Oxford AC028 German Focke-Wulf Ta 152 Interceptor - Ofw. Josef Keil, Stab./Jagdgeschwader 301, Sachau, Germany, April 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"The day I saw Mustangs over Berlin, I knew the jig was up."
- Reichmarschall Hermann Goering, Head of the German Luftwaffe
The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was a World War II German high-altitude fighter-interceptor. The Ta 152 was a development of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 aircraft, but the prefix was changed from "Fw" to "Ta" to recognize the contributions of Kurt Tank who headed the design team. The number 152 was chosen in the German air ministry's list of numbers allocated to German aircraft companies, and was not related to the designer's previous projects or achievements. It was intended to be made in at least three versions: the Ta 152H Henjger ("high-altitude fighter"), the Ta 152C designed for slightly lower-altitude operations and ground-attack using a different engine and smaller wing, and the Ta 152E fighter-reconnaissance aircraft with the engine of the H model and the wing of the C model.
The first Ta 152H entered service with the Luftwaffe in January 1945. While total production including prototypes and pre-production aircraft has been incorrectly estimated in one source at approximately 220 units, only some 43 production aircraft were ever delivered before the end of the European conflict. These were too few to allow the Ta 152 to make a significant impact on the air war.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Focke-Wulf Ta 152H Interceptor that was piloted by Ofw. Josef Keil, who was attached to Stab./Jagdgeschwader 301 during April 1945.
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Wingspan: 8 inches
Length: 5-3/4 inches
Release Date: May 2012
Historical Account: "Wilde Sau" - Jagdgeschwader 301 (JG 301) was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. The order to form JG 301 was issued on September 26th, 1943, and formed on October 1st, 1943, in Neubiberg with Stab and three Gruppen (groups) as a "Wilde Sau" (wild boar) single-seat night fighter unit.
The Geschwader was equipped with the Bf 109G and was reorganised with four Staffeln per Gruppe. Jagdgeschwader 50, a specialist anti-Mosquito unit, was disbanded in October 1943 and absorbed into I./JG 301. The II. Gruppe was redesignated to II./Jagdgeschwader 302 (JG 302) on September 30th, 1944, and replaced by the I./JG 302. II./Jagdgeschwader 7 (JG 7) was attached to IV. Gruppe on November 24th, 1944, and disbanded on January 19th, 1945.
In early March 1945, Stab./JG 301 became the first unit to receive the Focke-Wulf Ta 152, with an operational brief to provide top cover for the Jagdwaffe airfields in the area.
The first Ta 152 combat sorties were flown on February 8th. On February 18th, the Stab moved to Sachau, near Berlin and on 21 February intercepted US bombers , with Oberfeldwebel Josef Keil claiming a B-17 shot down over Berlin. On March 1st, Keil claimed a P-51 over the same area. The final victims of the Ta 152 were Soviet Yak-9s during the final days of the battle around Berlin on April 30th, 1945.
Encountering fighters on several occasions, the Schwarm lost only two pilots, but shot down at least nine aircraft. Obfw Josef Keil (11 victories) became the first and only Ta 152 ace, claiming six Allied fighters, while Obfw Willi Reschke claimed the other three.
By April, JG 301 was based around Hagenow, Neustadt and Ludwigslust. III./JG 301 were also beginning to be equipped with Ta 152's, although full equipment was not completed before the war's end.