Friday, 25 December 2015

"Ritter vonTutschek" black Fokker Dr.1, Pflaz Doppeldecker D.III 1370/17 - daily Ebay photo find #41

Currently on offer via Manuel Rauh's Ebay sales - from the family of  Adolf  Ritter von Tutschek - the so-caled schwarzer Kampflieger of the JAGDSTAFFEL "BOELCKE" - JASTA 2

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Vichy D.520s of GC III/6 en route to Syria May 1941 - daily Ebay photo find #40

Nice selection of Vichy machines en route to the Middle East in May 1941 seen on a stop-over on the island of Sicily. The fighter force sent to Syria with the agreement of the Germans comprised the yellow-tailed Dewoitine D.520s of GC III/6, the aircraft transiting via Italy and Greece to arrive at Rayak on 27 May 1941 after a 3,800 km journey from North Africa. GC III/6 was commanded by Cdt Geille while the pilot roster included ace S/Lt Pierre Le Gloan, who had already achieved notoriety with five claims in one sortie against the Italians on 15 June 1940. He would return seven air combat victories against the Allies in Syria. The British launched Operation Exporter on 8 June 1941, the D.520 fighters of GC III/6 coming under attack from Tomahawks of No 3 Squadron RAAF. Five D.520s were damaged and one set alight in their first 'action' of this campaign.

Below;  D.520 coded '33' seen in an official Bundesarchiv PK propaganda reporter photo in North Africa prior to the unit's transfer to Syria - note the outlined fuselage cocarde

For their journey to the Middle East the D.520s of GC III/6 were accompanied by four Potez 650 and one Farman 223 of GT II/15. The French force was held up in Athens for two days while en route to Syria due to the intense aerial activity resulting from operations against the island of Crete.

Below; Potez 650  no.15 " Adj-chef Renouard "of GT II/15 seen en route to Syria, May 1941. This particular machine was damaged in a strafing attack by Tomahawks on 26 June at Homs.

Images currently on offer here

Monday, 21 December 2015

Captured Loire 130 seaplanes

The Loire 130 seaplane was constructed in Saint-Nazaire at the SNCAO plant. During late June 1940 the plant was occupied by German troops. At that time, some twenty examples of the type were in various phases of assembly. In 1941, the German authorities gave their approval to resume work on the assembly line in order to finish 20 machines for the French Navy. Upon their reception flights the a/c were air ferried from Saint-Nazaire to Mâcon on the river Saône, north of Lyon. Although flown by French pilots, as part of the ferry flights were over German occupied part of France, the Loire were obliged to wear German markings. Those temporary markings were painted with washable paint over ordinary French markings and were washed out in Mâcon before the last part of the ferry flight to Berre, next to Marseille, where the Loire were put under storage. Thus, those 20 aircraft (n° 75 and 81 to 99) wore Luftwaffe markings for ferrying purposes only.

 Below;  Loire 130  wearing Kennung "BI+XA" in Brest-Poulmic seen shortly prior to a transfer flight to the E-Stelle at Travemünde in early 1941. The crew comprised pilot Lt. Paul Metges, Uffz. Steckel and Fw Just. Note the modified engine cowl.

Loire 130 n° 75 sporting the code DI+XA following a ferry flight from Brest-Poulmic to Travemunde. A single example of the type was transferred to Germany (during early 1941?)  following the fall of France

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Down in the West! - more Armée de l'Air wrecks and captured types from the Westfeldzug - Bordeaux June 1940, Arsenal VG 33

Scenes from the airfield at Bordeaux following the French capitulation, June 1940, taken from the personal photo album of 8. Infanterie Div personnel.

above left; a rare Arsenal VG 33, a type featured previously on this blog..note the low-slung large ventral radiator, which so close to the ground proved particularly problematic when the aircraft operated from grass fields..much more on the VG 33 at the following link...

below; more abandoned French and Armée de l'Air types photographed by the Germans during their advance across France, including these NAA 57/64 trainers.

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A visit to the Bristol Aeroplane Co. Filton - pre-war colour film footage

A visit to the Bristol Aeroplane Co. Filton, just prior to the outbreak of WWII. Bristol's chief Test pilot Capt. C.F. Uwin...