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Aufklärungsstaffe1 1.(F)/120

Code: (A6 + )

Formation and Training. (Nov 38 - Aug 39)

Formed 1 November 1938 at Neuhausen/East Prussia (new) with Dornier Do 17Fs, which were exchanged for Do 17Ps during the first half of 1939.[1]

Polish Campaign and Continued Training. (Sep 39 – Mar 40) 1.9.39: remained at Neuhausen on receipt of the 26 August order for mobilization and from 1 September flew reconnaissance over North Poland with 12 Do 17Ps under Luftwaffenkdo. Ostpreussen.

10.39 – 2.40: remained at Neuhausen after the campaign concluded at the end of September.

Occupation of Denmark and Norway. (Mar 40 - Jun 40)

3.40: transferred to Lübeck-Blankensee.

9.4.40: flew reconnaissance operations from Lübeck-Blankensee for X. Fliegerkorps from the beginning of the campaign this date.

10.4.40: transferred to Stavanger-Sola in SW Norway.

11.4.40: Do 17P strafed and damaged by B1enheims during the RAF’s first attack on Stavanger-Sola, but this did not prevent the Staffe1 from flying 6 recce missions that afternoon.

20.4.40: Staffe1 spotted a large collection of enemy shipping in Namsos harbor, which prompted day-long raids by the Luftwaffe.

24.4.40: assigned under Fliegerführer Stavanger from this date.

30.4.40: 1 Do 17 destroyed and another damaged during RAF raid on Stavanger-Sola. Staffe1 half at Stavanger-Sola and half at Trondheim.

1.5.40: 4 of the Staffe1’s Do 17Ps credited with locating two Royal Navy carriers with escorts, these later being attacked by Ju 87 Stukas.

10.5.40: now entirely at Trondheim-Vaernes under Fliegerführer Drontheim/Luftflotte 5 with 5 Do 17Ps and 3 He 111Hs.

11.5.40: flew a search for prospective paratroop drop zones east of Narvik; a drop was then made there a few days later.

24.5.40: Trondheim-Vaernes with 8 Do 17s and 1 He 111H.

6.40: transferred back to Stavanger-Sola on completion of the campaign in Norway.

Norway. (Jul 40 - May 45)

8.7.40: He 111H shot down by RAF Spitfires near the Firth of Forth during an evening recce mission, 100%, 3 KIA and 3 MIA.

20.7.40: Do 17P (A6+HH) shot down by Spitfires over the North Sea off Peterhead, 100%, 3 MIA.

13.8.40: Stavanger-Sola under X. Fliegerkorps with 3 Do 17Ps and 1 He 111H for the air offensive against England (Battle of Britain).

8.40: began converting to the Junkers Ju 88.

7.9.40: Stavanger-Sola with 13(2) Ju 88s and He 111Hs.

20.10.40: Stavanger-Sola with Ju 88s and He 111Hs.

13.11.40: He 111 (A6+WH) shot down into the sea east of Aberdeen/Scotland by RAF Hurricanes, 100%, Oblt. Albrecht Fuhrmann and crew - all from 2.(F)/22 but flying an aircraft from 1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. 120 - MIA.

12.2.41: Ju 88 A-l (A6+HH) crashed in poor visibility near Dundee/Scotland while on a morning recce mission, 100%, 4 KIA.

4.3.41: Ju 88A (A6+LH) shot down into the sea by 3 Hurricanes off the NW tip of the Orkney Islands while searching for a Royal Navy raiding force, 100%, 4 MIA.

22.6.41: elements of the Staffel possibly transferred to Kirkenes/N Norway for recce operations in the Murmansk area prior to the beginning of the German ground offensive on 29 June.

11.7.41: Ju 88D (A6+CB) failed to return from a recce mission to Scotland, 100%, crew MIA.

24.7.41: Ju 88 D-2 (A6+BH or PH) shot down into the sea in the Firth of Forth by 2 RAF Hurricanes, 100%, 1 KIA and 3 MIA.

4.8.41: Ju 88D (A6+MH) FTR from a recce east of Kirkenes, 100%, crew MIA.

25.8.41: Staffel at Stavanger-Sola with one Kette detached at Bardufoss/N Norway.

1.11.41: Stavanger-Sola with Kette at Bardufoss, the latter operating under F1iegerführer Nord(West)/Luftflotte 5.

22.12.41: Ju 88D (A6+MH) FTR from over the North Sea, 100%, crew MIA.

8.1.42: Ju 88D (A6+NH) FTR from the Faroe Islands, 100%, crew MIA.

6.2.42: Ju 88D (A6+OH) FTR from the Faroe Islands, 100%, crew MIA.

19.5.42: Ju 88D FTR from the Murmansk area, 100%, crew MIA.

7.42: Staffel allegedly took delivery of a few Focke Wulf Fw 200s during the spring or early summer of 1942, but this is extremely doubtful and may be based solely on a mis-captioned photo that appeared after the war.

8.42: Staffel began intense photo recce coverage of Iceland, which continued through May 1943. The Luftwaffe’s primary interest was to identify the build-up of Allied convoys in Icelandic fjords prior to their departure for Russian Arctic ports, principally Murmansk. These flights lasted 8 to 9 hours from Stavanger-Sola and were flown under strict radio silence.

10.42: still at Stavanger-Sola.

18.10.42: Ju 88 D-5 (A6+EH) (Wk.Nr. 1726) attacked and rammed by a USAAF P-39 Airacobra and crashed at Hvalfjörður/Iceland, Lt. Harald Osthus, pilot, and crew of 2 all KIA.

31.1.43: still at Stavanger-Sola.

1 March 1943: Ju 88 D-5 failed to return from operations, 100%, crew MIA. May have been attacking or shadowing a 600-ton trawler in the central North Sea off the south-east coast of Scotland when intercepted and shot down by a Beaufighter based at RAF Station Leuchars.

24.3.43: Ju 88 D-5 (A6+BH) shot down into the sea by a Spitfire while on a recce flight to the Shetland Islands, 100%, 1 KIA and 3 MIA.

24.4.43: Ju 88 D-5 (A6+CH) carried out a recce of Reykjavik/Iceland, the last or one of the last to that objective by 1.(F)/120.

5.5.43: Staffel said to have flown its 2,000th operational sortie this date, and since the beginning of the war had destroyed 27 ships of c.65,000 BRT that included 3 warships, and had damaged a further 16 ships of c.29,000 BRT (needs confirmation). Although a long-range reconnaissance Staffel, it did often fly armed recce and attack targets of opportunity, especially during the early part of the war.

27.8.43: Ju 88D (A6+DH) shot down by naval AA-fire over the Firth of Tay, 100%, crew lost.

6.9.43: Ju 88D (A6+AH) FTR from over Lerwick/Shetland Islands and believed shot down by AA-fire, 100%, crew lost.

30.9.43: Stavanger-Sola - Staffel reported 15 Ju 88s and Bf 109s on strength; the Bf 109s flew recce missions to the British Home Fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow and were accompanied by a Ju 88 carrying an English language radio intercept operator. British ground-to-air and air-to-air radio traffic was intercepted and radioed back to Stavanger-Sola and then from there to the Bf 109 pilot so he could avoid fighters and other defensive measures.

10.43: according to a P/W, the Staffel flew low-level day and night photo recce and visual recce of the coasts and harbours or northern Scotland, the Orkneys, the Shetlands, the Faroes and occasionally Iceland. Routine missions were no longer flown. All missions were “on demand”, with almost no advance notice, by order of Fliegerführer Nord(West). The main objective was the detection of any invasion shipping in the harbours and the movement of coastal convoys and light naval forces in that area. High altitude recce flights had been discontinued by October 1943 because of the inferior performance of the Ju 88D.

17.11.43: Bf 109G FTR from a recce mission to Scapa Flow, having most likely run out of fuel on the return flight, 100%, 1 MIA.

10.12.43: Ju 88 D-1 (A6+RH) FTR from a recce to the Shetland Islands, 100%, crew MIA.

2.44: Staffel received 4 Ju 188s in mid-February, making high altitude recce flights once again possible. The Staffel’s Bf 109s were only used occasionally for clear weather photo recce missions to the Orkneys and Shetlands, which they could just reach with drop tanks. At this stage of the war, 1.(F)/120 rarely flew more than a total of 3 sorties a day.

20.2.44: Bf 109G (A6+XH) FTR from a recce to Scapa Flow, 100%, 1 MIA.

5.3.44: Ju 88 D-1 (A6+BH) shot down by AA-fire while flying at low altitude near Lerwick/Shet1ands, 100%, 1 MIA and 3 captured.

20.3.44: Stavanger-Sola - Staffe1 reported 16 Ju 88s and Bf 109s on strength.

22.4.44: Ju l88F (A6+PH) FTR from a recce over northern Scotland, 100%, crew MIA.

30.5.44: Ju l88F (A6+RH) FTR from a recce to Scapa Flow, 100%, Staka Hptm. Heidenreich + 4 MIA.

3.6.44: Stavanger-Sola - Staffel reported 7 Ju 188s and Bf 109s on strength.

21.6.44: Ju 188 F-l (A6+HH) flew into a hill and disintegrated in the early morning hours while flying a recce over NE Scotland, 100%, crew KIA.

9.44: all or most of the Staffel transferred from Stavanger-Sola to Eggemoen near Oslo, and very few sorties were flown thereafter due to the critical fuel shortage.

25.12.44: Staffel based half at Eggemoen and half at Trondheim-Vaernes under Kommandierender General der deutschen Luftwaffe in Norwegen.

29.12.44: Ju l88 D-3 (A6+FH) crashed into a loch in NW Scotland during a mission and sank, 100%, 1 KIA, 2 MIA and 1 captured.

4.1.45: Ju 188 FTR from a recce mission over Scotland, 100%, crew MIA.

25.1.45: now at Lister under Fliegerführer 4 with 19(17) Ju 188s on strength.

7.2.45: Ju 88 D-1 (4N+FH) FTR - no details, 100%, Staffelführer Hptm. Heinrich Eiler + 3 MIA.

  Although charged to 1.(F)/120, this appears to be an error and should have been charged to 1.(F)/22.

2.45: Staffel still at Lister with elements detached at Trondheim-Vaernes.

3.45: now at Stavanger-Sola and Trondheim-Vaernes.

8.5.45: Staffel surrendered, half at Stavanger-Sola (18 officers and 133 men) and half at Trondheim-Vaernes (11 officers and 129 men) with a mixed complement of Ju 88s and Ju l88s under Fliegerführer 4.

FpN:1.(F)/120 (L 39009).


Maj. Anton Schub (  ? - August 1940) 9/39

Hptm./Maj. Ernst Domnick (10 August 1940 - 14 April 1941)

Hptm. Helmut Orlowski (May 1941 - November 1942)

Hptm. Hugo Löhr (December 1942 - 14 July 1943)

Hptm. Kurt Behnke (14 July 1943 - February 1944)

Hptm. Friedrich (Fritz) Heidenreich (February 1944 - 30 May 1944) MIA

Maj. Karl-Gustav Schmidt (June 1944 - May 1945)

Hptm. Werner Schmidt (acting) (  ? -  ? ) 2/45

Also see:

AMMANN, Gebhard, Oblt.

BANK, Werner, Lt.

BAUER, Hermann, Lt.

BAUER, Olf, Oblt.

BENDER, Karl, Hptm.

BEYER, Dietrich, Lt.

BREMS, Heinrich, Lt.

BRÜCK, Karl-Martin, Lt.

BRÜCKNER, Helmut, Lt.

BUCZKO (BUZKO?), Friedrich, Lt.

BUDDEN, Walter, Oblt.

CARDAUN, Alfred, Oblt.

DENNER, Gerhard, Lt.

EILER, Heinrich, Hptm., Staffelführer

ESSEN, Ernst, Lt.

FIDORRA, Siegfried, Oblt.

FREUND, Ernst-Günther, Lt.

GEIST, Heinrich, Oblt.

HARTWIG,  ? , Oblt.

HATTAN, Heinz (Heinz-Georg), Oblt.

HEBELER(HEBEIER?), Walter, Oblt.

HEINZE, Dr. Helmut, Reg.Rat.

HESSE, Horst, Oblt.

HESSE, Josef, Oblt.z.S.

HEUER, Hubert, Lt.


KIENLEIN (KIENLIN?), Julius von, Lt.

KOBER, Alexander, Oblt.

KÖHLER, Werner, Lt.

KROPP, Kurt, Oblt.

LERCH, Willi (Willy), Hptm.

LIPKE, Werner, Lt.

LOUDON, Eric, Freiherr von, Hptm.

MALOTTKI, Bruno von, Oblt.

MEDER, Adolf, Lt.d.R.

MEYER, Dr. Ernst, Lt.

MÖLLER, Bodo, Lt.

NEMITZ, Helmut, Oblt.

NEUBERT, Rudolf, Lt.(Kr.O.)

NEUGEBAUER, Werner, Oblt.

NEUMANN, Siegfried, Lt.

OSTHUS, Harald, Lt.

OTTERNBERG, Siegfried, Oblt.(Kr.O.)

PFEIL, Ernst, Lt.

PFHUL, Gerhard, Lt.

PREUSSER?, Heinz, Oblt.

QUEDNAU, Helmut, Oblt.

REUTER, Friedrich, Oblt.(Kr.O.)

SCHABERT, Rudolf, Oblt.

SCHLOSSER, Heinrich, Lt.d.R.

SCHMIDT, Paul, Oblt.

SCHNIUS, Friedrich, Lt.(Kr.O.)

SCHRÄPLER, Werner Gustav Hermann Otto, Oblt./Hptm.

SCHUCHMANN, Horst, Lt.(Kr.O.)

SCHULZ-ROCHAN, Reinhart, Lt.

SKUBALLA, Gerhard, Lt.

SOWADA, Heinz, Lt.

SUTER, Heinrich, Hptm.

TORN, Walter, Lt.

VOLLERS, Wilhelm Karl, Lt.

WAGNER, Rolf, Oblt.

WEBER, Hans, Lt.


WEIXELBAUM, Helmut, Oblt.

WINNE, Joachim, Oblt.


© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress). (1st Draft 2022)


  1. J.-P.Défieux - Répertoire des Unités Aériennes de la Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Reconnaissance Aéronavale (Nanterre, privately published, n.d. (c 1988-90?); K.Ries - Luftwaffen Story 1935-1939; G.Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945, 16+ Bde., Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte (Osnabrück, 1980); W.Dierich - Die Verbände der Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Gliederungen und Kurzchroniken – Eine Dokumentation, p.157; N.Kannapin - Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945; U.Balke - Der Luftkrieg in Europa: Die Operativen Einsätze des Kampfgeschwader 2 im Zweiten Weltkrieg, Teil I, p.406, 412; F.Kurowski - Seekrieg aus der Luft: Die deutsche Seeluftwaffe im Zweiten Weltkrieg (Herford, 1979), p.55; C.Shores et al - Fledgling Eagles: The Complete Account of Air Operations During the ‘Phony War’ and Norwegian Campaign, 1940 (London, 1991), pp.254.276, 282, 300, 302, 317; W.G.Ramsey (ed.) - The Blitz, Then And Now, v.II/p.47; J.Foreman - Battle of Britain: The Forgotten Months, November and December 1940 (New Malden (Surrey), p.15; W.Green – Warplanes of the Third Reich, p.229; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-312 roll 1033/1206, roll l070/59l and 969); (T-971 roll 19); AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.619 British AirMin P/W interrogations, ADI(K) series, microfilm rolls A5400-05, interrogation ADI(K) 127/44; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.625S (British Air Ministry) OKL document; PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence reports and lists based on ULTRA, “Y” Service intercepts, captured documents and PoW interrogations; BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 9/35 and Signatur RL 40/Kart; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); BA-MA Freiburg: Flugzeug-Bereitstellungen (Aircraft Availability Status Reports – FzB) in: M.Holm-website (ww2.dk); K.Maesel correspondence with author; H.Löhr letter to W.Horst of 16 May 1993; web site forum.12oclockhigh.net.

Aufklärungsgruppe 120

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