Aufkl. Gr. 122 Apr 1943

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During the summer of 1943 FaGr 122 was driven back to Frosinone, on the Italian mainland, by repeated attacks on it’s Sicilian bases.

2 Apr 1943 – 1(F)./122 received 6 Bf 109G-4/R3s this date with orders to base them at Elmas, since this was the only airfield on Sardinia that had a runway long enough for Bf 109 photo recce variants outfitted with auxilliary fuel tanks.[1]

05/06 Apr 1943 - Two He 111s from Sonderkommando Koch were attached to Stab (F)./122 for anti-shipping night patrols off the Tunisian east coast.[2]

7 Apr 1943 – Hptm. Lothar Otto had a narrow escape on this day when a fire started in one of the engines of Ju 88D-1 (1693).

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
7 Apr 1943 3(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 1693 Force landed at St-Remis en l’Eau due to engine fire, 100%, Hptm. Otto, St.Kap, injured.

8 Apr 1943 - 4(F)./122 performed another photographic sortie to the airfield at Alder.(target Code SU 10 3735.)[3]

11 – 19 Apr 1943 – 1(F)./122 and 2(F)./122 continued sorties to the Algerian coast.

11 Apr 1943 - 1(F)./122 sent a sortie to the Algiers – Bone area. O

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
11 Apr 1943 1(F)./122 Ju 88A-4 F6+TH Failed to return from the Algiers-Bone area, 100%,4 MIA Shot down 120miles N of Bone by Spitfires of 87 Sqdn while they were on Convoy patrol.*

12 Apr 1943 – 4(F)./122 conducted operations over the Kuban Bridgehead. 2 Ju 88D-ls (F6+IM and NM) Failed to return from recce missions over the Kuban bridgehead area, 100%, 8 crew MIA. British 8th Army take Sousse in Tunisia. 1(F)./122 sends sorties to the Algiers – Bone area of North Africa.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
12 Apr 1943 1(F)./122 Ju 88D-1trop F6+AH Failed to return from the Bone-Algiers area, 100%, 4 MIA.
12 Apr 1943 4(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+IM 430368[4] Failed to return from recce missions over the Kuban bridgehead area, 100%. All four of the crew were recorded as missing, they were:-

Uffz. Otto Heyer (F), Ofw. Wolfram Hübach (B), Uffz. Franz Szyka (Bf) and Ofw. Alois Neumüller (Bs).[4]

12 Apr 1943 4(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+NM 430279[4] Failed to return from recce missions over the Kuban bridgehead area, 100%. All four of the crew were recorded as missing, they were:-

Uffz. Walter Beck (F), Stbfw. Erich Neumann (B), Uffz. Walter Faßbender (Bf) and Obgfr. Karl Huß (Bs).[4]

13 Apr 1943 5(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+VN Failed to return from a sortie east of Lake Ilmen, , 100%, Gruko of FAGr.1 Obstlt Friedrich-Karl Prager (B), Fw Heinz Schuster(F), Fw Heinz Singelmann (Bf) and Ofw. Paul Pütsold (Bm) all MIA.[4]
14 Apr 1943 4(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+HM 1257 Failed to return from a sortie along the North Caucasian coast, 100%, .4 KIA.

17 Apr 1943 – Stab./122 was ordered to transfer from Trapani to Frosinone/C Italy as was 2(F)./122.

2(F)./122 left a small detachment (Kommando) behind at Trapani with 2 Me 210s. All of 2.(F)/122's Ju 88s were to go initially to Grottaglie for servicing by IV./KG 54 and the 2 other Me 210s assigned were to go to Chinisia/Italy.[5]

3(F)./122 sent out Ju 88D-1 (w/nr 430646) from Creil on a convoy reconnaissance sortie off the English East Coast. The plane was crewed by Oblt. Herbert Schulz, Ofw.Hans Mueller, Uffz Walter Eppel and Uffz Hans-Joachim Weidemüller. About 6 km north of Ostend it was repeatedly attacked by a Spitfire flown by F/O Hogarth of 41 Sqdn RAF, both aircraft suffered damage – the German ditched in the sea while the British one returned to base.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
17 Apr 1943 3(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+ 430646 Damaged in combat and ditched in the Channel off 10Km Oostende/Belgium. Reportedly attacked four times by an RAF Spitfire. 100%, Oblt. Herbert Schulz (Beob) + Uffz Hans Weidemüller (BS) both WIA.[6]

19 Apr 1943 - Sortie despatched by 2(F)./122 to French North Africa.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
19 Apr 1943 2(F)./122 Me 210 F6+ZK 100221[7] Failed to return from a sortie to the Algerian coastal area, 100%, 2 MIA.[8] </sup>See footnote, on 19th April F/L Alexander Hendry Thom 'B' Flt Cdr 87 Sqn claimed a Me210 over Tunisia. Uffz Erich Förster (F) and Gefr. Adolf Hahn (Bf) both recorded as MIA.[9] </sup>

19 Apr 1943 – Various sorties to Algeria, Straits of Sicily, including one from 1(F)./122 to Algiers and Cap SeratO.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
19 Apr 1943 1(F)./122 Ju 88D-1trop F6+NH 430842 Sortie despatched from Sardinia to the North African Coast. On the return journey low fuel levels caused the plane to be put down in a wheat field at Muro village, Mallorca – having failed in an attempted landing at the airfield at Alcudia, Menorca. The crew Uffz. Fritz Riedel, Uffz. Egon Paul, Uffz. Rudolf Theime and Uffz Herbert Kubik were repatriated two days later. The aircraft sustained severe damage to its engines and underbelly in the crash.
19 Apr 1943 1(F)./122 Ju 88D-1trop F6+LH 430428 Failed to return from the Algerian coast and Cap Serat, 100%, the crew were listed as missing, they were:- Oblt. Bohlens (F), Geffr. Kubiak (B), Uffz. Masser (Bf) and Uffz. Haring (Bs).[10]

22 Apr 1943 – 5(F)./122 photographed Babino and Okulovo on the Wolchov southeast of Leningrad.(60.02N/32.20E)[11]

On this day 4(F)./122 photographed the fishing port/fish processing facilities at Atchujewski (Acheuvo) on the southeast coast of the Asowsches Meer (Sea of Asov). (Target code SU 97 20021, Pl. Qu. 34 Ost 76422).[12]

In addition 4(F)./122 also sent an aircraft to photograph (at 1555 Hours) Soviet naval ships berthed in Gelendshik Bucht (Gelendzhik Bay, Black Sea). (Target code SU 97 21021, Pl Qu. 34 Ost 85371). The photos recorded “2 R-Boote, 6 S-Boote, 3 Küfa and 2 Lastkähne” plus 25 sundry vessels.[13]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
23 Apr 1943 4(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+PM Failed to return from a sortie over Novorossisk, Caucasus, 100%, 4 MIA.
24 Apr 1943 4(F)./122 Ju 88A-4 140477[14] Aircraft destroyed by bombs during Russian air raid on Fp. Sarabus, 100%.

24/25 Apr 1943 – Aufkl Gr. 122 despatched 1 Ju88 in company with two He111s from KG 26 on a night overwater reconnaissance sorte to the western Mediterranean. This sortie departed at 2108 and landed at 06.15.[15]

Earlier that day ( at 1315 hrs ) a single Ju 88 had been sent out to perform a coastal recce of Algiers and the Alboran Sea, this landed at 19.31 hrs having not sighted any enemy shipping.169

25 Apr 1943 – Aufkl Gr. 122 despatched 1 Ju88 at 06.25 on a weather recce sortie to the western Mediterranean returning early at 07.25 due to engine trouble.

1.(F)/122 sent out one Ju 88 at 07.50 for a coastal recce flight over the western Med/Alboran Sea area landing at 15.00 with no sightings reported.[15]

1 Staffel also despatched another Ju 88 and 15.40 for a recce sortie of the North African Coast between Algiers and Bône, the aircraft returned at 19.52.[15]

4(F)./122 sortie to an airfield identified as Armawir I (41.07E/44.58N) was overhead at 13.30hrs.[16]


26 Apr 1943 - Aufkl Gr. 122 despatched 1 Ju88 at 06.25 on a weather recce sortie to the western Mediterranean returning at 12.58.

1.(F)/122 sent a single Ju 88 to Oran taking off at 06.45. However, due to the weather conditions the mission was not successfully completed, the plane landed at 12.35.[15]

1.(F)/122 also despatched 2 Me 109s at 11.20 to cover the following Algerian ports:- Bougie, Djidelli, Phillipeville and Bône. Only reconnaissance of Bône airfield and Les Salines was accomplished successfully.[15]

Later in the day a coastal reconnaissance sortie was again sent out by 1(F)./122 covering the area between Phillippeville and Cap Serrat – this Ju 88 departed at 16.25 and returned at 19.02 having successfully completed it’s mission.[15]

26-27 Apr 1943 – At 20.10 a Ju 88 recce sortie was despatched covering a wide area – Bône-Bizerta-Sicily- Sardinia returning at 02.10 hrs without sighting anything. A further sortie was ordered off at 20.17 returning at 01.31 hrs also having sighted nothing.[15]

At 01.45 Aufkl. Gr. 122 sent out a Ju 88 on a sea-recce sortie to the south and southeast covering the Tunisian coast. This was carried out successfully until about 03.00, unfortunately at that point the radar failed and the plane returned, landing at 04.35.[15]

27 Apr 1943 – A Ju 88 of Aufkl. Gr 122 was sent out on a weather recce flight covering the region between Sardinia and the Straits of Sicily – departing at 06.23 hrs and returning at 08.55 hrs.

1(F)./122 sent out a sortie at 09.00 – the mission was a recce of Oran, however, the plane returned early landing at 09.45 due to engine problems.[15]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
27 Apr 1943 4(F)./122 Ju 88A-4 2360[17] Aircraft crash landed at Fp. Sarabus in heavy fog, 70%.

28 Apr 1943 - 1(F)./122 sent out one Ju 88 to the Alboran Sea off Algiers, taking off at 07.35 and returning at 14.26 without reporting anything of significance.[15]

A further Ju 88 sortie was sent from Sicily to the Bône – Algiers coastal area, this departed at 09.50 and returned at 13.55 having successfully completed it’s mission.[15]

A Ju 88 of Aufkl. Gr 122 was sent out, at 06.25, on a weather recce flight to the western Mediterranean. It returned at 12.00, but due to heavy fuel consumption it only partly accomplished the mission.[15]

Another Ju 88 of Aufkl. Gr 122 was sent out, at 16.27, to Pl.Qu. 13E 4984 in search of a submarine but returned at 19.00 without a sighting.

28/29 Apr 1943 – Two Ju 88s were sent out on an over-water recce sortie to the South-South-East. One set out at 20.12 and the other at 02.15. The first aircraft had to break-off from it’s mission due to engine trouble and returned at 20.32. The second aircraft returned at 06.46 having successfully completed it’s sortie.

29 Apr 1943 – 1(F)./122 was engaged in tracking the movements of the RN battleships HMS Nelson and HMS Rodney together with 6 lesser warships that had just passed Gibraltar headed into the Mediterranean.[18] One Ju 88 was sent out on an over water reconnaissance sortie departing at 08.28 hrs and returning at 16.25 hrs. A second Ju 88 was sent out at 13.10 hrs but failed to find the warships due to the weather conditions, it returned at 19.30 hrs.[19]

3(F)./122 despatched a number of sorties, one of which was a combined oversea training flight and check of German minefields .[20]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
29 Apr 1943 3(F)./122 Ju 88 Shot down by 486 Sqdn Typhoons south of the Isle of Wight.
29 Apr 1943 3(F)./122 Ju 88 F6+KL 6380921 Attacked by an enemy fighter and shot down into the sea, 20km to the west of the island of Terschelling (NW of Holland), where it exploded. Uffz. Rudolf Wolf (F), Lt Gerd Listing (Beob), Uffz Felix Weiner (Bf) and Uffz Richard Becker (Bs) all killed.

29/30 Apr 1943 – (F)./122 despatched a single Ju 88 on a sortie to the Tunisian coast – it set off at 20.25 hrs returning at 23.07 hrs.[21]

30 Apr / 1 May 1943 - Operating under II. Fliegerkorps, a Ju 88 of 1.(F)/122 took off at 16:35 and landed at 20:36 after undertaking sea reconnaissance to the coastal area of Bone to Algiers, with the concentration point being 03 Ost 7875 where a convoy had been reported. The mission was carried out without sightings, with bad weather being an issue.[22]

A Ju 88 of A.Gr. 122 took off at 20:00 and landed at 00:36, flying south and south-east reconnaissance and protection of an Axis convoy. This was a mission under II. Fliegerkorps.[23]

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References

  1. LdZ - ULTRA VM8225.
  2. A. Arthy , 11 August 2003 Ultra VM8584
  3. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-abascha-ales/slides/Adlert%20%20028.html
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss return dated 28 Apr 1943
  5.  Rob van den Nieuwendijk by e-mail 23/06/04 LdZ - ULTRA Signal VM9606.
  6. MB (Melvin Brown) – WASt - Wk Nr, confirmed both crew members names and location.
  7. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns dated 26 Apr 1943
  8. LdZ – There is also the following entry in Luftwaffe loss returns - 18 Apr 1943 Me 210 (F6+ZK) FTR from over Algiers, 100%, 2 MIA. This appears to be the same aircraft as above and may be a double-entry error in the original German Loss Reports. Additional detail regarding the 87 Sqdn claim provided by Andy Fletcher in a post to the Luftwaffedata Bulletin Board.
  9. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns dated 26 Apr 1943
  10. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns dated 2 May 1943, sheet 14, item 226
  11. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-arc-bak/slides/Babino%20%20240.html
  12. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginningf/citynames-fale-funf/slides/Fischerei%20Atschujewskije%20%20033.html
  13. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginningg/citynames-gele-gust/slides/Gelendshik%20Bucht%20%20003.html
  14. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns dated 23 May 1943, sheet 5, item 64 – original entry gave Wk. Nummer as 1407 hand written adjustment made to record entry above.
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 15.11 Arthy – BA-MA RL 2 II/301S
  16. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-arc-bak/slides/Armawir%20%20111.html
  17. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns dated 4 May 1943, sheet 5, item 79
  18. LdZ - ULTRA ML593.
  19. Arthy – BA-MA RL 2 II/301S
  20. MB – WASt - complete info here.
  21.  Rob van den Nieuwendijk by e-mail 23/06/04 Arthy – BA-MA RL 2 II/301S
  22. BA-MA RL 2 II/302 via Andrew Arthy.</li> <li id="_note-ftn215b"> BA-MA RL 2 II/302 via Andrew Arthy.</li></ol>

Roba - Seaplanes over the Black Sea page 59.

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