The Bf 109 as the Archetype of the Luftwaffe

            Prior to the Bf-109, Willie Messerschmitt designed gliders and a few commercial aircraft.  His small gliders had no landing gear, and his detractors in the Luftwaffe would harangue him for years over his later designs poor landing qualities.  He also designed special aircraft for air races, but the majority of them never finished a race due to technical difficulties.  With that record, his commercial M-20 had a spate of fatal crashes.  This led to Messerschmitt and Bayerische Flugzuegwerke (BWF) being blacklisted in the aviation industry.  BFW went bankrupt and Willie Messerschmitt bought it out.  The Luftwaffe though would have none of it.  When new aircraft requirements were tendered for design competition, Messerschmitt was specifically excluded from entering a design.  When a requirement for a new fighter aircraft was released, Messerschmitt ignored the ban on his work and drafted what would become the Bf-109.  To get passed the inertia of his reputation, he designed it to be as advanced as possible.  He included technology that wasn’t even fully developed yet.[1]

The Messerschmitt designed Bayerische Flugzuegwerke built Bf-109 was one of World War IIs best know fighter aircraft.  When coupled with the Daimler Benz fuel injected engine (from the E model on), its power was enough to keep it competitive as a fighter from 1936 in Spain’s Civil War through the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.  It was an excellent climbing aircraft and dove better than the British Spitfire.  Over thirty-three thousand were built between 1935 and 1945.  Admittedly an excellent aircraft, the Bf-109 in many ways typifies products of the German armament industries of the period.

The Bf-109 had technical difficulties right from the start.  The first prototype* (registration D-IABI) had its landing gear collapse upon landing when it arrived at the Luftwaffe testing facility.  The first prototype to be sent to Spain for operational evaluation during the Spanish Civil War by the “volunteer” Condor Legion, Bf-109V3, crashed on take off for its first flight in Spain 10 Dec 1036.  The second prototype sent to Spain, Bf-109V4, crashed on landing from its first operational flight 20 Jan 1937 due to mechanical failure.  The next day back in Kassel, the first license built Bf-109B-2 crash landed when the undercarriage failed to extend.  7 April brought another crash due to jammed undercarriage.  8 September brought another fatal crash this time attributed pilot unfamiliarity with the complicated oxygen system.  The first Bf-109Bs delivered to an operational unit (II/JG 132 “Richthofen”) lost numerous planes to structural failure in dives between Feb 1937 and late May 1938 when Dr. Ing Hermann Wurster suffered a similar failure of the stabilizer during flight testing without crashing.  II/JG 132 also lost a plane and pilot to a crash after take-off when the propeller was feathered inadvertently.[2]

Designer/builder Willie Messerschmitt was quoted in an 8 December 1942 broadcast to say, “…this aircraft [the Bf-109] has been developed constantly at a hectic pace to meet the new challenges and improved upon over and over again…”  In a November 1961 interview in Lisbon, Messerschmitt said, “It was not easy for me to develop a monoplane fighter.”[3]

Lt Hannes Trautlloft, pilot with the Condor Legion, noted in his diary the troubles with the Bf-109Vs in Spain.  On 14 December 1936, he notes, “The take-off is certainly unusual…” (a common characteristic of the Bf-109 throughout its service life due to the combination of torque from the high powered engine and narrow track of the landing gear).  His entry from 23 December 1936 tells, “ I have been in Seville for nearly two weeks now, as the Bf-109 goes down with one teething trouble after another….First the tail wheel does not work, then the water pump, then the carburetor[sic], the undercarriage locking mechanism.”  2 January 1937 brings this entry, “Today I have yet another emergency landing.  The main problem is the continued heat+…”[4]

The excellent initial design of the Bf-109 was what allowed it handle the strains place upon it by all the subsequent design changes.  The wings were designed for extreme lightness and streamlining.  The multiple guns installed in Allied fighters kept requiring that guns be installed in the wings of the Bf-109.  The cannon capable of firing through the propeller hub never did work right and was removed later during the design changes.[5]

The main heavy weapon of the Bf-109 was the 20 mm cannon.  A Swiss Oerlikon design was modified to meet the needs.  In modifying the design, the Germans also modified the round, shortening it also.  The shorter barrel and shorter round drastically changed the ballistics of the weapon.  The muzzle velocity and therefore range were significantly reduced.[6]

According to veterans of the Condor Legion, the Bf-109 did not really have problems until guns were added to the wings.  None of the war year models ever proved to be satisfactory.[7]

The (removable) wings were second only to the empennage (tail structure) in structural weakness.[8]  The complicated feed for the wing guns routed the ammunition belt from the gun out to the wing tip, around, back across the bottom of the wing to the fuselage and back around the wing out to the gun.  The arrangement required many ball bearings to keep the ammunition moving smoothly.[9]  This requirement was part of the reason the ball bearing factory at Schweinfurt was attacked in 1943.

The hinged canopy of the Bf-109 had to be closed even to taxi.  This limited the ability of the pilot to see ahead while taxiing.  The canopy also had to be jettisoned to bail out.  Pilots who successfully survived bailouts frequently complained of the complicated mechanism for this.[10]

The first non-German to fly the Bf-109 was Maggiore (Major) Aldo Remondino.   Comandante of the Squadriglia acrobatica at the time, he was very familiar with the Fiat CR 32 already.  In 1975, he wrote of his 1937 flight, “The flight lasted one hour and I could form a clear opinion of the features of the monoplane.  It was undoubtedly more advanced as far as speed and climb were concerned than our Fiat CR 32, but had remarkably inferior maneuverability.”[11]  A decidedly bad review considering the performance of Italian aviation products in the up coming Second World War.

This lack of handling compared to Fiats (this time a CR 42) was also remembered by Leutnant Daniel Holeczy of the Magyar Kiralyi Legiero (Royal Hungarian Air Force).  He also recalled the poor ground handling characteristics of the Bf-109G Gustav due to its narrow track of the landing gear.[12]

A secret 1938 French report on the evaluation of the secret Bf-109B (one of which was secretly captured in Spain) stressed the negative influence of the engines torque upon climbing right-hand turns.[13]  One other non-German pilot able to test the Bf-109 before the beginning of World War II was USMC Major Al Williams, Schneider Trophy competitor and Pulitzer Trophy winner.  His 15 July 1938 flight in a Bf-109D impressed hi greatly.  His one negative observation was on the landing gear placement and operation.  He even suggested to General-Major Ernst Udet a fix that would improve ground handling and roll characteristics.  Fortunately for those who faced the Bf-109, his suggestions were never implemented.[14]

Another American to fly the Bf-109 in pre-war years was Charles Lindbergh.  On 21 October 1938, he noted, “The greatest complication lay in the necessity for adjusting the propeller pith for take-off, cruising, and diving.  Then there were the controls for the flaps, the retracting gear, for flying above 2,000 metres, for locking and unlocking the tail wheel, and for the other usual devices on a modern pursuit plane.”[15]

Leutnant Edwin Leykauf, of JG 54, was an experienced Bf-109 pilot going in what is now known as the Battle of Britain.  He notes that to achieve a tighter turning radius than the British Spitfire, one needed to be experienced to be able to “trick” the Emil (Bf-109E) into extending the slots before applying power in a turn.  To achieve a higher rate of fire, Leykauf tells of having to adjust the propeller pitch to achieve a higher engine rpm and there by increase the rate of fire from the nose mounted synchronized machine guns.  He also bemoaned the meager amount of fuel carried by Bf-109s.[16]

The Bf-109 was built with maintenance in mind.  The engine was noted by Major Williams as being able to be changed in 12 minutes.[17]  Servicing (fueling, re arming, and such) was simple and quick.  This allowed turn around flights to be expedited, a key for Blitzkrieg combined arms warfare[18].  While the quick serviceability did not come into play for pilots in the Battle of Britain, during the Allied strategic bombing campaign, turn around time came to be critical again[19].

Repair and shipping were well thought out (almost).  The main complaints by maintenance personnel were centered around the same flaws as the pilots.  The airframe mechanics despised the narrow undercarriage as it bent many a wing in ground loops.  Engine mechanics did not like the propeller-pitch setting mechanism.  It required a master engine inspector to adjust due to the complexity and interrelation of so many systems[20].  The Bf-109 was designed to be carried by truck for delivery.  To facilitate this, the wings were designed to be another QRC (quick removal component).  This fact was the probable cause of a fatal crash following the test flight of one of the first Bf-109s to be repaired at the field depot outside the recently captured Antwerp Belgium in 1940.[21]  This facility soon took over all depot level maintenance of all Bf-109s on all fronts.[22]  Incidentally, this facility was only bombed twice ineffectively and not shut down till September 1944 when it was captured by the Canadians.

The Swiss also flew the Bf-109.  Their introduction to the Bf-109 was on the delivery of its first Junkers Jumo engined Bf-109D-1s.  A cross wind on landing caused one to ground loop (loose control and rock up on one wheel and circle uncontrolled) and break the undercarriage.  The Swiss also experienced numerous engine failures attributed to the cold of the Alps. (It worked in Russia, why not the Alps?!)  The Swiss also had the teething troubles of the complicated cockpit controls.  Another technical difficulty caused a crash when the horizontal stabilizer trim tab control “ran away” driving the elevator to loop the aircraft at only one hundred meters altitude![23]

The Bf-109E, the model that fought the Battle of Britain, was and excellent fighter.  To battle over England, though, the Bf-109E was at a distinct disadvantage.  With an operational radius of only 125 miles, the Emil had a reserve for no more than 10 minutes combat over England.[24]

For the start of the Battle of Britain, Germany had 656 Bf-109s servable in the Luftfloten across the English Channel.  The RAF had 347 Hurricanes and 160 Spitfires serviceable facing them.[25]  RAF pilots comparing captured Bf-109E to their own aircraft observed the Bf-109 had a cramped cockpit, poor visibility and were shocked by its lack of seat armor.[26]

In 1941, after 5 years of service, Generalfeldmarschall Kesseling telegrammed General-major Udet regarding 25 faults on the new Bf-109F Franz model.  Complaints ranged from fuselage disconnect points for the tail plane (another QRC) being loose allowing several aircraft (and pilots) to be lost when the tail fell off in flight, to the ever problematic propeller pitch control.  Other notable problems were the oxygen system, excessive number of bearings (also noted by the Allies and addressed in the Schweinfurt and Regensburg air raids), and tire wear due to the landing gear design/arrangement.[27]

The Bf-109G Gustav also entered service with a string of fatal accidents.  This time the culprit was the new engine.  When overheated, the engine expanded enough for the oil tank to leak out onto the hot engine and start a fire.  The new more powerful engine also made the plane overweight and unsafe to operate of rough fields anymore.[28] 

Other changes introduced of the Gustav series were a new canopy that greatly improved visibility but was much harder to open when the pilot needed to bail out.  The 7.92mm machine guns were replaced with 13mm guns and 20mm canons were added to the wings, again.  To make room for the bigger guns, bulges had to be made that increased drag and reduced the speed.  Modifications for rockets were also made, but the Bf-109 wasn’t versatile enough to safely handle that.  Later Bf-109Gs had wide tires to allow rough field capability, but this also required modifying the wheel wells in the wing which caused bulges on the top of the wing.  The new engine even required extra bulges to accommodate the oil sump and pump.  The versatile original airframe of the Bf-109 design was finally pushed to its limits.  While other models were tried, the ability of the Bf-109 to adapt and still master the air was through.[29]

Even Messerschmitt’s experienced test pilots found the Bf-109 all too often to be trouble.  Flugkapitan Wendelin Trenckle logged over fifteen thousand hours flight time (a very large amount in small military aircraft), nine thousand of which he flew for Messerschmitt.  In testing all variants and suggested variations of the Bf-109, he logged more than five thousand hours.  One of his subordinates was Heinz Frensdorff.  On various test flights at the Regensburg factory, Frensdorff had to divert because of stuck flaps, broken connecting rods (and a stuck canopy so he couldn’t bail out), and loss of oil.  He also experienced loss of an engine, literally.  When he went to full power on take-off, the engine broke loose.  It and the attached propeller cart-wheeled one way while the airframe flipped the other.  He had so much trouble that the Gestapo investigated him for possible sabotage![30]

At E’Stellen, the Bf-109 was not only put through its paces, but tested to its limits.  Tests included an attempt to equip Bf-109s for winter use.  Hans Fay was the test pilot during the endurance portion of the ski trials.  On his thirty eighth flight of the day, one ski broke loose and Fay had to bale out.  The errant aircraft was not done yet.  It flew off and crashed into a “very large ammunition depot!”[31]

E’Stellan ,after determining the limits of each possible variant, was responsible for writing the pilot’s manuals, the maintenance manuals, the technical orders, modification instructions, and such for each model and variant.  These technical manuals were demanding in the strict limitations but limited in scope to very specific versions.[32]

The German inability to leave well enough alone meant the Bf-109 not only went through B, C, D, E, F, G, and K production models, but also through eighteen developmental non production models.  Each model went through at least three sub-models and some went through more than ten (Emil went through fourteen variations and Gustav had fifteen versions!)[33]

This constant tinkering with the design took the original Bf-109V-1 powered by the Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine (top speed of 292 mph) through the Junkers Jumo and a Hamilton propeller of the Bf-109B-2 (with a top speed of 298mph),  the Daimler-Benz fuel injected inverted V-12 Bf-109E-4 (topping out at 354mph), then the Bf-109F-3 (390mph), the heavier armed Bf-109G-6 (387mph), and finally the Bf-109K-4 Koening (capable of and incredible 452mph!).  E’Stellan had an incredible eighty eight different variations of the Bf-109 to develop technical manuals for along with the variations such as the ski equipped version never fielded![34]

Power made the Bf-109 difficult to handle in turns.  Its narrow landing gear designed to keep the wings as light as possible made it tricky to land.  Roughly 5% were lost due to landing accidents alone.[35]

Training of new pilots never received the priority.  Training commands were see as a ready source of aircraft and already trained pilots (the instructors).  Throughout the war, pilots and aircraft were taken when ever an emergency developed.  This solution just kept breeding emergencies.[36]  Even before the annexation of Czechoslovakia, the training of German pilots was running behind.  The Luftwaffe had barely two thirds of its authorized manning.  Of those the Luftwaffe did have, forty percent were not operational due to incomplete training.[37]  By the end of December 1941, neither the aircraft industry, not the training pipeline could produce at the loss rate the Luftwaffe was sustaining.[38]

Britain was also behind the curve at the start of the war in pilot training.  When the Battle of Britain made the skies over England too dangerous for fledgling aviators, the RAF moved pilot training to Canada and the US.  In America, places like Camp Wheeler outside Macon GA were reopened to train pilots for the RAF, even before the US entered the war.[39]

Aware of the lack of skilled replacement pilots for the Luftwaffe, Allied planners switched the requirements for weather for sending out bomber missions from perfect weather (always much easier to fly in) to weather as close to the margins and still good enough to bomb in.  The lack of instrument training for the replacement pilots was felt to lessen losses.  The (unescorted) perfect weather bombing had led to severe losses on the Schweinfurt raids of 17 August and 14 October 1943.[40]

The Luftwaffe planners had reached a figure for losses for Allied bombers that they felt would stop the strategic bombing campaign.  They believed that continued losses of 15% would overcome the Allies industrial capability.  The only two strategic bombing raids that met or surpassed that figure were the afore mentioned Schweinfurt raids (at over 20% each).  The heaviest losses on the RAF Bomber Command were only 12% and not quite enough to stop their night bombing.[41]  Inadequate training on inadequate equipment kept Luftwaffe fighters from achieving the desired results in defeating the bomber streams.[42]

Operation Bodenplate on 1 January 1945 was the Luftwaffe’s last attempt to gain superiority over the Allied fighters in Europe.  Surging all available fighters for a sweep of Allied air bases in France and Belgium, the Luftwaffe succeeded in destroying over 800 Allied fighters on the ground.  The Allied Air Forces quickly replaced these aircraft.  The Luftwaffe lost 150 aircraft and their crews, which they could not afford.[43]

While an experienced pilot could trick the slots on the wing to open in flight, for most pilots the Bf-109 had a greater turning radius than it early primary opponent, the Spitfire.[44]

 
VARIANT INFORMATION
Bf 109A (V1) D-IABI, first prototype; 518kw (695-hp) Rolls-Royce Kestrel V engine; first flight in September 1935
Bf 109V2, V3 & V4 Three prototypes (D-IUDE, D-IHNY and D-IOQY); Jumo 210A engines
Bf 109B-0 Pre-production variant with Jumo 210B
Bf 109B-1 With Jumo 210D
Bf 109B-2 With Jumo 210E and later, Jumo 210G engines
Bf 109V10 & V13 Two prototypes (D-ISLU, D-IPKY); Daimler-Benz DB600 engines
Bf 109C-0 Developed from Bf109V8 prototype
Bf 109C-1 With four MG17 guns
Bf 109C-2 With five MG17
Bf109V13 Modified with boosted DB601 engine; world speed record of 610.54km/h (379.38mph) on 11 November 1937
Bf 109D-0 Developed from Bf109V10 and V13 prototypes; with DB600A and armament of one 20mm and two 7.9mm (0.31") guns
Bf 109D-1 Similar to D-0
Bf 109D-2 With two wing MG17s
Bf 109D-3 With two MGFFs in wings
Bf 109V14 Prototype (D-IRTT); fuel injection DB601A engine; two 20mm and two 7.9mm guns. Bf109V15 (D-IPHR) similar but one 20mm gun
Bf 109E-0 With four 7.9mm (0.31") guns
Bf 109E-1 & E-1/B Similar to E-0
Bf 109E-2 With two 20mm and two 7.9mm guns
Bf 109E-3 With one hub 20mm and four 7.9mm guns
Bf 109E-4, E-4/B & E-4/Trop Similar to E-3 but no hub gun
Bf 109E-4/N With DB601N engine
Bf 109E-5 Reconnaissance fighter with two 7.9mm guns
Bf 109E-6 Similar to E-5
Bf 109E-7 Similar to E-4/N with provision for belly tank
Bf 109E-7/U2 Ground attack sub-variant
Bf 109E-7/Z With GM-1 boost
Bf 109E-8 With DB601E engine
Bf 109E-9 Reconnaissance fighter
Bf 109E-9 Reconnaissance fighter
Bf 109F-0 From E- airframes with DB601N engine
Bf 109F-1 With one 20mm and two 7.9mm guns
Bf 109F-2 With one 15mm and two 7.9mm guns
Bf 109F-2/Z With GM-1 boost
Bf 109F-2/Trop Tropical
Bf 109F-3 With DB601E engine
Bf 109F-4 & F-4/B With one 20mm and two 7.9mm guns and DB601E
Bf 109F-4Z With GM-1 boost
Bf 109F-5 Reconnaissance fighter with two 7.9mm guns. Trials aircraft included one with BMW 801 radial, one with Jumo 213, one with butterfly tail and one with wing fences
Bf 109F-6 Similar to F-5
Bf 109G-0 With DB601E engine
Bf 109G-1 With DB605A-1 and GM-1
Bf 109G-1/Trop With one 20mm and two 15mm guns
Bf 109G-2 Unpressurised verson of G-1
Bf 109G-2/R1 Fighter-bomber version
Bf 109G-3 With FuG 16Z radio
Bf 109G-4 Unpressurised version of G-3
Bf 109G-5 With enlarged rudder; had DB605D with MW-50
Bf 109G-6 With variations of DB605 and armament packages; commonly one 30mm and two 13mm guns. Many R and U sub-variants.
Bf 109G-6/R6 A common sub-variant - 2 extra underwing 20mm guns
Bf 109G-8 Reconnaissance Fighter
Bf 109G-10 With DB605G and MW-50
Bf 109G-12 Two-seat trainer
Bf 109G-14 With one 20mm and two 15mm guns plus provision for underwing guns or rockets
Bf 109G-16 Ground-attack fighter
Bf 109H-0 High-altitude fighter developed from F- series; pre-production
Bf 109H-1 With DB601E
Bf 109H-2 With Jumo 213
Bf 109H-3 Similar to H-2
Bf 109H-5 With DB605L
Bf 109J Proposed Spanish licence-built version; not proceeded with
Bf 109K-0 Development from G-10, with DB605D and GM-1
Bf 109K-2 Unpressurised version of K-4
Bf 109K-4 With DB605ASCM/DCM and MW-50, and one 30mm, two 15mm guns
Bf 109K-6 With three 30mm and two 15mm guns
Bf 109K-14 With DB605L and MW-50
Bf 109L Proposed version with Jumo 213E engine; maximum estimated speed 763km/h (474mph); not built
Bf 109S Proposed version with blown flaps; not built
Bf 109T-0 Carrierborne version of Bf109E for carrier Graf Zeppelin, converted by Fieseler
Bf 109T-1 With DB601N
Bf 109T-2 Conversion of T-1 with deck gear removed
Bf 109TL Project based on near-standard Bf109 with two underwing Jumo 109-004B turbojets; abandoned in 1943
Bf 109Z-1 (Zwilling) Twin Bf109F airframes with single pilot and five 30mm guns
Bf 109Z-2 With two 30mm guns and 1000kg (2205lb) bomb load
Bf 109Z-3 & Z-4 Conversion of Z-1 and Z-2 respectively with Jumo 213 engines; one prototype built but not flown; led to Me609 project
Me 209V1, V2, V3 & V4 D-INJR, D-IWAH, D-IVFP and D-IRND; high speed prototypes developed for speed records
Me 309V1, V2, V3 & V4 GE-CU, GE-CV, GE-CW and GE-CX; high speed, high altitude fighter prototypes intended to replace Bf109F
Me 609 Projected development; abandoned

 


Endnotes


[1] Brandon Kyle Leniart, World Ward II in Europe (http://www.angelfire.com/ct/ww2europe/index.html, http://www.angelfire.com/ct/ww2europe/germanaircraft.html 6 July, 2004)

* powered by a Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine (British made) and Hamilton propeller (American made).

[2] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 12.

[3] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 24.

+ This complaint of heat was in Spain, not the desert of North Africa.

[4] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 27.

[5] Len Deighton Battle of Britain (London: Coward, McMann, & Geoghengan, 1980) 52.

[6] Len Deighton Battle of Britain (London: Coward, McMann, & Geoghengan, 1980) 61.

[7] Len Deighton Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain.  (Edison NJ: Castle Books, 2000) 70.

[8] Len Deighton Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain.  (Edison NJ: Castle Books, 2000) 84.

[9] Len Deighton Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain.  (Edison NJ: Castle Books, 2000) 70.

[10] Len Deighton Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain.  (Edison NJ: Castle Books, 2000) 72.

[11] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 36.

[12] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 70.

[13] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 36.

[14] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 39.

[15] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 41.

[16] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 59.

[17] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 39.

[18] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 97.

[19] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 121.

[20] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 99.

[21] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 77.

[22] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 78.

[23] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 86.

[24] Richard Collins Eagle Day (New York: Avon 1966) 86.

[25] Len Deighton Battle of Britain (London: Coward, McMann, & Geoghengan, 1980) 101.

[26] Len Deighton Battle of Britain (London: Coward, McMann, & Geoghengan, 1980) 111.

[27] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 107.

[28] Brandon Kyle Leniart, World Ward II in Europe (http://www.angelfire.com/ct/ww2europe/index.html, http://www.angelfire.com/ct/ww2europe/germanaircraft.html 6 July, 2004)

[29] Brandon Kyle Leniart, World Ward II in Europe (http://www.angelfire.com/ct/ww2europe/index.html, http://www.angelfire.com/ct/ww2europe/germanaircraft.html 6 July, 2004)

[30] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 117.

[31] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 127.

[32] Armand van Ishoven, Messerschmitt Bf 109 At War (New York: Scribners, 1977) 133.

[33] Jon Grant, bf109.com, (http://www.bf109.com/frameset.html, 24 June 2004)

[34] Jon Grant, bf109.com, (http://www.bf109.com/frameset.html, 24 June 2004)

[35] Editors of Time-Life Books Fists of Steel (Alexandria Virginia: Time-Life, 1988) 170.

[36] Richard Suchenwirth Historical Turning Points in the German Air Force War Effort (New York: Arno Press 1960) 70.

[37] Murray Williamson, Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945. (London: Quintet 2000) 26.

[38] Murray Williamson, Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945. (London: Quintet 2000) 74.

[39] From talks with a former RAF Spitfire pilot, known to us only as Nick, who trained at Camp Wheeler and married a nurse from Macon.  Talks took place in 1985 and 1987 in Oman.

[40] Richard Suchenwirth Historical Turning Points in the German Air Force War Effort (New York: Arno Press 1960) 114.

[41] Richard Suchenwirth Historical Turning Points in the German Air Force War Effort (New York: Arno Press 1960) 114.

[42] Richard Suchenwirth Historical Turning Points in the German Air Force War Effort (New York: Arno Press 1960) 115.

[43] Richard Suchenwirth Historical Turning Points in the German Air Force War Effort (New York: Arno Press 1960) 118.

[44] Richard Collins Eagle Day (New York: Avon 1966) 252.