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Teodor Moscu's Heinkel He 100D-2

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By comradeloganov   |   
© 2014 - 2020 comradeloganov

By the early summer of 1941, Romania—having allied herself with Hitler's Germany the previous year—was preparing for war with the Soviet Union, in order to recover Bessarabia (Eastern Moldavia) and Northern Bulkovina, territories lost the previous year.  The ARR (Aeronautica Regală Română), incorporated into Luftflotte 4, repositioned its units to Moldavia, close to the Soviet frontier.  Among the forward units was Grupul 5 vânătoare with its Heinkel He 100s.  On 15 June 1941, a week prior to Unternehmen Barbarossa, both Heinkel Escadrile were ordered to move to Focsani-North airfield in Southern Moldavia.

On Sunday, 22 June 1941, at dawn, the Romanian Heinkels took off on their first combat missions of the Second World War.  Their very first mission was to provide air cover for Potez 63 light bombers of Grupul 2 bombardament attacking the Soviet airfields of Bolgrad and Bulgãrica.  Twelve He 100s took off from Focsani at 1050, in gloomy weather and rendezvoused with the bombers over the airfield.  Light anti-aircraft fire was encountered en route, but this increased considerably over the first target, Bolgrad airfield.  Despite the heavy flak, the Soviet planes lined up on the runway were successfully hit by bombs and gunfire.  The warning, however, was immediately sent out to other units.  When the Romanian formation reached the second target, Bulgãrica airfield, it was greeted by numerous Soviet fighters, already alerted to the impending raid.  A bitter combat ensued between the dozen He 100s and some thirty I-16 Ratas.  In the event, the first air battle between the Russians and the Romanians was a victory for the latter.

At 1205, Sublocotenent aviator Teodor Moscu dove on the last pair of I-16s as they took off.  He fired a burst into one of them, sending it crashing in flames.  Pulling out of his dive, Moscu suddenly found himself face to face with another Rata.  He squeezed off a burst hitting Russian fighter in its radial engine.  This proved to be fatal for the Rata.  The wrecks of the aircraft went down in the Danube and quickly sank.  Now Moscu had his hands full!  Several I-16s bounced the Heinkel, one firing from Moscu's right front quarter.  He was hit in the starboard wing, his fuel tanks punctured and was losing fuel rapidly.  The rear fuselage received hits as well.  Second Lieutenant Moscu in a final effort fired a long burst at the attacking fighter, which abruptly dove and disappeared from sight.  Adjutant stagiar aviator Pavel Barbu, Moscu's wingman, joined up with him, escorting the damaged Heinkel home following the Danube River back to base.  The fuel warning light came on and, taking stock of his fuel crisis and structural damage, Moscu decided to put his machine down at the first available airfield.  This was Bârlad airfield, where the bullet-ridden fighter made a successful wheels-up landing.

Slt av Teodor Moscu was officially credited with two confirmed victories and became the first hero of the Romanian air force, in a war which had just started and was to prove a long and exhausting one.  Later, in an air battle of Cazaclia, Moscu added two more kills to his score.  His He 100D, No. 13, was repaired and rejoined Escadrila 51 vânătoare.  Note Walt Disney's "Pluto" squadron emblem.

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Great story and art.
comradeloganov's avatar
comradeloganovHobbyist General Artist
Thanks!  The story and aircraft scheme are both real, except that it was actually an He 112 that participated in these actions in real life.