Aufklärungsstaffel 1.(F)/124 (Wartime)
(Unit Code G2+)
Also as: 1.(F)/Aufklärungsgruppe 124 1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. 124
Formation and Organization. (November 1938 - August 1939)
Formed 1 November 1938 at Wiener Neustadt/Austria (ex-Aufkl.St. 1.(F)/28, a former Austrian Air Force squadron) with Dornier Do 17Fs, which were replaced with Do 17Ps during the first half of 1939. The foregoing is the formation history according to published sources based on surviving command-level documents. But according to the Staffel history compiled by its veterans, it was ordered formed 1 May 1939 at Würzburg by Stab/Aufkl.Gr. 123 with Do 17Ps, transferred to Wiener Neustadt at the end of June, and officially entered service there as Aufkl.St. 1.(F)/124 on 7 July 1939.
Campaign in Poland. (September 1939)
20 August 1939: transferred from Wiener Neustadt to Tarnau, an unimproved field strip near Oppeln in Silesia, and then on 25 August to Schlosswalden, also in Silesia.
1 September 1939: Schlosswa1den with 11(10) Do 17Ps under Fliegerführer z.b.V./Luftflotte 4 for reconnaissance operations over South Poland commencing this date.
6 September 1939: transferred forward to Strzalkow near Radomsko/central Poland, suffering its first operational loss during a mission three days later, then moved forward to Kamien/south-west of Warsaw.
29 September 1939: with the conclusion of the campaign, began returning to Wiener Neustadt, a few aircraft at a time, with the movement completed on 10 October.
Standby in the West. (October 1939 - December 1940)
October 1939 – January 1940: rest, refit and training at Wiener Neustadt.
14 February 1940: Staffe1 ordered to begin converting to the Dornier Do 215.
25 April 1940: Do 215 crashed near Vienna due to engine trouble, 100%, 1 killed.
10 May 1940: ordered to Berlin-Tempelhof with 5(3) Do 215Bs for the campaign in the West commencing this date, but in practice transferred to Fritzlar/south-west of Kassel and temporarily incorporated into 4.(F)/Aufklärungsgruppe Ob.d.L. for operational purposes. From this date until January 1941, the Staffel was without an independent identity.
Finland and Norway. (January 1941 - May 1945)
18 January 1941: reactivated as an independent Staffel at Aalborg/West/Denmark using cadre from 4.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. Ob.d.L. and ordered to convert to the Junkers Ju 88.
24 April 1941: training and work-up on the Ju 88 completed, began recce operations over the North Sea, Scotland and the Shetland Islands, with a Ju 88 failing to return this date from a mission to the Firth of Forth (1 KIA and 3 MIA), followed by another on 17 May that had been on a sortie to Aberdeen.
May 1941: transferred at the end of May to Kirkenes/northern Norway for assignment to General der Luftwaffe für Nordnorwegen, with one Kette (3 Ju 88s) detached at Bardufoss/north Norway.
18 June 1941: commenced operational flights over the Murmansk area four days before the Germans opened their attack on the Soviet Union on 22 June.
9 August 1941: Ju 88 A-5 (G2+BH) shot down by AA fire over the Soviet airfield complex at Varlamovo, 100%, 1 KIA, 1 WIA and 2 MIA.
1 November 1941: Staffel transferred to winter quarters at Kemi on the Gulf of Bothnia, leaving one Schwarm (4 Ju 88s) behind at Kirkenes.
12 November 1941: Ju 88 A-5 (G2+SC?) failed to return (FTR) from a recce along the Murmansk railway line, 100%, 4 MIA.
1 March 1942: Staffel reported 8 Ju 88 D-1 and 3 Ju 88 A-5F on strength.
22 March 1942: Ju 88 D-1 (G2+HH) FTR from a recce over the Yekenga-Teriberka area, 100%, 4 MIA.
July 1942: by June or early July, the entire Staffel was assembled at Kirkenes for the summer campaign along the Murmansk front under Fliegerführer Nord (Ost)/Luftflotte 5.
21 July 1942: Ju 88 D-5 (G2+BH) FTR from a ultra long-distance recce to Arkhangelsk, 100%, 4 MIA.
9 September 1942: Hptm. Roland Pohle and crew were badly injured when their Ju 88 D-1 was written-off in a crash landing at Kirkenes and, 10 days later on 18 September, Oblt. Willi Gessner met a similar fate when his Ju 88 D-1 crashed on take-off from Kirkenes killing one of the crew and injuring two others.
October 1942 – February 1943: Staffel flew routine reconnaissance missions as weather permitted during this 5-month period, had no operational losses and only a single machine (a Ju 88 D-1) was the victim of a crash or accident.
1 March 1943: had 8 Ju 88 D-1, 2 Ju 88 D-5 and 1 Bf 110 F-3 on hand.
29 March 1943: Ju 88 D-1 (G2+LH) shot down by Soviet fighters, probably in the Petsamo area, 100%, 4 KIA.
April 1943: Staffel began receiving a few Messerschmitt Bf 109 single-seaters, one of which, a Bf 109 G-4, was damaged in a crash landing at Petsamo on 29 April.
18 May 1943: Ju 88 D-1 (G2+FH) FTR from a recce - no details, 100%, 4 MIA.
20 June 1943: 1.(F)/124 flew its 2,000th operational sortie this date.
22 June 1943: Ju 88 D-1 crashed south-west of Tikksjärvi, 100%, 4 killed.
1 July 1943: Ju 88 D-1 destroyed landing at Kirkenes, 90%.
10 July 1943: Kirkenes - Staffel reported 20(13) Ju 88s, Bf 109s and Bf 110s on strength.
1 August 1943: Bf 109 G-4 force landed north of Pori due to engine failure, 20%.
1 September 1943: Ju 88 D-1 damaged at Kirkenes, 15%.
17 September 1943: Ju 88 D-1 crash landed at Nautsi airfield, 30%, 1 injured.
15 October 1943: Kirkenes - Staffel reported 14 Ju 88s and 4 Bf 109Gs on strength.
October 1943: reconnaissance continued through the winter of 1943/44, with an emphasis on Soviet airfields and the Murmansk railway for any evidence of a build-up that might signal plans for an enemy offensive. Two photo recce Bf 109Gs were moved to the airstrip at Salmijärvi to keep close watch on the numerous airfields around Murmansk and on shipping passing in and out of Kola Bay.
November – December 1943: no losses – operations severely limited due to the weather.
16 January 1944: Ju 88A (G2+XH) belly landed at Kirkenes due to engine failure, 30%, Oblt. Artur Lüdtke.injured.
29 January 1944: Ju 88 D-1 (G2+BH) FTR from a recce over the Polyarny area/north-west of Murmansk, 100%, 4 MIA.
7 March 1944: Ju 88 D-5 (G2+KH) FTR from a recce to the Belomorsk area on the White Sea, 100%, Oblt. Helmut Eberhardt + 3 MIA.
31 March 1944: Bf 109 G-4/R3 (G2+WH) crashed due to engine failure on return from a recce over Murmansk, 100%, Oblt. Hans Dautzenberg MIA.
2 April 1944: Ju 88 shot down by Fleet Air Arm Martlet fighters from the escort carriers Tracker and Activity while attempting to locate and shadow Convoy JW 58 bound from Iceland to North Russia with 48 merchantmen, 100%, 4 MIA.
14 April 1944: Ju 88 crashed on landing at Banak airfield/north Norway, 75%, Oblt. Willi Gessner+ 3 injured.
13 May 1944: at Kirkenes and now under Fliegerführer Eismeer (since around 10 March 1944); Staffel reported flying its 2,500th operational sortie this date.
31 July 1944: Kirkenes - Staffel reported 12 Ju 88s, 2 Ju 188s (received in July) and 3 Bf 109Gs on strength.
August 1944: transferred from Kirkenes to Kaamanen/south-west of Lake Inari at the end of August, while temporarily leaving a detachment of 5 Ju 88s and 1 Ju 188 behind at Kirkenes; Staffel now operating under the authority of the Kommandierender General der deutschen Luftwaffe in Finnland.
17 October 1944: Staka Hptm. Wünsche and crew failed to return for a reconnaissance mission; no details concerning the aircraft.
23 October 1944: following Finland’s withdrawal from the war on 2 September and the gradual retreat of German forces from North Finland, the Staffel transferred to Banak and continued operations under Fliegerführer 3 (formerly Fliegerführer Eismeer – Stab at Alta and then at Bardufoss, both in north Norway).
November 1944: transferred from Banak to Bardufoss at the end of November or beginning of December, which was to be the Staffel’s last station until the end of the war.
25 January 1945: reported 19(17) Ju 88s and Ju 188s on strength at Bardufoss under 5. Fliegerdivision (Stab at Trondheim).
January – April 1945: few missions flown due to the fuel shortage and poor winter flying conditions.
4 May 1945: Aufkl.St. 1.(F) 124 flew its last mission this date.
8 May 1945: Staffel ferried all serviceable aircraft (2 Ju 88 D-1s, 2 Ju 188 D-2s, 2 Ju 188 F-1s, 1 He 111 H-6 and 1 Fi 156 C-3) from Bardufoss to Bodø and surrendered in accordance with Allied instructions.
FpN:1.(F)/124 (L 22641).
Oblt. Friedrich-Karl Runde (July 1939 - 27 September 1939 or February 1940)
Oblt. Hans Stockhausen (acting) (27 September 1939 - ? )
Hptm. Hans Wolff (February 1940 - 25 October 1941)
Maj. Heinz Banke (acting) (25 October 1941 - 15 November 1941)
Oblt. Kurt Behnke (Stafü) (15 November 1941 - 25 February 1942)
Obstlt. Heinz Banke (25 February 1942 - 9 June 1942)
Hptm. Kurt Behnke (9 June 1942 - 7 June 1943)
Hptm. Heinrich Eiler (acting?) (c.7 June 1943 - 15 July 1943)
Maj. Hugo Löhr (15 July 1943 - 10 November 1943) Sick (hospitalized)
Hptm. Heinrich Eiler (acting) (10 November 1943 - 6 December 1843)
Hptm. Reinhold Wünsche (January 1944 - 17 October 1944) MIA
Hptm.d.R. Hans Pentzien (October 1944 - 8 May 1945)
BRANDT gen. FLENDER, Fritz von, Oblt.
DAUTZENBERG, Hans (Heinz?), Oblt.
DIETSCHE, Karl-Heinz, Lt./Oblt.
DOHRMANN, Ewald, Hptm.
EBERHARDT, Helmut, Oblt.
FEHSE, Werner, Oblt. (Ing.)
GESSNER, Willi, Oblt.
GORNIK, Georg, Lt.
HECHT, Erich, Oblt.
HOENSBROECH, Karl Klemens Josef Hubertus Maria Graf von und zu, Oblt.
HORST, Werner, Oblt.
JOHANNES, ? , Lt.
KLAUS, Karl, Lt.
KNABE, Konrad, Hptm.
KNUPP, Wilhelm, Oblt.
KÖHNE, Ernst, Lt.
KÖNIG, Artur, Lt.
KRAUS, Karl, Lt.
LERCH, Willi (Willy), Oblt.
LINK, Otto, Oblt.
LÖBEL, Joachim, Lt.
LÜDTKE, Artur, Oblt.
LÜTHGENS, Hans-Ulrich, Oblt.
MAKOWITSCH, Dr. Karl, Truppenarzt
MALOTTKI, Bruno von, Oblt./Hptm.
MEESMANN, (Walter?), Oblt.
MENZEL, Max, Oblt.
MICHEL, Gerhard, Oblt./Hptm.
MÜLLER, Gottfried, Lt.
NICOLAUS, Walter, Lt.
PETRAN, Heinz, Oblt.
PIPKE, Günter, Oblt.
PLANK, Ulrich, Lt.
POHLE, Roland, Hptm.
QUEDNAU, Helmut, Oblt.
REUTER (REUTHER ?), Gottfried, Lt.
ROSENBAUM, Ludwig, Lt./Oblt.
ROSENFELD, Günter, Oblt.
SAUER, Carl, Oblt.
SCHAUEN, Wilhelm, Oblt.
SCHICK, Maximilian, Lt.
SCHIESEL (SCHIESL?) Franz, Lt.
SCHMIDT, Hans (Franz?), Lt.
SCHMIEDT, Franz, Lt.
SCHÖNHUT, Friedrich, Lt.
SCHUBRING (SCHUBRINK?), Dr.(phil.) Helmut, Oblt.
SCHUCHARD (SCHUCHARDT?), Jörg (Georg?), Lt.
SCHÜLKE, Kurt, Oblt.
SCHULZE, Willi, Lt.
SOHNIUS, Friedrich, Oblt.
SORGE, Ernst, Hptm.
SPITZ, Anton, Oblt.
STAS, Günter, Hptm.
THAMM, Dr. ? , Stabsarzt
TIEDEMANN (TIEDEMANN-BRANDIS?), Reinhard von, Oblt.
TÜCHER, Hans, Lt.
WACK, Otto, Lt.
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress). (1st Draft 2022)
- The main source for this history is a short manuscript prepared by the Staffelkameradschaft 1.(F)/124 (n.d.), copy in possession of H.L.deZeng; Tessin- Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939: Altes Heer, Freiwilligenverbände Reichswehr,Heer, Luftwaffe, Landespolizei (Osnabrück); 1974 Ries- Luftwaffen Story 1935-1939 (Mainz, 1974); DéfieuxRépertoire des Unités Aériennes de la Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Reconnaissance Aéronavale (Nanterre, privately published, n.d. (c 1988-90?); N.Kannapin - Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945. 3 Bde (I – III) (Osnabrück, 1980-82); G.Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945, 16+ Bde. (Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag, 1965-c.1990), Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte (Osnabrück, 1980); W.Dierich - Die Verbände der Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Gliederungen und Kurzchroniken – Eine Dokumentation (Stuttgart, 1976); NARA WashDC: RG 242 (Microcopy T-312 roll 1007/372, roll 1032/460, roll 1033/1206, roll 1063/888, roll 1070/591 and 969); (Microcopy T-971 roll 19); AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.625S (British Air Ministry) OKL document; PRO London: ADM 223/OIC-SI (Operational Intelligence Centre - Special Intelligence), a daily intelligence report based on ULTRA and other signals intelligence that began about January 1942; PRO London: PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence reports and lists based on ULTRA, “Y” Service intercepts, captured documents and PoW interrogations; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 9/35 and RL 40/Kart; U.Balke - Der Luftkrieg in Europa: Die Operativen Einsätze des Kampfgeschwader 2 im Zweiten Weltkrieg, 2 Bde (Koblenz, 1989-90), Teil 1, pp.395 and 400; J.Rohwer/G.Hümmelchen - Chronology of the War at Sea: The Naval History of World War Two (Annapolis, 1992), p.267; O.Anttonen/H.Valtonen - Luftwaffe Suomessa – in Finland 1941-1944. Helsinki: privately published), 2 volumes; K.Maesel – correspondence with H.L.deZeng; M.Holm web site ww2.dk.