Aufkl. Gr. 122 Nov 1939

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Nov 1939 – 5(F)./122 commenced reconnaissance operations over the North Sea, NE France and the Low Countries for Luftflotte 2. There is a strong probability that these operations were initially flown from Varel, 17 km SSW of Wilhelmshaven, close to the North Sea coast.[1]

2 Nov 1939 – A He 111H-2 of 2(F)./122 from Münster was chased and shot down by Hurricanes of 87 Sqdn flying out of Lille-Seclin.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
2 Nov 1939 2(F)./122 He 111H-2 F6+EK 5650 Shot down by 87 Sqdn Hurricanes belly landing at Stables near Hazebrouck. One Killed and one wounded, two unhurt. (Oblt. W. Ohmsen) all surviving crew made POW by the French. The aircraft was dismantled by the French who noted that the aircraft codes were “crudely” applied, this suggested that the aircraft had just been received from the depot and had been rushed into service.Oblt. W Ohmsen, W.Schmidt (WIA) and Uffz Jung all POW[2]

F6+EK following recovery by the French[3]


2(F)./122 also despatched a He 111H on a reconnaissance sortie to northern France.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
2 Nov 1939 2(F)./122 He 111H-2 5575 Landed damaged at Münster-Handorf following combat with Hurricanes of 87 Sqdn.[4]

17 Nov 1939 – A Do 17 of 1(F)./122 flew a sortie to Scapa Flow, it was tasked with keeping a watch on the British Home Fleet. The Heinkel was slightly damaged by AA fire. [5]

21 Nov 1939 – Two Do 17Ps of 3(F)./122 were sent off from Groslar to perform a sortie over the Channel. One was shot down by some Hurricanes of 79 Sqdn RAF.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
21 Nov 1939 3(F)./122 Do 17P Shot down over Hawkinge (Kent) by 79 Sqdn Hurricanes operating from Biggin Hill and crashed into the sea off Calais. [6]

23 Nov 1939 – Multiple sorties were operated by the Gruppe on this day.

A Do 17P of 4(F)./122 was chased in the visinity of Commercy by Hurricanes of 1 Sqdn AASF. The Hurricanes made contact and the Dornier was shot down.

A 2(F)./122 He 111 was returning from a mission to the Lille-Arras-Valenciennes area when it was intercepted by more 1 Sqdn Hurricanes. The Heinkel was eventually shot down in the Saarbrücken area.

A 4(F)./122 Do 17P operating over the Verdun-Metz area was attacked by more 1 Sqdn Hurricanes.

Finally, 5(F)./122 - now based at Köln-Wahn - lost a Do 17P to Moranes of GC III/6 at Bras-sur-Meuse.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
23 Nov 1939 4(F)./122 Do 17P F6+HM Shot down by 1 Sqdn Hurricanes having caused one Hurricane to crash land. The Dornier was crash landed by it’s pilot, Uffz. A. Frankenberger, near Moiremont, west of Verdun. Frankenberger was made a POW. He subsequently returned to the Staffel – this information came from POW interrogation reported in ADI(K) 970/1940.
23 Nov 1939 2(F)./122 He 111H-2 F6+FK Shot down by Hurricanes of 1 Sqdn assisted by H-75As ofGC II/5. Crashed at Königsmacher, near Thionville on the east bank of the Moselle. Lt R.Aeckerle, Uffz. A. Gumpp, Uffz. T. Blattmann and Ogfr. A. Schidlitzki were all killed.[7]
23 Nov 1939 4(F)./122 Do 17P Shot down by Hurricanes of 1 Sqdn, crashing in flames at Haumont-les-Lachoussee, near Longuyon. Ofw. B. Schapp and crew all killed.
23 Nov 1939 5(F)./122 Do 17P Shot down by Moranes of GC III/6. Whilst on a reconnaissance of airfields between Avesnes and Montcornet, crashing at Bras-sur-Meuse, north of Verdun. Lt K. Behnke (B), Uffz. H. Schrutek(FF) and Uffz. A. Hermann(BF) bailed out to become POWs.

The battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau attempted to break out into the North Atlantic, in support of which eight He 111s of FAG 122 flew reconnaissances over the British Fleet bases in the Clyde, Moray Firth, Shetlands and at Rosyth and Scapa Flow.

One 1(F)/122 aircraft was intercepted by aircraft of 85 Sqdn RAF over the eastern end of the English Channel as it headed south, this caused the Heinkel some damage before it escaped into cloud with a wounded air gunner; the aircraft had suffered 40% damage.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
23 Nov 1939 1(F)./122 He 111H He 111H force landed on Borkum Is. after being shot up by a fighter while flying recce over the Home Fleet bases in Scotland, the Shetlands and the Orkneys, 40%[8].

In addition another 1(F)./122 He 111H was damaged on landing at Fp.Uetersen, 50%.


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  1. LdZ - Tessin.
  2. Mombeek – Luftwaffe –Pictorial History p22 – also from ADI(K) 220/1940
  3. 3.0 3.1 F6+EK following recovery by the French From an unknown French magazine via Matthias Radu
  4. Cornwell, Peter – The Battle of France Then and Now p110
  5. Shores – Fledgling Eagles
  6. Shores – Fledgling Eagles and Blitz Then and Now V1 p50
  7. Cornwell, Peter – The Battle of France Then and Now p120
  8. LdZ
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