1/48 Eduard Fw 190 A-3, ‘Black 5’ of Hptm. Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn, 14.(Jabo)/JG 5, Summer 1943

1/48 Eduard Fw 190 A-3, ‘Black 5’ of Hptm. Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn, 14.(Jabo)/JG 5, Summer 1943.

In 1943 and 1944 a small FW 190-equipped unit flew fighter-bomber operations from Petsamo in the far north of Finland, and achieved success disproportionate to the number of aircraft available to it. The unit was 14.(Jabo)/J.G. 5. Flying in the far north offered unique challenges, but the results achieved indicate the pilots of the Staffel adapted quite well to the conditions experienced inside the Arctic Circle. Despite flying obsolete variants of the FW 190, 14.(Jabo)/J.G. 5 demonstrated the effectiveness of the FW 190 as a fighter-bomber, particularly against shipping targets.

14.(Jabo)/J.G. 5 was formed in the middle of February 1943 to serve as a semi-autonomous Jabostaffel within Jagdgeschwader 5. The unit was created from elements of 11./J.G. 5, and experienced fighter pilot Hptm. Friedrich Wilhelm Strakeljahn was given command (see his biography below). Another man assigned to the new fighter-bomber Staffel was Kurt Dobner, who had gained one aerial victory with 11./J.G. 5 in 1942.[3] 14.(Jabo)/J.G. 5 flew only FW 190 A-2s and A-3s (mostly the latter), at a time when those variants had been superseded elsewhere by the FW 190 A-4 and A-5. However, because the Staffel was based in the far north of Finland, fighter opposition was minimal, and the earlier FW 190 variants proved adequate. The unit’s initial eleven FW 190 A-3s came from 11./J.G. 5, and later aircraft came from other parts of J.G. 5, and from the Kjeller repair facility in Norway.[4] 14.(Jabo)/J.G. 5 flew missions primarily against Russian ships moving along the Barents Sea coast. The Staffel proved very effective, sinking many enemy vessels.