1/48 Eduard Bf109 E-3 Oblt. Josef Priller, Staffelkapitän 6./JG 51, France, Autumn 1940
Yellow ‘1’, W.Nr. 5057, was flown by the commander of 6. Staffel JG 51, Josef Priller, and underwent several camouflage color modifications through its career. According to some sources, the initial scheme was composed of RLM 70/71/65. However, it is easier to confirm later variations, when the underside light blue was extended up the sides of the fuselage, and quite high up at that. Later, this color was subdued by the application of irregular squiggles of RLM 02 and 71. Furthermore, the upper surfaces of the wing, originally composed of broken lines, were augmented in a similar manner as the fuselage sides. This was the appearance of the aircraft in the fall of 1940, and as depicted by our profile. At the time, the aircraft also received a yellow nose section and rudder. The extent of the front end yellow coloring is up for speculation. Some sources suggest this as it appears on the boxtop of this kit, while others claim that the yellow only covered the engine cowl and spinner, as shown in this profile. The emblem of II./JG 51 ‘Gott strafe England!’ (God punish England!) shown on the rear of the fuselage, is sprayed on without the usual white background, only with the black border around a black raven with an umbrella, symbolizing Neville Chamberlain. The Staffel marking in the form of the Ace of Hearts subsequently was used on Priller’s later aircraft as a personal marking. Here, it does not yet bear the well-known ‘Jutta’ inscription. The kill marks denoting Priller’s aerial victories on the tail in the form of vertical tabs with dates, partially obscured the Swastika. Beer lover Josef Priller attained 101 aerial victories in 1,307 operational flights between 1939 and 1945. The pictured aircraft was later inherited by another well-known Luftwaffe pilot, Hptm. Herbert Ihlefeld, who used it in 1941.
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