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david leigh-smith
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On This Day…January 1st

January 1, 2019 · in News · · 8 · 2.3K

Bf109 “White 13” of JG 53 pilot, Uffz. Herbert Maxis. On January 1st, 1945 he was hit by AA-fire over Metz airfield as part of ‘Operation Bodenplatte’ and made a perfect belly landing only 200 yards from American AA-positions. There was some controversy over what happened next as Maxis was shot and killed as he climbed from the cockpit. The AA gun battery crew reported the Luftwaffe pilot was going to pull a pistol (which they later could not find) and although was talk of a court martial but this was dropped.

The remains from his plane were later used by Flugmuseum Aviaticum (at Wiener Neustadt) to exhibit his aircraft - WNr. 784998 (Bf109 G-14) “White 13” - as seen below...

In the same attack “White 11” of JG 53, flown by Oberfeldwebel Stefan Kohl was shot down and the pilot bailed, parachuting directly out over the airfield. After being taken prisoner, Kohl apparently refused to have his photo taken until he’d combed his hair and polished his flying boots...

The USS Oklahoma (BB-37) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, 1st January 1920. Commissioned in 1916, the Oklahoma was famously sank at Pearl, 7 December 1941. Moored outboard of USS Maryland (BB-46), she was hit by several Japanese torpedoes her port side ripped open, Oklahoma capsized and sank to the harbor bottom, with the loss of over 400 of her crew. Many of the men trapped in her upturned hull were cut free through the intense efforts of Sailors and civilian Navy Yard employees. In 1943, Oklahoma was the subject of a massive but ultimately unsuccessful salvage attempt. Too old and badly damaged to be worth returning to service, Oklahoma was finally decommissioned in September 1944 and sold for scrap in December 1946, but sank while under tow from Hawaii to California in 1947.

USS South Dakota (BB-57) being fitted out at New York Shipbuilding Corporation, 1st January 1942.

Scots soldiers having a singalong, possibly assisted by alcohol, New Year’s Day 1916.

Beer kegs at their feet, some more (Scottish) officers celebrating New Year’s Day, 1916. There’s a theme here...

German soldiers mark January 1st, 1942 on the Eastern Front...

And in France, January 1st, 1940.

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

8 responses

  1. Some fine photos presented, my favourite being the remark about the POW being properly attained before allowing a photo :-). That last photo you mentioned France New Year’s Day 1940, not wanting to sound pretentious but the Germans only invaded France in May that year. Could it have been in Saar region, the one that was annexed by Hitler before invading Poland? An excellent year to you my friend!

  2. Happy New Year, David! Nice pics!

    • I hope you have a terrific 2019, David. My hopes are quite simple for this New Year; work a little less and play a little more. We’ll see...

      Blessings and very best of wishes.

  3. Pedro, having looked at this I think the German soldiers are, in fact, probably in Poland rather than France. I could only find one reference to location (France) but as you point out, that’s hardly likely given the timescales.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. As always David, you have provided another set of fantastic pictures... my favorite is the Bf-109 from Bodenplatte both before and after pictures.
    Happy New Year my friend.


  5. Well, I'm late to the party as usual. Great collection of photos as always, David. @dirtylittlefokker

    I quote: "Scots soldiers having a singalong, possibly assisted by alcohol, New Year’s Day 1916." I thought to myself - "now Jeff" (for indeed, that is my name) "Here's someone who knows the difference between Scots and Scotch." Then I reminded myself that you ARE a Scot. You KNOW that Scotch is a drink! (And a tasty one, at that!) I also think that it is very kind of you to use the word "possibly" when referring to Scots and alcohol together! "Assisted by alcohol, indeed!" The probability of THAT statement being true likely hits the 100% mark on a scale of probabilities & outcomes! I'm a Tennents lAGER man, myself. By the way, did you know that Tennents and Irn Bru can be found here in the USA? Not only that but they're popular enough that they are also possibly BREWED here?! Irn Bru (USA) is bottled in North Carolina somewhere - I don't know for sure. It may just be imported into N.Carolina, not brewed there.

    I found this on Yahoo Answers regarding the great Irn Bru: "Irn Bru (pronounced Iron Brew) is made from girders in Scotland. It is Scotland's favourite drink, is orange in colour, very sweet and very popular. Sometimes it is fed to the haggis which wander around the highlands of Scotland. It is hoped that it will stop them biting the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie). So far it has worked but who know what will happen next year." 😉

    ENJOY ! Happy New Year !

  6. Once again David, a great photo set. I especially like the USS South Dakota under construction. Thanks for posting, and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

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