The first Bf-109G “Gustav” entered service in March 1942. New features were a pressurized cockpit with three larger guns mounted on the nose and none on the wings but could be field mounted. The Bf-109G could overheat causing oil leaks; starting a fire forcing the pilot to bail out. The Gustav was produced in many variants including long-range fighters, recon fighters and bomber destroyers. The Bf-109G-6 lacked a pressurized cockpit but was the most numerous Bf-109 produced and the first to carry 13mm machine guns; equivalent to the American 50 caliber Browning.
German Ace Gerhard “Gerd” Barkhorn didn’t score his first victory until his 120th mission on July 2, 1941 over the Eastern Front. On September 1, 1943 at Kharkov Ukraine Barkhorn became Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 52 and led it until January 15, 1945. In September 1943 he shot down 15 aircraft and by the end of 1943 had accumulated a total of 222 victories. He recorded his 301st, and last, victory on January 5, 1945 and along the way he himself was shot down 9 times and wounded twice.