Hans Huckebein the Unlucky Raven

"This was the personal suit used by Lieutenant Colonel Gerhardt Lal, Commander of the 2nd Night Assault Regiment. Because of the excessive noise generated by the PK4 when utilized for ground attack operations it was decided to demobilize the regiment for 2 months while alternate tactics were developed, however, during this time the Lieutenant was able to destroy an AFS."

The 'Hababuk', a cartoon diving bird which was the symbol of both 5./JG26 and I. Stukageschwader 1, is the closest match I could find to the 2nd Night Assault Regiment emblem (though I suspect it has borrowed the bomb from the insignia for 9. Staffel, III. Gruppe, Sturzkampfgeschwader 77) ...

As I researched the background of these staffel emblems I came across an interesting quote ...

"All Staffeln aircraft carried emblems from late 1939 until they replaced their Bf 109E’s with FW 190’s in the Autumn of 1941. The 5th Staffel’s was one of the first chosen in the Geschwader. Oblt. Herwig Knueppel’s cartoon raven, Hans Huckebein, was popular in the Condor Legion."

Who was Hans Huckebein and what was Condor Legion? Turns out that Hans was the protagonist of an illustrated children's book, an unfortunate cartoon raven created by German painter/poet Wilhelm Busch in 1867.

Hans Huckebein (the unlucky raven) Prologue

"His ending moves me; only, mind,
A diff'rent one I can't envision.
He dies - for tragically designed
Was our hero's disposition.

There is a predetermined fate,
And fortune seems to be essential;
But how to act, how to relate
- that is his fault, not providential.

The moral, thus, remains unchanged
And is no empty declaration,
For if once more this world he ranged,

He'd be the same old aggravation."

Apparently the likeness of Hans Huckebien had been borrowed earlier by the Luftwaffe during the Spanish civil war by pilots of the Condor Legion.

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