Tante Ju! The extraordinary Iron Annie!

Posted by on January 26, 2009

ju52_wpafb

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Known by various nicknames, including Iron Annie and “Tante Ju” (Auntie Ju), the Junkers Ju-52 as pictured above was THE German air transport workhorse during World War II.

With over 4,500 produced, this noteworthy aircraft served Germany France and even Spain in both military and civilian roles. With a capacity of 18 troops and up to 1,000 lbs of bombs this remarkable aircraft served its masters well, with some variants flying many years past their original production date.

Ju_52_Crete_AU

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Including actions on Crete as well as service with the famed Afrika Korps, this aircraft is quite remarkable.  Here’s a quote on the action in Crete:

“…The German paratroopers came to Rethymno shortly after 4.00 pm on 20 May 1941. Along the coast, between the villages of Perivolia and Stavromenos, a distance of some eight kilometres, 161 slow moving Junkers JU-52 transports from a height of 120 metres dropped 1500 men of Colonel Sturm’s 2nd Parachute Rifle Regiment. Private Tom Halliday of the 2/1st Australian Machine Gun Battalion watched the Junkers fly down the coast as his Vickers heavy machine gun went into action…” (3)

With a longevity similar to that of the famed DC-3, this aircraft you see above is currently serving the United States Air Force Museum at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base. This particular model has quite a history, serving both Germany as well as Spain before eventually coming to OHIO.

I’ve got some great links below, both to information on this series of aircraft as well as some excellent photos. Take a few minutes if you can and explore the links!

Have a great day!

Links:

FLICKR: Ju-52

Airliners.net JU-52

Wikipedia: Ju-52

Australia’s War 1939-1945

U.S. Air Force Printable Fact Sheet: Ju-52

Piercing the Fog!  (Google Books) (pg. 52)

Air Force Journal of Logistics (Google Books)

Strategy for Defeat (Google Books)

Sources:

(1) Me. WPAFB Outdoor Aircraft Display

(2) Image courtesy Australian World War II Archive. Australia’s War 1939-1945,  Main photo link here.

(3) Australia’s War 1939-1945

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