Graf's & Grislawski's Bf 109 Original Rudders On Display!

The original rudders belonging to Messerschmitt 109s flown by Hermann Graf & Alfred Grislawski in World War II have finally been re-united! For a larger image--click on the photo above!

During a dignified ceremony at Technikmuseum Speyer on Friday, 25 June 2004, the two rudders were presented to the Technikmuseum. The inauguration speech was held by Dipl. Ing. Manfred Lahyer (below), the owner of Technikmuseum Speyer and Sinsheim.

Present were members of Traditionsgemeinschaft JG 52--including the JG 52 pilot veterans Walter Wolfrum and Fritz Klees with wife, Manfred Wägenbaur, Manfred Zaum, author and JG 52 historian Bernd Barbas, Peter Hallor, author of the Graf & Grislawski book Christer Bergström, and illustrator of the Graf & Grislawski book Claes Sundin--and the Gemeinschaft der Jagdflieger, represented by Karl Weigel, as well as the staff of the museum and Bundesluftwaffe officers. The arrangement was covered by German press and television. A German article of the event, with many interesting photos, can be found by clicking here.

The display of these two rudders is absolutely unparalleled in the history of the Luftwaffe. In fact, apart from Graf's & Grislawski's rudders, we know of only one other Messerschmitt 109 original rudder carrying the victory markings of an ace which survived the war--one of 30-victory night fighter ace Major Friedrich-Karl "Nasen-Müller" Müller. Through an incredible coincidence, the rudders of just Hermann Graf and Alfred Grislawski--subject to the book Graf & Grislawski: A Pair of Aces--survived the war in excellent condition!

The two Graf & Grislawski rudders are put on display in a large glass showcase. To the right is Hermann Graf's rudder from the JG 52 Karayastaffel in Stalingrad, to the left is Alfred Grislawski's rudder from JG 50 in the Home Defense. Beneath each rudder is a three-foot long color profile by Claes Sundin of the aircraft which carried the rudder in question. In the middle a tailor's dummy with Hermann Graf's original leather flight jacket. Far left hangs Hermann Graf's original leather coat. In the middle on display is the Graf & Grislawski book in two copies--showing the front cover and the back cover.

Manfred Zaum of TG JG 52 in the "Nesthäkchen" Bf 109 cockpit after the inauguration of the rudder display.

The two rudders are displayed next to the Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-4 "Nesthäkchen"--an original JG 52 aircraft in original painting, which was lifted out of the Black Sea some years ago.

We wish to express our gratitude to everyone who has made this possible: Mr. Jürgen Grislawski, Mrs. Ilse Grislawski, Manfred Wägenbaur, Dipl. Ing. Manfred Lahyer of Technikmuseum Speyer & Sinsheim, Claes Sundin, Friedrich Presoli, Manfred Zaum, Mr. Tapken of the Wehrgeschichtsmuseum Rastatt, and the whole Traditionsgemeinschaft JG 52. / Christer Bergström, 28 June 2004

New update:

The original Karaya record has been discovered! Click here to read more about it--and maybe later, even listen to the song!

New updates coming soon:

* The story of the two rudders in World War II

* The story of how the two rudders made their way to Technikmuseum Speyer

* More photos and a coverage of the rudder display inauguration at Technikmuseum Speyer

* More on Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2 "Nesthäkchen"

* More on Technikmuseum Speyer & Sinsheim, the world's largest technical museum--a must to visit!

All photos by Christer Bergström, 25 June 2004.


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© Christer Bergström 2004