ZG26 Code letter question.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Airframes, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'm sure I have the information somewhere, but can't for the life of me find it!
    During 1940, and specifically the BoB period, the Geschwader code for the Bf110s of ZG26 can be seen as both 3U and U8. Some of the info I recall as being contradictory, with the 3U code being used from July 1941, and U8 up until June 1941, yet BoB period photos, and profiles, clearly show both codes in use!
    Can anyone enlighten me as to why, or perhaps a date when the codes officially changed?.
    Photo captions in John Vasco's books show the 3U code apparently in use as late as October 1940, and the U8 codes in use at this time also, and even earlier, around late August.
    Any info will be greatly appreciated !
     
  2. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this helps, confuses, or is relevant Terry. From the Kagero "Battle of Britain".

    bob.JPG bob1.JPG

    Geo
     
  3. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Well, we all know that LW codes were a nightmare. As far as I can find, the U8 code was used from the inital activation just before the start of the war up to June 1940 when it was changed to 3U. Conditions being what they were, with the heavy losses, supply problems and replacement aircraft before they were withdrawn to Germany prior to being shifted to the Med in '41, I would venture that some of the planes wore the early code at least until that point.
     
  4. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    Terry in osprey's Zerstorer aces book you have on the 18th August

    seems both were in use, did ZG 26 inherit aircraft from another unit and painted the new codes on those but older 110's retained the original codes for a while ???
    Bf110.jpg

    Bf110a.jpg

    Bf110b.jpg

    Bf110c.jpg
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks guys. Still not clear, is it?
    Karl, haven't got that book yet, but notice that the profile for Shalk's aircrft, '3U+AA is different from the Xtra decal sheet, whee the A is green, and the arrow white!
    It seems that both codes were in use during the BoB, unless various authors have wrong captions, with photos from 1941, which I very much doubt in John's case!
    At first, I thought it was only III Gruppe using U8, but seems all Gruppen used them too - and 3U ! Very strange and confusing!
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #6 stona, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
    It seems to have been a long transition,if that's what it was!
    There were aircraft still marked U8 in the spring of 1941 in the Balkans.
    Steve
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yes, that's what I'm finding Steve. A German book I have shows 3U as 'First formation', and U8 as 'second formation' of the Geschwader. Another (British) book shows 3U up to June 1941, and U8 from July 1941, which agrees with the above. But, if the photos and profiles (based on the photos) are correct, then it seems both codes were in use in 1940 - very confusing.
    I think this is one for John Vasco, if he happens to look in !
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    That certainly seems to be the case. I've seen lists in which the different codes/time periods are assigned to different Gruppen. I can't find them now (you wouldn't want to wrestle with my filing system :) ) and that would anyway be irregular to say the least.
    I suppose that the old addage "find a reference and then another one and hope they agree" would apply here!

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I think you're right Steve!
    There's one particular group of photos (and profiles based on them) showing an aircraft with the 'U8' codes, and a narrow white band around the rear fuselage, which appears in numerous books covering the BoB, including John's books. Had the captions in all these works not stated it was the BoB, normally just mentioned as 'late period', I would have thought these were from the MTO in 1941. The puzzling thing is the colour schemes, where both early (RLM 70/71 splinter to bottom of fuselage, RLM65 undersides) and later scheme (high fuselage demarcation, RLM 71/02 over 65 with mottle) are shown, purportedly during the BoB, with both '3U' and 'U8' codes. I've yet to find an explanation, and it seems very strange to have a unit with two identifying codes at the same time!
     
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