2.(H)/Aufk1.Gr. 31 Code: (5D + )
also as: 2.(H)/31 (Pz)
Formation and Training. (Nov 38 - Aug 39)
Formed 1 November 1938 at Brieg/Silesia (ex-2.(H)/Aufk1.Gr. 13) with Henschel Hs 126s and Heinkel He 46s.
Polish Campaign. (Sep 1939)
1.9.39: although the Staffe1 is not listed in the order of battle for this date, it is said to have taken part in the campaign in support of 5. Panzer-Division/VIII. Armeekorps (14th Army) from the Ratibor area in Upper Silesia and advanced across southern Poland via Krakow, the Galicia District and into the Lvov area by 19 September.
11.39: after the conclusion of the campaign at the end of September, the Staffel replaced its few remaining He 46s with Hs 126s.
West - Attack on France and the Low Countries. (May 40 - c.May 41)
7.3.40: Hs 126 crashed shortly after a night take-off from Fp. Rotenburg/40 km E of Bremen, 100%, 2 killed.
10.5.40: Eifel area assigned to support 5th Panzer Division/Army Group B for the campaign in the West this date, moving forward via Cambrai - Lille - Rouen and into Brittany from mid-June.
21.5.40: Hs 126 shot down over Flanders, 100%.
22 Jun 40: on a field airstrip 6 km NE of Nantes.
13.8.40: N France under Stab/Aufkl.Gr. 31 with 7 Hs 126s on standby to lay smoke screens for the planned invasion of England that was later cancelled.
29.12.40: Hs 126 force landed at Beaumont, 80%.
4.1.41: departed France this date for the Reich and then the Balkans.
Balkan Campaign. (Apr 41 - May 41)
6.4.41: assigned to 5th Panzer Division/12th Army for the invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece.
6.4.41: on the opening day of the attack this date, flew reconnaissance in the Niš-Paracin area of eastern Serbia under Koluft AOK 12.
20.4.41: at Alonakia/11 km W of Kozani in Greece.
11.5.41: at Trikala/north-central Greece.
Germany. (Jun 41 - May 42)
6.41: the Staffe1 did not take part in the attack on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. The 5th Panzer Division, to which 2.(H)/31 was assigned, was held in reserve until October, but instead of accompanying the Division to Russia the Staffel remained in Germany to convert to the Focke Wulf Fw 189.
4.11.41: Bü 131 damaged taxiing at Fp. Brieg, 10%.
1.3.42: Staffel reported 9 x Fw 189 A-1 on strength.
South Russia. (May 42 - Feb 43)
16.5.42: in transfer to Konotop for assignment to Nahaufklärungsgruppe 10.
31.5.42: Fw 189 A-1 damaged by bombs during enemy air raid on Fp. Kursk, 20%.
4.6.42: photographed the Livny area.
5.6.42: Fw 189 A-1 shot up by a fighter near Livny/125 km NE of Kursk, 20%, Oblt. Alfred Gillesberger WIA.
11.6.42: photographed the Livny area.
20.6.42: Staffel reported 9(5) Fw 189s on strength.
6.7.42: Fw 189 shot down by a fighter over Kamenka, 100%, 1 WIA.
12.7.42: Kursk area under NAGr. 10.
18.9.42: Fw 189 damaged taking off from Fp. Barkovo due to technical problems, 15%.
7.10.42: Fi 156 crash landed at Fp. Kshen/105 km WNW of Voronezh, 60%.
12.42 – 1.43: Rostov area on temporary loan to NAGr. 1?
29.1.43: Fw 189 destroyed by bombs at Fp. Kursk during enemy air attack, 100%, 1 KIA and 1 WIA.
6.2.43: Fw 189 destroyed to prevent capture by the enemy at Fp. Kursk, 100%.
12.2.43: now at Konotop under NAGr. 10 to refit and re-equip.
1.3.43: Staffel reported 11 x Fw 189 A-2 and 3 x Fw 189 A-3 on strength.
Central Russia. (c.Mar 43 - Apr 43)
3.4.43: Konotop under NAGr. 10.
6.4.43: Staffel flew its 2,000th operational sortie this date.
21.4.43: routine Fw 189 A-2 accidents at Konotop.
South Russia. (May 43 - Mar 44)
5.43: reassigned to NAGr. 1 in South Russia, temporarily at first.
3.6.43: Fw 189 A-2 strafed on the ground at Fp. Stepanovka/42 km ESE of Melitopol by enemy fighters, 25%.
4.6.43: Fw 189 A-2 strafed again at Fp. Stepanovka, 20%.
7.6.43: Fw 189 shot up by a fighter at Fp. Stepanovka, 40%.
6/43: from this date on, the Staffel’s losses reported under the NAGr. it was assigned to.
8.43: South Ukraine under NAGr. 1.
15.11.43: ordered to move to Kalinovka/23 km N of Vinnitsa under NAGr. 6.
12.43: western Ukraine under NAGr. 6.
12.43: Staffel transferred to (Straubing?)/Germany for conversion to the Bf 109G and then renamed 3./NAGr. 4 around 1 March 1944 (or 1 February?) and returned to the front. However, the change in designation was not entered in the Feldpost directory until 21 April 1944.
FpN:2.(H)/31 (L 28872).
Hptm. Alfred (Alf) Giesse (9 Jan 40 - 6 Jul 40)
Hptm. Helmut Sorge (9 Jun 40 - 22 Oct 40)
Hptm. Helmut Kallweit (Dec 41 - Nov 42)
Hptm. Gottfried Berthold ( ? - ? ) 4/43, 8/43
AUER von HERRENKIRCHEN, Friedhelm, Lt./Oblt.
BALL, ? , Lt.
BETHKE, Karl-Friedrich, Oblt.
COESTER, Eberhard, Oblt.
EICHBORN, Ernst-Eckart von, Lt.
FENSBERG, Ferdinand, Lt.
GERTH, Ronald, Lt.
GILLESBERGER, Alfred, Oblt.
HAHN, Fritz, Lt.
HERBIG, Hermann, Oblt.
HEYMER, Otto, Hptm./Maj.
HORN, Hans-Joachim, Lt.
KANITZ, Ultz, Graf von, Oblt.
KÖCHER, Wendelin A., Oblt.
KRESSNER, Wolfgang, Lt./Oblt.
LEUPOLD, Friedrich Wilhelm Robert, Lt.
MACKENSEN, Klaus von, Lt.
MERKLIN, Ludwig Franz, Lt.
METZNER, Kurt, Oblt.
MÖLLER, Fritz, Oblt.
PICHLER, Hans, Lt.
SALM, Arthur, Lt.
WOLF, Friedrich, Oblt.
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress). (1st Draft 2021)
- 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.412; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-311 microfilms); (T-312 microfilms for AOK 12; roll 203/372; roll 1196/482; roll 1242/451); NARA WashDC aerial photo data via M.Abicht; PRO London: DEFE 3 ULTRA signals; PRO London: AIR 40/1975; BNA HW 5/2, 5/11; 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).