Photo of Messer D-123 after final assembly, prior to its first flight on August 15, 1948. D-123 participated
in Operation Chorev and operated from Castina airbase until it was scraped in 1950.
Messer D-122 flew for the first time over Israeli soil on August 5, 1948.
It was written off in a take-off accident by Horowitz on September 22, 1948.
The only photo found which was taken at Hertzelia airfield during operation Yoav, showing Messers D-120
and D-121 in the background as they prepare for take-off.
The deep cooler nose intake and red spinner belong to the longest
Photo of D-121, taken on March 14, 1949 on Castina air base, is the last photograph taken of an operational
lasting Messer in IAF service, D-108, which logged its first flight during Messer. It is the only surviving S-199 in Israel and has one probable kill on its account. It currently resides
at the Israel Air Force Museum, wearing an incorrect D-120 tail number.
the first week of June 1948 and the last one on December 26, 1948.
provised airbase, the 101 squadron moved
on November 9, 1948, to the former RAF
base at Castina, later to be renamed as
Hatzor Air Base. The arrival of ten Spitfires Mk.IXe from Czechoslovakia during
the Velveta II direct flights to Israel on the
December 23 and 26 curtailed flight operations in the Messer. The 101 squadron operated from Hatzor air base during operation Chorev, using Messer airplanes which
were given a new four digit identification
number introduced by the IAF to all airplanes in inventory as of November 1948.
The Avia S-199 were given the type number beginning with the digits 19 followed by
two digits identifying the aircraft. Airplanes to be identified with the new numbers
included 1901/D-117, 1902/D-118, 1903/D-120,
1904/D-121, 1905/D-123, 1906/D-108. Messer number 1907 was the last to arrive in
Israel and is the only Messer to be painted
directly with the new four digit number on
its fuselage. The last combat mission logged in an Israeli Air Force Avia S-199 was
to escort Israel’s first Spitfire D-130 in a
reconnaissance escort mission over Gaza
and Rafah. The mission took place on December 26, 1948, and was flown by Rudy
Augarten in Messer number D-108.