1/48 Eduard, Bf109 G-10 Erla Built, flown by Hptm. Erich Hartmann, CO of I./JG 52, Görlitz, Germany, April 1945.
Erich Hartmann, the most successful fighter plane pilot of all times, first joined the 7. Staffel of JG 52 on October 10th, 1942. He remained with Jagdgeschwader 52 till the end of World War Two; in fact he became the commander of its I. Gruppe. The total count of his shot down aircraft was 352. For his exceptional success he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. After WWII he was transferred to the POW camp in the Ural Mountains in Soviet Union and was not released until 1955. The following year he joined the ranks of Western German Luftwaffe.
He became the commander of JG 71, the first fighter plane Luftwaffe squadron equipped with jet-powered fighter aircraft. He retired in 1970 and died on September 20th, 1993. Hartmann’s aircraft carried a black, outlined in white, tulip marking on the nose. Below the cockpit on the left side, there was a heart marking, bearing the name of Hartmann’s wife. The Gruppe leader marking took the shape of a double wedge, but only as a white outline.