(Special Interest Group Luftwaffe in Norway)

Bf 109 F from 6./JG 5, flown by Rudolf Muller, Norway 1942

Jagdgeschwader 5 "Eismeerjäger" - 1942
Part 2


It would seem that all if not most Bf 109Es and Fs of I./JG 5 were camouflaged in the then standard RLM 74/75/76 scheme. The problem with this assumption is that very few, if any, photos of these planes have been identified to date, and therefore our information is based on "guessimates". When they converted to the Fw 190, the same colors were used. Available photographs would indicate that, at least initially, little mottling was carried on the sides and the planes looked rather "clean". Standard national insignia were used. Contrary to the practice of I./JG 77, I./JG 5 did not have a insignia of their own, neither did the three indivudual Staffels of this Gruppe. The colors of the Staffels were as follows:

1./JG 5 - white numbers with black outlines
2./JG 5 - red numbers with white outlines
3./JG 5 - yellow numbers with black outlines

Naturally, no Gruppesymbol was carried by planes of I./JG 5. For examples of planes from this Gruppe in 1942, see the profiles of Fw 190A-3, "Yellow 2" from 3./JG 5 at Herdla. Note that this particular Focke-Wulf probably did not have the yellow in its number filled in, leaving only the white outline with camouflage in the middle.

II./JG 5 also had 74/75/76-camouflaged Bf 109Es and Fs, tough this was not to remain so, at least not for 6./JG 5. One well-known photo of a Bf 109E-7/Trop (with sandfilter) in 78/79/80-camouflage has been published in several publications, and was reportedly operated by JG 5. As there is no firm evidence to support this view, we will not endorse it here! As with the Bf 109s and Fw 190s of I. Gruppe, the Messerschmitts were rather lightly mottled and generally "clean",...initially! The Bf 109E-7s of 10./EJG 3 or 7./JG 5 were more heavily mottled. 6./JG 5 evolved a special type of camouflage on their Bf 109Fs not seen in use by any other unit. This consisted of two uppersurface colors in a segmented scheme. The exact colors used are open to speculation, but 74/70, 74/75, 71/74 are posibillities. The two colors was carried further down the sides than was usual. Mention should be made here of Rudi Müllers special Bf 109F-4 which he used in autumn 1942. His fighter had a four-color camouflage reportedly consisting of RLM 70/74/75/76. Most profiles of this plane (Model Art, Militaria) depict this plane with only dark upper surface colors, but photos show that a lighter color, presumably RLM 75, was present over large areas. It seems that this F-4, W.Nr. 13 073, had the standard 74/75/76 scheme oversprayed with areas of RLM 70. This was at least the case on a Bf 109F-4 with the Chevrons of the Gruppe kommodore of II./JG 5, possibly then Major Carganico. It clearly show evidence of a dark color having been painted over what appears to be the standard RLM 74/75/76 scheme. The fuselage and the white portions of the fuselage cross were overpainted with dark green too. No Gruppe symbols or Staffel insignia were carried on this or Müllers machine or the other 6./JG 5 Bf 109s with the particular camouflage mentioned above, with the exception of Erhler's Yellow 12 which had the Gruppe insignia (see below). There may have been others, but at this time that is not certain. 5./JG 5 however, used a motif undoubtedly inspired by the local fauna; an icebear's head on a diamond-shaped, blue background! No insignia for 4./JG 5 is known. The Gruppe inignia was a green four-leaved clover on a diamond-shield, placed on the nose of the Bf 109s. Colors used by this Staffels was:

4./JG 5 used white numbers
5./JG 5 used red numbers without outlines
6./JG 5 used yellow numbers with black outlines

A horisontal bar was used as a Gruppesymbol. For examples of planes from this Gruppe see profiles of Bf 109F-4, "Yellow 6" and others.

III./JG 5's Bf 109Es and Fs were camouflaged in 74/75/76, too, with various amounts of mottling. A good color photo exists of Seegatz' Bf 109E-7, "Black 8", clearly showing the 74/75/76 colors. Standard national insignia were used, as was a vertical III. Gruppe bar, altough some planes omitted this. Other planes used a wavy line as Gruppe symbol. 7./JG 5's Staffel emblem was a yellow lion on a red/blue shield, situated below the cockpit on both sides. This was seen on both Bf 109Es and Fs. 8./JG 5's emblem was a yellow Edelweiss ( a plant not growing in Norway) on a dark brown shield. Sometimes this was combined with the Gruppesymbol, a Lapp booth on a shield with a blue cross on a white background (reminicent of the Finnish national flag). This combination can be seen on the profile of Oblt. Seegatz Bf 109F, "Black 3". Photographic evidence show that the position of either emblem was interchangable. No insignia belonging to 9./JG 5 has been identified, to date. Photos of the Gruppekommodore's machine is often seen in various books and publications. Hasegawa recently issued a kit with decals for this machine. Its rather simple paint scheme seems to have eluded the kit manufacturers. It is almost certain that instead of the regular 74/75/02 mottle, Scholz' E-7 was oversprayed completely in RLM 74 except for the top of the tailfin. This was probably an uneven finish, giving the impression of two or more low-contrast colors. It also had a yellow rudder and cowling (underside only). Contrary to some sources (Smith/Gallaspy) the chevrons on Scholz' Emil were not green with white outlines, but quite normal black with white outlines. It had the Gruppe insignia below the cockpit on the port side. Scholz later received a Bf 109F which also carried the Gruppe emblem, the chevrons, and a rather dark upper surface camouflage similar to his BF 109E.

The following colors was used by this Gruppe:

7./JG 5 used white and yellow numbers with black outlines
8./JG 5 used black numbers with white outlines
9./JG 5 used white numbers with black outlines

Here it should be mentioned that in the available bibliography there seems to have been an exaggerated eagerness by authors to identify JG 5 machines as belonging to 7./JG 5. This is probably related to the fact that this was one of the "best" and most publisized Staffels in the Geschwader. The appropriate Staffel color would be white, but available evidence strongly suggests that the Staffel also used yellow. So check your references twice if a Bf 109 without yellow or white numerals is identified as belonging to 7./JG 5!

Unfortunately, very little information exists regarding the apperance and colors of planes from IV./JG 5 in 1942. Most probably they used a circle or dish as the Gruppesymbol. Furthermore, their coloring was as indicated below:

10./JG 5 used white numbers with black outlines
11./JG 5 used black numbers with white outlines
12./JG 5 used yellow numbers with black outlines

The Bf 110s of the Zerstörerstaffel were camouflaged in the by then standard RLM 74/75/76, often with heavy mottling on the fuselage sides. A most amusing Staffel insignia was applied to both sides, this being a red "Dachshund". This misunderstood race of dog was often called "Dackel" by the Germans, and since several members of the Staffel did have such pets, the unit became known as the "Dackelstaffel". These pets were kept from 1941 onwards, but the inisgnia was probably not applied until the formation of JG 5 in 1942. The dog was red or reddish brown with a white outline, the I-16 rata in its moth being white with black details and red crosses. The Zerstörerstaffel also used a unique letter-code on their Bf 110s, consisting of the letters "LN" (the reason for this strange coding is not known). The Staffel letter was of the 7. Staffel "R", which had nothing to do with the Staffel's real identity. Despite three re-designations in 1942, this letter was not changed once! Incidentally, the coding, "LN" is Norway's national code for civilian planes today! The individual letter was sometimes outlined in yellow and was normally repeated under each wing.

The yellow theatre markings normally carried by planes serving on the eastern front, were not common on JG 5 fighters. Some of the Bf 110s had yellow lower wingtips, but very rarely did they carry tailbands. A Bf 110G-2, W.Nr., 5052, LN+FR, is the only one so far identified with such a tailband. The Bf 109s completely omitted this band and for the most part the markings under the wings too, but yellow lower engine cowlings and rrudders were seen on many Messerschmitts, including Scholz' E-7. Strangely, one Bf 109F-4 (W. Nr. 10 101, Yellow 6 of 6./JG 5) flown by Oblt. Hans Hartwein apparently had white wingtips. No reliable explanation has been found for this occurence tough it could be remnants of white winter camouflage.


As other Geschwaders, JG 5 also has its share of personal and special markings. Hptm. Carganico carried a very small version of his Mickey Mouse on the extreme nose of his Bf 109F, which apparently was similar to the later large-size marking.

One of the more enigmatic markings was that carried by Obt. Seegatz on his Bf 109E, Black 3. This was a quite elaborate spread-eagle emblem in red outlined in white. The marking was reportedly used in memory of Hptm. Alfred Pomaska who was killed over France in June 1940, but why members of JG 5 used this marking is not known. The inisgnia was carried under the cockpit on the port side, and other Bf 109s from 8./JG 5 apparently carried this emblem as well. It was discontinued in use after

1942.Rudi Müller carried a very nicely done painting of a cat on the port side of his Bf 109F-4, W.Nr. 13 073. The exact colors are unknown and it is improbable that it was carried over on his Bf 109G-2, at least not when it was in winter camouflage.

Gunther Scholz was more bold. His small personal emblem showed a cartoon-like girl showing off her rear-end! It was seen on his Bf 109E-7,marked with the double-chevrons of a Gruppekommodore. It too was painted on the port side below the cockpit. As far as can be determined, it was absent from his Bf 109F.

Heinrich Bartels of 8./JG 5, later of IV./JG 27 fame, carried the name "Hella" on the port side of the cockpit of his Bf 109F, Black 13. The name was presumable that of his girlfrined.

One of the very few personal markings to be found on machines of I./JG 5 was names. Uffz. Rudolf Fenten's Fw 190A-3, Red 12 of 2./JG 5 had the name "Tina" in white of the port side of the cockpit. Naturally this was the name of his girlfriend.


Even tough some sources claim that the Germans overclaimed on the Ice Sea front, there is no doubt that some pilots scored a lot of kills during 1942, adding to those allready achieved during 1940/41 in Norway. The most successfull of these pilots showed off their kills in the normal manner, i.e. the display of victory bars on the rudder of their Bf 109E and Fs.

Beginning with Erhler's Bf 109F-4, Yellow 12, of 6./JG 5, this carried 4 rows of white bars for a total of 32. The first row had 5 victories, the next 7, the third 9 and the last 11. All these bars had small red stars on the top, except the first which carried a british roundel. This signified his very first victory, a Coastal Command Bristol Beaufort shot down in June 1941 whilst he was serving on the west-coast of Norway with 13./JG 77. Details regarding this victory and the others were painted in black on the lower part of the victory bars.The bars were in all probabillity repeated on both sides of the rudder.

Scholz' E-7 carried 29 black victory bars (at the time the often-published photos of his plane were taken) in three rows, the first two consisting of ten bars each. The markings were prsent on both sides of the rudder.

One of Rudi Müllers Bf 109Fs carried 7 rows of white victory bars, each looking much like those of Erhler with red stars above and possibly details in black below. At one time the rows consisted of 6, 7, 9, 11, 12 and 3 bars, for a total of 48 victories. Müller achieved this tally on 4. August 1942. Later they were as follows (this was probably on another plane, W.Nr. 13 073); 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 7, for a total of 66. They were still white, but the 50th bar was marked differently with a darker elaboration in the middle (Iron Cross?). He achived his 66th victory on 8. September 1942.

Oblt. Seegatz' Bf 109E-7, Black 3, also had victory markings on its yellow rudder. They were placed in three rows, two of which consisted of 10 and one of 7 bars. The two 10-bar rows were not placed directly above each other. The bars were present on both sides of the rudder. The two first victory bars had some kind of white inscription on them.

Written by © Kjetil Aakra 1996

Part 1/