Another 1/32 Hasegawa 190
Hauptmann Walter Nowotny’s Fw-190A-5 of JG 54, around the time he scored his 250th victory. Decals from Eagle Cals, seat from Eagle Editions with molded-in seat belts. JG 54 is my favorite unit for doing off-beat field-applied schemes.
Born December 7, 1920 at Ceske Velenice/Gmünd on the Czechoslovakian/Austrian border, Walter Nowotny was known as “Nowi.” He joined the Luftwaffe on October 1, 1939, undergoing flying training at Jagfliegerschule 5 at Schwechat, near Vienna, after which he was promoted to Leutnant and posted to JG 54 on February 23, 1941, where he was assigned to 9./JG 54.
Nowotny first saw combat following the invasion of the Soviet Union, when he claimed his first victories, two Russian I-153 biplane fighters shot down over Ösel Island on July 19, 1941, being immediately shot down in turn by an I-153, flown by the future Russian ace Alexandr Avdeev over Riga Bay. He spent three days and nights at sea in a rubber dinghy before finally reaching shore, to discover he was about to be listed as killed in action.
By September 13, he scored his tenth victory. Nowotny found his “shooting eye” in the summer of 1942, when he shot down five Russian fighters on July 20th, following that on August 2 with a claim of seven enemy aircraft shot down for his 48th through 54th victories. On August 11, he shot down two MiG-3s, though his Bf-109G-2 was hit and caught fire. He managed to bring the burning fighter back to his base for a crash-landing.
Nowotny was awarded the Ritterkreuz September 4, 1942, for 56 victories, and was appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 54 on October 25th, where he began to fly the Focke-Wulf Fw-190A-4 as JG 54 was re-equipped.
On March 26, 1943, Nowotny got into a fight with the first Russian-flown Spitfires, operated by the 26 GvIAP ,and shot down one for his 79th victory. Over the month of June 1943, he shot down 41 aircraft, including five on June 1, six on June 8, his 100th victory on June 15th , six on June 21, and 10 on June 24.
Nowotny was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 54 on August 10th, and shot down 49 enemy aircraft that month, including nine on August 13th , six on August 18th, and seven on August 21st. His scoring continued in September when he shot down 45 enemy aircraft, including ten on September 1st; five in a matter of 12 minutes on a morning sortie, and the other five in nine minutes at noon. He followed this with six victories the next day. He was awarded the Eichenlaub and promoted to Hauptmann on September 4th for 189 victories. He shot down number 200 among five on September 8th, then scored six each on September 14th and 15th, bringing his total to 215. The Schwertern was awarded on September 22nd for 218 victories.
During his last ten days of combat on the Eastern Front, Nowotny shot down 32 Russian aircraft, including eight on October 9th , six on October 13th and a final six October 14th, to give him 250 victories. With this, Nowotny was the first fighter pilot in history to pass 250 victories. In recognition of his status as the top-scoring fighter ace of the Luftwaffe, he was the eighth recipient of the Brillanten on October 16th.
Placed in command of the first Me-262 jet fighter unit, Kommando Nowotny, in the summer of 1944, Nowotny was killed in action in November 1944 when he suffered an engine failure and was caught by P-47s of the 56th Fighter Group.
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.