Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 "Yellow 1" Oblt. Gerhard Schopfel, Staffelkapitan 9/JG26, Caf�ers, France, August 1940
By the early stages of the Battle of Britain, Luftwaffe pilot Gerhard Schopfel had already achieved the status of �ghter ace, but during August 1940, he was to increase his victory tally signi�cantly. His most successful day came on the 18th August, whilst leading an independent hunting patrol of Messerschmitt Bf 109E �ghters across southern England. Whilst over the Folkestone area, he spotted the Hurricanes of No.510 Squadron climbing out of Hawkinge, but rather than immediately attacking the RAF �ghters, Schopfel and his wingman dived underneath the aircraft to approach from their blind spot. Unnoticed by the Hurricanes, Schopfel shot down the two tail-end-Charlies, expecting to see the remaining aircraft immediately breaking for cover, but they carried on their course. He managed to shoot down a further two Hurricanes, including the aircraft of RAF aces Donald McKay and Kenneth Lee, who both managed to successfully bale out of their stricken �ghters.