1/48 Eduard, Bf 109F-4/Trop, flown by Lt. Jürgen Harder, 7./ JG 53, Martuba, Libya, June 1942
Jürgen Harder was born on June 13th, 1918 in Swinemünde (currently the town of Swinoujscie in Poland). He joined Luftwaffe in 1939. After his fighter pilot training he served at III./JG 53. With this unit he went through the initial phase of the invasion of Soviet Union. In May 1942 the III. Gruppe was moved from
south of Italy to North Africa. From February 5th, 1943 Oblt. Harder was a commander of 7./JG 53 and on February 15th, 1944 he was in command of the whole III. Gruppe of JG 53. On February 1st, 1945, as a commander of JG 11, he was awarded Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves. On the February 17th, 1945, flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-14, he crashed near the town of Strausberg. The reason of the crash was damage on the engine.
During the operational flights in WWII, he achieved 64 victories. The aircraft of Jürgen Harder were painted in a standard camouflage constituting of RLM 78 and 79 of the aircraft operating in the Southern Front. The additional marking were white wingtips, white propeller spinner and white band on the tail of the fuselage. The rudder bore symbols of shot downs, underneath the cockpit there was a “HARRO“ sign to commemorate Harder’s brother, who was shot down above the English Channel on August 12th, 1940. The resources state that he was shot down by P/O David Crook of No. 609 Squadron RAF.