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3.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. 31

Code: (5D + )

also as: 3.(H)/31 (from January or February 1942)

Formation and Training. (Nov 38 - Aug 39)

Formed 1 November 1938 at Brieg/Silesia (ex-3.(F)/Aufkl.Gr.13) with Dornier Do 17Fs, which were replaced with Do 17Ps during 1939.[1]

Polish Campaign. (Sep 1939)

1.9.39: deployed from Brieg to Stubendorf /Silesia near Oppeln on receipt of the 26 August order for general mobilization with 12 Do 17Ps and assigned to Koluft AOK 10 for the advance into Poland this date along the line Czestochowa - Tomaszow - Radom - Deblin -. Lublin. Airfields used were: 8.9-10.9.39 Czestochowa and 11.9-23.9.39 Bialaczow.

10.39: returned to Brieg on conclusion of the campaign.

5.1.40: Oblt. Kahnke reported killed when he walked into the propeller of a Do 17P at Brieg. Some sources state that the Staffel moved to Frankfurt/M. in January 1940 and was still there in May, but this cannot be corroborated.

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

10.5.40: (Frankfurt/M.?) or southwest Germany under Koluft AOK 7 for the campaign in the West this date with Do 17Ps and Do 17Ms. The front in this area was a holding action along the Rhine from the Karlsruhe area south to the Swiss border, and did not cross the Rhine to outflank the powerful Maginot Line defenses in Alsace until 15 June. However, dozens of daily reconnaissance flights were made over Alsace from 10 May.

16.5.40: Do 17P shot down by French fighters over Strasbourg, 100%.

18.5.40: Do 17P shot down by a Hurricane over Vraux, 100%.

22.5.40: Do 17P failed to return from a recce mission, 100%.

Air Offensive against England (Battle of Britain). (Jul 40 - Apr 41)

13.8.40: at St.-Brieuc/Brittany under IV. Fliegerkorps with 7 x Do 17Ps and 3 x Bf 110Cs.

15.8.40: Do 17P shot down by Spitfires south of Ventnor/Isle of Wight, 100%, Oblt. Horn + 2 MIA.

27.8.40: Do 17E shot down by Hurricanes near Tavistock/SW England, 100%, 3 MIA.

26.10.40: still based at St.-Brieuc.

29.10.40: Do 17P damaged in landing accident at Orleans.

28.11.40: Bf 110 C-5 FTR from a day recce mission to Southampton, 100%.

5.12.40: Do 17 shot down off Cornwall while returning from a recce mission to Portland.

20.12.40: Do 17P shot up by fighters off Land’s End/Cornwall.

1.41: Staffel scheduled to convert to the Junkers Ju 88, but instead re-equipped exclusively with the Bf 110, some of which were already on hand.

13.1.41: Bf 110 C-5 damaged due to technical problems at St.-Brieuc, 30%.

3.41: departed France for Germany around March or early April 1941. The aircraft and crews flew to Herzogenaurach to refit prior to moving to Hohensalza in May. The ground personnel were given home leave in April and then went directly to Hohensalza.

29.4.41: Bf 110 crash landed at Unterschlauersbach/23 km W of Nürnberg, 10%.

Central Russia. (Jun 41 - Dec 41)

21.5.41: Bücker Bü 131 crash landed at Hohensalza (Inowroclaw)/NW Poland, 10%.

9.6.41: Bf 110 C-5 blew a tire on take-off from Hohensalza, 35%.

22.6.41: Brest-Litovsk area in eastern Poland under Koluft Panzergruppe 2/Army Group Center for the attack on the Soviet Union this date, and over the next few months moved forward along the line Brest-Litovsk area - Minsk (29 June) - Roslavl - Konotop (25 August) - Bryansk - Orel (3 October).

9.7.41: 2 air crew personnel WIA in enemy bombing at Fp. Dukovo (Dokudovo?).

11.8.41: at Shatalovka/55 km SE of Smolensk under Koluft Panzergruppe 2.

15.8.41: Bf 110 C-5 damaged taxiing at Shatalovka-West, 35%.

11.10.41: one man from the ground staff KIA at Fp. Orel.

1.11.41: at Orel under Koluft Panzergruppe 2.

12.41 – 1.42: departed Russia around the beginning of December and returned to Germany to rest, refit and reorganize as a (H)-Staffel.

South Russia. (Feb 42 - Mar 43)

18.2.42: 3.(H)/31 at Simferopol/Crimea (possible misidentification).

1.3.42: Staffel reported 4 x Bf 110 C-5 and 4 x Bf 110 E-3 on strength.

16.5.42: in transfer to Stalino for assignment to Nahaufklärungsgruppe 9.

20.6.42: Staffel reported 9(5) Bf 110s on strength.

22.6.42: Bf 110 C-5 (D5+CL) shot down by AA-fire near Kupyansk/SE of Kharkov, 100%, 3 MIA.

26.7.42: Oblt. Klaus Sepke (pilot) WIA by ground fire at or over Fp. Tatsinskaya-East on the western approaches to Stalingrad.

27.7.42: Bf 110 E-3 crashed at Tatsinskaya-East, 80%, Oblt. Johann Kochberger (pilot) WIA.

12.8.42: Oblt. Günther Nanz WIA in enemy bombing of Fp. Bereska/c.60 km W of Stalingrad.

16.8.42: Bf 110E shot up by a fighter and crash landed at Fp. Bereska, 15%, Staka Hptm. Schmiedt (observer) WIA.

14.9.42: Bf 110 (5D+DL) FTR from a recce mission over the Nikolskoye area, 100%, 3 MIA.

10/42: from this date on, the Staffel’s losses were reported under the Nahaufklärungsgruppe to which it was assigned.

1.11.42: Staffel reported 5 x Bf 110 E and F on strength.

12.42: Stalingrad front under NAGr. 16. The Staffel was also attached to Nahaufklärungsgruppe Fleischmann at times.

2.2.43: 3.(H)/31 listed as partly destroyed on the Stalingrad front.

22.2.43: Staffel remnants attached to NAGr. 2 and transferred to Jesau/East Prussia this date for conversion to the Bf 109G.

3.43: the conversion plans were cancelled shortly after arriving at Jesau and instead the Staffel was brought up to strength with Bf 110s and renamed 3./NAGr. 2. Some sources give 1.3.43 as the date of re-designation.

FpN:3.(F)/31 (L02691).


Hptm. Horst Barsickow (  ? - Jan 40) 9/39

Hptm. Arndt-Erich Sieckenius (Johannes?) (  ? -  ? ) 5/40?, 8/40

Hptm. Gerhard Schmiedt (  ? - 16 Aug 42)

Hptm. Gerhard Schmiedt (  ? -  ? ) 8/42

Also see:

BEHRENS, Klaus, Lt.

BIEREYE, Heinz, Lt.

BRIXEN, Alexander von, Oblt.


DEHN, Christian, Lty.

GRAMPP, Eberhard, Lt.

HAFFA (HAFFAN?), Walter, Lt.

HEIDERICH, Wolfram, Oblt.

HEIDRICH, Walter, Oblt.

HEYMANN, Siegfried von, Lt.

HORN,  ? , Oblt.

KAASCH, Hans-Heinrich, Oblt.

KAHNKE,  ? , Oblt.

KLATT, Ernst-Günther, Lt.

KLOPPENBURG, J. (Johannes?)., Lt.

KOCHBERGER, Johann, Oblt.

KÖNIG,  ? , Lt.

KÖRIG,  ? , Lt. (same as KÖNIG?)

KREGEL, Heinrich, Lt.

KUHNKE, Lothar Karl Hermann, Oblt.

LÜCHTRATH, Bernhard. ) ("Bern" or "Bernd"), Oblt.

MÜLLER, Gottfried, Oblt.

NANZ, Günther, Oblt.

RAASCH,  ? , Lt.

RUMPELT, Bernd, Lt.

RUTZ, Hans, Lt.

SCHEINER, Friedrich, Oblt.


SCHLICHT, Moritz, Lt.

SCHULTZE-MODEROW, Hans-Friedrich, Hptm.


SEPKE, Klaus (Heinrich?), Oblt.

ZELLER, Jürgen, Oblt.

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

Additional Notes & Losses

7.8.40 – 2 Do 17s of this unit departed at 06.10 hrs to check the shipping in Falmouth harbour and look out for shipping movements in Quadrants 50, 60 and 70.[2]

2 Do 17s were sent out on a late afternoon sortie (departing at 17.57 hrs) for a sea reconnaissance of the western end of the English Channel.[3]

8.8.40 – 1 Do 17 departed at 07.00 hrs for a shipping and weather reconnaissance sortie covering Quadrants 50, 60 and 70 with a specific focus on the occupancy of Falmouth Harbour. [4]


  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.398, 412; J.Foreman - Battle of Britain: The Forgotten Months, November and December 1940, p.15, 146, 168, 198; AFHRA Maxwell: Karlsruhe Collection KC - Kl13.309-3/v.1; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-313 roll 85/898; roll 93/486); PRO London: AIR 40/1982; PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence reports and lists based on ULTRA, “Y” Service intercepts, captured documents and PoW interrogations; BNA HW 5/14; 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).
  2. Luftflotte 3 Einzelmeldung Nr 3 7.8.40
  3. Luftflotte 3 Einzelmeldung Nr 7 7.8.40
  4. Luftflotte 3 Einzelmeldung Nr 5 8.8.40

Aufklärungsgruppe 31

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