Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hubert Maxis' Bf 109 G 'white 13' IV./ JG 53 - Bodenplatte 01/01/1945

Hubert Maxis' Bf 109 G 'white 13' IV./ JG 53 - Bodenplatte 01/01/1945:

part rebuild part replica of Herbert Maxis' 'white 13' of IV./ JG 53 (WNr. 784998) photographed at the Aviaticum museum, Wiener Neustadt Ost near Vienna, Austria  and reproduced here courtesy of photographer Ray Barber. 

The original machine was lost during the Bodenplatte operation of New Years Day 1945 - the pilot managed to get his machine down in one piece in an orchard close to a US anti-aircraft position but was promptly shot dead - having been stripped by souvenir hunters, the wreckage was later bulldozed into a hole in the ground and dug up during 1987.  This is I believe the only Bf 109 in Austria today, although the Wiener Neustadt facility was ultimately responsible for the production of some 8,000 or so of these machines during WW II.

 On 1 January 1945, during operation Bodenplatte JG 53 had orders to attack the airfield at Frescaty near Metz. Before reaching the target Uffz. Herbert Maxis took hits from an American anti-aircraft position (the 455th AAA  Bn., 'A' Battery) stationed at Oberfelsberg. Maxis force landed only 200 yards from the American positions and was shot climbing down from the cockpit - apparently the gun battery crew mistakenly believed he was going to pull a pistol although it is reported that in actual fact he was merely pressing his hand against a body wound.

The two images above show that what looks like damage from anti-aircraft fire in the image immediately above (see the caption in Weal's 'Bf 109 Aces') - especially in the fuselage area -seems merely to have been the result of the activities of 'souvenir hunters'. Luftwaffe blog readers may be aware that the cockpit and wing incorporated into the Flugmuseum Aviaticum exhibit are original items from this aircraft - WNr. 784998 (G-14/AS). 

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