KITS 09/2020

Bf 109E-4/B, WNr. 3726, Fw. Erhardt Pankratz, 6.(S)/LG 2, Calais-Marck, France, October 1940


This airplane was manufactured by Messerschmitt GmbH in late summer 1940. It carried camouflage of RLM 71 and 02 on upper surfaces.

Staffel emblem with Puss in Boots (Gestiefelter Kater) with lantern was used from 1938 till 1942. The black triangle is marking of ground

attack aircraft, the „M“ is individual marking of aircraft within Staffel and yellow color is attributed to 6. Staffel. Commander of the 6.(S)/LG

2 was Oblt. Werner Dörnbrack. He flew as ground attack pilot in active duty from 1938 till end of war. In 1,118 missions with Hs 123, Bf 109

and Fw 190 he shot down 29 aircraft and destroyed number of ground targets. He was final position was Kommodore of Schlachtgeschwader 4 awarded with Knight Cross with Oak Leaves. After capture by US forces he was handed over to Red Army but escaped after two days.

The Bf 109 E-4 WNr. 3726 was lost on October 5th, 1940 with Fw. Erhardt Pankratz at the controls. He was flying near English coast at a height 12,000 feet when he was attacked by No. 603 Sq. Spitfires. Both of his petrol tanks were hit, he tried to return to France, but his engine

seized. He performed successful forced landing near Peasmarsh, Sussex. A steel helmet was found during examination of the Bf 109. This

airplane was shown to British public later on.