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Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 ‘Red 8’, Kurt Gabler, Mosquito Hunter, III./JG 300, Juterbog-Waldlager, July 1944
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 series of fighters were produced in greater numbers than any other fighter aircraft in history and saw service throughout the entire Second World War. The final K-4 version was the fastest of the Daimler Benz powered 109s, capable of speeds in excess of 440mph, compared to the 330mph of the Battle of Britain era ‘Emil’. Constantly developed and upgraded, the sleek and cultured late war machines bore little resemblance to the angular fighters that swept across Europe in the early months of WWII, despite the basic airframe remaining almost identical.
Contrary to common misconception, the Messerschmitt remained an extremely competent fighter aircraft throughout WWII and in the hands of an experienced pilot was more than capable of challenging the very latest Allied designs. Unfortunately, by the later stages of WWII, the Luftwaffe was simply unable to call on the services of experienced fighter pilots and was running out of new aircraft, spares and fuel. Despite this, history will note that some of the world’s most EDITION successful air aces used the Bf 109 to gain many of their victories.