Unit Code (X4+ )
Formation. (Jul 43)
Ordered formed on 13 (15?) July 1943 at Travemünde and Biscarrosse/SW France, with a planned allowance of 12 Blohm und Voss BV 138 flying boats, 5 or 6 of which were already on strength on this date. The Staffel's formation history is not entirely clear, but it eventually comprised a combination of new assets, the former Aufklirungsstaffel (See) 222 and elements (perhaps half) of 3./Küstenfliegergruppe 406 which was equipped with BV 138 flying boats. The BV 222s and the bulk of the Staffel were at Travemünde while the BV 138s and the rest of the Staffel were at Biscarrosse. The organization of the Staffel was unique in terms of its mixed complement of aircraft and the maintenance assets needed to service them, and consequently had its own KStN (Table of Organization and Equipment): 1104 (L).
North Germany, Western France and Norway. (Jul 43 - Sep 44)
Jul — Sep 43: the BV 222s and the majority of the Staffel remained at Travemünde until protective bunkers could be constructed in a canal bank at Biscarrosse and a means found to camouflage the big flying boats. The transfer from Travemünde to Biscarrosse finally began on 16 September with V2 (X4+EH) and V4 (X4+DH) making the flight. Once at Biscarrosse, the Staffel remained there until July 1944, initially under Fliegerführer Atlantik to February 1944 and then under X. Fliegerkorps from March.
22 Sep 43: BV 138C-1 ran out of fuel and ditched in the sea, 100%, crew rescued.
25 Sep 43: Staffel flew its first BV 222 reconnaissance mission over the Atlantic but only managed to sight a lone PBY Catalina. More flights were made on 29 September, 2, 3 and 8 October followed by a week of maintenance on the aircraft. Several convoys were sighted on these first missions and on 8 October the V2 was attacked by a RAF Coastal Command Halifax.
Oct 43: Staffel ceased most BV 138 operations, but continued with BV 222s.
22 Oct 43: BV 222 V4 (Wk.Nr.004) shot up by a USN PB4Y over the sea, 20%, 1 KIA. However, the flying boat shot down the Liberator.
30 Oct 43: a BV 222 spotted the 60-ship convoy MKS 28, 7 days outbound from Gibraltar to the U.K., leading to a series of relatively unsuccessful U-boat attacks over the next several days, although the U-boats claimed 2 destroyers and a freighter sunk and another freighter damaged.
16 Nov 43: a BV 222 spotted convoy MKS 30, 3 days outbound from Gibraltar with 66 cargo ships, which was then taken under continuous U-boat attack.
27 Nov 43: a BV 222 spotted combined convoy MKS 31/SL 140 with 68 ships, and shadowed it for 5 hours while vectoring in a wolf pack of 6 U-boats which lost two of their own over the next two days in spirited but fruitless attacks on the well-escorted ships.
20 Dec 43: Biscarrosse - reported 2(1) BV 222s and 2(0) BV 138s on strength.
18/19 Feb 44: following two months of inactivity, BV 222 V2 (X4+EH) spotted a convoy, tracked it and then illuminated it with flares, but the approaching U-boats could not make contact.
Mar — May 44: inactive at Biscarrosse due to Allied air superiority over the Bay of Biscay and the Navy’s decision to restrict U-boat activity to new moon periods - The Staffel used the time for refitting and training.G.Ott-op cit.</ref>
23/24 May 44: flew last long-range reconnaissance patrol over the Atlantic. A convoy was spotted and tracked, but no U-boat contact was made.
29 Jun 44: with the Bay of Biscay area now considered to be too dangerous following the Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, Staffel ordered by Luftflotte 3 this date to depart Biscarrosse with its 4 BV 222s, with one-half to go to Oslo-Gressholmen/Norway and the other half to Tromsø/Norway, and reassigned to Luftflotte 5.
10 Jul 44: in transfer from Biscarrosse to Norway - meanwhile, proposals were being made to convert it into a night fighter Staffel, but these were never carried out.
27 Jul 44: Staffel now at Horten on Oslo Fjord and at Tromsø.
16 Aug 44: ordered to disband by OKL this date, with the Staffel's remaining BV 222s and crews to be distributed as follows: one to 1./SAGr. 130 at Tromsø, one to 2./SAGr.131 at Stavanger-Sola (See) and the last one to be flown to Travemünde.
1 Sep 44: two of the Staffel's BV 222s identified operating out of Banak/North Norway this date, but whether or not these were still listed on the books of 1.(F)/SAGr. 129 is not known.
28 Sep 44: Staffel remnants at Travemünde disbanding.
FpN: (L 49038)
Hptm. Fritz? Fuhrer (13 Jul 43 - Aug 44?)
BODDIEN, Karl von, Hptm.
HASENBERG, Bernhard, Hptm.
JAMMERS, Karl-Heinz?, Oblt.
KELLER, Franz, Hptm.
MARX, Helmut, Oblt.z.S.
MÖHRING (MÖHRINGER?), Friedrich, Hptm.
PAUSINGER, Heinz, Oblt.
SCHMUTZLER(SCHMUTZER?), Karl, Hptm.
SPANNIEL, Hans (Willi?)?, Lt.
STEINBACH, Heinz, Oblt./Hptm.
STRAHLKE (SCHRAHLKE?), Karl-Heinz, Lt.z.S.
TODT, Erich, Lt.
TÜBLER, Alfred, Hptm.
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2022).
(1st Draft 2022)
- W.Dierich-VdL; G.Tessin-Tes; N.Kannapin-Feldpostübersicht; J-P.Défieux-Répertoire des Unités Aériennes de la Lufiwaffe 1935-1945: Reconnaissance Aéronavale; F Kurowski-Seekrieg aus der Luft: Die deutsche Seeluftwaffe im Zweiten Weltkrieg:248; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512 (British Air Ministry documents), A.I.12. Y/29 “G.A.F. Establishment Schedule Numbers”, n.d. (1945).
- PRO London: DEFE 3 ULTRA signals (numbers not recorded); BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 40/Kart; NARA WashDC: RG 242/T-971 roll 18; G.Ott, “Blohm & Voss BV 222 V2”, in Jet & Prop magazine, Hefte (issues) 2/2003, 3/2003 and 4/2003.
- BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle.....(Loss Reports — LRs).
- G.Ott – op cit.
- F.Kurowski-op cit: 150-51
- J.Rohwer/G.Hümmelchen-Chronology of the War at Sea: The Naval History of World War Two:242; G.Ott-op cit.
- J.Rohwer/G.Hiimmelchen-op cit:246.
- J.Rohwer/G.Hiimmelchen-op cit:247.
- S.Neitzel-Der Einsatz der deutschen Luftwaffe über dem Atlantik und der Nordsee 1939-1940:179.
- G.Ott-op cit.
- G.Ott-op cit.
- BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 40/Kart; Luftwaffen-Revue magazine, Heft (issue) 1/1985; ULTRA signal: G.Ott-op cit.
- T-971 roll 18-op cit; F.Kurowski-op cit:258. [Comment: can this be right? A night fighter Staffel?].
- K.Maesel: private correspondence with H.L.deZeng, 1992-95. This correspondence consists or a large collection of photocopies of original documents from BA-MA Freiburg as well as special studies assembled by Norwegian aviation historians based on Luftwaffe flight logs and postwar interviews.
- F.Kurowski-op cit:259.
- PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence documents based on UL 1 RA and “Y” Service intercepts.
- ULTRA signal HP1549