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David Mooney

Franz Von Werra Bf-109 E-4

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This aircraft is built for the 1/32 Eduard kit straight out of the box, only personal addition is the map in the cockpit and a set of Air Masters canons.

 

The Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighter of Franz von Werra, shot down over England, where he was taken prisoner in January 1941. Von Werra was sent with other German prisoners to Canada, where possibly he became the only German airman to make his escape from there, returning to Germany via the still neutral U.S.A.

Von Werra was also a skilled fighter pilot, although his results weren't anywhere near those of the Luftwaffe's top guns. He most frequently flew as a wingman of Hauptmann Erich von Selle, the commanding officer of his unit. In this role, he scored four victories during the Battle of France – a Hurrricane, two Breguet 693s and a Morane MS.406.

Despite this initial success, von Werra's tally did not advance any further during June, July and larger part of August, despite the fact that operations against the RAF were being flown almost daily.
Then suddenly, on 28 August, von Werra returned from a mission claiming 9 aircraft destroyed. According to his report, he first shot down a Spitfire during a general melée, then became detached from his unit, spotted three Hurricanes on a landing circuit and destroyed them one after another. Lastly, he zoomed low over the airfield, setting additional five Hurricanes on fire.

Then came the day of 5 September, when von Werra was shot down. On that occasion, II./JG 3 was flying as an escort to a bombing raid on Croydon. On the return leg of the raid the bombers were attacked by a swarm of RAF fighters. Hauptmann Von Selle, leading the thirty escorting Messerschmitts, gave the order to attack. At the exact moment when Selle rolled his aircraft to starboard to initiate a dive, another gaggle of Spitfires jumped them from behind, their guns blazing. Von Selle's aircraft avoided the bullets. His wingman, Franz von Werra, did not have such luck; a well-placed burst damaged the engine of his Bf 109 and knocked off his radio.

Without engine power, the German pilot was unable to shake off the attacker, which followed him in a dive, squirting the Messerschmitt with a series of short bursts. Ultimately, von Werra had no choice but to make a crash-landing. This he did, putting down his aircraft wheels-up but otherwise intact on a field at Loves Farm, Marden, Kent.

The identity of the victorious British pilot remains the subject of debate until this day. Some researchers claim that the pilot who was responsible for the shooting was F/Lt John Terence Webster of No. 31 Squadron. Others believe it to be a shared victory by P/O George Bennions of No. 41 Squadron and P/O Basil Gerald Stapleton of No. 603 Squadron. Yet others have attributed the same achievement to F/Lt Paterson Clarence Hughes, an ace of No. 234 Squadron with a victory tally of 14. Officially, the credit originally went to ‘Stapme' Stapleton, but Hughes final DFC citation in the London Gazette of 22 October 1940 awarded him a half credit for the same (The spitfire site n.d.)

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Edited by David Mooney

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Wow David! Very beautiful Von Werra's Bf109 model rendering! Very interesting report about his combat and claims. That remember me the '60 movie "The one who got away", a true amazing story!

Edited by sandokan

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Guest Peterpools

David

Fantastic 109 .. beautifully done

Peter

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