1/48 Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf-109 E4/7 “White 12” flown by 7 / JG 26 Staffel Kapitan Joachim Muncheberg
Here is an article on another Bf-109 kit that I built about 18 years ago shortly after it first was released by Tamiya.
It was built right out of the box and I used Model Master enamels to finish the plane. The mottling was done with an Aztek air brush. The colors used were RLM 02, 74, 75, and 76. RLM 70 was used on the propeller and RLM 04 was used on the yellow cowling.
At the time of this build, I didn’t have access to the internet, and relied solely on the kit instructions, and various book on the Luftwaffe in my collection.
I liked the look of the yellow nose on the 109 and proceeded from there. Just recently I found out the history behind the man who flew this plane.
Along with being a Luftwaffe pilot, it appears that Muncheberg was also an athlete. He played football, and was a regular competitor in track and field events. Muncheberg was allowed time off from his regular flying duties to train for the 1940 Olympics.
He also had a dachshund named Seppl, that went everywhere with him, from the start of the War until his death in 1943. Muncheberg is seen on the left with his best friend (sitting in his lap) in this photo below.
Muncheberg was officially credited with 135 aerial victories, while flying over 500 combat missions. At least 46 of these were credited as being Spitfires.
His tally was 102 planes on the Western Front, including the victories over France and the Battle of Britain, 19 over Malta, one over Yugoslavia, 24 in North Africa, and 33 on the Eastern Front. He was the 19th Luftwaffe pilot to surpass the 100 victory mark.
Muncheberg was the second Luftwaffe “Experten” to achieve 100 victories over Anglo American opponents following Hans – Joachim Marseille. He achieved this feat on 13 March, 1943. Muncheberg would be dead 10 days later.
He was flying a Bf-109G2 when he was killed over Tunisia. His 135th victim, US Army Captain Theodore Sweetman, was flying a Spitfire with the USAAF 52nd Fighter Group. The Spitfire caught fire after Muncheberg scored hits on the plane. Some sources state that the Spitfire exploded, and then Muncheberg flew threw the remaining parts, which in turn damaged his 109. This damage caused to Muncheberg to bail out of his stricken plane.
Other sources state that US Army Captain Sweetman deliberately rammed into Muncheberg with his burning Spitfire, causing him to bail out of his 109.
Captain Sweetman was killed. Major Muncheberg bailed out and was severely injured. I don’t know if he was injured by the ramming / flying through debris or if he was hurt while bailing out. He died on his way to the hospital. Muncheberg was 24 years old.
I found these other B & W photos from various online sources.
As usual, comments are encouraged. This kit builds like a dream……………….
22 additional images. Click to enlarge.