Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes
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Helmut Heckes joined the Luftwaffe in August 1941, and in October 1943 was posted to I./JG52 based at Novo-Saporozhe in the southern Russian sector. He flew combat in most variants of the Me109. He joined 12./JG11 in 1944. Shortly afterwards, following 72 successful combat missions, he was shot down by a Lagg 5 on June 26th 1944. Spending six months in hospital his wounds were so severe that he was unable to fly again for the rest of the war. He was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class.
Items Signed by Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes
|Eagles at Dawn by Robert Taylor. (B)|
|On Thursday, August 24, 1944 a 22-year old Oberleutnant Erich Hartmann powered his Mel09G fighter in a spectacular low pass over his squadrons airstrip in north-eastern Rumania, wagging his wings to the cheering Luftwaffe personnel on the ground bel......||NOT|
Packs with at least one item featuring the signature of Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes
Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes
|Squadrons for : Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes|
|A list of all squadrons known to have been served with by Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.|
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of JG52
The most successful Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II, with a claim total of more than 10,000 victories over enemy aircraft. It was home to the top three scoring Experten of the Luftwaffe, Erich Hartmann, Gerhard Barkhorn and GŁnther Rall. The unit flew the various marks of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 exclusively through the war.
|Aircraft for : Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes|
|A list of all aircraft associated with Unteroffizier Helmut Heckes. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.|
Manufacturer : Messerschmitt
Production Began : 1937
Retired : 1945
Number Built : 33984
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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