Hello Arto O,
In your posting of 17 Feb 2012, 20:25: you asked "which model exactly????" by the photo of a Jumo engined Messerschmitt Bf-109 with matricule of 6o70. In the following, the possible variants are narrowed down as much as can be known (by me) at present. The notes have been extended to cover all known matricules for the Bf-109s of J/88. This in not an attempt to hijack this string, but to show why I doubt the Bf-109 with matricule 6o70 was a Bf-109C model, as noted by Ironmachine in his posting above. I welcome any information that applies to the points, assumptions and speculations made below.
There are at least five more photos of this plane, seen from several view points. The plane in this photo was fitted with a gun in each wing. That detail determines it was either a C or D model. Per many sources only five C models were sent to Spain. The matricule range for Jumo engined Bf-109s of J/88 that were fitted with gun wings is currently known from photographs to have run from 6o59 through to 6o86, plus at least one out of sequence matricule of 6o95. Author J. A. Cerda has suggested there may have been other out of sequence assignments of matricules to Jumo engined Bf-109s of J/88.
The exact models of matricules 6o57, 6o58, 6o65, 6o77, 6o81 and 6o85 are unknown to me at the time of posting this. I have not seen a photo of those last four matricules, but most likely none were Diamler powered E model Bf-109s. Matricules 6o56 through to at least 6o19 were B models, excepting matricules 6o39, and 6o46 for which no photos are currently available to me. Matricules in the range of 6o87 through at least 6o93 were Diamler powered E models, as were matricules 6o98 through 6o131. I have not seen photos of matricules 6o94, 6o96, 6o97 or 6o103. Per J. A. Cerda photos of 6o103 and 6o46 do exist, leaving only eight matricules of the J/88 Bf-109 range for which I have no information at present (6o39, 6o65, 6o77, 6o81, 6o85, 6o94, 6o96 and 6o97). At present I assume matricules 6o39 and 6o46 were B models, 6o65, 6o77, 6o81 and 6o85 were C/D models and 6o94, 6o96, 6o97 and 6o103 were E models.
The first several Jumo engined Bf-109s sent to Spain were prototypes (Bf-109V), with matricules in the range of o6-1 to o6-3, and perhaps one or more of the range o6-4 to o6-6, as implied by one account. Other accounts list the range of Bf-109As as including matricules o6-4 through o6-16. The exact model of matricules 6o17 and 6o18 is in some doubt due to the exact count of Bf-109As claimed to have been sent to Spain, ranging in sources from 12 to 16 airframes. For what it is worth, a consensus of the sources available to me seems to indicate Bf-109Vs got matricules up to o6-3 and Bf-109As got o6-4 through to o6-16 (later remarked as 6o16). Bf-109Bs were marked as 6o17 to at least 6o56 and possibly through to 6o58. Available photos of 6o57 and 6o58 do not definitely show a gun wing was fitted to them.
Bf-109C/Ds got 6o59 to 6o86 and the odd 6o95. Bf-109Es got 6o87 to 6o131, less the one known out of sequence Bf-109C/D 6o95. Matricules for which I have no photos were ignored for this summary.
With 25 Jumo powered matricules known to have been fitted with gun wings and only five C models reported available, the odds favor this plane (matricule 6o70) as having been a D model by five to one. I am not aware of an external airframe feature allowing one to reliably determine between a C or D model. The Bf-109C models were reported to be trouble prone, supposedly resulting in a relatively short production run of that model.
Is there perhaps some connection between matricules 6o65, 6o77, 6o81, 6o85 (all with no known photos) and the randomly marked 6o95? Were the few Bf-109Cs shipped to Spain used on combat operations? Or were they held back due to technical faults and performance differences with the carburated engines of the A, B and D models still in operational service with J/88? I have three photos of 6o95, two of them show that plane parked among E models. Is it possible the reported C model engine problems were not resolved till the arrival of the E models with similar fuel injection equipment? Was V.J/88 reformed (or some similar grouping of the C models) upon their arrival to deal with fuel injection system issues, in preparation for the later arrival of the similarly equipped E models? V.J/88 was formed around the Bf-109Vs to debug the Bf-109 type before the anticipated arrival of enough Bf-109As to form a staffel.
Thank you for your time,