Bf 109G-4/R6/trop, Lt. Franz Schiehs, CO of 8./ JG 53, Tindja, Tunisia, April 1943

Austrian Franz Schiehs saw combat over Britain with JG 53, followed by action against the Soviet Union, where he shot down fourteen enemy aircraft over

a two month period. At the beginning of August 1941, JG 53 returned to Germany, re-equipped and transferred first to Sicily and later to Africa. The number of claims made by Schiehs grew and he gained his 36th kill on January 29th, 1943, being given command of 8./ JG 53 on February 16th of the same

year. Holding the rank of Oberleutnant and for the destruction of 55 enemy aircraft, he was awarded the Knight's Cross on June 21st, 1943. On September

2nd, 1943, he led an intercept of American bombers over Mount Vesuvius, an event from which he did not return. It is assumed that he fell victim to an

escorting P-38. The camouflage scheme applied to Schiehs's aircraft consisted of RLM78/79 and was complemented by the relevant theatre of operations

recognition items that were the white spinner, white fuselage band and the white lower wing tips. The engine cowl had the JG 53 unit insignia placed on it.

The yellow rudder recorded the number of kills up to the end of March 1943. The original (likely Staff) markings on the fuselage sides were sprayed over

with fresh RLM 79 and replaced with a black '1'. Aircraft of the unit had fields of the upper surfaces of the wings sprayed in RLM 80 Olivgrün.

INFO Eduard - April 2021