HANS DORTENMANN, 2./JG 54 Grünherz, Eastern front, February 1944
This aircraft carries a winter whitewash over the standard camouflage, which is evident in random areas where the water soluble paint has washed off. It was with this aircraft that Dortenmann bellied in at Orsha Süd Air base on the 6th of February, 1944, after losing three feet off his port wing in a collision with a Soviet fighter. In a rear hemisphere attack against his target, and at a height of some 200m, he misjudged his distance. His intended target was probably a fighter flown by Capt Ivan Mikhailovich Astakhov of 49 IAP. Having been killed in this encounter, the collision with Black “7” was classified as a “taran” attack and considered Astakhov’s twelfth victory (another seven being shared). He was awarded a posthumous Hero of the Soviet Union. It was Dortenmann’s first confirmed victory. Prior to his transfer to the west, he shot down a further fourteen Soviet aircraft, including four Il-2 Sturmoviks. He totaled 38 kills, and was awarded the Iron Cross.
Eino Luukkanen was in the cockpit of this airplane while achieving his 56th confirmed victory. He downed a Soviet Yak-9 fighter flown by Lt. G. F. Nizhnik on August 5, 1944 over Narva Bay. This Yak was the only aircraft downed by the guns of MT-451. The aircraft was delivered to Finland on June 23, 1943. The former German Werk Nummer is visible on the rudder. Two underwing cannon pods were mounted and there was no artwork on the rudder at that time. The fledgling eagle was painted later on. MT-451 was written off after an accident on August 25, 1947.