"Hub Zemke's Lucky Shot"


For the readers of the Graf & Grislawski book, artist Cpt. Farrel has provided us with an illustration of Hauptmann Alfred Grislawski, Staffelkapitän in III./JG 53 Pik As, taking off from Paderborn Airdrome on what would become his last combat mission.


Time: 1625 hours, 26 September 1944. The mission: Provide the German troops fighting the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions at Nijmegen and Eindhoven with air cover.

On this mission, Grislawski flew "Black 6", a Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-14--an aircraft type which III./JG 53 had received only a few days earlier. The G-14 was basically a G-6, but equipped with a so-called "Galland hood" that increased the pilot's view from the cockpit.

The famous JG 53 Pik As crest

Accompanying Grislawski on this mission was thirty-eight other III./JG 53 Pik As pilots, most of them eager to fight, but hopelessly ill-trained young rookies. Little did they know of what lay await for them. . .

The rest is described in the chapter Hub Zemke's Lucky Shot in the Graf & Grislawski book.

More by Christer Bergström -

the detailed history of the air war on the Eastern Front 1941 - 1945:

Black Cross/Red Star: Air War Over the Eastern Front

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© Christer Bergström 2003