GENERAL DlETRICH HRABAK’S MESSERSCHMITT Bf 109 F-2 Artist’s Proof in the Aircraft of the Fighter Aces series
The AP denotes Artist’s Proof, from the private collection of the artist. These are the first 50 – 100 prints off the press once the artist has approved the color. As a result, these are highly collectible editions and cost a bit more than the limited edition signed and numbered editions.
Image size 15″ X 27″ overall
Limited edition of 950 s/n prints with 50 Artist Proofs. In addition to the artist’s signature each print is co-autographed by the pilot Generalmajor Dietrich Hrabak (Ret)
The Painting: This colorful machine was flown by Dieter Hrabak as Kommandeur of II./JG 54 Greenhearts July 1941. JG 54 was known for its innovative and non-standard camouflage, driving modern-day enthusiasts and modellers wild trying to pin down the exact colors. After studying some original color photos of II./JG 54 aircraft with the same type of camouflage, artist Jerry Crandall created this highly detailed profile.
The undersurfaces and fuselage sides RLM 76; top of fuselage along the spine, RLM 74 gray. A darker color around the canopy area is possibly RLM 66 or black-green 70. The streaky lines are RLM 70, black-green. The islands of color inside the streaks were thought to be RLM 02 gray but could be a gray like RLM 75. The front of the spinner is red and white with RLM 70 black-green on the rear portion and a white quarter section. The prop blades are RLM 70. Factory stencilling appears to be over-sprayed for the most part.
The port ride of the rudder has 24 victory bars in white and the starboard side shows 25 victory bars but have the tiny red stars or roundels indicating the nationality of each victory. The work number on the fin is W.Nr. 6773. Many 109 F-s had the glass triangle below the windscreen blocked off on the starboard side as this machine does. This aircraft does not have the shield over the port side exhaust stacks. Known and respected for his leadership abilities, Dietrich Hrabak tutored the leading Luftwaffe “Experts” like Hartmann, Barkhorn and others teaching them to fly with “their heads and not their muscles”. Hrabak was Kommandeur of II Gruppe JG 54 “Greenhearts” from August 1940. Then in November 1942, he was Kommodore of fighter wing JG 52 until October 1944 when he took charge of JG 54. Amazingly after more than 1000 combat missions and 125 victories, he never had to bail out. Although he crash-landed seven times, he was never wounded. General Hrabak ended the war Knight’s Cross holder with Oakleaves. He passed away September 15th, 1995.