KITS 07/2022

WNr. 491353, Cap. Ugo Drago, CO of 4a Squadriglia,

2o Gruppo Caccia, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana,

Aviano, Italy, February 1945

After the declaration of Italian Social Republic on

September 18, 1943, a puppet state on the territory

of Italy occupied by German military under the command of Benito Mussolini, Germany allowed this

Republic to establish its own military force of four

divisions. Its air force component called Aeronautica

Nazionale Repubblicana consisted of two fighter plane groups (Gruppo Caccia), torpedo groups (Gruppo

Aerosiluranti Buscaglia) and several transportation

squadrons. In 1945, both fighter plane squadrons flew

Messerschmitts Bf 109G-6/G-10/G-14. The Commanding Officer of 4a Squadriglia, carrying the title of

Gigi Tre Osei, was in this time Capitano Ugo Drago, an

ace with seventeen kills to his credit. In April 1945,

he was awarded the German Knight's Cross. After the

war, he emigrated to Argentina, where he made a living as a flight instructor. He returned to Italy in 1953

and took up a post with Alitalia with which he flew

until 1973. He died in Rome on April 22, 2007.

Towards the end of the war, the majority of markings

on ANR aircraft in the form of fuselage and wing crosses were no longer removed, with only the swastika being oversprayed and replaced by markings of

Italian aircraft. This marking, an Italian flag edged

in yellow, was also added to the fuselage sides.

Oblt. Alfred Seidl, CO of I./JG 3, Paderborn, Germany, late December 1944

In December 1944, the CO of I. Gruppe, Oblt. Seidl received a new Bf 109G-10 off the production line at Erla

in Leipzig. At the time, the Gruppe was operating out

of Paderborn, from where they conducted missions

against American and British units. In all probability, Oblt. Seidl led the unit with this aircraft during

Operation Bodenplatte on January 1, 1945. The target

was the air base at Eindhoven. The markings of the

aircraft were supplemented by a white band ahead

of the tail, which identified aircraft of JG 3 within the

framework of the Defense of the Reich. Ahead of the

fuselage cross was the Gruppe leader marking, and

below the opening part of the canopy, the pilot had

a personal marking applied in the form of the nu-

meral 8. This marking was applied to aircraft flown

by Seidl during his service with JG 53, during which

he would acquire all of his 31 victories. An oddity on

this aircraft is the absence of the lower wing crosses.

The aircraft was equipped with a gun camera.

WNr. 490655, Lt. Antonius Wöffen, CO of 6./JG 27,

Rheine-Hopsten, Germany, early March 1945

Antonius Wöffen took part in combat missions with

JG 27 from May 1943, when it was deployed on the

southern front, until March 11, 1945, when he was

shot down with this aircraft by anti-aircraft fire and

after a successful belly landing was taken prisoner

July 2022

by American GIs. During the Second World War, he

achieved five confirmed kills. In photographs taken

just after the landing, it is clear that under the yellow

numeral 24 there was an older marking in the form

of a numeral 5. The paint scheme of the aircraft was

supplemented by a green fuselage band, the identifier for JG 27 within the framework of the Defense of

the Reich.

INFO Eduard