1/48 Dragon Ta152 H-1 Flown by Willi Reschke.

Reschke was born on 3 February 1922 at Mühlow, Province of Brandenburg. He joined the Luftwaffe in February 1941 and began training with the Flieger-Ausbildung-Regiment at Königsberg/Neumark. Reschke commenced pilot-training in spring 1942. In June 1943 Reschke served with Jagdgruppe 102, in Zerbst to undergo operational training. On completion of training, Unteroffizier Reschke was posted to 1st Staffel, Jagdgeschwader 302, based near Vienna in June 1944.

On 2 July he achieved his first successes when he claimed two United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) 15th Air Force B-24 Liberator bombers shot down over Budapest. On 7 July Reschke downed another B-24, this time by ramming when his guns malfunctioned, and successfully baled out of his crippled fighter. On 24 August Reschke claimed a B-24 near Jindřichův Hradec but during an attack on a second his aircraft was hit by return fire and he attempted to force-land while under attack by P-51 fighters, having to use his parachute. On 29 August he shot down a B-17 bomber south of Zlín, although another Bf 109 fired on his Bf 109 G-6 and Reschke had to force-land damaged.

By the end of August 1944 Reschke had 14 victories to his credit. Re-equipping with the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-8, I./JG 302 was redesignated III./JG 301 on 30 September 1944. In October the unit transferred to Stendal near Berlin. On 1 January 1945 Feldwebel Reschke downed a B-17 for his 22nd victory claim but again, hit by return fire, he baled out of his Fw 190 near Gardelegen. On 13 March he was awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold. In March 1945 Reschke transferred to the Geschwaderstab, JG 301. On 14 April he flew the new Focke-Wulf Ta 152 for the first time and claimed a Hawker Tempest of No. 486(NZ) Squadron shot down (pilot W/O O.J.Mitchell who was killed). On 20 April Oberfeldwebel Reschke received the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross. He claimed his last two victories of the war on 24 April when he downed two Soviet Yak-9s near Berlin.

Reschke flew about 70 missions during his career in which he recorded 27 victories. All he claimed over the Western Front, including 20 four-engine bombers. Three claims were made flying the Ta 152. He was shot down 8 times, bailing out five times, and was wounded once.

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