Hobbymaster 1/48th scale HA8714 BF 109E-3 Stab/JG 26, Walter Horten, France, Spring 1940. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The first German mass produced 109 fighter was the Bf-109E that has been mistakenly referred to as the Me-109. The Bf is the designator for the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW) (Bavarian Aircraft Works) that produced the original aircraft. In 1938 Messerschmitt took over BFW but throughout WWII German handbooks and documents referred to the aircraft as the Bf-109. By the end of 1939 the Bf-109E (Emil) had replaced all other 109 variants and equipped 13 Gruppens with 40 aircraft each. The Bf-109 was the main single-engine aircraft until the Fw-190 came along.
Bf-209E-3 “White 1” was flown by Oblt. Otto Bertram with 1./JG 2 “Richtofen” claiming his first victory on April 20, 1940. Three of his four victories in the Battle of France came in May 1940. By October 1940 Bertram had thirteen victories plus nine victories he scored earlier in Spain gave him a total of twenty two. In October 1940 Bertram was appointed Hauptmann for III./JG 2 and awarded the Knight’s Cross. He was removed from active duty because his two brothers had died in action and he was considered “Last Son” status.