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 (Franz Wezel) 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. Wilhelm Ohmsen, Werner Schmidt (WIA) and Uffz Wilhelm Jung all POW[2]

F6+EK following recovery by the French[3]

Image:He111_122b.jpg[3]Image:Aufkl.Gr_122_He_111_France_1939.jpg


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]
6 Nov 1939 5(F)./122 He 111H Aircraft on heimat flight crashed all crew killed – Uffz Erwin Kunze (Fm), Uffz Heinz Müller (F) and Ogfr Max Riesebeck[5]

16 Nov 1939 – 5 reconnaissance flights by Aufkl.Gr. 122 over northern France had to be broken off due to adverse weather conditions. Aircraft did encounter light flak up to 700 m over Dunkirk.[6]


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. [7]

18 Nov 1939 – A Do 17 of Aufkl.Gr.122 made an emergency landing near Prato all’Isarco, east of Bolzano in Italy.[8]

19 Nov 1939 - An aircraft of 1.(F)/122, which was on the return flight from northern France, was attacked by Dutch fighters near Ameland and wound the radio operator was wounded in the shoulder. It appeared that the Do 17 had not crossed into Dutch airspace and, therefore, and investigation was initiated.[9]

20 Nov 1939 - 3 aircraft of 1(F)./122 departed in the morning on a reconnaissance of the Clyde Estuary, the Moray Firth, Loch Ewe and Scapa Flow.

A further reconnaissance by 4 aircraft of Aufkl. Gr.122 had to be cancelled due to unfavourable weather conditions.[10]

The results from the above reconnaissance sorties at 13.00 hrs were:

Scapa - On the south side of the Ore Bay battleship "Iron Duke", apparently grounded but under steam. Heavy ship Flak over Scapa and west Rinngill.

Moray Firth - Unoccupied, no defence.

Firth of Clyde - 3 battleships heading south. No defence

North and south of Stonehaven - (East Coast) Strong steamship traffic.[11]


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. [12]

Elements of Aufklgr. 122 and the Stabsstaffel Fliegerkorps IV operated recce sorties over Northern France.[13]

A sortie by aircraft of 1(F)./122 took in the Clyde Estuary, the Moray Firth, Loch Ewe and Scapa Flow. Encountered defensive flak from ship and land based AA.[14]

22 Nov 1939 – There were morning reconnaissance sorties by 5 aircraft of 1(F)./122 to the Shetland and Orkney Isalands together with the Moray Firth. This revealed significant merchant shipping traffic in the northern North Sea. Flak was encountered over the Orkney Islands.[15]

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

Six aircraft from the gruppe (together with three from Fliegerkorps IV) operated over Northern France.[16]

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-1 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. Arno 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. Uffz Klaus Ehlers (B) baled out but fell dead. Uffz Alfred Röder baled out wounded and was subsequently captured.[17]
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 Robert Aeckerle (B), Uffz. Anton Gumpp (Bm), Uffz. Theodor Blattmann (F) and Ogfr. Alfred Schidlitzki (Bf) were all killed.[18]
23 Nov 1939 4(F)./122 Do 17P-1 F6+HL 30321 Shot down by Hurricanes of 1 Sqdn, crashing in flames at Haumont-les-Lachoussee, near Longuyon. Ofw. Baptist. Schapp (B), Uffz Heinz Gründling (F) and Uffz Alfred Molek (Bf) all killed.[19]
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 Kurt Behnke (B), Uffz. Hans Schrutek(F) and Uffz. Arthur Hermann(BF) bailed out to become POWs.[20]

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%[21].


Recce results reported by 1(F)./122 included the following sightings:

Shetland Islands – Nothing significant found – no defence encountered.

Orkney Islands – 40 Freighters and 1 Destroyer sighted.

Inganess Bay (Orkney Islands) – 2 Freighters and 4 Tankers.

Holm Sound (Orkney Islands) – 1 Cruiser[22]

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

25 Nov 1939 - A recce sortie was operated by two aircraft of 1(F)./122 against the Orkney and Shetland Islands. The Orkney part of the mission was not completed due to weather conditions. While over the Shetland Islands at an altitude of 3,000m one of the aircraft came under fire from a British Naval vessel and numerous strikes were registered on the aircraft.[23]

29 Nov 1939 - An aerial reconnaissance sortie by 5 planes of 1(F)./122 took place on this day covering the North Sea between the Shetland Islands and the Norwegian coast and sighted four steamer convoys and a number of light naval forces (destroyers and light cruiser).[24]

Operations by 5 aircraft of 1(F)./122 under the guidance of Fliegerkorps X against northern Britain and the Scottish naval bases was abandoned due to adverse weather conditions.[25]


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References

  1. LdZ - Tessin.
  2. Mombeek – Luftwaffe –Pictorial History p22 – also from ADI(K) 220/1940- Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18 – Wezel and first names.
  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. Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  6. Lagebericht West Nr 87 see 500-12452-000087
  7. Shores – Fledgling Eagles
  8. Lagebericht 89 see 500-12452-000087
  9. Lagebericht 89 see 500-12452-000087
  10. Lagebericht 89 see 500-12452-000087
  11. 500-12452-000087 Lagebericht West No 92
  12. Shores – Fledgling Eagles and Blitz Then and Now V1 p50
  13. 500-12452-000087 Lagebericht West No 93 pg 2
  14. 500-12452-000087 Lagebericht West No 92
  15. 500-12452-000087 Lagebericht West No 93 pg 2
  16. 500-12452-000087 Lagebericht West No 93 pg 3
  17. Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18 and Cornwell, Peter – The Battle of France Then and Now p120
  18. Cornwell, Peter – The Battle of France Then and Now p120 – Cornwell has the code as F6+FK while Matti Salonen has F6+CK. First names and crew functions from Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  19. Matti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18 – provided code, WkNr, Schapp first name and function plus names rank and functions of remainder of the crew
  20. Cornwell, Peter – The Battle of France Then and Now p120 – crew locations and mission from http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=35513 first names fromMatti Salonen 122 personnel extract from database 03/01/18
  21. LdZ
  22. 500-12452-000087 Lagebericht West Nr 94 pg 2
  23. 500-12452-000087 Lagebericht West Nr 96 pg 1
  24. 500-12452-000087 Lagebericht West Nr 100 pg 1
  25. 500-12452-000087 Lagebericht West Nr 101 pg 3
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