Messerschmitt Bf 109E 1190

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Messerschmitt Bf 109E 1190

Display at IWM Duxford recreating the scene in the photo below. This is how wrecked aircraft should be displayed in museums.


30th September 1940. Messerschmitt Bf109 1190, flown by Unteroffizier Horst Perez, was shot down by a Sptifire over Beachy Head. He was supposed to be escorting a bombing raid on London but failed to meet up with the bombers.

There are a few details regarding this German fighter and its pilot on a plaque by the display. But a spot of digging around reveals how, possibly, this Bf 109 came to be recovered in such good shape.

Uffz Perez crash landed his aircraft in the late afternoon of what turned out ot be the last day of the Luftwaffe’s big daylight air raids on London. There were two such attacks on London that day but the growing confidence of the RAF – and the drop in morale of the Luftwaffe airmen – resulted in both raids turning back before they could reach London. It marked a turning point in the battle.

Whether Uffz Perez genuinely couldn’t find the attacking bomber stream, I don’t know. But his Bf109 wasn’t shot down – according to the Air Ministry report at the time, there were no bullets found in the wreck. Air ace Sgt Donald Kingaby of 92 Squadron was credited with ‘damaging’ the plane and that there was an engine failure during the dogfight. It is possible though, that Uffz Perez, an inexperienced pilot up against the flying elite, lost his nerve and landed when he could have fought on. The report noted Uffz Perez “was not sure of himself” and was asking questions about his friends whom he had recently lost.

Whatever the cause of his crash landing, he met with a hostile reception. Upon climbing from the cockpit he was shot in the hand and jaw by an over enthusiastic member of the Home Guard. Uffz Perez surrendered to a P.C. Walter Hyde and was taken prisoner.

Such a reaction by those on the ground was perhaps understandable; just a few days before in Kent, what remains the last fight against foreign intruders on British soil took place at the ‘The Battle of Graveney Marsh’, a grand name for an exchange between some British soldiers and the machine gun armed crew of a downed Junkers 88 which resulted in one German airman being shot in the foot… and then they all went for a pint in the pub.

For photos and more about the Battle of Graveny Marsh, please see this news story.

33 comments on “Messerschmitt Bf 109E 1190
  1. C J Paul (chris) says:

    Classic shot Ian I agree mate it would be brilliant to see them in museum.

  2. mick cooke says:

    great info ian and a great photo

  3. rob of rochdale says:

    When I saw the propeller blades as a kid, I thought they had been bent in a crash

  4. nondesigner59 says:

    Fabulous editing and info..

  5. **Hazel** says:

    Agreed Ian, they should be in museums with the information about the catastrophe and the casualties well documented not high on mountain tops where they could be forgotten!!

  6. Richard Tierney says:

    Agree superb editing Ian… picking out the colour from a mono image later…. I cannot see the joins specially around the dummy soldier… Excellent.. I think I will have to take some lessons off you :-)))

  7. Stezzer says:

    Fabulous shot, and work on the selective colouring, at first I did not even realise it was selective until I saw the other folk in the background. Imagine shooting yourself in the foot, then going to the pub ^_^ love it 🙂

  8. stopherjones says:

    Great series you’ve got going on here, the colouring really helps lift them out of the museum

  9. Tech Owl says:

    Yes fabulous work indeed Ian – great explanation again. It really brings the image to life.

  10. amyrey says:

    Interesting interpretation of this display. I’ve got lots of pics of it myself, but you have managed an element of orginality to a much photographed subject.

  11. pasujoba says:

    Terrific work Ian . Yes this does it justice . So much better than the usual junk collections . Those vids are great too ! Dads Army , timeless and classy !

  12. bandman12 says:

    super bit of history, and nice to preserve it here with your photos of what actually remains of that day. nicely highlighted colour too

  13. f3liney says:

    Superb use of selective colour Ian.
    Works well.

  14. andyholmfirth says:

    What a story.Such a stroke of good fortune to land intact and be on display all these years later.

  15. SolarScot. says:

    it does make it more life like

  16. cgullz says:

    i tot agree with you regarding the display style! how to make history rewarding for modern viewers, make it more ‘real’. cool story, great info. great selective here too, all round superb work again Ian.

  17. GOR44Photographic says:

    Very nice processing and comp

  18. steiner2009 "AKA Dr Dust " says:

    fantastic , love the selective colour .
    sorry been away with work a lot , so having to catch up in drips and drabs , that and trying to get plenty of urbex in whilst i get the chance 🙂

  19. bill_fawcett says:

    Superb photo editing and another interesting narrative!

  20. sixty8panther says:

    1.) Yes, I agree 100%, this is exactly how the Bf109 should stay forever. Perfect, & realistic. This aircraft needs no restoration as it’s exactly how it should look, with the exception of he missing pieces (lower cowl, propeller cone etc.) which might not exist anymore.

    2.) When you write "…and then they all went for a pint in the pub" do you mean the British Home Guard AND the Germans had a few drinks together? That would be funny and also a good example of the absurdity of the human condition.


    I watched the YouTube video. That is seriously one of the best true stories I’ve ever heard.
    I’m just shocked that with all I’ve read on the topic, (WWII & B.o.B.) I have never heard of it.

  21. Benoit Foisy says:

    Again, excellent work! History teachers should invite you to talk about your work.

  22. Deputy Don says:

    I second all those comments! And how appropriate that the pub the guys took the Dornier crew to for a pint was called The Sportsman!

  23. Ian D B says:

    [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

    Many thanks everyone, apologies for the lateness of my reply to your thoughtful comments.
    I liked the story too about the Germans and the Tommies going for a pint. As Don says, very fitting the pub was the Sportsman!

  24. PeaceLoveScoobie says:

    That’s a great story. Maybe they played a few games of darts too.

  25. g a r y e a s o n p h o t o g r a p h y says:

    Nicely done. What I don’t understand is why is the scene is said to be "recreated" in the museum with a bright yellow nose cowling – which the one in the original photo very obviously doesn’t have ? (I don’t mean the missing spinner).

  26. Ian D B says:

    Ha! Yes good point, it doesn’t look yellow does it? I have no idea what colour the nose should be but it certainly doesn’t look yellow, so far as it is possible to determine that from the mono image.

  27. Richard Todd says:

    This is not regarding the story but the airplane . The 109 in the B.W. pic is an E-3 model , cutting edge during the B.O.B. . It has a dark color on the cowling and a rounded canopy . There are wing cannon and cowl machine guns visible , it has the symbol of JG 26 , a stylized S on the fuselage , it probably has light blue sides and under sides and greenish splinter camo wing tops and top of the fuselage .The 109 in the museum is also a 109 E-3 undoubtably the same one but there are some differences . The cowl and perhaps the whole plane has been repainted to look more like a standard paint theme of that era the prop spinner cap and nose cowl are gone ,it seems the interior is partly missing and the wing cannon and cowl machine guns have been removed . The plane is in amazing condition and very rare . In the original picture there is a lot of smoke stain on the fuselage coming fom the exhaust , it looks like it was burning some oil but that is pretty standard for a 109 . As to why he bellied in I don’t know but they probably got some good info out of him without him ever realizing it .

  28. John W. WAUD says:

    Unteroffizer Horst Perez was taken as a POW to Camp X=Angler in Ontario Canada. His Prisoner No was 19287 and in 1941 he wrote to a relative possibly his wife or Mother, at Branderburger Str. 38 1 Breslau 13. I have his POW Letter sheet,as a Philatelic item in my collection.

  29. Keith Williams says:

    Re: The yellow nose colour… was definately yellow,the reason it looks a dark colour in the B/W photo is because they took the photo with non panchromatic film, another photo of it in more modern B/W film shows the nose to look a light creamy colour, I have both photo’s. It was definately yellow.

  30. Bruno Albert says:

    I have a friend who has the metal identification tag of this airplane. the airplane was near Ottawa Canada in a junk yard and supposed to be send to scrap yard and as a kid he asked for a souvenir.
    I have taken the tag in my hands with emotion.
    he was planning to bring it to the museum.

  31. Nigel Cracknell says:

    I love this thread and I’m learning a lot about this aircraft and its pilot!
    Does anyone know the squadron codes of Sgt Kingaby’s 92 Sqn Hurricane at the time he shot down Perez’s Bf 109?

    I’m creating a model diorama of the moments before the 109 belly landed.

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