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Gibbes' Australian Heinkel He 100D-4 Trop RAAF

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In October 1942, this Heinkel He 100D-4 Trop (Werknummer unknown) was found on Martuba airfield (LG 4). It was restored to flying condition by mechanics of 3 Squadron RAAF and given the serial number HK849. The plane received standard RAF camouflage used for planes in Africa: Dark Earth and Middle Stone on upper surfaces and sides, lower surfaces were painted with Azure Blue.

This He 100 was flown on 2 November 1942 by Squadron Leader Bobby Gibbes. Robert Henry Maxwell (Bobby) Gibbes DSO, DFC & Bar, OAM was a leading Australian fighter ace of World War II. He was officially credited with shooting down 10¼ enemy aircraft, although his score is often reported as 12 destroyed. Born in rural New South Wales, Gibbes worked as a jackaroo and salesman before joining the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in February 1940. Posted to the Middle East in May 1941, he became commanding officer of No. 3 Squadron RAAF during the North African campaign, where his leadership and fighting skills earned him the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar. Besides Gibbes, 'Dora' was also flown by Flight Lieutenant Ron Watt. On 8 December 1942, HK849 was handed over to Gazala where it was piloted mainly by Pilot Officer Reg Pfeiffer.
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anonymous's avatar
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joshuatree1967's avatar
I think the best fighter by the end of WW2 must be the Mustang P51
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
It's certainly popular! A real classic, to be sure!
ZeroRM's avatar
The Heinkel 100, huh? That thing was a real speed demon.

Must have been interesting to fly.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Yeah, it's a very lovely plane. It's been a joy to profile.
ZeroRM's avatar
And to think that this used the same engine as the Bf-109E but was 60 miles per hour faster? This thing could give a P-51 a run for its money! (in several books I've read the top speed was listed as anywhere from 394 mph to 416 mph)
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
It was a fantastic aircraft, but you need to be careful with what you read about it. Hood's book is the only real authoritative source on it. Ernst Heinkel's claims about the aircraft as dubious at best.
ZeroRM's avatar
Yeah, point taken, but I DO know that it was a good deal faster than the 109 because it was so highly-tailored to the DB601, which ultimately led to its downfall as it couldn't adapt to new engines, and the 109E had priority for the DB601 but it could use other engines, such as Junkers types.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Well, that's sort of true, but it was more politics that killed the He 100 than anything else.
ZeroRM's avatar
Yeah there's that too...I'm not sure which it was: did the Government decide they didn't like Heinkel as much anymore or did they decide that they liked Messerschmit more than Heinkel out of the blue...or was it both Heinkel losing favor and Messerschmit gaining it?
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
I think it was a few factors. One, the 109 was already in production and seemed like a great fighter (which it was). Two, they didn't have enough DB 601s to build both and they weren't about to stop 109 production. Three, they liked Messerschmitt better than Heinkel and preferred Messerschmitt concentrated on fighters while Heinkel stuck to bombers.
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CarrieMoore's avatar
CarrieMooreHobbyist Traditional Artist
I saw this on the What-If forum and I fell in love. It just looks 'right' for some reason.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I like its looks, too. It's a gorgeous aircraft. I think it looks 'right' in German markings, too, but I don't think it's as distinctly German in appearance as the Bf 109 or Fw 190, though. Because of that, I think it works as a British aircraft surprisingly well. I love 'chameleon' aircraft that seem to work in any colors. The DB 601 inverted-vee engine is still the Axis giveaway, though.
CarrieMoore's avatar
CarrieMooreHobbyist Traditional Artist
I just had an idea that I thought you might like: an He280 in service with the Luftwaffe and in Walter Nowotny's markings.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
I have hopes to do an He 280 someday, but don't plan for this decade! Doing one of these aircraft from start to finish (lighting, shading, etc) is far too time consuming. Two new airframes a year is doing quite well for me.
Capt-Blackadder's avatar
Wow! I knew the Aussies used enemy tanks in the desert, but I didn't know bout enemy planes too. I bet they had some problems with other Allied aircraft seeing its silhouette and trying to shoot him down.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the faves! It is a "what-if" profile, but it's based on the actual HK849, which was a captured Bf 109 that was maintained and evaluated by 3 Sq RAAF. To my knowledge, none were used in combat against the Germans.
Capt-Blackadder's avatar
You're welcome. Thanks for your talent. :clap: It's probably for the better they didn't use them; what a bad way to go getting mistaken by your own side for the enemy (though there aren't many "good" ways to go), though the Australians got away with the Italian tanks. I also recall a story from some USAAF escort pilots encountering P-51 mustangs with very subdued German markings that would try to get as close to the escorts as they could get and then shoot down any targets of opportunity so it might have been an advantage in some ways.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Sure. That's another reason captured small arms were generally only used in the most dire situations. Enemy firearms make a very distinctive sound and it doesn't take many days in combat before you instinctively turn to engage that sound. It's for that same reason that Japanese "snipers" that remained behind in order to ambush US soldiers preferred a Garand if they could get their hands on one. It may give them enough time to get an extra two or three kills before there was a reaction. Be sure to check out some of my other "What If" profiles, as well!
killerweinerdog's avatar
I heard a story about some American paratroopers who were on a patrol, when a Sherman tank just rolled up behind them and started following. The soldiers were happy for it, thinking that now they had some armor support in case they ran into a particularly stubborn MG nest, but then one of the soldiers noticed that the star had been painted over with a swastika. On a hunch, he and his buddies climbed on top of the tank and demanded the crew come out with their hands up, and lo and behold, three German soldiers popped out and surrendered. Apparently they had ambushed a convoy and stolen the tank, and had been hoping that the American soldiers would lead them to an ammo dump or something worth destroying before using the Sherman's speed to make a getaway, but unfortunately (or rather fortunately for the Americans) they had forgotten to remove the swastika that they had painted onto it from the side.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
I could believe it. I know the Italians famously used a captured P-38 to prey on straggling B-17s and B-24s for some time.
ZeroRM's avatar
Don't forget that the Luftwaffe used a LOT of captured planes to combat bombers too, most notably B-17s (with KG 200 for clandestine OPs) and P-51 Mustangs.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Absolutely. I just bought a book on captured German planes, too. Very neat.
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anonymous's avatar
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