German airmen painting markings on the rudder of a Bf 109 fighter, Russia, 1942, photo 1 of 2

Caption   German airmen painting markings on the rudder of a Bf 109 fighter, Russia, 1942, photo 1 of 2 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseGerman Federal Archive
Identification Code   Bild 101I-321-0855-07
More on...   
Bf 109   Main article  Photos  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 26 Jun 2010

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (800 by 531 pixels).

Licensing  Creative Commons. According to the German Federal Archive (Bundesarchiv), as of 21 Jul 2010, photographs can be reproduced with if these preconditions are met:
- quote the "Federal Archives" as source,
- add the signature of the pictures and
- of name of the originator, i.e. the photographer.
You also can use fotos from the Federal Archives for free on Wikimedia Commons

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 Aug 2010 10:41:06 AM


During World War II the Luftwaffe had more
than 5,000 aces, only a few hundred became
Experten. Many pilots ran confirmed kills into the hundreds, while others less.

Unlike the Allies the Luftwaffe kept its
pilots flying combat until they were killed,
captured or unable to fly due to wounds.
13 of the top 20 survived the war, while
thousands of other pilots were killed never gaining a kill.

The top ten pilots shotdown 2,554 and the top twenty shotdown 4,536.
Fifteen other pilots claimed 150 to 180 kills, and seventy two others claimed over
Aircraft shotdown had to be witnessed and
verified or by gun camera. Sometimes a pilot had to wait months for his victory claim to be confirmed by the Luftwaffe High Command.

Against the Russians on the Eastern front pilots had kills into the hundreds.
Against the Allies on the Western front kills
were less, but still higher than Allied pilots.

Did you know...

Many Luftwaffe pilots flew combat in their
dress uniforms, with all their decorations.
Unlike the USAAF and RAF who flew in their

If more then one Luftwaffe pilot claimed a
kill, they had to settle who would get it, if not the kill was awarded to the Sttaffel.

The pilots commandering officer could only
tell the pilot, that if he did shootdown an enemy aircraft without a witness and he couldn't verify the kill,he had the personal satisfaction of knowing he destroyed an enemy
of the Fatherland.
2. R.T. says:
21 May 2016 08:05:40 PM

In this superb pic the Blackbirds are marking victories bars on the tail fin of this E-3 109 , a very neat job . Most victory markings I've seen are located on the rudder and some indicate which airforce it was gained against and the date that victory was acquired . Other victory markings are for shipping , tank busting and aircraft destroyed on the ground and I'm sure several other venues . If an ace was awarded the Knights Cross or a higher degree of the Knights Cross such as the Oak leaves or Swords or Diamonds they would sometimes add a painting of that with the victory number at the time of the award to the rudder . The slot for the tail plain incidence is visible .

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