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Ivans and Indians – Fighting the Allies with a Fw 190

Operation Bodenplatte didn’t go very well for Maj. Von Komatski, 4. Staffle II/JG 4 as his surprise approach to the airfield at St. Trond, Belgium on New Year’s morning of 1945 went sour at the outset. His dangerously low attack ended up as a forced belly landing as his prop just tipped the earth and he and his war career ended abruptly. His aircraft was soon repaired by 404th FG’s maintenance group and ground taxied, as seen here, with an aborted attempt by group commander Col. Leo Moon to fly his prize. Later painted in overall red with U.S. markings, the aircraft was ordered grounded by higher brass, leaving it for scavenging.
It was during my initial flight training in early 1942, after performing loops, rolls and Immelmann turns, that I knew I wanted to fly fighters for the Luftwaffe. I was granted my wish in December of 1942 when I was sent to No. 1 Fighter School at Werneuchen near Berlin. My instructors were all high-time fighter pilots, many of them gaining their experience on the Russian front. One instructor, Maj. Hannes Trautloft, stood out from...

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Ivans and Indians – Fighting the Allies with a Fw 190

Article in December 2022 Issue

ON THE COVER: The Fighter Collections' chief pilot Pete Kynsey brings in their rare, Goodyear built FG-1D Corsair super close to the magic camera lens of John Dibbs to get this outstanding shot. This warbird is painted in Royal Navy livery.


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