A highlight of the Technik Museum Speyer is to be able to see their original Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4 (Werk Nummer 19310) fighter in wartime livery and markings with its powerful Daimler-Benz DB 605A engine exposed too. It’s a beauty!
According to the museum 1,242 Bf 109G-4 variants were produced and this is the only remaining complete example, and one of only two original Bf 109’s in Germany that has a combat record. It was built in Vienna Neustadt in 1942 and operated as White 3 with 4./Jagdgeschwader 52 (JG 52 – 52nd Fighter Wing) on the Eastern Front.
JG 52 was the most successful fighter wing of all time reportedly amassing over 10,000 aerial victories flying variants of the Bf 109 during World War Two and included the top three Luftwaffe air aces, Erich Hartmann (352 victories), Gerhard Barkhorn (301 victories) and Günther Rall (275 victories). All three would later serve in the West German Air Force during the Cold War.
On March 20th, 1943 pilot Lieutenant von Koester suffered an engine issue and had to ditch the aircraft. It was not until 1987 that it was recovered and beginning in 1996, the restoration was completed in Italy (a complete restoration with the aid of parts from other aircraft). The restored aircraft was delivered to Speyer in June 2001. Speyer just happened to be a base for JG 52 in 1940.