ACE-205 Messerschmitt BF-109 E4, STAB/JG53 “PIK As”, Friedrich-Karl “Tutti” Muller, France 1940
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is a German Second World War fighter aircraft that was along with the Focke-Wulf FW 190, the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. The Bf 109 first saw operational service in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of WW2 in 1945. It was one of the most advanced fighters when it first appeared, with an all metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy and retractable landing gear.
It was called the Me 109 by allied aircrew and some German aces , even though this was not the official German designation.
Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG 53) was a Luftwaffe fighter wing of the Second World War. It operated in Western Europe and in the Mediterranean. It was better known as the “PIK As” (Ace of Spades) Geschwader, and was one of the oldest German fighter units of WW2, with its origins going back to 1937.
At the start of the war a high proportion of its personnel were experienced ex-Condor Legion pilots, including Werner Molders.
Friedrich-Karl “Tutti” Muller (Dec 25th 1916 – May 29th 1944) was a German fighter ace, and is credited with 140 aerial victories, claimed in more than 600 combat missions.
Initially volunteering for military service in the army in 1938, he completed flight training in 1939, and was posted to JG 53. Flying with this wing Muller claimed his first aerial victory on 27th May 1940 during the Battle of France. He was to claim his 100th aerial victory on the eastern front in 1942, and was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, on 23rd September 1942.
Muller was killed in a landing accident on 29th May 1944, and was posthumously promoted to Oberstleutnant.