WNr. 210003, Oblt. Hans Dortenmann, 12./JG 26, Germany, 1945
Oblt. Hans Dortenmann, an ace with 38 kills to his
credit and holder of the Knight’s Cross, flew this Fw
190D-9 WNr. 210003 from September 1944 until the end
of the war, when he personally destroyed the aircraft.
Dortenmann scored 18 kills with this Dora, making
him the most successful fighter pilot on this type.
The aircraft also became the longest-serving Dora in
combat. It would begin its career as a “Red 1” while
Dortenmann was a member of III./JG 54. At the end of
February, III./JG 54 was redesignated IV./JG 26, which
also brought a change in the markings of the aircraft.
As Staffelkapitän of 12./JG 26, Dortenmann now had
a black “1” on his Dora, with the typical white and black
stripe identifying JG 26 and a wave mark on the rear,
indicating his affiliation with IV. Gruppe. At the same
time, the camouflage was modified, with the colors of
RLM 74/75 being replaced by the shades of RLM 81/82,
and a later type of blown canopy was fitted in place
of the early straight one. The lower surfaces were to
carry a full coat of RLM 76. The keel and rudder were
painted yellow while still in the ranks of JG 54.
Stab I./JG 2, Frankfurt/Rhein-Mein, April 1945
Assignment to JG 2 is probable but not certain in the case
of this aircraft. It relies mainly on the appearance of the
identification markings. JG 2 was one of the oldest fighter
units of the Luftwaffe. It was formed as Jagdgeschwader
Richthofen as early as 1934, from May 1, 1939, it was designated JG 2 Richthofen after the most successful WWI
fighter. The first Kommodore was Oberst Gerd von Masow
and during the Polish campaign JG 2 was assigned to the
defense of the Reich. It subsequently joined the fighting on
the Western Front and after the Battle of Britain remained
in France until September 1944. Shortly thereafter, I. Gruppe
and III. Gruppe began taking over their first “Doras” in the
second half of October. Hptm. Franz Hrdlicka, an ace with
60 confirmed kills, took over the command of I. Gruppe from
December 18. He was a native of Dvorska, the suburb of
Brno city in than Czechoslovakia, but of German nationality.
Hrdlicka (means dove in Czech) led the I. Gruppe until March
25, 1945, when he was killed in combat with American fighters. According to some sources, his score may have been
as high as 96 victories. This aircraft sported the designation
of the I. Gruppe Stab (staff) and was found in the middle
of the runway at Frankfurt/Rhein-Main Airport. Apparently, it had made an emergency landing, possibly due to
engine failure, judging by the oiled lower engine cowling.
The aircraft was not recovered and was found where it had
stopped by the Allies. There it remained until the spring of
1946. Apparently, it was a second production run aircraft
at Fieseler, the 600xxx series.
WNr. 210909, Maj. Gerhard Barkhorn, JG 6, Welzow, Germany, February 1945
Gerhard Barkhorn’s JG 6 personal aircraft was produced by
the Fiesler Kassel factory. The inscription “Christl” under
the cockpit is a diminutive of the name of Barkhorn’s wife
Christy. The marking on the fuselage identifies the aircraft
as belonging to Geschwader Kommodore. During the war,
Barkhorn achieved a total of 301 victories, which ranks him
as the second most successful fighter ace of all time. All
of his kills were scored in the ranks of JG 52, with the first
one scored on July 2, 1941 and the last one on January 5,
1945. He then commanded JG 6 and at the very end of the
war became a member of JV 44 armed with Me 262 jets.
For his achievements in combat, he was awarded the Knight’s Cross on August 23, 1942, with the Oak Leaf added
on January 11, 1943 and the Swords on March 2, 1944. Af-
ter the war he continued to serve in the Bundesluftwaffe.
The coloring of his Dora is a reconstruction, only photographs of the central part of the fuselage are known. These
show, among other things, that the design of the Kommodore markings was smaller than was usual.