(Unit Code Y9+)
Formation. (April 1943)
Ordered formed on or about 1 April 1943, probably at either Jesau/East Prussia or Herzogenaurach/Bavaria, using personnel from 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 10. By June it was definitely at Herzogenaurach and, as was the case with 1./NAGr. 12, the Staffel was unusually slow in coming into existence and did not have more than 5 older model aircraft until October when 13 Bf 109 G-6/U2 and 6 Bf 109 G-8s were delivered.
Germany, Albania, Croatia, Hungary and Austria. (October 1943 - May 1945)
25 September 1943: ordered to transfer to Albania this date for assignment to Fliegerführer Kroatien/Luftwaffenkommando Südost as part of a large buildup in the Balkans following the Allied landings in South Italy at the beginning of September and Italy’s capitulation on 8 September. Arriving at Tirana during the first week of October, NAGr. 12 proceeded south to Devoli airfield near Berat, but before it could begin operations in earnest the Allies commenced medium bomber and fighter-bomber attacks into the Balkan coastal area from newly acquired bases in southern Italy. The airfields in Albania were hit hard from 9 October and by mid-November it was decided to pull back and redeploy most of the air units based there. While 1. Staffel remained at Devoli, the Gruppenstab and 2. Staffel transferred north to Mostar in Herzegovina on 23 November. From Mostar, the Staffel was responsible for visual and photographic reconnaissance of the Dalmatian coastal area and islands, especially Vis, which had been occupied by Partisan forces in September 1943 and was quickly converted into an Allied naval and air bastion with a forward airfield that accommodated 50 Spitfires and other aircraft. Recce missions were also flown over Partisan-held areas inland and occasional flights were made across the Adriatic to the Italian east coast. November losses were unusually high for the Staffel, 4 Bf 109 G-6s and 1 G-8 being written off to enemy effect.
8 December 1943: reported 14 Bf 109Gs and 5 Fi 156s on strength at Mostar. The Staffel slipped into a routine of two to four recce flights a day during acceptable flying weather. The Fi 156 Störche (storks) handled most of the missions over Partisan-occupied territory. Encounters with enemy aircraft were relatively unusual for the Staffel so operational losses to fighters were comparatively few. Cover was sometimes provided by elements of IV./JG 27 based at Mostar from November 1943 to the end of February 1944. But the Staffel did not get away totally clean. Allied air attacks on Mostar began on 12 November and were frequent through April 1944. On 14 January 1944, in the most devastating attack of all, 100 B-17s and B-24s escorted by 40 P-38 Lightnings unloaded on Mostar destroying or damaging some 20 planes on the ground, including a number belonging to 2./NAGr. 12, killing 37 military and wounding 68, and rendering great destruction to the base. The Staffel recorded 4 losses during January but it is not known how many of these were destroyed on the ground on 14 January.
13 May 44: Bf 109 G-6 shot down into the Adriatic 20 km NE of San Andrea by 4 Spitfires that attacked from higher altitude, 100%, pilot MIA.
31 May 1944: 2./NAGr. 12 reported and claimed a B-24 shot down over Lastovo Island off the Dalmatian coast at 1250 hours by Oblt. Dünkel.
3 September 1944: the long stay at Mostar came to an end when the Staffel was ordered by Fliegerführer Nordbalkan (formed 29 August by renaming Fliegerführer Kroatien) to transfer immediately to Satu Mare (Szatmár-Németi), 95 km south-east of Debrecen in eastern Hungary, but to leave behind its Bf 109s equipped with GM 1, photo interpretation section and workshop platoon. The Russians were pushing rapidly through Romania into Hungary, Bulgaria and easternYugoslavia and the Luftwaffe was forced to quickly reorganize to meet the threat and prevent a total collapse of the Southeast/Balkan area. By 3 October the Staffel was operating from Gyoma in southeast Hungary with 9(6) Gustavs and then from Pécsvárad/17 km north-east of Pécs, on 2 November with 9(5) Bf 109Gs. Later that month a further move was made to Tapolca near Lake Balaton and then to Kaposvár in south-western Hungary where 13(8) Bf 109Gs were reported on strength on 29 November.
30 November 1944: now based at Kaposvar/south-west Hungary under Stab/NAGr. 12. The ground war was fierce and relentless in Hungary, but fuel rationing and poor flying weather limited German-Hungarian air operations. Losses are given as 4 Bf 109Gs in September, 4 in October, 1 in November and 1 in December.
13 February 1945: Bf 109 G-8 crashed at Tapolca-South, 30%.
February 1945: transferred to Sarajevo-Butmir.
March 1945: as Tito’s forces closed on Sarajevo, the Staffel was ordered to pull back north to Zagreb-Borongaj. By this late stage of the war, reconnaissance missions were few and far between. No longer routine, they were usually only ordered to fulfill a specific tactical need.
April 1945: transferred to Graz in south-east Austria.
3 May 1945: at Graz, but probably departed a day or so later and surrendered to Allied forces in Central Austria on 8 May.
FpN:2./NAGr. 12 (L 06067).
Oblt. Friedrich Dünkel ( ? - ? ) 1944
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress).
(1st Draft 2022)
Additional Notes and Losses
1 Dec 1943 – 11 Me 109 of which 5 serviceable of which 2 at Devoli, 2 Fi 156 both unserviceable.
- W.Dierich - Die Verbände der Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Gliederungen und Kurzchroniken – Eine Dokumentation; G.Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945, Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte (Osnabrück, 1980); N.Kannapin - Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945, 3 Bde (I – III) (Osnabrück, 1980-82); NARA WashDC: RG 242 (Microcopy T-311 various rolls – specifically, The Luftlage portion of the Oberbefehlshaber Südost daily reports, 1943-44); AFHRA Maxwell: “The History of the Balkan Air Force”, unpublished manuscript, July 1945, p.146; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.619 British AirMin CSDIC P/W Interrogation Reports in microfilm rolls A5415-18, interrogation CSDIC (AFHQ) A.388 (24 May 1944); PRO (British National Archives) London: DEFE 3 ULTRA signal HP466; BNA HW 5/484; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 40/Kart; H.Ring/W.Girbig - Jagdgeschwader 27: Die Dokumentation über den Einsatz an allen Fronten 1939-1945 (Stuttgart, 1979); M.Holm-website ww2.dk.
- DEFE3/9 VL1043