Lakesidetrader - Top
Display your banner here
Results 1 to 1 of 1

von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop

Article about: Hello everyone, As stated in the title, I am looking into a specific Bf109 flown by the beloved Kommodore of JG53, Oberst Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn. One of the craft he used to hunt RAF

  1. #1

    Default von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop

    Hello everyone,

    As stated in the title, I am looking into a specific Bf109 flown by the beloved Kommodore of JG53, Oberst Günther Freiherr von Maltzahn. One of the craft he used to hunt RAF planes over Malta in 1942. I welcome any opinions in reference to the information I present below. Hopefully some folks in the know of the Luftwaffe will provide some information.

    Backstory I have some items related to von Maltzahn including four photos taken during the celebration that occurred immediately after his successful landing and completion of his 400th flight against the enemy. He is shown exiting the cockpit of his F-4 in two photos. I decided that I should create a display with all these items. The display would involve creating a model of the plane in the photos. The problem that I have encountered is that I do not recognize the plane in the images with any artistic rendition of any of his aircraft.
    The two photos I own show very little of the aircraft, only what is beneath his canopy and the start of his fuselage marking. Not long after I found a section of film online from the massive archive of Agentur Karl Höffkes (AKH). They had a section of film from JG53 on Malta. Lo and behold, part of it shows the celebration for von Maltzahn beginning with his landing moments before on the runway of Comiso airfield. Below is the most representative portion of the aircraft in question.

    von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop
    From the archives of Agentur Karl Höffkes (AKH)

    This image is the basis for the balsa model I am building. The quality is not the best but it was taken from motion film and it’s the best and only source available. The back half of the aircraft beyond the first symbol or two on his fuselage is never captured by the camera, which is the worst part. The WNr nor the kills on his rudder are ever shown and that would make this much easier. I will go into further detail on this later but the paint scheme and prop generate the most uncertainty for me.

    A quick history on von Maltzahn The Kommodore came from a prominent noble family in Germany. He began his flying career during the campaigns west of Germany claiming a victory over a Potez in 1939 and another over a Morane in 1940. His fame increased proportionally with his success during the Battle of Britain. The Knights Cross was awarded to him on December 30, 1940 for 13 victories. The Jagdgeschwader was sent to the eastern front for Barbarossa where they remained until December 1941. The Freiherr lost two F-2s after being forced down in both over Russian soil, once by a I-15. The Stab flew to the Mediterranean and settled on the airfield at Comiso, located 77km Südwest of Catania in December 1941. He flew at least two variants of F-4s in 1942 that I know of. After his F-4 WNr 7282 was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea, he switched to the G-2 and G-6 models that he flew for part of 1943 until being promoted out of the frontline to Jafu Oberitalien. He finished the war with 68 victories.

    Observations I have researched everywhere for any information to place a date on his 400th flight and identify this aircraft. I have read a biography on von Maltzahn, read Christopher Bergstroms “Black Cross Red Star” books, referred to Falke Eins Luftwaffe blogs, and looked at Aeromaster models of his aircraft with little success. Almost every avenue besides reviewing the expertise in the volumetric history of JG53 by Jochen Prien. The aircraft of JG53 were repainted multiple times on Malta as were aircraft in every Luftwaffe Gruppe throughout the war. I believe his 400th must have occurred in the spring of 1942, albeit I have minute evidence to corroborate this claim. He was shot down in WNr 7282 on May 11, 1942 over the Mediterranean. It is never mentioned if he had been flying this since being previously shot down in Russia on July 15, 1941 or not. It also is not known if he was issued the G-2 immediately after the May 11 incident or another F-4 that was never mentioned.
    I am aware that the renditions of model planes used by Aeromaster have been chronically incorrect with respect to colors. The next section are possibilities that I have found.

    von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop
    von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop
    These first two renditions I came across on Asisbiz and seem ridiculous to me that they are captioned as WNr 8326 flown on Sicily while this was the very aircraft he crashed in Russia. The grey and black of his “Black <<-+-" that would’ve likely been painted over in the Mediterranean is shown.

    von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop
    This example appears to be as close to realistic as any I’ve seen. They claim a light field applied tan (RLM 71 or 80). Lower surface in RLM 76 or 78. Yellow cowling. Nose is RLM 70 and the tip, RLM 25. Amount of mottling and areas of darker tan matches to an extent.

    von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop
    This one is grey instead of tan. The structure and mottling is RLM 74 and 75 with RLM 24 nose tip. Yellow cowling once again. Too much mottling.

    von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop
    von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop
    The final example I’ve seen that’s remotely plausible. A British fellow made this model (Wurda on britmodeller) and he based it on the HobbyBros kit in the first picture. The colors are the same as the example directly above this one. The amount of mottling and distribution of the dark grey matches very closely with the AKH film. The drop tank is the only part that is not on the craft in the film. If the Stab didn’t start using the drop tanks until around May, this would shift the expected date of the film earlier in the year.

    Conclusion The aircraft originally in question at the beginning of the post is an interesting subject. Roughly 1/4 of the nose tip is obviously painted white although this specific mock-up is not seen in any examples I explored. It is difficult to judge the color of the nose otherwise, I think it is black. Aeromaster often thinks JG53 was using green tipped noses while Osprey books about the Mediterranean 109s claims the noses were tipped blue. The structure seems to be a shade of tan with a sparse , darker mottling. The dark stretch on the top, around the cockpit, and wings is also unusual in comparison to others. Hard to tell if the cowling is yellow or not. The fuselage has a thick white tail band as seen on the runway approach. I would like to get the colors on the model close to the correct ones. Also putting an approximately correct number of kills on the rudder would be nice, should be between 50 and 67.

    Thank for for reading this fair. A special thanks for those who opine.
    Regards, Ben

  2. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement von Maltzahn’s Maltese F-4/Trop
    Join Date
    Advertising world

Similar Threads

  1. 10-29-2018, 10:30 PM
  2. Maltese Camouflage 100% original

    In Field equipment, kit and other
    11-22-2015, 02:20 PM
  3. Maltese MKII

    In Helmets
    04-14-2012, 08:29 AM
  4. Need Help! maltese cross?

    In History and research
    09-01-2011, 12:14 AM
  5. 08-12-2011, 12:48 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Militaria-Reisig & Antiquitäten - Down
Display your banner here