Image size: 1305 x 1600 pixel. 497 KB
Date: Thursday, 1 October 1942
Place: Krasnowardeisk airfield, Kharkov, Ukraine (Soviet Union)
This picture show one of the pilots who flew in the shadows of the aces. He is Unteroffizier Gerhard Proske of 1.Staffel / Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54) near the tail of his Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2 “Weiße 7”, Werknummer 10411. Note Gruppe and Geschwader emblem under the cockpit. Picture taken on 1 October 1942 on Krasnowardeisk airfield. Until this day Unteroffizier Proske, who had joined I.Gruppe/JG 54 during spring of 1941, accumulated 20 claims. Some of them while flying as Katschmarek (wingman) of Gruppenkommandeur Hauptmann Erich von Selle (2 July 1941 – 14 December 1941) and Hauptmann Franz Eckerle (14 December 1941 – 14 February 1942. KIA). Gerhard Proske was awarded the Eisernes Kreuz I.Klasse and Frontflugspange in Bronze. Also note the fur lined trousers. On 30 January 1944 Feldwebel Gerhard Proske (take-off 08:30 hours with Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 “Gelbe 1”, Werknummer 550899) was shot down by Russian fighters together with newcomer Obergefreiter Helmut Wilhelm (Fw 190 A-5 “Gelbe 2”, Werknummer 304719) during a familiarisation flight over the front area of Vitebsk-Boburisk. He was taken prisoner and return to Germany after the war. He accumulated a total 29 victory claims.
Luftwaffe im Focus - Edition No.1 2002