Constantin Cantacuzino

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Konigstiger205, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Konigstiger205

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    Constantin Cantacuzino (nicknamed Bâzu; November 11, 1905–May 26, 1958 ) was a Romanian aviator, one of his country's leading World War II fighter aces, and a member of the Cantacuzino family.
    In 1939 he won the national aerial aerobatics contest with his Bü 133 Jungmeister and in 1941 was named chief-pilot of the Romanian national air transport company LARES. Even though this was a comfortable and cozy job, he managed to get in the front line as a fighter pilot in the 53rd Fighter Squadron (equipped with Hurricane Mk. I). After the capture of Odessa, the Romanian Army reduced the number of front line troops. Bâzu was one of the reservists who were sent home. He retook his position at LARES. However he pulled some strings and managed to return to active duty in 1943. On 26 April 1943 he was remobilized and assigned to the 7th Fighter Group, which was equipped with the new Bf-109. On 5 May he arrived on the front line and was named commander of the 58th Fighter Squadron. On 29 June, he and his wingman engaged 4 Yaks, 2 La-5s and 4 Spitfires ,while trying to protect 3 Romanian Ju-88s. His wingman was badly hit and forced to return to base. He continued the fight on his own and shot down 2 Spitfires. He was also damaged, but managed to escape and make a belly landing. Unfortunately, two of the bombers were destroyed. In July he flew both day and night missions, even though his Gustav was not equipped for low-visibility flying. Bâzu tried to stop the Soviet night bombings of his airfield. The Germans protested, considered him a little mad, so he eventually gave up the night missions. On 27 July 1943, he shot down the VVS flying ace Nikolay F. Khimushkin (11 kills). Between 2 and 5 August he shot down 9 airplanes (4 Yaks and 5 Il-2s), raising his score to 27.

    On 5 August he was alone on patrol and he encountered a Soviet formation about 40-50 planes strong (Il-2s and Yaks). He realized that he couldn't have obtained outstanding results, but he could try to create them some problems. He dove into the Il-2 formation and shot down 2 of them before he was attacked by the Soviet fighters. He managed to shake them off, with the exception of one of them, which soon joined Cantacuzino's kill collection.

    The day of 16 August was an excellent day for the pilots of the 7th Fighter Group. They scored 22 confirmed kills and 5 probable, with Cantacuzino killing 3 (2 La-5s and 1 Il-2). On 28 August he also received the Iron Cross, 1st class.

    In the autumn of 1943 Bâzu got sick and was interned to a hospital and then had to stay a while away from the front to rest. On 10 February 1944 he returned to active duty in the 7th Fighter Group, which was sent to the front with the Soviets in Moldova. On 15 April, there was a USAAF raid and cpt. av. (r) Cantacuzino and his wingmen attacked the bomber formations and shot down 6 Liberators (the prince got one himself). He continued flying missions against the VVS and had a few victories.

    After 23 August 1944, when Romania quit the Axis, the Luftwaffe started bombing Bucharest, from airfields close to the capital, which were still in German hands. The remains of the 7th and 9th Fighter Groups were brought in to protect the capital. Bâzu shot down 3 He-111s on this occasion.

    Cantacuzino was then given a special mission: to transport Lieutenant-Colonel James Gunn III, the highest ranking American POW in Romania, to the airbase at Foggia and then to lead back the USAAF airplanes that were coming to take the POWs home. He landed after two hours and 5 minutes of flight. He returned with a Mustang, because the Gustav couldn't be fueled. He needed only a flight to get used to it and dazzled the Americans with his aerobatics, which he couldn't help himself not to execute.

    Cantacuzino was credited with 43 aerial victories (one shared) and 11 unconfirmed. According to the system in effect much of the war, his point total was 69, highest in the Romanian Air Force.

    For more info check Constantin Cantacuzino (aviator) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  2. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Nice KT ,still waiting on some decals to do one of his 109's...
     
  3. Konigstiger205

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    Those where the glory days for my country's air force...now all we have is some old Mig21's who take off once a year and when they do they drop out of the sky like drunken pigeons...
     
  4. Udet

    Udet Banned

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    Konigstiger, hello.

    When i lived in Bucuresti -during the past century :lol: -, as an early teen, we came across one Romanian veteran: Ion Dobran. I hope i am not mingling names here, or perhaps he was another one, Mucenica, whose name i forgot. But no, i think he was Dobran.

    Whatever, we did not speak to him or anything but one of my friends father told us of his presence as we walked near his block. I do not know if he is still alive though.
     
  5. Konigstiger205

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    Yeah well veterans are not so popular here because of peoples ignorance...they don't care about the past..not even the heroes from the antisoviet revolution in 1989 are doing so well...thats just sad...
     
  6. Snautzer

    Snautzer Member

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  7. Konigstiger205

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  8. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    great link Snautzer, thanks.
     
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