Aufkl. Gr. 122 Aug 1942

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From Aug 1942 sorties were flown as far as Gibraltar, the Ju 88A-4s of FAGr 122, carrying two auxiliary fuel tanks, operated from Trapani or Cagliari and flew a direct route operating to the south of Malaga at a height of between seven and eight thousand metres. Results from these sorties were considered to be good. However, there were quite a few failures due to engine problems that lead to aircraft returning early from their mission. For that reason two machines were sent out two hours after the first sorties had commenced, they received instructions from ground control to return if it was clear that the earlier aircraft were going to complete their mission.[1] A Ju 88A of FAGr 122 was the first Axis aircraft to spot the convoys of Operation Torch.

In the late summer of 1942, six He 111s of Kőthen Signals Research Establishment (Maj. Koch) were attached to FAGr. 122 for night ASV trials using a captured British Radar together with Rostok and Lichtenstein “S”, these were eventually supplanted by FuG 200 Hohentweil. Koch’s Kommando trained all of the current crews of the Italian based elements of FaGr 122 in its use.

Aug 1942 – 4(F)./122 was transferred to Fp.Samorsk/28 km NW of Kerch.[2]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
8 Aug 1942 1(F)./122 Ju 88D-1trop Crashed and burned near Grottaglie/Italy, aircraft destroyed. Hptm. Cherubinn (Sta.Kap.) + 3 killed.

10 Aug 1942 – 2(F)./122 sent out aircraft to search for the "Pedestal" relief convoy en-route from Gibraltar to Malta. The staffel lost a Ju 88 damaged by Fleet Air Arm carrier aircraft during this operation. The convoy had in fact just reached the Straits of Gibraltar.

Six Ju 88s of 2(F)./122 arrived at Elmas from Trapani and were refueled. Elmas reported at 2030hrs this left only 16m3 of B4 fuel remaining.[3]

For the next few days FAGr 122 flew 4 or 5 sorties per day to keep in touch with “Pedastal” and it’s escorts. The usual routes were parallel to the North African Coastas far north as the line Cagliari-Cartegena and as far towards Gibraltar as 1° West. Good weather and a lack of Allied fighter interference enabled a complete picture of the sea activity in the area to be maintained.

11 Aug 1942 – 1(F)./122 spotted and reported the location of the "Pedestal" relief convoy as it moved east from Gibraltar, and continued to shadow the ships over the next several days leading to repeated strikes by Axis bombers and torpedo aircraft against the convoy.[4] 2(F)./122 continued to provide aircraft for the search/shaddowing operation.

At 0400 hrs the six Ju 88s of 2(F)./122 departed Elmas to carry out a preliminary sea reconnaissance as far as 02Deg West. They were searching for Force F which was taking part in Operation Pedestal.[5]

At 0615 Force F located by one of the Ju 88s of 2(F)./122 at 03E 1825. The shadowing operation continued throughout the day, being performed by a total of 12 recce Ju 88s all sending beacon signals on 406 kilocycles – one was shot down.[6]

The shadowing aircraft passed navigational instructions to the dive and torpedo bombers as they approached to attack the ships of the convoy.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
11 Aug 1942 2(F)./122 Ju 88 F6+FK Shot down by Sea Hurricanes from HMS Indomitable while shadowing the "Pedestal" convoy.
13 Aug 1942 2(F)./122 Ju 88 F6+KK Shot down by Malta-based Spitfires c.150 km west of Malta while tracking the "Pedestal" convoy.

15 Aug 1942 – The tanker “Ohio”, with 10,000 tons of oil on board, was towed into Valetta Harbour (Malta) by British warships. This was the last of 6 surviving ships of the original 14 merchant ships that made up the “Pedastal” convoy.

16 Aug 1942 - Russian air attack took place on Fp.Samorsk. 4(F)./122 ground echelon lost 1 KIA and 4 WIA during this attack.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
16 Aug 1942 4(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 Damaged it’s undercarriage at Fp.Samorsk, 10%.

18 Aug 1942 – 3(F)./122 still reported at Creil.[7]

19 Aug 1942 - 4(F)./122 Gotha Go 145 courier/liaison plane crash landed at Lvov in SE Poland with 30% damage. It was probably there picking up critically needed aircraft parts since Lvov was the location of the main aviation parts and spares depot for the southern front in Russia.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
23 Aug 1942 4(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+MM Failed to return from sortie - no details currently available, 100%,4 MIA (but later returned).

29 Aug 1942 – 5(F)./122 recce sortie to Aprakssin-Gorodok (59.50.00N /31.19.20 E) south of Lake Ladoga.[8] The same unit also photographed the railway at Chotja (Khottsy) (33.07.00E/59.09.00N)[9]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
29 Aug 1942 4(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 Aircraft crash landed at Fp.Odessa, 15%.

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References

  1. Air 20/8534 page 3.
  2. LdZ - T-312-op cit.
  3. HW13/26 via Adam Thompson
  4. LdZ - Shores-op cit.
  5.  HW13/26 via Adam Thompson posting to the www.forum.luftwaffedata.co.uk
  6. HW13/26 via Adam Thompson posting to the www.forum.luftwaffedata.co.uk
  7. LdZ - PRO/London: ADM 223 – OIC/SI Sigint summaries.
  8. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-arc-bak/slides/Aprakssin-Gorodok%20%20009.html
  9. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginningc/citynames-carn-czyz/slides/Chotja%20%20029.html
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