Bf 109F-2, Hptm. Hans Philipp, CO of I./JG 54, Krasnogvardeysk, the Soviet Union, March 1942
Hans “Fips” Philipp, an ace with 206 kills to his credit
over the course of some 500 sorties, was born on
March 17, 1917, in Meissen. He joined the Luftwaffe
in 1936. At the beginning of the Second World War,
he served with I./JG 76, redesignated II./JG 54 in
July 1940. As a member of this unit, he participated
in the fighting over Britain and the Balkans. He
also took part in Operation Barbarossa and was
appointed CO of JG 1 in April 1943. For his combat
success he was awarded the Knight’s Cross with
Oak Leaves and Swords. Philipp was shot down
on October 8, 1943, and did not survive his attempt
to bail out. The aircraft flown by Hans Philipp was
camouflaged with white color over the upper and
side surfaces to better suit the conditions of the
winter of 1943 in the vicinity of Leningrad. The
Gruppe Commander marking was carried on the
fuselage, as were the II. Gruppe and JG 54 (Green
Heart) identifiers. Both sides of the rudder carried
kill marks. The landing gear covers were removed
due to their tendency to pile up snow.
Bf 109F-2, WNr. 9553, Oblt. Siegfried Schnell, CO of 9./JG 2, Théville, France, November 1941
Siegfried “Wumm” Schnell, a native of Zeilenzig
in Brandenburg (Sulecin, Poland today) joined the
ranks of the Luftwaffe in 1936 and at the beginning
of the Second World War he served with 4./JG 2.
He achieved his first victory in combat over
France on May 14, 1940, more followed over Britain
and against English and American pilots over
Western Europe. After being assigned to JG 54,
he first served with its III. Gruppe and was
appointed CO of IV. Gruppe on February 1, 1944.
While serving in this position, he was shot down
over Narva by a Soviet fighter on February 25,
1944, and died. Schnell was awarded the Knight’s
Cross with Oak Leaves on July 9, 1941 and downed
93 enemies in the course of Second World War.
His aircraft was camouflaged in the standard
Luftwaffe fighter scheme using RLM 74/75/76.
Both sides of the fin were decorated with the
Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and victory marks.
Bf 109F-2, Lt. Horst Buddenhagen, 5./JG 3, Darmstadt, Germany, April 1941
In the middle of February 1941, II./JG 3 was sent
from the French coast back to Germany for some
rest and to re-equip with the Bf 109F. In April,
the new Bf 109F-2 were received at Darmstadt
sporting the standard RLM 74/75/76 camouflage
scheme to which the ground crew added yellow
rudders and engine cowls. Lt. Buddenhagen’s
aircraft also received the inscription
Schluck=Specht 3. At the end of April 1941, II.
Gruppe moved to France and after a month at
Monchy-Breton was included into units that were
assigned to take part in Operation Barbarossa,
the attack on the Soviet Union. Aircraft of the
5. Staffel were given bomb racks for the occasion.
Lt. Buddenhagen was killed by ground fire on
a bombing mission on June 25, 1941.