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1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. Ob.d.L.

(Unit Code T5 + )

Formation. (1939)

Formed about January 1939 at Berlin-Tempelhof from elements of the former Fliegerstaffel z.b.V. and initially equipped with Dornier Do 17s, Junkers Ju 86s and Heinkel He 111s.[1]

West and Scandinavia

At Werder/Havel to the southwest of Berlin on 1 September 1939 and from there flew the Luftwaffe’s first reconnaissance mission over Great Britain following the outbreak of war, sending a He 111 to photograph the Home Fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow/Orkney Is. on 5 September. Similar missions continued through the autumn, and on 20 November Do 17F (T5+LH) was shot down by RAF Spitfires off the southeast coast of England. Moved to Fritzlar/Hesse in December, and on 13 January 1940 Do 17S (T5+FH) was brought down by a French Curtiss H-75 along the Channel coast, Lt. Theodor Rosarius and crew being captured. Losses on missions over the British Isles continued through March: a He 111 was shot down by Spitfires off Scotland on 19 January while on a sortie to Scapa Flow; on 22 February He 111P (T5+OH) was forced to make a crash landing after combat with Spitfires near the Firth of Forth and was then promptly set on fire by its crew so it would not fall into enemy hands; and, He 111P (T5+AM) was brought down by Spitfires near Aberdeen/Scotland on 7 March. Shortly after the invasion of Denmark and Norway on 9 April. 1940, several Do 215Bs were sent to Stavanger/Norway to fly over the North Sea in search of the British Fleet. One of these Dorniers was destroyed on the ground at Stavanger during an RAF raid on 24 April.

Attack on France and the Low Countries and the Air Offensive Against England

A strength return filed by the Staffel at Fritzlar for 10 May 1940, the date of the attack in the West, listed 7 He 111Hs and Ps, 3 Do 215Bs, 2 Do 217As, 2 Bf 110Ds and 2 Ju 87As on hand. Only one loss has been identified during the Blitzkrieg campaign through Belgium and France: a Bf 110 belonging to the Staffel failed to return from a recce sortie over Dover/SE England on 24 May. At the end of June and the beginning of July, all or a majority of 1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. Ob.d.L. moved to Paris-Orly to carry out photo mapping of South and Central England, having been reinforced almost to the strength of a Gruppe according to a strength return, for 13 August: 9 He 111Hs and Ps, 4 He 116s, 3 Do 217s, 3 Ju 88As, 2 Ju 86Ps, 2 Do 215s, 2 Bf 110s and 2 BV 142s - a total of 27 operational aircraft. Four or five Do 215s, Ju 88As and Bf 110s were lost up to the end of September, nearly all of these in crashes in France, probably by aircraft returning from night missions over England.

Central Russia

Ordered to Seerappen, near Königsberg in East Prussia, in November 1940 to carry out clandestine photo reconnaissance of Soviet airfields and other objectives in North Russia and Belorussia, and then on 16 July 1941 transferred from Seerappen to Minsk-South for assignment to Luftflotte 2. Moved forward to Orsha in late July and suffered its first loss in the East on 11 August when Do 215 (T5+LC) was shot down by Russian fighters over the Orel-Tula area. Transferred to Smolensk-North in September and remained there until January 1943. The Staffel flew its 1,000th operational sortie toward the end of 1941 (or 1942 according to another source). Now under VIII. Fliegerkorps, Ju 88 D-1 (5F+FM), an aircraft evidently borrowed or taken over from 4.(F)/14 which was also based at Smolensk-North, was lost near Yukhnov on 28 January 1942 and Ju 88 D-1 (T5+KC) failed to return from a reconnaissance flight to Sorazh on 1 February. On 1 March 1942 the Staffel reported 10 x Ju 88 D-1, 3 x Do 215 B-4, 1 x Bf 110 E-3 on strength. During the spring, the pre-production Arado Ar 240 V-5 and V-6 (T5+KM) were assigned for operational evaluation as fast, high-altitude reconnaissance planes, but little is known of their employment. Now under Fernaufklärungsgruppe 2 and Luftwaffenkdo. Ost, no further losses were reported until 10 July 1942 when a Ju 88 D-5 was shot up by a Russian fighter near Tula. During an early morning sortie on 20 July, the Staffel claimed a MiG-3 shot down after being hit by the gunners aboard one of the Ju 88s. Oblt. Max Dornemann and crew in a Ju 88 D-5 failed to return from a mission to Moscow and Gorki on 27 July and another, Ju 88 D-1 (T5+CH), was lost on 13 September. A strength return for 20 September listed 7(3) Ju 88s on hand. Some Bf 109s were added during the fall and by December the Staffel had 3 x Bf 109 F-4s. The Staffel is said to have moved from Smolensk-North to Orsha-South in late December or early January 1943, but this cannot be confirmed. Two extremely high-altitude Junkers Ju 86R-1s were assigned to the Staffel in December 1942, one of which made a forced landing at Izdgeshkovo (Izdëshkovo)/46 km west of Vyazma on 24 January 1943 after being shot up, injuring the pilot, Oblt. Kurt Heitner, together with the other members of the crew. A Ju 88 C-5 was also received during December. Renamed Aufklärungsstaffel 1.(F)/100 on 27 January 1943.

FpN:L 39317


Maj. Erich Keienburg (?) (  ? - Oct 39) 9/39

Oblt. Brix (acting?) (  ? -  ? ) 5/40

Hptm. Edmund Forster? (  ? - 6 Oct 42?) 8/40

Hptm. Hans Schech (c.Dec 40 - c.Oct 42) 7/41

Hptm. Erich Marquardt (c.Oct 42 - 27 Jan 43)

Also see:

BABICK, Joachim, Lt.


FOKUHL, Johann, Lt./Oblt.

FROESE, Hans, Lt.

GROTHE, Erich, Lt.

HEITNER, Kurt, Oblt.

KÄSTNER, Otto, Oblt./Hptm.

LASSIG, Hans-Herbert, Oblt. (Kr.O.)

LITTMANN, Fritz, Lt.

MÜLLER,  ? , Lt.

PILZ, Erwin, Oblt.

POPP, Alfred, Oblt.


RÖDER, Rudolf, Lt.

ROSARIUS, Theodor, Lt.d.R.


VENN,  ? , Oblt.

VOGELER, Herbert, Lt.

© H.L. deZeng IV, 2022


  1. T.Rowehl-Chronik; G.Thomas and B.Ketley – KG 200: The Luftwaffe’s Most Secret Unit (Hikoki Pub. Ltd, 2003); F.K.Mason - Battle Over Britain; W.G.Ramsey (ed.) - The Blitz, Then And Now, 3 volumes; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); NARA WashDC: RG 242 (various rolls from T-312, T-313, T-321 and T-971); W.Horst (president of the Aufklärungsflieger veterans association in Germany) – personal correspondence with the author, 1994-96); web site ww2.dk.

Aufklärungsgruppe Ob.d.L.

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