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.