WNr. 27169, Fw. Heinrich Bartels, 11./JG 27, Kalamaki Airfield, Greece, November 1943
Heinrich Bartels´s military career was launched on the Western Front. In August 1941, as a member of Erg./JG 26, Bartels downed two Spitfires over the Channel. Afterwards he served with JG 5 in Northern Europe and managed to shoot down 47 Soviet aircraft. As a member of JG
27, he downed 50 more enemy ones. Bartels met his ultimate fate on December 23rd, 1944. He clashed with American Thunderbolts, and
despite managing to bag one of them, he failed to return to his home field. His fate remained unknown till January 1968, when remains of
his Bf 109G were discovered. The unusued parachute found in the cockpit is exhibited in the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin.
Photographs of Bartels´s G-6 were taken on November 15th, 1943, (or a few days thereafter) when Bartels achieved his 70th victory (although the four allegedly shot down P-38s were not missed by the USAAF). Seventy kill marks (Abschussbalken) are painted on the rudder
along with the Knight´s Cross. Bartels was awarded this medal a year before, on November 13th, 1942. Note the saw-toothed demarcation
between the camouflage colors on the wings, typical for part of Erla production planes in 1943.
Oblt. Alfred Grislawski, CO of 1./JGr. 50, Wiesbaden-Erbenheim Air Base, Germany, September 1943
Jagdgruppe 50 was created on August 15th, 1943 from Jagdgruppe Süd der ObdL that was formed as a high altitude fighter unit on July
21st, 1943 to combat recce Mosquitos. JGr.50 was led by Hermann Graf who gave birth to the unit´s crest painted under the canopy. The
Red Hunter symbolized the German Luftwaffe soccer team known under the nickname “die Roten Jäger”. Graf was a member of this team,
along with then German national team members. The unit existed for only a few months, and in October 1943 was incorporated into I./JG
301. Alfred Grislawski was the CO of 1./JGr.50 and the formation leader, as can be seen from the white tail. He served with JG 1 and JG 53
afterwards, and his total score accounted for 133 victories. Grislawski was awarded the Knight´s Cross on July 1st, 1943 and with Oak Leaves
on April 11th, 1944.
INFO Eduard - April 2021