The Luftwaffe's night-fighting campaign began in July 1940 when an RAF Whitley bomber fell to the guns of an Me110 flown by Werner Streib of the new, dedicated night-fighting unit NJG1. Their further successes led to other units being formed, but NJG1 always remained the most feared night force.
Equipped with the latest radar technology enabling a form of night vision, NJG1 caused terrible losses to the RAF's bomber aircraft and crews. The four highest-scoring night fighters were Werner Streib whose total was 65, Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein with 83, Helmut Lent on 102, and the greatest of them all, Heinz Wolfgang Schnaufer, who achieved 121. Another 'Experte' was Martin Drewes who took command of III/NJG 1 in March 1944. It is his aircraft that is depicted in this painting.
On the bright, moonlit night of 30th March 1944 more than 800 RAF bombers set off to raid Nurenberg. Martin Drewes, flying his Me110G, scrambled to meet them and was able to spot the first of his targets without using radar as it was silhouetted against the silvery clouds. He attacked the Lancaster, from the Australian 467 Squadron, using his 'Schräge-Musik'' upward firing guns and went on to shoot down a further two bombers before returning to base.
By dawn, 96 RAF aircraft had been shot down, which was the greatest loss suffered by Bomber Command on any one night in the entire war. By the end of the hostilities, NJG1 had achieved a sobering total of 2311 victories, making them by far the most potent night fighter unit."This is a very fine painting of my Me110, and I am pleased to see that it correctly shows my personalised 'MD' markings."
Martin Drewes KCOSignatures:
Martin Drewes Edition
Martin DREWES, KCO - NJG1 pilot
Anton HEINEMANN, KC - NJG2 radio operator
NJG 1 Aces Edition
Günther BAHR, KC pilot
Ludwig MEISTER, KC pilot
Martin DREWES, KCO pilot
Hubert RAUH, KC pilot
Wolfgang FALCK, KC pilot and Kommodore
Johannes RICHTER, KC radio operator
Georg-Hermann GREINER, KCO pilot
Friedrich RUMPELHARDT, KC radio operator