KITS 06/2023

WNr.160303, Hptm. Friedrich Eberle, CO of III./JG 1, Volkel, the Netherlands, November 1943

Friedrich Eberle, the commanding officer of

III. Gruppe of JG 1, was downed in this Bf 109G-6

on January 30, 1944. The man who recorded the

kill was a P-47D Thunderbolt jockey, Lt. Robert

Booth, of the 369th FS, 359th FG, a fighter ace with

a total of eight kills to his credit. Booth himself was

downed a few months later, on June 8, 1944 and

became a POW. Eberle was injured but survived the

encounter with Booth and led III. Gruppe until April

27, 1944. In July 1944, he was appointed the CO of

III./JG 4. Eberle led his unit in Operation Bodeplatte,

the attack on Allied airfields on January 1, 1945. He

was court martialled for cowardice but finally was

acquitted of the charge and survived the war with

33 kills. Eberle´s aircraft had been marked with

a double chevron but in accordance with temporary

orders, this marking was painted over and the

commander´s aircraft was marked with a number.

The JG 1 crest was painted on the left side of the

cowling only. The rear part of the fuselage was

partially overpainted with RLM 76 to tone it down.

WNr. 15729, Obstlt. Hermann Graf, Stab./JG11, Jever, Germany, early 1944

This aircraft was manufactured by the Erla factory

as a Bf 109G-5 high-altitude fighter but was

converted to G-6 standard later. What was typical

for the G-5 and retained during the conversion

was the anti-fog capsule in the windscreen. The

camouflage scheme is unusual – the former

camouflage including the Stab marking was

oversprayed with a light grey color, probably

RLM 76.Hermann Graf commanded JG 11 from

November 11, 1943 till March 29, 1944 and despite

the fact that he was officially banned from flying,

he managed to down seven aircraft – amounting

to the final kills of his career. He is credited with

212 victories in total (the majority of which were

with JG 52 and three with JGr. 50). He was awarded

for his successes during the war as well as after.

He received Diamonds to his Ritterkreuz with

Oak Leaves and Swords, the fifth recipient of this

honor, on September 29, 1942. Graf participated in

propaganda campaigns, and he was a member of

the Luftwaffe soccer team. At the end of the war,

Graf led JG 52 and retreated from East Prussia via

Silesia to Bohemia and surrendered to US forces at

Písek on May 8, 1945. He was promptly handed over

to the Russians and spent more than four years in

Russian captivity.

WNr. 411960, Hptm. Franz Dörr, CO of III./JG 5, Gossen, Norway, May 1945

Franz Dörr downed his first victim, a British

Wellington bomber, on September 29, 1941 as

a member of 1.(Erg.)/JG 3. This unit was

redesignated 7./JG 5 on January 1, 1942. In early

May 1944, Dörr took command of III. Gruppe of

JG 5 and led this unit till the end of war. Dörr

June 2023

was awarded the Ritterkreuz on August 19, 1944.

He managed to down 122 enemy aircraft – his

score is marked on the rudder of his personal

Bf 109G-6, WNr. 411960. This aircraft was

manufactured at the Erla factory and sports all

its typical characteristics such as the small bulge

on the right side of the cowling and different

gun troughs. The exact color of the spinner is

inconclusive from photographic evidence but can

be black with a white spiral. The small disc on the

rear fuselage identified III. Gruppe aircraft.

INFO Eduard