Werknummer on Bf109e?

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by Alte Hase, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Hi guys,
    a quick question...does anybody know if werknummers being displayed on the left side of the tail were always there on the Bf109e's or if they sometimes didn't have them?
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    There's no definite answer to this one. Unless you have good evidence that it wasn't there then it almost certainly was.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree. Even if the fin was over sprayed, for example with a mottle camouflage, the Werke Nr was normally masked, to be visible after spraying. This was the outward identification of the individual aircraft, along with the small constructors plate on the port forward fuselage, beneath the cockpit, and would therefore be preserved, just as the serial number on RAF aircraft would be.
    It's possible that there were occasions when the number was not visible, but as Steve mentioned, unless there is photo evidence of such, assume that it was there.
     
  4. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    thanks guys. Yes,this is what I suspected,and indeed almost all photos of emils of the battle of britain show the werkenummer. I've only ever seen one photo,of a i./jg 3 bf109e-4 that clearly had no w.nr,as the photo was a close up shot and every detail of the fin was visible.i was just curious as I thought sometimes the werkenummer may have been absent dependant on which factory the aircraft came out of...
     
  5. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Have seen occasional pics of Bf 109Es sans Werk nummern, but would 'assume' these to be exceptional (and rare) cases.
     
  6. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Yep, there is the odd one where W.Nr. is not visible....most likely oversprayed I would think...one of Galland's 109E's sits in this category..
     
  7. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Yes, I think that's his E-3 from around july 1940?
     
  8. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Yep! :D The 22 victory marked aircraft.
     
  9. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    That's the one! It's quite a drab looking machine, that one.
     
  10. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Actually quite unique and colourful, most dont know it or even realise it but this 109 had the yellow recognition markings on the wingtips tailplanes and top of rudder as well as a non standard 'squiggle' camouflage. The issue is, was it in two shades of Grey or 71/02......
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #11 stona, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
    It lies right on the cusp. Various greys,presumably locally mixed,start appearing in CEARs in August 1940.
    If I built it I'd probably stick with the old colours. I might get imaginitive with the "squiggles" on the upper surfaces but it's a guess.

    It's amazing what conundrums we can get into! I'm doing von Werra's well known aircraft at the moment. The CEAR clearly states that the fuselage is blue,but behind the replacement cowlings on the nose is it just very mucky or has it had a fine overspray of something like RLM 02? We know that at this time Luftwaffe units were toning down the light coloured sides of their aircraft. There's quite a contrast with the fresh RLM 65 on the replacement engine cowling.
    It's all part of the fun I suppose!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  12. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Hey stona...I feel your pain! I just wish that colour photography had been around everywhere during the War...would have made our lives a lot easier!

    I have studied von Werra's W.Nr 1480 very carefully and I do think there was a light overspray of probably RLM 002, certainly around the area above the wing.I unfortunately am having trouble attaching the photo I wanted to, but if you google von Werra's Bf109E-4, I'm sure you'll come across the photos I get my info from-it looks to me like the machine definitely had a light overspray in these areas.

    The upper cowling I think was a replacement part that was very clean and thus looked almost white, but that, I'm convinced, was standard RLM 065.

    Hope this helped!
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that.

    Both front cowlings are repairs or replacements. The one infront of the windscreen,over the MG breeches,has a camouflage demarcation which does not match the rest of the aircraft. I've fiddled with the photos and am convinced that it is nonetheless in a standard 71/02 scheme and not some weird mottle as depicted in some profiles.

    I agree that the engine cowling is a replacement or re-paint and that it is fresh RLM 65. The CEAR notes white wing tips and rudder. I find it inconceivable that it wouldn't have mentioned a white cowling. It also states specifically that the spinner is black and white not red or blue and white.
    The BoB museum at Hawkinge has got theirs wrong :)

    Have you noticed the clean area around the emblem infront/under the cockpit? It is a factor making me lean towards an overspray. It almost looks like it was masked before the spraying. Alternatively someone could just have cleaned the muck off around it!

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  14. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    I have noticed there is about a 1-2 inch 'clean' area around the shield- to me the same two possibilities (that it was masked or that it was wiped clean after the crash) are concievable. If it is the latter, then there is a possibility that the 'overspray' I think is present could be smoke stain from the engine/ exhausts, which I believe was hit in the dogfight that brought W.Nr 1480 down.

    I agree on the spinner being black/ white- mirroring the II./Jg3 emblem. I./Jg3 had a half black/half white spinner by this time, as did many other Jagdgeschwaeder. I am unaware of other spinners having anything other than the black/white mix, all yellow RLM 004 or all Schwarzgrun RLM 071 at this time in the battle.

    The spinner back plate, according to the photos I've seen, appears to be RLM 071? It seems to be the same colour as the propeller blades and not all black or the same black/white as the spinner.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The clean "border" is present on the first crash photos where the MG cowling is still in place,before the guns were dis-armed. It is more obvious in the later,wingless,photos. I guess we'll never know which side of the channel this area was cleaned or masked on!

    I'm guessing RLM 71 for the backplate too. It is too dark too be the more usual RLM 70.

    As for the spinner the "crashed enemy aircraft report" (CEAR) couldn't be clearer

    "Fuselage all blue. Spinner divided into alternate black and white sectors."

    The first sentence is worrying regarding overspray because this is often noted,when present,in other reports of the time.

    Eyewitnesses describe von Werra's aircraft as popping and banging as it came into land which would certainly suggest his engine was damaged. He still had some power judging by the bent propeller blades.
    The CEAR also says "Starboard wing shows many .303 strikes." I think this Bf 109 was pretty shot up. There is some debate about who finally forced him down but he was engaged by at least two British aircraft.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  16. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    I've got hold of the crash report. Fascinating reading! I also noticed a little error: The markings were recorded as " >+-" on the original (report A.I.I (k) 465/1940) Obviously this was just a human error mistake, as the photos clearly show the usual adjutant's chevron! :)
     
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