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|Extra Details : Knights Realm by Brian Bateman.|
|Signatures on this item|
John Jack Stafford
|Jack Stafford left New Zealand for the UK in 1943 and was assigned to Hurricanes with OTU at Annan before being posted to No.486 Squadron in November 1943 as a Sergeant Pilot. Based at Tangmere flying the Hawker Typhoon, No.486 Sqn was engaged in dive-bombing and ground attack operations over Europe in preparation for D-Day the following year. In April 1944 after a brief hiatus with de Havilland, Stafford returned to action and was credited with eight V-1s destroyed between 19th June and 29th August. He was promoted to Warrant Officer and commissioned the following month. Stafford was involved with covering the airborne invasion to capture the Arnhem and Nijmegan Bridges before the squadron moved to Grimbergen in Belgium. After No.486 Sqn moved to Volkel in Holland, Stafford and Flying Officer Bremner were credited with the first confirmed Me262 for the squadron on Christmas Day 1944. Jack was promoted to Flight Lieutenant in February 1945 and made Flight Commander of A Flight. On 12th April Stafford shot down and Fw190D-9 east of Ludwigslust, his last of the war. On 15th May he was posted to No.80 Sqn at Fassberg before moving to Copenhagen. His final tally was 2 confirmed kills, 3 shared and 8 V-1 rockets destroyed. Jack received the DFC and left the RNZAF in April of 1946.|
|12th Staffel D-9 pilot Uffz Karl-Georg Genth, who flew with III./JG26. Genth was shot down in Yellow 15 near Enschede on 7th March 1945 by Tempests of No.3 Squadron, bailing out and hitting the tailplane of his D-9, and breakinghis left arm in the fall. Genth also flew the 109G-6, G-10 and K-4 variants, and flew with the extremely popular Hptm Walter Krupinski on several missions in which Krupinski was Gruppenkommandeur. Genth also took part in the air battle which brought down the famed Tempest ace Foob Fairbanks on 28th February 1945. Genth tallied a final total of 2 victories.|
|The Aircraft :|
|Fw190||The Focke-Wulf 190 development project began in 1937. Conceived as a hedge against total dependence on the Messerchmitt 109, the 190 was designed by Kurt Tank utilizing a radial engine. This was against generally accepted design criteria in Germany, and many historians believe that the decision to produce a radial engine fighter was largely due to the limited manufacturing capacity for in-line, water-cooled engines which were widely used on all other Luftwaffe aircraft. Despite these concerns, Tanks design was brilliant, and the 190 would become one of the top fighter aircraft of WWII. The first prototype flew in mid-1939. The aircraft had excellent flying characteristics, a wonderful rate of acceleration, and was heavily armed. By late 1940 the new fighter was ordered into production. Nicknamed the butcher bird, by Luftwaffe pilots, early 190s were quite successful in the bomber interceptor role, but at this stage of the war many Allied bombing raids lacked fighter escort. As the war dragged on, Allied bombers were increasingly accompanied by fighters, including the very effective P-51 Mustang. The Allies learned from experience that the 190s performance fell off sharply at altitudes above 20,000 feet. As a result, most Allied bombing missions were shifted to higher altitudes when fighter opposition was likely. Kurt Tank had recognized this shortcoming and began working on a high-altitude version of the 190 utilizing an in-line, water-cooled engine. Utilizing a Jumo 12-cylinder engine rated at 1770-HP, and capable of 2,240-HP for short bursts with its methanol injection system, the 190D, or Long Nose or Dora as it was called, had a top speed of 426-MPH at 22,000 feet. Armament was improved with two fuselage and two wing mounted 20mm cannon. To accommodate the changes in power plants the Dora had a longer, more streamlined fuselage, with 24 inches added to the nose, and an additional 19 inches added aft of the cockpit to compensate for the altered center of gravity. By mid 1944 the Dora began to reach fighter squadrons in quantity. Although the aircraft had all the right attributes to serve admirably in the high altitude interceptor role, it was not generally focused on such missions. Instead many 190Ds were assigned to protect airfields where Me-262 jet fighters were based. This was due to the latter aircrafts extreme vulnerability to Allied attack during takeoff and landing. The 190Ds also played a major role in Operation Bodenplatte, the New Years Day raid in 1945 which destroyed approximately 500 Allied aircraft on the ground. The High Command was impressed with the 190Ds record on this raid, and ordered most future production of the Doras to be equipped as fighter-bombers. In retrospect this was a strategic error, and this capable aircraft was not fully utilized in the role for which it was intended.|
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