Shot down over northwestern Russia during late 1944 / early 1945 by Russian Flak. Purchased and recovered by Jim Pearce, November 2003.
Airframe: This BF109 werke no. 13605 (hereafter referred to as ‘this aircraft’ or ‘the aircraft’) is offered for sale by Jim Pearce (hereafter referred to as ‘the owner’) and is sold as seen and inspected. This aircraft is, in the opinion of the owner is 65% complete and is currently under restoration.
Engine: This sale includes the original Daimler-Benz DB605 inverted V-12 engine recovered with the aircraft. The engine sustained serious damage on crash landing.
History: This aircraft remained unmodified through its life being built as a G2. The aircraft is believed to have been shot down during late 1944 / early 1945 by Russian Flak over a lake near the Russian / Finish border. The aircraft made a crashed landing onto the tundra and remained there until its recovery in 2003.
Additional information: This aircraft was flown by Luftwaffe Ace Heinrich Ehrler. Ehrler had 208 victories when he died later in the war. This aircraft (13605) is Yellow 12 in which Ehrler scored his 200th victory.
Heinrich Ehrler was born on 14th September 1917 at Oberbalbach in Nord Baden. He joined the army in 1935 and served with a flak unit in the Spanish Civil War. In 1940 he began flying training. On completion of his training he was posted to 4./JG77 operating from bases in Norway. He gained his first victory in May 1940 shooting down an RAF Blenheim Bomber. 4./JG77 was redesignated 4./JG5 on February 01st 1942. Ehrler recorded his second victory on February 1942 and was now operating over northern front from bases in Finland and northern Norway. He was to score a total of 11 victories with the unit before he was promoted StaffelKapitan of 6./JG5 on August 22nd.
Between January and September 1942, Ehrler recorded 54 victories. Lieutenant Ehrler was awarded the Ritterkreuz on September 4th for 64 victories. On Saturday 27th March Ehrler, in short order shot down 5 Russian KittiHawks (P40’s) and Air Cobras (P39’s) in aerial combat while attempting to engage another Russian Fighter was hit by a 20mm cannon shell forcing his disengagement from the battle. He returned safely to base with slight wounds.
On June 01st he was named Gruppenkommandeur of 2./JG5. On June 6th he claimed 4 Russian flown Hurricanes to claim his 96 through 99 victories. He gained his 100th victory the next day and is believed to have been shot down by Flak in Wk No. 13605 soon after near the Russian / Finish border.
After recording his 112th victory he was awarded the Eichenlaub (Nr 265). He shot down 8 enemy aircraft on March 17th 1944 to record his 124th to 131st victory. He bettered this effort on May 25th 1944 downing 9 to record his 147th to 155th victory. On August 01st 1944 he was promoted to Kammodore of JG5.
On November 12th 1944 a message reporting incoming British Bombers reached the 27 year old Geschwaderkommodore of JG5. Ehrler, with his score at 199 victories, scrambled (in 13605) to intercept the Lancaster’s of 9 and 617 squadrons at the head of a group of BF109’s. The fighters were too late the British Lancasters sank the battleship Turpitz north of Tromso with a loss of over a 1000 sailors. Ehrler was called to account for this disaster and at his court martial was accused of flying to get his 200th victory, instead of leading his group. Ehrler was sentenced to three years Festungshaft, a more honourable punishment than imprisonment.
Ehrler had been nominated for the Schwerten prior to the battleship disaster. The award was never made. He was stripped of his command. However, he was able to record his 200th victory on November 20th 1944. Ehrler joined JG 7 on February 27th 1945. His comrades knew that the old fire had been burned out of gifted ace Ehrler and on April 4th 1945 he shot down to B-17’s. Ehrler then reported he had run out of ammunition and rammed a third. Ehrler was heard saying his last words “Wir sehen uns in Walhalla” (“See you in Valhalla”)shortly before disappearing out of sight. Ehrler did not return from this mission and his body was found the next day at Schaarlippe near Berlin.
Further details, recovery pictures and copies of documented research are available on request.
This aircraft subject to prior sale or withdrawal from the market. Information provided subject to verification by purchaser or purchasers representative at time of sale.