Schnaufer's Bf 110G

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by nuuumannn, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #1 nuuumannn, Sep 24, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
    Hi Guys, I need some help with source information of a Luftwaffe nature and I know there are individuals with the knowledge here to help me.

    Two tail fins from Schnaufer's Bf 110Gs survive, one in Australia, one in London. Different source information give different aircraft for where these came from. A long held belief is that Schnaufer's last Bf 110G was G-4/R8 WNr 180560, coded 3C+BA and was captured at Eggebeck and decorated in British markings post war and the tail fins are from that aircraft. See thread from this forum here:

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/ai...any-pictures-schnaufers-bf110-3c-ba-5807.html

    In Phil Butler's War Prizes and Jerry Scutts' German Night Fighter Aces of WW2, both authors assert that contrary to popular belief 3C+BA was not Schnaufer's aircraft. Scutts makes the assertion that his last Bf 110 was G-4 G9+BA, which had its tail fins painted up especially by NJG4 ground crew, but in which Schnaufer never claimed any 'kills'. I have also found an image of 462 Sqn personnel standing next to a left hand tail fin of what is claimed to be G9+BA and that it is this aircraft's fins that survive. Take a look here;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RAAF_462_Sqn_crew_with_Me_110_of_W_Schnaufer_1945.jpg

    To confuse matters further, it is sometimes written that the fin in Australia and Lambeth come from different aircraft.

    My questions are as follows; what is the primary source information that states that 3C+BA is actually Schnaufer's aircraft (real source info, not just a rehash of what someone has asserted on the internet because they read it in a book ages ago)? Also, if 3C+BA is not Schnaufer's aircraft as Butler and Scutts asserts, then where did they get their information from? Authors who make assertions that a widely held point of view is incorrect must do it for a good reason, so, what is these guys' reason? Does anyone have access to Schnaufer's Flugbuch that can confirm any of this?
     
  2. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Anyone? Erich? Dave - either one? Luftwafen Experten???
     
  3. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I saw you posted at LEMB Grant. You might get some nibbles there but in the meantime I'll take a flip through NachtJagd book by Boiten. Just started reading it.
     
  4. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Cool, thanks. LEMB is where the discussion began. From what I've read I'm not convinced that 3C+BA was Schnaufer's, but I don't know for certain, so I'm wondering if anyone can confirm it. I'm hoping someone on LEMB might have the answers, the Mod there is convinced that it was, but there is some doubt.
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #5 stona, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    I already took a look there. Enjoy the read.

    Have you tried to get in touch with the guy who runs this site?

    www.heinzschnaufer.be

    He may be (that is Wim) the source of the info you are getting over on LEMB.

    Steve
     
  6. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Steve; email sent.
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I have a note that Schnaufer did fly 3C+BA twice, on reconnaissance flights.
    G9+EZ and G9+DF are the same aircraft, W.Nr.720260. From July 1944 he flew G9+EF. That's the aircraft whose rudder he is pointing at in the well known photo. That rudder is in private hands.
    This info may well have come from the man you are in touch with. He has a lot of documents relating to Schnaufer and his crew(s) and my filing system leaves a lot to be desired.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  8. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #8 nuuumannn, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
    There were two aircraft that wore 3C+BA codes, the first in which he carried out a portion of his kills was destroyed on the ground and he had another painted with that code and that it is allegedly this aeroplane that went to the UK post-war. This was originally marked as G9+ something, I can't remember; it's mentioned on LEMB.

    There is a suggestion that G9+BA was his last Bf 110 and that it was the one he did not carry out any combat kills in and was painted especially by Schnaufer's ground crew. What I'm trying to establish is whether G9+BA was the aircraft that was his last, as the AWM seems to think that it is this aeroplane from which their fin comes from as the image I supplied above suggests.

    There is the possiblity that the fins in AWM and IWM are from two different aeroplanes. Emails have been sent to IWM and AWM in the hope that they might be able to help...
     
  9. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Steve, thanks for the good wishes on reading the Nachtjagd book. Some sloppy editing but so far the content is interesting.

    Grant, I believe that Theo Boiten is still very active on e-mail and he may have access to Schnaufer`s Flugbuch. There is a thread somewhere at 12 Oclock High that contains his contact info.
     
  10. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that; I've seen references to him on LEMB. From browsing there I think that Wim, whom Steve referred to also has a copy of Schnaufer's Flugbuch. All I can do is sit back and wait...
     
  11. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Sent you a PM Grant. Let us know what you find out.
     
  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Here is a pic of the fin in the Australian War Memorial for those interested.
     

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  13. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Andy, PM sent to you too. Thanks Wildcat. Hopefully the AWM will be able to tell me which aircraft it's from. I think it might be from G9+BA, but that is based on that image above. It certainly looks like the IWM one, but I've seen a source that it is from a different aircraft...
     
  14. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in the colour of that fin. Looks to be RLM 02? If so, what was he scheme for the rest of the aircraft?
     
  15. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #15 nuuumannn, Sep 29, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
    Hi Andy, I received an email from AWM today; it looks like they are unsure of its exact identity, but are certain that it is from the same aircraft that the IWM fin is from, which is not yet pin pointed. I'm awaiting an email from IWM as well, Their conclusion is based on an analysis of the exterior markings and similarities in the kill markings of both fins. I also asked if there was a tie in with the AWM image of 462 personnel around G9+BA. I'll be posting this on LEMB too.

    Here's the link the museum sent me of their object, with a description of its colour scheme:

    Messerschmitt Bf110G Tail Fin : Major H W Schnaufer ; Nacht Jagd Geschwader 4 | Australian War Memorial

    This is the caption from the AWM image.

    "Schleswig, Germany, 19 June 1945. Informal group portrait of a Handley-Page Halifax crew of No. 462 Squadron RAAF standing next to an Messerschmitt Me 110G-4 aircraft (G9+BA). Identified are, left to right: Flight Lieutenant M. Langworthy (pilot), Flight Sergeant Mitchell (gunner), Ray (bomb aimer), Flying Officer Ivan Campbell (navigator), Flight Sergeant Ted Casey RAF (engineer), unidentified (gunner), Warrant Officer Mick O'Brien (wireless operator). The Me 110 tail fin bears 121 emblems made up of small rondelles next to an aircraft and a date, representing the number of Allied aircraft destroyed by the pilot, Major Wolfgang Schnaufer of NJG 4. The tail fin is held in the Australian War Memorial's collection."

    The last sentence is interesting as it is a starboard fin at AWM and a port fin at IWM.

    The hunt continues...
     
  16. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the update.
     
  17. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Further update, I received an email from IWM Lambeth stating that it doesn't know the provenance of the Bf 110 fin in its possession. This leaves me with the fact that the IWM and AWM fins are from the same aircraft, but it is unknown which one that was.
     
  18. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    A bit surprising they didn't investigate the origins of their artifacts a bit more.
     
  19. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #19 nuuumannn, Oct 9, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
    Andy, you'd be surprised what museums don't know about their collections. I worked in aviation museums for nine years and made some rather surprising discoveries about things within their collections that they themselves did not know.

    Having posted the same question on 12 O'Clock High I found an answer awating me. Yes, 3C+BA (AM.15) was flown by Schnaufer to be captured by the RAF, but was not originally Schnaufer's Bf 110; the original 3C+BA was destroyed on the ground at Eggebeck. Schnaufer's last mount was G9+EF, which was not captured. So, 3C+BA that was captured by the British was in fact G9+DX and was painted up as such on Schnaufer's request, so Butler and Scutts are correct; that aircraft was not Schnaufer's but an imposter that Schnaufer had flown and had marked up as his. This information was provided on 12 O'Clock High forum by forum member Wim, whom needs no introduction to those with any knowledge of Schanufer. He also posted Flugbuch entries on the matter.

    He also stated that the AWM image showing G9+BA as posted above is correctly identified; this was confirmed by Flt Lt Langworthy, whom Wim interviewed at a later date and can be seen at far left in the image. He also states that the fins that survive in Australia and London are from this aircraft. Mystery solved, then!

    So, to assess. Schanufer's usual mount was G9+EF, but there were two Bf 110s that were painted up as Schnaufer's on his request, and although he flew them, they were not his usual aircraft and did not fly combat ops in them. These are G9+BA and G9+DX; the latter was painted as 3C+BA and became AM.15 and the former is where the surviving fins in museums are from. One of G9+EF's fins survives in private hands.
     
  20. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff Grant. I figured you'd get more luck at TOCH. I have not been there for about a week and will need to catch up on the new posts so am looking forward to the details.
     
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