FW 190 A-8 W.Nr 960 677 'Blue 14 + -' of Uffz. Gerhard Behrens, 8./J.G. 1, St. Denis Westrem, near Ghent, Belgium, 1 January 1945 (Stanislaw Bochniak via Franek Grabowski)
This photo, from the album of Stanislaw Bochniak, depicts the fate of 8./J.G. 1's Uffz. Gerhard Behrens and his FW 190A-8 'Blue 14 + -'. Behrens was the first and only victim of F/O. Tadeusz Szlenkier, a Polish Spitfire pilot. Gerhard Behrens was killed in the crash at St. Denis Westrem airfield in northern Belgium during Operation Bodenplatte.
On 1 January 1945, the II. Gruppe of J.G. 1 had taken off from Drope, near Lingen, to attack the Allied airfield at St. Denis Westrem, while the Geschwaderstab, I. and III./J.G. 1 attacked other nearby targets. The attacks by the unit were very costly in aircraft and pilots. Gerhard Behrens was one of twenty-four J.G. 1 pilots killed or missing in Unternehmen Bodenplatte. In return, J.G. 1 claimed destruction of 32 Spitfires.
Behrens' aircraft, a Norddeutsche Dornier-built machine, had left the Wismar factory in mid-December 1944, and had gone straight to II./J.G. 1. Another machine of this block, FW 190 A-8 W.Nr 960 547 'Blue 10 + -' piloted by Fw. Paul Mayr of 8./J.G. 1, was also lost on 1 January 1945, and it carried the red Reichsverteidigung fuselage band of the Geschwader. Therefore, it seems almost certain that Behren's aircraft also carried this marking.
This photo is a sad reminder of the fate of so many pilots in World War II - German and Allied. While successful pilots were toasted as heros, their victims were too often forgotten.
 B. Barbas, Planes of the Luftwaffe Fighter Aces Volume 1, Kookaburra Technical Publications, Melbourne, 1985, p.32
 N. Beale, 'Geschwader Identification Bands', in B.C. Rosch (ed.), Luftwaffe Verband #22, April 2000, p.8
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