Corgi AA36714 Junkers Ju-88C-6 R4+HH Gerhard Bohme 1./NJG.2 Catania Sicily 1942 1/72
Junkers Ju-88C-6, R4+HH, Gerhard Bohme, 1./NJG.2, Catania, Sicily 1942
Undoubtedly one of the most effective aircraft types operated by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, the Junkers Ju 88 was developed as a speedy 'Schnell Bomber', but it was flexible enough to become arguably the most useful German aircraft of the entire war. In its C-6 variant configuration, the Junkers had been optimised for the heavy fighter role, easily making the transition to supporting the Luftwaffe's nightfighter force. Initially, single-engined fighters were used to defend German territory at night, however, due to the limitations of the German night defence network, they had neither the range nor firepower to pose a serious threat to British night intruders. The Junkers Ju 88, however, was a very different proposition, with its size, speed and firepower making this the consummate nocturnal hunter and many a Bomber Command aircraft would fall prey to their guns. The Luftwaffe airfield at Catania on Sicily was the principle airfield in the region and was used as the staging point for many Axis airborne operations across the Mediterranean and into North Africa. The airfield was also home to the nightfighting Junkers Ju 88 heavy fighters of I./NJG2, even though their fighters were regularly deployed across the entire Mediterranean Theatre. This aircraft was recalled to Catania during the Summer of 1942, presumably to provide night defence support for the proposed Axis invasion of Malta, as increased Allied night air incursions were expected.