Military archeology in Russia
YouTube - Rosyjskie wykopki 4
Military archeology in Russia
YouTube - Rosyjskie wykopki 4
Hi Paul, this aircraft is now in Britain and being restored to airworthy condition.
I would honestly have prefered to see it "as found".
I had such an exprerience several weeks ago.I saw one in Braschaat / Belgium....
I had a delivery to do, in a garage and there it was standing. A private collector restauring it. But I can ashore you;the earth is shaking when seeing thise.
Apparantly he bought it in eastern europe.
Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
This is the same aircraft as of three years ago.
Fw190 A5 White A of 4./JG54
This Focke-wulf 190 was manufactured in April 1943, originally as an A-5 variant and supplied with the full work number 0151227. It was the 415th A-5 constructed from batch 0150812 - 0151793 and manufactured by the parent factory of Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau GmbH at Bremen.
Interestingly, W.Nr 1227, seems not to have been manufactured as a straight A5 variant. A standard A-5 was fitted with outer MG/FF 20mm cannons and was completed with the central wheel well covers. On W.Nr 1227, the outer MG/FF cannons had not been fitted on the production line, the central wheel well covers had also been removed and in its place a central ETC501 bomb rack had been fitted.
By April 1943 production Focke-wulf were still behind in the production of the F-2 variant. Focke-wulf therefore continued to factory modify A-5 variants to accommodate the slipping production schedule. Focke-wulf 190 A-5, W.Nr 1227 is seen generally as being originally manufactured as an A-5, but became a factory modified example and so making it a Fw190 A-5/U3.
If it had been constructed on its own production run, the completed W.Nr 1227 would have been known as a F-2 variant; a total of 271 F-2's and F-2/tp's were produced upto May 1943.
On reaching the end of its production run, W.Nr 1227 was painted with the individual Stammkennzeichen (RLM block codes) of DG+HO.
In 1942 the German High command had the idea of rotating units in the Eastern Front with those in the Western Front. With this idea, the original plan was to rotate the whole of JG54 in the East with JG26 in the West in early 1943. The first and only units to return were 4./JG54 of the II Gruppe and the whole of III/JG54 who returned to France in mid February. In return I/JG26 and 7./JG26 of the III/JG26 went to Russia where JG26 operated for a while under the command of JG54.
The 4./JG54 pilots and ground crew returned West to act as a nucleus to help build up the new IV/JG54, whilst pulling in resources from other units. Due to a shortage of Fw190's, the 10, 11 & 12 staffeln of the new IV Gruppe were worked up with new Bf109 G-3 and G-4. At the end of April the task for 4./JG54 was complete and with a build up of Russian forces around Leningrad, 4./JG54 were on their way back to the Northern Front to join the rest of the II Gruppe again.
W.Nr 1227 was flown via several bases from an aircraft pool and most probably delivered fresh to JG54 by a new squadron pilot. Around mid May she arrived at the former Russian airbase of Siwerskaja to join the ranks of other Fw190's being operated by I and II Gruppes of JG54.
Although the yellow theatre markings might have been painted prior to delivery to 4./JG54, the original camouflage was painted over. It was standard procedure to paint over the factory finished colours of RLM74 Gray Green and RLM75 Gray Violet which covered the top surface. The sides on this A5 which had a base of RLM02 gray with mottling of RLM74 and RLM75 going down to the RLM76 Light Blue to the underside. As these colours were unsuitable for the Leningrad area of the Russian Front, JG54 applied a unique three colour combination. JG54 were known to experiment with different colour combinations. The colour combination generally followed the original demarcation lines and consisted of a dark green, brown violet and tan (sand) which was more suited to the forests areas of Northern Russia. ('new' colours as listed in Ken Merricks book).
To this was applied yellow theatre bands to the underside of the wing tips, outside of the lower cross, to the lower quadrant of the rudder, around the fuselage cross and to the lower engine cowlings. The last area to be touch up was to the underside blue to hide the last two remaining letters of the factory codes (the others were under the yellow wing tips) and to apply the tactical letter of a 'White A'.
To say this marking was unusual would be correct. No surviving JG54 pilots can recall flying with letter markings, having always recorded numbers within the log books. During the summer of 1943, no horizontal band denoting the II Gruppe was added to aircraft of 4./JG54 either.
At the beginning of July 1943, 4./JG54 were back in operations. At the same time, IV/JG54 had moved to Jesau on there way to Northern Russia. When the new IV Gruppe reached Russia in the middle of July, the 4./JG54 were again subordinated to the new Gruppe. As the 10 staffel of the IV Gruppe carried white numbers, white letters seem to have been applied to the 4./JG54 who were acting as a semi autonomous ground attack unit.
The loss of Fw190 A5/U3 W.Nr 1227.
On Monday 19th July 1943 Fw190 A-5 W.Nr 1227 'White A' went on a mission carrying a SC250 (550Ib) bomb. Taking off from Siwerskaja, on what was probably a hot summer day, 'White A' headed for the Front line which was only fifteen or so minutes flight time away. Crossing the front line over the Dvina River, the Fw190, flying with another crossed it and headed East. Whilst behind enemy lines, in an area called Voibakala, the 'Rotte' attacked an armoured train and reportedly suffered damage from flak. The loss report indicates the Fw190 crash landed due to this damage, although none was located on the airframe. It Fw190 suffered a catastrophic failure of the BMW801, caused by a rag -sabotage is suspeced as it was a new engine was fitted a few days before). The Fw190 was recorded as being 100% lost in the map reference co-ordinates of Pl.Qu.20124. This grid system based on 1:200,000 maps was used to identify crash sites, possibly for salvage, recovery of missing pilots or as the best way of identifying an area consisting of unpronounceable Russian towns, villages and large areas of forests and lakes. The more numbers the Pl.Qu. reference gives, the smaller the area of the location. A key to this 'code', would help identify literally dozens of possible recoveries within Russia!!
The pilot Feldwebel Paul Rätz survived the crash landed behind enemy lines. He removed his leather flying helmet and retrieved the first air kit from the rear fuselage and is thought to have headed West back to the front line only a dozen or so miles from the crash site. He was undoubtedly captured by the Russians and interned although the Luftwaffe loss report still class him as 'Vermißt' (missing) in action.
The fourth Staffeln of Jagdgeschwader 54 'Grunherz' only seemed to have carried this unusual white letter combination for a few months through the summer and autumn of 1943. On returning to join the II Gruppe again, the staffel reverted to the number system again. There are only two other known 4/JG54 loses where Fw190's have been recorded as lost with these distinctive markings.
• On 8th July 1943 the relatively new Fw190 A-5, W.Nr 1520 'White D' was 100% crashed whilst taking off with the pilot killed.
• On 23rd August 1943 Fw190 A-4, W.Nr 5808 'White B' was classed as 100% lost when it crash landed due to flak damage at location Pl.Qu.18212. The pilot was injured but returned safely to his unit.
Found in silver birch forest 1989. Recovered 1991. Doug/David Arnold and now Paul Allen.
This is a very high % original aircraft.
Everything that could be reused has been reused.
The original 6 spoke sand cast wheels are a site to see.
Enclosed photo from December 2005 when secrecy was lifted - article published in a few magazines by others. All info above has already been published.
Reporting etc has not been brought down again so cannot say any more.
Lets just say it is an amazing aircraft.
Hi Ade, many thanks for this detailed informations.