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1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 31

Code: (5D + )

also as: Nahaufklärungsstaffel 1./31 (Mot) Nahaufklärungsstaffel 1./31 (Nacht)

Formation and Training. (Nov 38 - Aug 39)

Formed 1 November 1938 at Brieg/Silesia (ex-1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 13) with Henschel Hs 126s and Heinkel He 46s. The He 46s were phased out and replaced with Hs 126s during the first half of 1939.[1]

Polish Campaign. (Sep 1939)

1.9.39: although the Staffel is not listed in the order of battle for this date, it is said to have participated in the campaign in support of VIII. Armeekorps/14th Army along a line of advance from the Ratibor area in Upper Silesia - across southern Poland - Krakow - Galicia District - Lvov area (19 September).

8.9.39: 1.(H)/31 at Kattowitz (Katowice)/Silesia in support of VIII. Armeekorps. (TsAMO 500/12452, Akte 673/85)

10.39 – 4.40: no information as to the Staffel’s location or activity.

West - Attack on France and the Low Countries. (May 40 - c.May 41)

10.5.40: Aachen or Euskirchen area under Koluft AOK 4 for the campaign in the West commencing this date - assigned to support VIII. Armeekorps through Belgium and northeast France via Liège - Arras (21-23 May) - Calais (27 May).

10.6.40: Hs 126 shot down over Gancourt/NE France, 100%.

7.40 – 10.40: location and activity unknown, but the Staffel probably remained in the West following the armistice on 22 June.

30.8.40: Belgium-North France area under Koluft AOK 9 in support of X Corps.

2.11.40: Hs 126B crash landed at Sorrus, 70%.

14.11.40: Fi 156 damaged at Fp. Antwerpen during a storm, 15%.

17.12.40: Hs 126 crash landed at Fp. Reims, 100%.

1.41: turned in the Hs 126s and began converting to the Focke Wulf Fw 189, possibly at Nellingen/10 km SE of Stuttgart.

16.2.41: one man reported struck by a propeller at Fp. Nellingen.

Central Russia. Jun 41 - c.Feb 42)

12.5.41: Fw 189 A-1 crashed due to engine trouble at Fp. Plock/90 km WNW of Warsaw, 80%, 3 killed.

22.6.41: East Prussia/NE Poland area under Koluft AOK 9/Army Group Center for the attack on the Soviet Union this date - assigned to support VIII Corps along the line Grodno area - Vitebsk (11 July) - Smolensk (16 July) - Velikiye Luki (22-28 August) - Yartsevo - Vyazma (13 October) - toward Moscow.

22.6.41: Fw 189 A-1 (5D+BH) failed to return from a recce mission over the Grodno area, 100%, 3 KIA.

2.10.41: Fw 189 A-1 shot up by AA-fire near Yartsevo/NE of Smolensk, 10%, Oblt. Konrad Hofmann (observer) + 1 both WIA.

11.41 – 2.42: Staffel probably withdrawn from operations and returned to Germany to rest and refit.

North Russia. (Mar 42 - Oct 44)

1.3.42: Staffel reported 6 x Fw 189 A-1 on strength.

28.3.42: now back at the front, and identified flying reconnaissance for German counterattacks in the vicinity of Staraya Russa and Demyansk.

4.42: assigned to Nahaufklärungsgruppe 11, probably with effect from 19 April.

8.6.42: one man reported KIA during enemy bombing at Demyansk.

20.6.42: Staffel reported 7(5) Fw 189s on strength.

26.6.42: based at Demyansk.

19.8.42: 3 Fw 189 A-2s (95%, 95%, 60%) destroyed by bombs during Russian air attack on Fp. Demyansk.

6.9.42: Fw 189 crashed at Fp. Soltsy/36 km N of Dno, 100%, 3 killed.

9.9.42: based at Soltsy under NAGr. 11.

26.9.42: Fw 189 A-2 shot down by a fighter near Demyansk, 95%, 3 KIA.

2.10.42: Fw 189 A-2 damaged by bombs at Fp. Soltsy, 25%.

9.11.42: based at Soltsy.

12/42: Soltsy under NAGr. 11.

26.1.43: Soltsy under NAGr. 11 in support of 16th Army.

9.2.43: Fw 189 (5D+DH) show down by fighters and ground fire NW of Samoshka, 100%, 3 KIA.

16.2.43: Fw 189 A-2 shot up by a fighter SE of Staraya Russa, 20%, 1 WIA.

19.2.43: Fi 156 crashed at Fp. Tuleblya/21 km SSW of Lake lImen, 35%.

1.3.43: Staffel reported 9 x Fw 189 A-2 on strength.

2.3.43: Fw 189 A-2 (5D+HH) shot down by AA-fire over Sistova, 100%, Staka Hptm. Kempken (observer) + 2 KIA.

15.3.43: Fw 189 damaged by bombs during enemy air raid on Fp. Dno, 35%.

22.3.43: Fi 156 damaged by bombs during enemy air raid on Fp. Pskov, 40%.

16.4.43: Fw 189 damaged taxiing at Fp. Dno, 35%.

10.5.43: Fw 189 shot up by ground fire over Karasisha, 70%, 1 KIA and 2 WIA.

5.43: transferred to Fp. Ashevo/115 km SE of Pskov and still under NAGr. 11.

26.6.43: Ashevo - from around this date on, the Staffel’s losses were reported under the NAGr. to which it was assigned.

9.43: transferred to Dno.

11.43: operating from Dno and Idritsa, and now under NAGr. 8.

12.43: same as for 11.43, above.

1.44: Idritsa in support of 16th Army.

1.44: re-designated Nahaufklärungsstaffel 1./31 (Mot) and assigned its own KStN (1115 (L)).

1.2.44: disbanded its own le.Flak-Zug of 1 officer, 7 NCOs and 31 men in compliance with Ob.d.L. personnel curtailment directives.

26.2.44: now at Rakvere (Wesenberg)/NE Estonia - reported 13 aircraft and 19 crews on strength.

17.3.44: Rakvere - Staffel flew its 3,000th operational sortie this date.

26.6.44: Rakvere under NAGr. 5 with Fw 189s and a few Hs 126s.

2.9.44: Rakvere.

6.10.44: having withdrawn from Estonia into Latvia with NAGr. 5 during September, possibly to Kogula (Kagul) airfield on Ösel and flying recce operations in the Moonsund area, the Staffel was withdrawn from operations about this date and returned to the Reich to rest and refit. It may have been outfitted for night operations during the refit. Unconfirmed sources state that it transferred to Bromburg (Bydgoszcz)/NW Poland in September and remained there until November.

Silesia and Czechoslovakia. (Oct 44 - May 45)

1.12.44: Staffel reported 8 x Fw 189 A-2 and 1 x Fw 189 A-3 on strength. The same unconfirmed sources state that it was based at Neisse and nearby Möckendorf from December 1944 to March 1945.

2.45: under NAGr. 2.

17.2.45: Fw 189 A-2 shot down by AA-fire SE of Gross-Strehlitz, 100%, 1 WIA and 2 MIA.

17.3.45: Fw 189 A-2 crashed SE of Münsterberg, 100%, 2 killed.

26.3.45: at Glatz (Klodzko) under NAGr. 2 with Fw 189s.

29.3.45: now at Olmütz (Olomouc)-West under NAGr. 2.

3.5.45: Nahaufklärungsstaffel 1./31 (Nacht) at Zauchtel/Czech. under NAGr. 2.

FpN:1. (H)/31 (L04202).


Maj. Harald Stainer (1 Nov 38? - 9 Jan 40) 1939

Hptm. Friedrich Alberti (8 Mar 40 - 19 Aug 40?)

Hptm. Kurt Kempken (  ? - 2 Mar 43) KIA

Hptm. Meier (  ? -  ? ) 1944

Oblt. Hans Albers (  ? - May 45)

Also see:

ANDREAS, Kurt, Lt./Oblt.

BRATKE, Ernst, Lt.

DREXEL, Friedrich, Lt.

ECKERSCHAM, Roland, Oblt.

ECKERT, Georg, Oblt.

EICHHOLTZ, Wolf-Hermann, Hptm.

FOIGELE, Karl, Lt.

FRANKENBERG und PROSCHLITZ, Paul-Moritz von, Hptm.

HAHN, Ernst, Oblt.

HOFMANN, Konrad, Oblt.

KEIENBRINK, Karl-Heinz, Lt.

KLEIN, Herbert, Lt.

KLOCKE, Wilhelm, Lt.

KRAUS, Andreas, Lt.?

LEUPOLD, Friedrich Wilhelm Robert, Lt.

NASS, Hans, Lt.

POTTHOFF, Herbert, Lt.

ROCH, Ernst, Lt.

SCHNEIDER, Ludwig, Oblt.

SCHULTZE, Heinz, Hptm.

SELLENBÖHMER, Heinrich, Oblt.

SPONNAGEL, Dietrich, Lt./Oblt.

STRECKER, Alfred, Lt.

THESEETH, Wilhelm, Lt.

WARNEKE, Heinz, Oblt.

WEYEL, Carl-Otto, Oblt.

© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress). (1st Draft 2021)


  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; Tessin, Georg, Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939: Altes Heer, Freiwilligenverbände, Reichswehr, Heer, Luftwaffe, Landespolizei; 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; 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.397; K-O.Hoffmann - Ln: Die Geschichte der Luftnachrichtentruppe, p.107; M.Meyer/P.Stipdonk - Von der Fliegerschule zum Einsatzverband: Ein Bildband der deutschen Luftwaffe 1933-1945, p.78; K.Köhler - “Der Einsatz der Luftwaffe im Bereich der Heeresgruppe Nord von Ende Juni bis Mitte Oktober 1944”, in Meier-Welcker, Hans (ed.), Abwehrkämpfe am Nordflügel der Ostfront 1944-1945, p.37; M.Rauchensteiner - Der Krieg in Österreich, 1945, p.359; AFHRA Maxwell decimal Karlsruhe Collection KC-Kl13.309-3/ v.1; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-311 roll 71); (T-312 rolls for AOK 16 and AOK 18, especially roll 568 frames 314-19 “Genst.d.Heeres/Org.Abt.(II) Nr.1483/42g.Kdos., 19.4.1942” order setting up the Nahaufklärungsgruppen); (T-321 roll 50/876); PRO London: AIR 40/1986; BNA HW 5/446; BA-MA Freiburg: 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).

Aufklärungsgruppe 31

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