on the engine cowling. There is

a unit marking painted under the windshield, kill markings

are painted on the vertical tail surface and rudder.

landing, the aircraft, in relatively good shape, was made

otherwise by civilian vandals and allied soldiers before

it could be inspected by RAF experts. Light blue sides of

the RLM 02/71/65 fuselage scheme were sprayed with the

upper surface colors. Yellow identification colors, typical for

mid-August 1940, were applied to the wing tips, horizontal

tail surfaces, and top portion of the fin. Because the aircraft

in question belonged to 6. Staffel, tactical numbering and

the background II./JG 51 “Gott strafe England” emblem were

yellow. Three victory marks on the left side were in white.

It is not out of the question that these also appeared on the

right side, but documentation is lacking.

WNr. 5587, Ofw. Fritz Beeck, 6./ JG 51,

Wissant, France, August 1940

Simple but effective camouflage adorned this aircraft that

was shot down with Ofw. Fritz Beeck at the controls in the

vicinity of East Langdon shortly after noon on August 28,

1940. It was during the second escort mission of the day

that culminated in combat with RAF fighters in which the

engine of Yellow 10 was hit. After an unavoidable forced

March 2023

INFO Eduard