Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 ‘Yellow 1’ (W.Nr.5057), 6./JG51
Oblt. Josef ‘Pips’ Priller, Mardyk, Belgium, October 1940.
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 “Yellow 1” represents a classic “Battle of Britain” Bf 109, with identifying yellow nose and rudder; a mottle over the fuselage sides had become increasingly common during the summer’s air battles, applied usually at unit level to reduce the visibility given by the light blue sides of the fuselage. The Bf 109E-3 differed from the later Bf 109E-4 model mainly in the area of the canopy, the E-4 model having flatter sides and armour plating. The aircraft’s “owner” Josef ‘Pips’ Priller served with JG.51 from the outset of the war, and from the beginning marked his aircraft with his personal “Ace of Hearts” symbol that he carried through to the end of the conflict.
As Staffelkapitan of 6./JG51 he was involved in the air battle over Dunkirk, scoring three kills, and he was awarded the Knight’s Cross in October 1940 when he had registered twenty victories. Much of Priller’s subsequent career was with Focke-Wulf Fw190s, and Jagdgeschwader 26, initially under the leadership of Adolf Galland; by October 1942 he led its III Gruppe, and was himself Geschwaderkommodore a year later. On the morning of 6 June 1944 the 190s of Priller and his wing man were the only two of the Geschwader in the area of the beachhead serviceable, and they were among the earliest of the Luftwaffe aircraft to attack the invading forces (his still carried his “Ace of Hearts”). Priller added four more to his score of kills on the following day, and shot down his 101st and last victim in October. After more than two years with JG26 he was promoted to Inspecteur Jadgdflieger West in January 1945. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords in July 1944, and was one of very few “centurions” whose victories were all scored on the Western Front.
Scale 1:72 Wingspan 5.41″ (137.5 mm)
Base size 6.37″ (162 mm) square (No. 4)
Weight not including base 5.5 ozs (153 grams) Limited edition of 25 only
Price £86.00 plus delivery