Bf 110C-2, WNr. 3578, 9./ZG 26, Barly, France, August 1940
In the beginning of the war this Zerstörergruppe was equipped with Messerschmitts Bf 110D. III./ZG 26 converted to 110s in the beginning of 1940 under the command of Hptm. Johannes Schalk. Before the war, this aviator commander the Austrian Jagdgruppe 1 and he was also one of the first Bf 110 pilots decorated with Knight’s Cross. On September 3, 1940, Ofw. Hott behind the controls of this One-Ten, participated with the whole III./ZG 26 in escorting Do 17 from II./KG 2 on their raid to the North Weald airfield. While defending the bombers, his aircraft was damaged and Ofw. Hott crash-landed it at Wissant, France. The damage was assessed as being at eighty percent. This aircraft was camouflaged in RLM 70, 71 and 65 colors. There is a 9./ZG 26 insignia painted on the both sides of the nose – a white cock at the fighting stance. The aircraft’s individual letter, repeated on the wingtip, is painted in the Staffel color i.e. yellow. There are three white bars painted on the vertical tail surfaces marking the enemy aircraft shot down.
Bf 110C-4, WNr. 2095, 4./ZG 1, Trier-Euren, Germany, June 1940
II./ZG 1 was established on May 15, 1939, based on I. Gruppe JG 54 and equipped with the single-seat Bf 109D and Bf 109E. The conversion to the Bf 110C two-seat heavy fighters took place in March 1940 in the Northern Germany. After the transfer to the western border, in the preparation for the attack on the Netherlands, Belgium and France, the unit was incorporated into the Luftflotte 2 under which command it flew combat missions until the surrender of France. Then the II./ZG 76 was renamed as III. Gruppe Zerstörergeschwader 76. The unit’s insignia in the form of three wasps painted on the aircraft nose, was retained even after the unit’s transfer.
Bf 110C-2, WNr. 3257, Hptm. Heinz Wagner/Stfw. Adolf Schmidt, CO of 4./ZG 76, Abbeville, France, August 1940
II. Gruppe Zerstörergeschwader 76 was established on May 1, 1939, by renaming I./ZG 144. It was equipped with single-seat Messerschmitt Bf 109D which in February and March they traded for Bf 110. Flying One-Tens the unit took part in the attack on the Netherlands, Belgium and France and after France surrendered the unit was transferred to Abbeville airfield on the French coast from where it started to fly bomber escorts to the targets in the Great Britain. The last flight of the Messerschmitt Bf 110C-2 marked M8+BM and crewed by Hptm. Heinz Wagner and radio operator Stfw. Adolf Schmidt, was a bomber escort to the Luton airfield with the adjacent industrial area which took place on August 30, 1940. The plane was most probably shot down by P/O William McKnight (flying as a wingman to S/Ldr Bader) at the altitude of 1,000 feet. It crashed on Enfield Sewage Farm, Wharf Road, Ponders End near the large reservoir and the crew was killed.
Bf 110C-2, WNr. 3026, Lt. K. Koch, 1.(Z)/JG 77, Kirkenes, Norway, October 1941
Zerstörerstaffel of the newly established I./JG 77, equipped with the aircraft and personnel from III./ZG 76, was formed in May 1941. The reason were the preparations for the attack against the Soviet Union. The unit was transferred to the Hoybuktmoen airfield near Kirkenes. The mission of the Bf 110 crews were the attacks against the railroad connecting the important port of Murmansk with the rest of the Soviet Union. The unit was equipped with Bf 110C, D and probably several Bf 110E aircraft. In January 1941 the unit was renamed to 6.(Z)/JG 5. The camouflage of this aircraft was probably sprayed with RLM 71 and 02 on the upper surfaces, side and lower surfaces were camouflaged in RLM 65. The factory markings were over sprayed with RLM 02 and the mottling was sprayed in the same color. The unit insignia, a dachshund biting the Soviet airplane, was painted on the aircraft’s nose.
Bf 110C, 1./NJG 3, Benghazi, Libya, May 1941
I. Gruppe Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 was formed by renaming V./LG 1 and its mission was the night interception of the British middle and heavy bombers flying raids against the German cities and industrial centers. Between February and October 1941, the 1. Staffel was temporarily relocated to the south, first in Sicily and Greece followed by the North Africa, Benghazi and Derna airfields. The unit flew missions with its Messerschmitts Bf 110C and D against the British bombers attacking the German and Italian troops. During the unit’s operations on the southern front the fighters were camouflaged in black color. The white band on the fuselage tail, marking the aircraft flying on the southern front, was painted only partially, on the fuselage spine. 1./NJG 3 insignia, an owl sitting on the Moon, was painted on both sides of the fuselage. During its service in the south, the featured airplane had its vertical tail surfaces and complete horizontal tail surfaces replaced due to the damage. The replacement parts retained their original camouflage.