SH72472 Messerschmitt Bf 109E ‘Slovak and Rumanian Aces’ in 1/72

It is an exciting new reboxing of our super-detailed 1/72 Emil indeed crammed with unique-looking colour schemes and markings. Two of the machines portrayed here flew on strenght of the Slovak Air Force, the other two a bit more south with the Romanian military. And not just the schemes look tempting, the fates of the pilots who flew the machines are worth mentioning. More in the instruction booklet or just now below.

Scheme A

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, No.9, W.Nr. 2486, ‘Hai Fetito!’, Lt. Av. Ioan Di Cesare, Escadrila 57, Grupul 7  Vânătoare, Aeronautica Regala Romana (Royal Romanian Air Force), based at Karpovka-Stalingrad, occupied part of the USSR,  November 1942. Ioan Di Cesare had an Italian father and a Romanian morher. During WW2, he scored 16 confirmed and 3 unconfirmed victories and besides other decorations, he was also awarded the Order of Michael the Brave – Ordinul Mihai Viteazul. Di Cesare was also among the last Romanian fighter pilots to have managed to escape from the Stalingrad cauldron. After the war had ended, Di Cesare was imprisoned for political reasons. The Securitate, or the Romanian Secret Police, kept an extensive file on him. After the fall of the communist regime in Rumania, he became a president of the Romanian Aviation League - Liga Aeriană Română as well as a president of the Association of the Knights of the Order of Michael the Brave - Asociației Cavalerilor Ordinului ‘Mihai Viteazul’. Di Cesare also led the monarchist political party. On 10 August 2021, he died at the age of 96, a true legend of the Romanian aviation.  The aircraft he had flown at war had been dubbed by the name of his racing mare, had the name on their nose sections and initials under the canopy. The bf 109E portrayed here, which was eventually destroyed in a Soviet offensive, had been seen wearing both a roundel and a cross beneath the wing at the same time. Whilst the fin markings denote air-to-air kills, the five stripes on the port side fuselage stand for aircfart destroyed on the ground.

Scheme B

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7 (rebuilt from an E-3), No.64, W.Nr. 704, ‘Nella!’, Adj. Av. Tiberiu Vinca, Escadrila 56, Grupul 7  Vânătoare, Aeronautica Regala Romana (Royal Romanian Air Force), Karpovka-Stalingrad, occupied part of the  USSR, Winter 1942. Vinca was a teacher by profession, but he had always longed to become a pilot. He started his pilot training in 1937 and got his pilot wings in 1940. During the Second World War, he accumulated 13 victories. In the winter of 1942, during the evacuation of the Karpovka airfield during an ongoing Soviet tank attack, he managed to squeeze one mechanic into his cockpit and a second one into the rear fuselage and took off, saving the lives of both of them. Vinca was killed on 13 March 1944 (other sources say a day earlier) in the cockpit of his Bf 109G, due to a friendly fire from the formation of German He 111 bombers.

Scheme C

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, White 2, probably  W.Nr. 2945, čtk. Ján Režnák, Slovenské vzdušné zbrane, (Slovak Air Force) 13. (slow.)/JG52, based at Krasnodar, occupied part of the USSR, January 1943. Razňák’s final tally stood at 32 victories which ensured him the position of the most scoring fighter pilot of the SVZ. Only by coincidence, Rezňák did not take part in the Slovak National Uprising and so after the 1948 communist coup, he was kicked out of the force and degraded to a mere reserve soldier. He went on flying as a civilian pilot until 1951 when the state security confiscated his pilot licence. It became possible only after the 1989 Velvet Revolution and the split up of Czechoslovakia  that Rezňák was in 1997 eventually promoted to the rank of Lieutenant of the reserve. He passed away in the town of Martin, on 19 September 2007. During its flying career, Bf 109E-3 White 2 was seen wearing several various colour schemes and markings. After the rearming of the 13.(slow)/JG52 to the Bf 109F, Rezňák’s old mount got back to Slovakia where it went on to be flown by several other SVZ ace pilots such as P.Zeleňák, R.Božík (both in the USSR and in Slovakia, Š.Mariš and F.Brezina (in Slovakia). In 1944, when the aircraft flew on the strength of a Piešťany air base training unit, it fell to the hands of the German Wehrmacht.

camo D

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7, White 1, rtk. Rudolf Božík, Scramble Flight, Slovenské vzdušné zbrane (Slovak Air Force), Vajnory airfield, the Slovak State, 1943/44. Rudolf Božík, a Slovak Air Force ace pilot with 12 and ½ victories under his belt, did not have only Soviet aircraft on his tally. On 13 April, 1943 near Podunajske Biskupice, he was forced to return fire onto a German Bf 110 as the rear gunner started firing first. The Bf was shot down, Božík claiming the opponent was a B-24 Liberator instead.  Božík also damaged a B-17 bomber later, during a famous and alsmost suicide attack of the Scramble Flight against a box of US bombers. In the Slovak National Uprising period, Božík got another two and a half kills, that time it was German planes. After the war, Božík went on serving with the military up until 1958 when the communists cleaned up the army from the soldiers who had fought agains the Soviets and these were forced to leave. A decade earlier,paradoxically,  the same thing happened to the ex-RAF pilots who had been fighting the Nazis in the war, and who most often ended up in communist jail for fabricated offenses. Božík was eventually rehabilitated in 1970 and at first promoted to major, lt.colonel and finally to the rank of the colonel of the reserves.  He passed away in Piešťany on 27 June 2000.


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