On This Day…May 12th.
Salvage crews working on a Junkers Ju 88, brought down during the the Luftwaffe’s attacks on RAF airfields in France on 10th May, photo taken 12th of May 1940.
Hurricanes of British No. 237 (Rhodesian) Squadron RAF in the Middle East, 12th of May 1942.
Ceremonial official surrender of the Deutsches Kriegmarine aboard the German ship ‘Prinz Eugen’ in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 12th, 1945.
On May 12th, 1944 This Mk II Seafire cashed into sea after an attack on ships in St.Malo harbour, France. It is believed the aircraft was hit by flak in the harbour. Last seen 10 miles out to sea. Lt A.D. Hawkins-King (of 887 Squadron) was killed.
‘Flight’ - May 12th 1938.
BMW R-75 from Fak-Abteilung 92; Vress, Belium, May 12th, 1940.
This Bf 109 was captured by US forces in Tunis on May 8th, 1943 at Soliman Airfield. The photo was taken on May 12th after painting new insignia over the original markings. It originally flew with Luftwaffe 4 staffel of JG 77.
The aircraft was disassembled, shipped to the USA, and rebuilt by the North American Aircraft company, after which it was flown to Wright Airfield, Ohio for performance testing. The report is actually really interesting (in a geeky way) - the conclusions are below...
1. Advantages over U.S. AAF Aircraft.
The airplane has a higher rate of climb than most of our fighters. The automatic propeller control is good as it automatically gives the proper RPM for a given throttle setting thus relieving the pilot considerably. The gun sight is small, more compact than ours, and far easier to change a bulb.
2. Disadvantages over U.S. AAF Aircraft.
It is not as maneuverable, does not have the range, and has inferior visibility to practically all our first line fighters. Cockpit is very small and very cramped.
HMS Renown, HMS Valiant, and French BB Richelieu in the Indian Ocean, 12 May 1944; photographed from a USS Saratoga aircraft; looking at the wakes of all three ships, I’m presuming this was during ‘zigzagging’ manoeuvres.
On 12 May 1936, the first Bf 110 flew out of Augsburg, Germany.
Some sources mistakenly credit the first flight to Rudolf Opitz, who has himself stated on numerous occasions that the honour belonged to the Messerschmitt factory’s Chief Test Pilot, Dr. Hermann Wurster.
The 110 has a well known role in the Wehrmacht’s invasion of Poland. The ‘Zerstörerwaffe’ (Destroyer Force) also saw considerable action during ‘Operation Weserübung’ - the invasion of Denmark and Norway. During the 1940 blitzkrieg through the Low Countries and France the 110’s and Stukas obliterated any opposition.
It was not until the Battle of Britain that the ‘Zerstörer’ was exposed. During August of 1940 alone, 120 Bf 110s were lost, and within less than 3 weeks the Zerstörergruppen lost around 40% of its aircraft. Despite changing tactics, formations and the types of target and sorties, the Zerstörergruppen losses rose to over 200 lost Bf 110s by the end of the Battle of Britain.
Due to these high attrition rates, the C- and D-models had almost disappeared from the Western front by mid-1941, although they were being used extensively on the Russian front and in North Africa. Production during 1940 had risen to 1,083 machines, but with the impending introduction of the Me 210 (below) less than 800 110s were produced in 1941.
(Strangely a 110 cited from May 12th)
By a strange coincidence, this came through the post yesterday (so not quite ‘on this day...’). Try as I may, I have nor seen a review of this kit, but the contents look quite impressively detailed and nicely moulded...
Battleship Massachusetts (BB-59) entering Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, United States, 12th May, 1942.
B-17 ‘Ruth Anne’ shot after an unfortunate and expensive landing accident on May 12th, 1945. Sad to say that after this photograph taken in Glatton, England, Ruth Anne never took to the skies again. All crew were unharmed.
Rose Olive’ of the 457th Squadron, May 12th 1944. Flight report...
“Delivered Cheyenne 27/11/43; Wendover 12/10/43; Presque Is 19/1/44;
Assigned 748BS/457BG Glatton 23/2/44”
“Missing in Action Merseburg 12/5/44 with John Akers, Co-pilot: Chas Scott, Navigator: Lloyd Dell, Bombardier: Leo Kruszinski, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Ed White, Radio Operator: Bob Marsteller, Ball turret gunner: Austin Moore, Waist gunner: Harry Peterman, Waist gunner: Chris Milgo,Tail gunner: Wallace Taft (all 10 crew parachuted to ground, Prisoners of War)”
“Shot down, enemy aircraft, crashed Naunheim/Eifel, six miles SE of Mayen, SW of Koblenz, Ger; Missing Air Crew Report 4800. ROSE OLIVE.”
Fairey Battle Mk.I of RAF 12 Squadron (PHF P2332) shot downduring an attack on Albert Canal bridge in Vroenhoven Belgium, 12th May, 1940.
Allied Intelligence report 2.(g) (Serial No.269) dated 12th May,1945 states :
"Me 109G-10 - W.N.151567- 13+ (blue white blue bands round tail of fuselage) found Wünstorf.
On the recent posts regarding the Battle of the Coral Sea, I noted that the higher Admiralty
had worried about Commander Fletcher’s ‘experience and resources’ to tackle the Japanese threat. Unknown to fletcher the Enterprise and Hornet (fresh from Operation Doolittle) were under full steam from Pearl to the Coral Sea.
Below is a photo taken of F4F-3 Wildcats (of Fighting Squadron 6) getting ready for launch from the Enterprise, on May 12 1942 while on their way toward the Battle of the Coral Sea. Better late than never.
Thanks to @wolf21379
2 additional images. Click to enlarge.