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3.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. Ob.d.L.

(Unit Code T5 + )

Formation. (1939)

Formed 10 October 1939, probably at Werder/Havel southwest of Berlin or at Jüterbog-Damm/Brandenburg (ex-8.(F)/Lehrgeschwader 2), and initially equipped with Dornier Do 17Ps.[1]

North and Occupation of Denmark and Norway

The first reconnaissance flights were flown during the winter of 1939/40 while undergoing conversion to the Do 215 and Heinkel He 111 in North Germany. On 22 February 1940, He 111P (L2+GS) was shot down by RAF Hurricanes off northeastern England killing Oblt. Hans-Werner Krüger and his crew. Another fell to Hurricanes off the coast of Scotland on 10 April while on a reconnaissance mission to the Royal Navy Home Fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys, taking the lives of Oblt. Karl Heinz and crew. Transferred from North Germany to Stavanger-Sola/SW Norway during the second half of April, and on 30 April one Do 215 was destroyed on the ground during an RAF attack on the airfield. In a strength return for 10 May 1940, the Staffel reported 12 Do 215Bs and 8 He 111Ps on hand at Stavanger-Sola under Fliegerführer Stavanger/X. Fliegerkorps.

Air Offensive Against England

Operations and losses intensified as the opening phase of the air offensive commenced at the beginning of July. A Do 215 failed to return on 1 July from a recce sortie over the Grimsby area along the east coast of England, followed by another the next day off Withernsea near Grimsby, and a Messerschmitt Bf 110 belonging to the Staffel was reported lost in the Aberdeen/Scotland area on 6 July. The RAF attacked Stavanger-Sola on 9 July destroying one of the Staffel’s Do 215s and severely damaging two others. In another strength return filed for 13 August 1940, 7 Do 215Bs, 2 He 111Ps and 2 Bf 110Cs were reported on hand at Stavanger-Sola under X. Fliegerkorps/Luftflotte 5. The last loss recorded by 3.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. Ob.d.L. in this theater was Do 215 (L2+KS) shot down by Hurricanes while on a photo recce mission over the Birmingham-Coventry area in the Midlands. Shortly after this, the Staffel is said to have returned to Germany with station at Berlin-Tempelhof.

Balkans and South Russia

Transferred to Bucharest/Romania in November 1940 to carry out photo reconnaissance flights over South Ukraine, the Black Sea area and the Balkans with Do 215 B-2s and He 111Hs. On 11 May 1941, a detachment was operating from Athens/Greece over Crete and the eastern Mediterranean. Based at Bacău/Romania in July 1941 under IV. Fliegerkorps/Luftflotte 4. Do 215 (L2+AS) failed to return from a recce mission over the Soviet naval base at Sevastopol/Crimea on 23 July, Oblt. Jörg Schultze-Pletzius and crew listed as missing. On 27 August, the Staffel moved forward from Bacău to Nikolayev-East in South Ukraine. During September, 3.(F)/Ob.d.L. flew a total of 96 Do 215 sorties for IV. Fliegerkorps losing only one plane, (T5+EL) failing to return from a mission on 28 September. On 8 November, a Ju 88 D-l, one of the first assigned to the Staffel, crashed at Mariupol/SE Ukraine killing the crew and bringing an end to operations in South Russia.

France and North Russia

Transferred to Paris-Orly around mid-November 1941 to rest, refit and complete conversion to the Junkers Ju 88 D, then departed for assignment to Luftflotte 1 at Gostkino/135 km SSW of Leningrad, arriving o/a 7 February 1942. On 1 March the Staffel reported 11 x Ju 88 D-1s and 1 x Do 215 B-4 on strength. Gostkino was bombed by Russian planes on 19 April, badly damaging two of the Ju 88 D-1s. On .25 April, Ju 88 D-1 (T5+HL) failed to return from a recce flight over the Vologda area, and Ju 88 D-1 (T5+DL) was reported lost over the Rybinsk area on 31 May.

Central and South Russia

Ordered from Gostkino to Kharkov on or about 10 August 1942 for assignment to the newly created Luftwaffenkdo. Don for strategic reconnaissance coverage east of the Don River to the Volga. The first loss reported was Ju 88 D-1 “Trop” (T5+OL), which failed to return on 12 September. On 4 October, Ju 88 D-1 (T5+EL) was listed as missing. On 1 December the Staffel reported 8 x Ju 88 D-1s, 1 x Ju 88 D-5, 2 x Ar 240 A-0s and 1 x Bf 109 F-4 on strength. The Staffel’s last reported loss in Russia occurred on 6 December when Oblt. Gustav Siemon and crew failed to return from a sortie over the area between Svoboda and Voronezh in Ju 88 D-1 (T5+EL). It should be noted that of the one or two Messerschmitt Bf 109s that were on strength during the latter part of 1942, it is not known if they were used for reconnaissance purposes or as escort fighters for the Ju 88s. Also, the Staffel received one or two Arado Ar 240s for operational evaluation toward the end of 1942. These may have been the same machines that had earlier been assigned to 1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. Ob.d.L. Renamed Aufklärungsstaffel 3.(F)/100 on 27 January 1943 at Kharkov.

FpN:L 35433


Maj. Erich Keienburg (acting?) (Oct 39 - Oct 39)

Hptm. (Karl?)-Edmund Gartenfeld (  ? -  ? ) 5.5.40, 1941-42

Oblt. Werner(?) Rothenberg (acting?) (  ? -  ? ) 5/40

Oblt. Fritz Schürmeyer (1 Feb 39 - 17 Mar 41)

Hptm. Karl-Friedrich Bergen (?) (  ? - 27 Jan 43) 1942-43

Also see:


BAUMANN, Hans, Oblt.


FRANK, Siegfried, Lt.

GEBHARDT,  ? , Lt.

HEINDORFF, Hans-Otto, Lt./Oblt.

HEINZ, Karl, Oblt.

KIPPLE, Eberhard, Lt.

KNEMEYER, Siegfried, Hptm.

KRÜGER, Hans-Werner, Oblt.

MEYER, Erwin, Lt.


PETERSEN, Helmut, Lt.

PFEIFFER, Günther, Oblt.

ROHR, Walter, Lt.

ROTHENBERG, Werner, Oblt.

SCHMIDT, Oskar H., Lt./Oblt.

SCHNEIDER, Martin, Lt.


SIEMON, Gustav, Oblt.

VOGTS, Herbert, Lt.

© H.L. deZeng IV, 2022


  1. T.Rowehl-Chronik; G.Thomas and B.Ketley – KG 200: The Luftwaffe’s Most Secret Unit (Hikoki Pub. Ltd, 2003); C.Shores - Fledgling Eagles: The Complete Account of Air Operations During the ‘Phony War’ and Norwegian Campaign, 1940; F.K.Mason - Battle Over Britain; W.G.Ramsey (ed.) - The Blitz, Then And Now, 3 volumes; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); NARA WashDC: RG 242 (various rolls from T-312, T-313, T-321 and T-971); W.Horst (president of the Aufklärungsflieger veterans association in Germany) – personal correspondence with the author, 1994-96); web site ww2.dk.

Aufklärungsgruppe Ob.d.L.

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