Aufkl. Gr. 122 May 1940

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May 1940 – Towards the end of May 3(F)./122 transferred to Eindhoven/Holland, possibly from Stade.[1]

5(F)./122 reportedly moved to Münster after the start of the campaign in the west.[2]

1 May 1940 – He 111s from 1(F)./122 found Vice-Admiral Cunningham’s naval force west of Namsos and Vice-Admiral Edwards-Collin’s units further south. As a consequence of this Cunningham’s ships were attacked by elements of II./KG 26.

4 May 1940 – 2(F)./122 sent a single aircraft to look at RAF Coltishall – it reported no apparent occupancy and 5 hangers completed.[3]

5 May 1940 - Between 03.59 and 19.00 hrs 6 aircraft from 1(F)./122 and 3./Ob.d.L carried out photo reconnaissance sorties covering Bodö and Skonseng. Two Sunderlands were spotted in Bodö harbour.[4]

At 05.27 hrs two merchant ships of approx. 3,000 t were sighted in Qu.05 Ost 1947 on a course NE – SW.

At 06.25 hrs a fishing trawler was sighted.

One of the 1(F)./122 He 111s attacked the two Sunderlands in Bodö harbour. Approx. 1,000 rounds were fired at the Sunderlands so that they were unable to take off. A crew member of the 1(F)./122 He 111 was wounded when the two Sunderland flying boats returned fire.[5]

Between 18.00 and 21.40 hrs an aircraft of 2(F)./122 carried out a sortie over East Anglia covering the following airfields:- Marham; landing ground 5km south of Marham; Mildenhall; landing ground 4 km southof Mildenhall; Honington; Ipswich; Feltwell; landing ground 5 km northwest of Feltwell and Harwich. Reporting on the occupancy and number of hangers on the various airfields.[6]

6 May 40 - 1(F)./122 was ordered to transfer from Stavanger-Sola to Trondheim-Vaernes, but the move appears to have been delayed for a few days.[7]

An aircraft from 2(F)./122 photographed the airfield at Skegness/Winthorpe.[8]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
7 May 1940 2(F)./122 He 111H-3 Crashed south of Münster while on a searchlight co-operation exercise. Obfw. Fritz Willuhn, Uffz. Ernst Wessoly, Uffz. Heinz Rucks and Uffz. Gottlob Simon all killed.[9]

8 May 1940 – 1(F)./122 sent, from 10.40 hrs, 3 aircraft on a reconnaissance of Narvik. However, they encountered bad weather and were unable to complete the reconnaissance of Narvik.[10]

9 May 1940 – Two He 111s of 2(F)./122 flew a reconnaissance sortie over the Thames Estuary. Hurricanes of 56 Sqdn intercepted but were unsuccessful in their attacks.

10 May 1940 – 1(F)./122 was still at Stavanger-Sola under Fliegerführer Stavanger with 6 He 111Hs and 6 Junkers Ju 88As.[11]

2(F)./122 located at Münster-Loddenheide with 7 He 111Hs and 5 Ju 88As under Luftflotte 2 for the campaign in the West beginning this date. Evidence suggests that conversion to the Junkers Ju 88, which began in February 1940, was close to completion. Flew strategic reconnaissance over Belgium and northeast France.[12]

3(F)./122 at Münster-Loddenheide with 10 He 111Hs and 2 Ju 88As directly under Luftflotte 2 for the campaign in the West.[12]

4(F)./122 at Goslar with 7 He 111Hs and 5 Ju 88As directly under Luftflotte 2 (However, some or all operational missions were flown from Köln.)[13]

5(F)./122 located at Köln-Wahn with 11 Do 17Ps under I.Fliegerkorps/Luftflotte 3 for the campaign. A week later I.Fliegerkorps was reassigned to Luftflotte 2.[14]

11 May 1940 – 3(F)./122 lost a Ju 88 off the Dutch Coast to Spitfires of 19 Sqdn.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
11 May 1940 3(F)./122 Ju 88A-1 Port engine and radiator badly damaged in attacks by Blue Section of No.19 Squadron (F/L W.G. Clouston, F/Sgt H. Steere, and F/O G.W. Petre) during

reconnaissance sortie 30km off Great Yarmouth and ditched in the Waddenzee east of Terschelling 2.11 p.m. Uffz Hermann Kunze (Bm) drowned, the rest of the crew were picked up by the'Bavaria'. Lt Friedrich Meyer (BO) captured unhurt, both Uffz Reinhold Krulich (FF), and Uffz Walter Hobel (BF) were captured wounded. Aircraft 100% write-off.[15]

12 May 1940 1(F)./122 He 111H-3 F6+DH 5640 Flew into a mountain on island of Vanna (Troms) while on a dawn recce mission. Hptm. Edgar. Caesar (B and St.Kap) and crew (Uffz Georg Ableitner (Bw), Uffz Otto Karnapp (F) and Uffz Hans-Joachim Müller (Bf))[16] all killed.
13 May 1940 3(F)./122 Ju 88A-1 Failed to return from a recce over northwest Belgium, 100%.


14 May 1940 – Ju 88 from 3(F)./122 attacked by Hurricanes of 504 Sqdn, aircraft lost.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
14 May 1940 3(F)./122 Ju 88 Shot down by Hurricanes of 504 Sqdn, crashed near Albert Canal. Uffz. Erwin. Maxrath and 2 of the crew (Fw. Freidrich Küttner (B) and Fw Eugen Lauterbach (Bf)) passed by Belgians to British as POWs. Uffz Willi Reißmann (Bm) killed.

16 May 1940 – 5(F)./122 sent Do 17 (F6 + JN) piloted by Fw. Werner Breese on a sortie to Namur, Brussels, Maubeuge – they encountered flak at Maubeuge. The plane left Wahn at 14.10 hrs returning there at 18.13 hrs.[17]

18 May 1940 – Two 1(F)./122 Heinkels on a sortie over Malangen encountered a Walrus launched from HMS Devonshire and shot it down.

A Do 17 coded F6+GN from 5(F)./122 left Wahn at 08.19 hrs for a sortie to Valenciennes, Cambrai, Arras, Tournon. Flak was encountered at Arras. Fw Werner Breese and crew returned to Wahn at 11.56 hrs.[17]

20 May 1940 – An He 111 of 1(F)./122 sortied over Narvik and escaped interception by Sea Gladiators, two transports were reported in Beisfjord. (Other sorties reported further shipping – the result was a series of strikes made by KG 26, KGr 100 and KG 30.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
20 May 1940 4(F)./122 Ju 88A-1 F6+FM Aircraft force landed at Dülman/SW of Münster, 100%.Fw. Friedrich Bach (Bf), Lt Horst Doermer (B), Oblt Eberhard Gaul (F) and Ogfr. Karl Lessmöllmann (Bm) all injured.[18]
20 May 1940 5(F)./122 Do 17P Possibly shot down by Sgt Whitby of 79 Sqdn RAF south-east of Cambrai, crashing near Marquette, south-west of Denain. Uffz Karl Beyer (F), Uffz Herbert Franke (Bf), Uffz. Alfons Putz (B) all killed[19]

22 May 1940 - At 05.25 hrs 5(F)./122 despatched Do 17 F6+KN, piloted by Fw Werner Breese, on a sortie that took in Arras, Boulogne, Calais and Lille. The aircraft was hit by Flak near Lille and landed at Les Sept Ans at 09.44 hrs.[17]

23 May 1940 – 1(F)./122 operated a Heinkel over the Tromso-Harstad-Oforfjord-Skaanland area and as a result of this mission, and that of a Fw 200 of 1./KG 40, bombing sorties were flown by KGr 100, KG 26 and KG 30 throughout the day against the naval shipping identified by the reconnaissance missions.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
23 May 1940 5(F)./122 Do 17P Shot down by German AA-fire over Arras, 100%.

Lt Hans-Hermann Bergner (B), Uffz Albrecht Geiser (F) and Uffz Johannes Singer (Bf) all killed.[20]

24 May 1940 – Following orders issued on 6 May 1940 1(F)./122 was now located at Trondheim-Vaernes with 8 x He 111s and 1 x Ju 88.[21]

5(F)./122 F6+GN (Fw Werner Breese) sortie to Zeebrugge, Calais and Lille, encountered flak.(Departed 12.20 hrs returned 16.35 hrs)[17]

25 May 1940 - 1(F)./122 Heinkel performed morning recce to Namsos, following which aircraft from KGr 100 and KG 30 arrived in the area to attack a reported target – an RN Special Service vessell was attacked by a KG 30 aircraft off Harstad.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
25 May 40 2(F)./122 Do 17P Badly damaged in combat over Paris, 60%.
25 May 40 3(F)./122 He 111 100% Drontheim. Collision with another 3(F)./122 aircraft.[22]
25 May 40 3(F)./122 He 111 100% Drontheim. Collision with another 3(F)./122 aircraft.[22]

26 May 1940 – An He 111 of 1(F)./122 was despatched on a reconnaissance mission to Bodǿ and was attacked by Flt Lt Hull in one of the newly arrived Gladiators that was patrolling over Saitefjord, the He 111 crashed south of Mo.[23]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
26 May 1940 1(F)./122 He 111H Crashed south of Mo followiing an attack by Gladiators. Lt. Ulrich Meyer (F), Reg.Rat. Friedrich Hertzing (Met), Fw. Paul Pattloch (B), Gefr. Werner Pohl (Bf) rescued by German forces. Ogfr. Heinrich Singendonk (Bw) killed.[24]

27 May 1940 – At 06.34 5(F)./122 sent out a Do 17 (F6+CN) on an early morning sortie from Cambrai Nord to reconnoitre Lille, Dunkirk and Ostend, flak was encountered at Ostend[17]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
27 May 1940 4(F)./122 Ju 88A-1 Forced landed south of Calais. Badly damaged by fighters - probably in combat with F/Lt. Pearson of 54 Sqdn at 05.30. Uffz. Willi Becker (Bf) and Gefr. Jürgen Speck (Bm) slightly wounded, the rest of the crew were unhurt although the aircraft was a write-off.[25]


28 May 1940 – An He 111 of 1(F)./122 (in conjunction with a Condor of 1./ KG40) identified that a further British landing was about to take place at Ofotfjord.

29 May 1940 – Do 17 of 5(F)122 departed Cambrai Nord at 12.20 hrs for a reconnaissance of the Channel in the vicinity of Dunkirk. The aircraft piloted by Fw Werner Breese encountered enemy fighters and sustained damage, landing back at Cambrai Nord at 15.23 hrs on fire with Unteroffizier Willi Kade (Bf) wounded.[17]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
29 May 1940 5(F)./122 Do 17P-1 Shot down by a fighter over Dunkirk while on a reconnaissance sortie, crash landed south-west of Dunkirk. 100%. Uffz. Willi Kade wounded.[26]
30 May 1940 5(F)./122 Do 17P Reconnaissance sortie east of Dunkirk. Engaged and shot down by F/Lt Wight of 213 Sqdn. Crashed near Leisele, southwest of Furnes at 15.10. Lt Walter Endemann (B)Gefr. Hans Schmidt (Bf) and Uffz. Josef Stettner (F) killed. Aircraft destroyed.[27]


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References

  1. LdZ - AirMin summaries.
  2. LdZ - PRO/London: ADI(K) P/W interrogation summaries.
  3. 500-12452-000094 Anlage 1 Lagebericht 242
  4. 500-12452-000094 Anlage 1 Lagebericht 242
  5. 500-12452-000094 Anlage 1 Lagebericht 243
  6. 500-12452-000094 Anlage 1 Lagebericht 243
  7. LdZ - Maesel.
  8. Lagebericht Nr 248
  9. Cornwell, Peter – The Battle of France Then and Now. P170 first names via Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  10. Lagebericht Nr 246 Anlage 1.
  11. LdZ - Balke-KG 2/v.1:406.
  12. 12.0 12.1 LdZ - Balke-v.1:401.
  13. LdZ - ADI(K) interrogation summaries.
  14. LdZ - Balke-KG 2/v.1:404.
  15. Larry Hickey from TOCH post 25 Mar 2011 – extract from EoE database
  16. Names and wk nr via Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Werner Breese Combat Sorties – compiled by Tim Oliver from Werner Breese's Flugbuchs.
  18. Names and code via Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  19. Battle of France then and now – Peter Cornwell and Names via Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  20. Battle of France then and now – Peter Cornwell and Names via Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  21. LdZ - Maesel.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Luftwaffe Quartermaster returns 4 June 1940
  23. Alex Crawford, additional detail by e-mail 27 June 2005
  24. Names via Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  25. Cornwell, Peter – The Battle of France Then and Now page 380 Names via Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  26. Cornwell, Peter – The Battle of France Then and Now page 392: Names via Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  27. Cornwell, Peter – The Battle of France Then and Now page 396; Names via Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18






27 LdZ - ADI(K) interrogation summaries.
28 LdZ - Balke-KG 2/v.1:404.

29 LdZ - Maesel.

AC - Alex Crawford – additional detail by e-mail 27 June 2005

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