Thursday, 30 November 2017

Fw 190 II./JG 2 in Tunisia (1) - Kommandeur Adolf Dickfeld

In November 1942, Oblt. Adolf Dickfeld was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 2.  Seen in these film stills, Dickfeld had been awarded the Eichenlaub on 19 May 1942 for 101 victories and promoted Oberleutnant on 21 May 1942. Following a lengthy leave, Dickfeld returned to the Eastern Front and in August and September added a further 14 victories to his tally. When he left the unit, he had 128 victories to his credit. Departing JG 52 for the Western Front the highly-decorated ace arrived at JG 2 and a meeting with Kommodore Oesau. As Dickfeld himself recalled;

 " Kommodore Oesau welcomed me at Beaumont-le-Roger with  'I've two pieces of news for you . Which do you want first, the good or the bad ?'  I didn't mind. 'Well the good news is, you're only staying three days here. The bad news is, you're going to Africa!' I nearly fell off my chair..."   (page 207, 'Dans le Ciel de France' Volume 3, Mombeeck/Roba)

Replacing the Kommandeur II. Gruppe Hptm. Helmut-Felix Bolz, Dickfeld and his new comrades are seen here in these film excerpts from the AKH archive presumably just prior to the transfer of II. Gruppe to North Africa. As Dickfeld had flown the Bf 109 exclusively for his victory tally he undertook several acclimatisation flights in Fw 190 A-3 WNr. 2287 (seen above), a machine displaying seven victory markings on the rudder. Dickfeld achieved 5 victories over Tunisia including a Blenheim on 30 November 1942, a Spitfire on 1 December and a P-38 on 3 December 1942, before he was badly injured in a take-off accident at Kairouan on 8 January 1943, when his Fw 190 A-4 (W.Nr. 0750) ran into a bomb crater and overturned as he was attempting to get airborne during a raid on the airfield. On 17 April 1943, after recovering from his injuries, Dickfeld was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 11, based in the Bremen–Helgoland area of northern Germany performing Reichsverteidigung duties.

These stills were captured from footage made available via the Agentur Karl Höffkes film archive AKH and are reproduced here with the kind permission of Karl Höffkes.