Show Report

Photocall Wittmund 2008

Frits Jongerman | July 2008

We were invited by JG-71 ‘Richthofen’ flying with the mighty F-4F Phantom II from Wittmund Air Base, in the northern part of Germany. The reason was the special painted JG-71 Phantom and of course 50 years F-4 Phantom. Also WTD-61 at Manching (Test unit) had something to celebrate so they painted 37+16 in a very smart colour scheme.

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JG-74 at Neuburg said goodbye to the F-4F in June this year and painted 38+37 in a very nice colourscheme. So three special painted F-4F Phantoms at the ramp to photograph! The F-4F’s are replaced by the EF-2000 Eurofighter.

Four F-4F’s were parked at the ramp; the three special one’s and one ‘normal’ one. At the other side of the ramp; the history of JG-71 was parked outside; a Me-109, CL-13B Sabre and F-104G Starfighter. Also an A-4N from BAe was parked at the ramp. Blue skies and nice aircraft.

Also 37+11 was seen; this old FLZ F-4F from Hopsten AB (formerly JG-72) is painted in black colour scheme with a grey horse (the unit badge). When Hopsten was closed and FLZ F4F was inactivated, most F-4F’s were flown to Wittmund (and later to Jever to be scrapped). Some of them survived, like this nice one. It’s now preserved at the base.

Near the barracks (kaserne in German) in Wittmund town, another former JG-71 is preserved; the 38+14. This F-4F is very good to photograph.

37+11, F-4

37+16, F-4

37+16, F-4

37+89, F-4

38+37, F-4

38+37, F-4

38+49, F-4

38+49, F-4

38+49, F-4

38+55, F-4

50+69, C-160

-, F-4

N262WL, A-4

N431FS, A-4

After the photo shoot we decided to go outside and see the landing and departing aircraft. We were lucky with 4 flying A-4N’s from BAe (including the desert one). During the afternoon, the 37+16 from WTD-61 departed to this home base at Manching AB in the southern part of Gremany with callsign “Dixie 16”. A very low and smoky take off. Nice to see the markings at the upper side. Great take off! Also an QRA (Scramble) take off was seen and more arrivals from JG-71 Phantoms. During the morning one F-4F left Wittmund for ever; to Jever to be scrapped. This concerned the 38+64.

The photo opportunities around Wittmund AB will get worse; new fences will be placed (some already are). Also new infrastructure will be build because the arrival of the Eurofighter within a couple of years. After JG-74 at Neuburg, JBG-31 at Norvenich, now flying the Tornado IDS will convert to the Eurofighter. So, some years left for the mighty Phantom!

The numbers

37+16 F-4F WTD-61 “50 Jahre Flugerprobung” orange c/s
38+02 F-4F JG-71  
38+37 F-4F JG-74 goodbye colour scheme; now with JG-71
38+49/ ‘50’ F-4F JG-71 dark blue/gold colour scheme with ‘50’
12+ - Bf.109G-6/R6 5.II/JG-2 ex. Spain AF C.4K-134 *
JA-106 CL-13B JBG-71 camo
24+85 F-104G JG-71 camo
N268WL A-4N BAe grey c/s; ex. BuNo 159530 & IDAF 444

* after research by Peter Plomp (Dutch Wrecks and Relics) some more information about the HA.1112-M1L.. The plane was built in 1959 as a HA-1112-M1L with c/n 194 and serial C.4K-134 from 471 Esc. (Squadron) at Tablada Airbase, Spain. Later it was completely rebuilt as a Bf.109G-6/R6 with a DB.605 engine and complete original. Now it’s painted and marked as a by Erla built aircraft from 1943 with worknumber (werknummer) 27083 in the markings from 5.II/JG-2 (JG-2 was later renamed as JG-71). 5 Staffel II Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 2. this Bf.109 was shot down near St. Omer, France at October 20 1943 and was flown by Uffr. Heinz Hünig.

Flying/parked on base:
F-4F JG-71:
37+01, 37+63 (hangar), 37+75 (hangar), 37+85 (ex JG-74), 37+88, 37+92, 38+00, 38+26, 38+53, 38+55 (QRS), 38+57, 38+58, 38+64 (dep to Jever) 38+73, 38+74 (ex JG-74; QRA)

A-4N BAe:
N262WL (desert camo; ex. BuNo.159545 & IDAF 344), N431FS (blue/white; ex. BuNo. 159805& IDAF 305), N434FS (blue/white; ex. BuNo 159815 & IDAF 373), N437FS (blue/white; ex. BuNo 159078 & IDAF 335), N432FS (blue/white; hangar; ex. BuNo 159542 & IDAF 432)

50+69 C-160D LTG-61 arr/dep GF 304; euro-1 camo
Kaserne (on base) preserved:
20+86 F-104G JG-71 camo
JA-112 CL-13B JBG-71 camo
Wittmund town preserved:
38+14 F-4F JG-71 near traffic lights

I like to thank Public Affairs JG-71 ‘Richthofen’ for this event. Photoshoots or spottersdays are always great at Wittmund! The only Phantom in Germany left…

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