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|Signatures on this item|
Generalmajor Friedrich Korner (deceased)
|Born 24th January 1921. Friedrich Korner joined the Luftwaffe in November 1939 and after training joined II/.JG27 in North Africa. On 19th March 1942, over Tobruk, Korner claimed his first victory, and with his 10th victory, over an RAF P-40, he claimed the 1000th victory for JG-27. He scored a further 20 victories in June 1942, including 5 in a day where he shot down three South African Air Force P-40s and two RAF Spitfires. He became the 7th most successful Ace in North Africa, but was shot down in his Bf-109 while taking off to intercept a bomber group. He was taken prisoner, and sent to Canada as a PoW, released in 1947. He recorded a total of 36 victories flying the Bf109, was awarded the German Cross in Gold on 21st August 1941, and the Knights Cross on 7th September 1942, after his capture. After the war, he conitnued in the post-war Bundesluftwaffe, retiring from military service in June 1979. He died on 3rd September 1998, in Paris.|
Leutnant Gunther Halm
|Gunther Halm was born in Elze on the 27th August 1922. In October 1941 Gunther Halm voluntered for the armys motorized units and joined the Panzerjager Ersatzabteilung - reserve anti tank unit. In April 1942 he joined The Africa Korps (DAK) anti tank platoon of the Panzergrenadier Regiment 104. Gunter Halm was a cannonier of the 7.62 PAK gun commanded by Unteroffizier Jabeck. He saw action at the capture of Tobruk and on the 15th of July 1942, after destroying 2 British tanks at Bir Hatcheim, Gunther Halm was awarded the Iron Cross II class. On the 22nd of July 1942 the British Eighth Army counter attacked the middle of Rommels front at El Alamein. It was here that Halm destroyed 7 British tanks and continued to keep his gun in operation even after to of his fellow crew had been wounded. On the 23rd July 1942 Halm received the Iron Cross I from the regimental commnader Oberst Ewert. and on the 7th of August 1942 General Rommel awarded Gunther Halm the Knights Cross himself, and also at the same time he was given a verbal promotion by Rommel to Corporal. At the age of 19 he was the 2nd youngest recipient of the Knight Cross. In March 1943 is was hospitalised in Athens. In August 1943 he served with the Fallschirmjager-Lehrgang at Wischau, In March 1944 he was serving in France with the 1st Panzer Grenadier reg 192, 21st Panzer Divison during the invasion and became a prisoner of war on the 24th of August 1944, being relaesed in March 1946, returning to Germany. His promotions were: 1st July 1942 Gefreiter, 1st November 1942, Unteroffizier, 1st July 1943 Fahnenjunker, 1st ocotber 1943 Feldwebel, 1st Novmeber 1943 Oberfahnrich and 1st march 1944 rising to Leutnant.|
Oberst Eduard Neumann (deceased)
|A veteran of the Spanish Campaign, Edward Neumann, at the start of the war, was leading 4./JG26 in France, later promoted Adjutant of I./JG27. He took part in the Balkan Campaign before moving in 1941 to North Africa, where I./JG27 was the only German fighter unit for the first nine months. In 1942 he became Kommodore of JG27, a position which he held throughout the remainder of the Desert Campaign. He was credited with moulding the careers of many outstanding pilots, the best known being the young Hauptmann Marseille. Following the defeat of Rommel's Afrika Korps at El Alamein JG27 covered their retreat back to Tunisia. When his wing left the desert, 'Edu' Neumann was transferred to the Staff of General of the Fighter Arm, where he remained until 1944. Promoted to Oberst in the autumn of that year, he took over as Fighter Commander of Northern Italy. Edu Neumann ended the war as one of the Luftwaffe's most highly respected Commanders. Died 9th August 2004.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Me109||Willy Messerschmitt designed the BF109 during the early 1930s. The Bf109 was one of the first all metal monocoque construction fighters with a closed canopy and retractable undercarriage. The engine of the Me109 was a V12 aero engine which was liquid-cooled. The Bf109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and flew to the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons. During the Battle of Britian the Bf109 was used in the role of an escort fighter, a role for which it was not designed for, and it was also used as a fighter bomber. During the last days of May 1940 Robert Stanford-Tuck, the RAF ace, got the chance to fly an Me109 which they had rebuilt after it had crash landed. Stanford-Tuck found out that the Me109 was a wonderful little plane, it was slightly faster than the Spitfire, but lacked the Spitfire manoeuvrability. By testing the Me109, Tuck could put himself inside the Me109 when fighting them, knowing its weak and strong points. With the introduction of the improved Bf109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the invasion of Yugoslavia and during the Battle of Crete and the invasion of Russia and it was used during the Siege of the Mediteranean island of Malta. The Bf109 was the main fighter for the Luftwaffe until 1942 when the Fw190 entered service and shared this position, and was partially replaced in Western Europe, but the Me109 continued to serve on the Eastern Front and during the defence of the Reich against the allied bombers. It was also used to good effect in the Mediterranean and North Africa in support of The Africa Korps. The Me109 was also supplied to several German allies, including Finland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovakia. The Bf109 scored more kills than any other fighter of any country during the war and was built in greater numbers with a total of over 31,000 aircraft being built. The Bf109 was flown by the three top German aces of the war war. Erich Hartmann with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories and Gunther Rall with 275 kills. Bf109 pilots were credited with the destruction of 100 or more enemy aircraft. Thirteen Luftwaffe Aces scored more than 200 kills. Altogether this group of pilots were credited with a total of nearly 15,000 kills, of which the Messerschmitt Bf109 was credited with over 10,000 of these victories. The Bf109 was the most produced warplane during World War II, with 30,573 examples built during the war, and the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 units produced up to April 1945. Bf109s remained in foreign service for many years after World War II. The Swiss used their Bf109Gs well into the 1950s. The Finnish Air Force did not retire their Bf109Gs until March 1954. Romania used its Bf109s until 1955. The Spanish Hispanos flew even longer. Some were still in service in the late 1960s.|
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