December 3, 2022

Messerchmitt Bf-109 at Gulbarga

Seeing is believing! The unmistakable Nazi Cross on tail and the black cross on the fuselage shows the lineage of this aircraft, a Messerchmitt 109E which was found in Gulbarga, Karnataka. Photo: A A Laxman

Wait! did i read that right? Did it say "Messerchmitt"? MESSERCHMITT? As in WW2- German , As in Dr. Willi MESSERCHMITT? Is that a Swastika that I am seeing in that photo? My God! It is!

One of the unofficial features of the site was what I termed as a "Warbird discovery of the year" award. This was basically to signify the discovery of a hitherto unreported vintage aircraft of importance. In the year 2001, the ‘Award’ went to a gentleman who reported the derelict airframe of a Percival Prentice in Chennai. The Prentice was the only known example still surviving in India outside the Indian Air Force Museum. For the year 2002, I had only one nomination going on , A Firefly was reported to be on its way to restoration and display at INS Hansa in Goa. The decision was almost taken to appoint the Firefly as the ‘Warbird discovery of the year’ when one fine day in May, I received an email from Laxman Anataramu.

The Press coverage of the Me-109 Deal

The deal on the Messerschmitt is probably one of the most covered events in Indian Media about vintage aircraft ever. Though the first report came in the UK Magazine Aeroplane Monthly was a harmless report, the deluge of investigative reports started after India Today published its ‘scoop’. The case was still live and open as of 2007.

2007 Headlines

Hitlers Warbird remains untraced; accused charged Deccan Herald  27 Oct 2007 

2006 Headlines

CoD Probe into missing aircraft ‘taking off’ Deccan Herald – 25 Nov 2006
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Who stole the Indian Me-109 Strategy Page – 15 Nov 2006

Probe on missing aircraft intensified Deccan Herald – 06 Nov 2006

A Mystery behind the history plane Indian Express  – 04 Nov 2006
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge

Police yet to make headaway in missing plane caseThe Hindu 05 May 2006

Antique Fighter aircraft issue : Kanta for CBI Probe Deccan Herald  24 April 2006

2003 Headlines

Antique aircraft deal : Ex-Minister seeks CBI inquiryDeccan Herald  31 July 2003
‘Govt not pursuing vintage aircraft case’ The Hindu 01 April 2003

2002 Headlines

MagAPOct02Art.jpg (37108 bytes) AEROPLANE MONTHLY – October 2002
‘Messerschmitt Bf-109E uncovered in India.

MagITcover.jpg (13576 bytes) MagITpage01.jpg (16734 bytes) INDIA TODAY – November 4-11, 2002
‘Soaring Again’

109TH.jpg (9109 bytes) THE HINDU – November 8, 2002
‘CoD probe sought into sale of antique aircraft’

109TOI.jpg (9127 bytes) THE HINDU – November 8, 2002
‘Hitler’s warbird will stay in state’

109HT.jpg (18160 bytes) THE HINDU – November 8, 2002
‘IAF wants rare Hitler plane back’

109TOI2.jpg (13190 bytes) THE HINDU – November 8, 2002
‘Buyer of WW2 warplane vintage wings it to city’

109IE2.jpg (13351 bytes) THE HINDU – November 8, 2002
‘Police Hunt for Hyderabadi buyer of Nazi warplane’

BBC News World Edition
BBC WORLD ,   November 29, 2002
Indian Police in WW2 plane hunt

DECCAN HERALD LINK THE HINDU – November 8, 2002

PTI STORY

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