Flyable Ju 87D at Benghazi

During my research in the National Archives for more material on the Ploesti, Romania, oil refineries low-level bombing mission, I came across an original 8" x 10" print of this captured Ju 87D apparently appropriated by men of the 98th Bomb Group at the Benina Main airfield occupied by several of the USAAF bomb groups that attacked Ploesti. This may have been published before, but I hope you’ll enjoy this high resolution photo.


(Click to enlarge)

This is reputedly the flyable Ju 87 appropriated by one of the 98th BG pilots for joyrides around the Benghazi circuit. One of famous stories about Col John R. "Killer" Kane’s temper relates to the chewing out he gave this pilot who had been screwing around (flying around) in this Stuka while other Group members were off flying a combat mission.

He hard-landed the Stuka and blocked the runway and Kane was properly concerned whether the returning B-24s could safely land. The Stuka was quickly pushed and towed out of the way, and from that point on no 98th man flew any of the flyable Lufwaffe aircraft sitting around the field. The pilot’s burial place is not recorded . . .

Although not the same airframe, I have a few of these 1/32 Ju 87 decal sets left:


Ju 87D/G Stuka Attack #1. Ju 87D-1 J9+Red C K, III./St.G 1, winter 1942-43, Russia; Ju 87D-8 H5+Red F, possibly from NSGr.10, surrendered at Fürth, Germany, 8 May 1945; Ju 87G-1, S7+ Yellow B U, Fw. Josef Blümel, 10.(Pz)/SG.3, late summer 1944, Riga, Latvia.





Stuka Attack!. Frankly, we spent a LOT of time on our Ju 87 decal sheet research to ensure we got all the letters and numbers exactly the right shape and size. Luckily we were able to find a ton of great photos to work from. Ju 87D-1 T6+A Red N, "Baerli," II./St.G 2, Russia, Spring 1942, with the stenciled version of the II./St.G 2 (also see my video and notes above for more info on this bird); Ju 87D-1 T6+Red DK, II./St.G 2, Russia, March 1942, in a very rough (abraded off) white winter camouflage over the original 70/71.




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