Aviation art ~ Bf109 ~ Helmut Wick
ONE TOO MANY
Original Pencil Drawing, Size 22 x 16 inches, Private collection
Helmut Wick was a remarkable natural marksman, with a gift for keeping track of events around him. If he had a fault, it was impetuosity, which often led him to tangle with the better-turning Spitfires and Hurricanes. It was to become his downfall.
On the afternoon of 28th November 1940 Helmut Wick, Commander of JG2 'Richtofen' Geschwader, scored his 55th victory over the Isle of White. He was playing a dangerous game with Werner Molders and Adolf Galland. It was a competition to see who could score the most! At this point Wick had drawn level with Galland and was ahead of Molders, but on his return to his French base he learned that Galland had claimed his 55th kill. Wicks ordered his aircraft to be refuelled and rearmed. At 1530 hours that afternoon, Wick led his Stabschwarm over the English Channel. Near the Isle of White they met Spitfires of 609 squadron. Wick soon scored his 56th kill and became the highest scoring fighter ace.
Wick's victory was to be shortlived as a Spitfire, flown by Flight Lieutenant John Dundas attacked, taking Wick by surprise. Wick's Bf 109 was doomed. Unfortunately for Dundas, he was unaware that Rudi Pflanz, Wick's Kacmarek or wingman, had come to protect his Commander. Dundas fell to enemy fire almost immediately. Neither Wick or Dundas were recovered from cold waters of the English Channel. Pflanz eventually scored 52.