Unit Code: (D1 + )
Formation (May 1943)
Formed May 1943 at Skaramanga (Salamis) near Athens/Greece (ex-Aufkl.St. 3.(F)/126) with Arado Ar 196 floatplanes. The Staffel's mission, convoy escort and anti-submarine patrols, remained unchanged from that of its predecessor.
Greece - Aegean Sea (May 1943 – Oct 1944)
5/43: Staffel remained at Skaramanga until around mid-November 1943.
29.8.43: (Südost) - Ar 196 crashed into Eleusis Bay near Athens, 100%, 1 killed.
17.9.43: (Südost) - Ar 196 shot down by enemy aircraft NE of Ios Is. in the Aegean, 100%Z, 2 MIA.
8.11.43: (Südost) - observer in an Ar 196 KIA by an enemy fighter NW of Amorgos Is. in the Aegean, apparently without damage to the Arado.
12.11.43: (Südost) - Ar 196 shot down by a fighter near Leros Is./Aegean, 100%.
12.11.43: (Südost) - Ar 196 damaged by AA-fire near Leros. 20.11.43: Staffel now based at Kavala/NE Greece, having exchanged places with 2./SAGr.126, although the exact date of these transfers is uncertain.
4.12.43: (Südost) - 3 Ar 196s (incl. D1+KL) shot down by enemy fighters between Leros and Levitha Is. in the Aegean, all 100%, 4 KIA and 1 WIA.
23.12.43: (Südost) - Ar 196A-3 shot down by enemy aircraft over Vathys Bay/Kalymnos Is. just south of Leros Is./Aegean, 100%.
1/44 - 5/44: Staffel's location and activity unclear - it was still at Kavala in January 1944, but by 28 February it was either at Skaramanga or based on Leros in the Dodecanese Islands/SE Aegean. The Staffel was also undergoing conversion to the Blohm und Voss BV 138 flying boat during this period. Most likely, air crews were sent to North Germany a few at a time to pick up aircraft and take conversion instruction.
30.5.44: at Leros in the Dodecanese with a detachment at Volos on the east coast of central Greece, presumably with BV 138C-ls, and remained there through September 1944, The exact nature of 3.Staffel's activities are not known, but it reported no BV 138 losses between June and October 1944. Allied operations in the eastern Aegean from late November 1943 to September 1944 were limited to submarine activity, occasional raids by motor torpedo boats and nuisance attacks on island garrisons by a few aircraft.
27.9.44: ordered to transfer from Leros to Salonika this date.
9.10.44: ordered to transfer from Salonika to the Baltic (probably to Bug auf Rügen) this date incident to the German withdrawal from the Balkans.
North Germany - Baltic Sea (Jan – May 1945)
1/45: 3./126 renumbered 1./126 and 2./126 renumbered 3./126 according to Feldpost number changes entered on 16 January and 11 February 1945; however, careful analysis of Staffel locations and equipment indicates that the renumbering was not carried out.
4.2.45: still at Bug auf Rügen, but all or elements of 3./SAGr.126 may have moved to Copenhagen/Denmark toward the end of February.
29.3.45: Staffel in transfer to Parow/7 km N of Stralsund. 
9.4.45: Staffel reported 17(10) BV 138s and Ar 196s on strength under Stab/SAGr.126. 
13.4.45: contingent at Copenhagen with 5 BV 138s reported that it was ready to fly reconnaissance over the North Sea if OKL would reassigned it to Kommandierender General der deutschen Luftwaffe in Dänemark. 
28.4.45: still listed under Stab/SAGr.126 with BV 138s.
2.5.45: a BV 138C-1 and crew from 3./SAGr.126 under pilot Oblt. Wolfgang ‘Klemusch flew from Copenhagen to Berlin during the night of 1/2 May, landed on the Havel River, picked up Hitler's adjutant Major Willi Johannmeier, 3 others from the Chancellory and 7 wounded soldiers, and flew back to Copenhagen. Maj. Johannmeier was carrying Hitler's last will and testament.
8.5.45: Staffel surrendered in Denmark. 
FpN: 3./SAGr.126 (L 53801, L 55146).
Oblt. Barth? ( ? - ? ) 1943-45
Oblt./Hptm. Wolf (Wolfgang) Breiding (Dec 43 - Oct 44?)
Hptm. Otto Hornig ( ? - ? ) 5/44
Hptm. Gustav Nagel ( ? - ? ) 4/45
BAUER, Erich, Lt.
KLEMUSCH, Wolfgang, Oblt.
MÄLLWITZ (MAELLWITZ, MALLWITZ), Max, Oblt.
RUHLMANN, Hans-Friedrich?, Lt.
SCHAADT, Max, Oblt.
SCHECKER, Friedrich, Lt.
SIMETZBERGER, Alfred, Oblt.
STOLZENBURG, Horst, Lt.
WEIGEL, Hans Georg, Lt.
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2022).
(1st Draft 2022)
Additional Notes and Losses
8.12.43 – Strength – 12 Arados (strong indications 4 serviceable), 12 crews (7 ready).
11.12.43 - Late on this day orders, 2 aircraft to transfer to Vathi afternoon 12.12.43. From first light 13.12.43 A/S Patrol Vathi Bay area, as ordered for 10.12.43.
13.12.43 - Of 11 Arados of 3./126 on 13/12/43 6 were serviceable at Leros. 7 crews ready Leros out of 11.
15.12.43 - Air escort arangements for convoy. 4./SAGr 126 to transfer 4 Arados to Leros. Operations to be controlled by the Leros Staffel (3./SAGr 126). The Leros staffel to take over protection with 3 Arados ata time until the convoy enters territorial waters. During voyage in territorial waters defensive patrol to be flown outside. 30 Minutes before the convoy leaves the territorial waters AS patrol to be made in sea area at the point at which the convoy leaves the territorial waters. The close escort until convoy reaches Symi.Last 3 Arados to land at Rhodes.
17.12.43 – Orders for 18.12.43, carry out A/S patrol off Vathi Bay for Drache convoy at first light and again before onset of darkness.
19.12.43 – Orders for 20.12.43, protection by 3 aircraft wat a time for three vessels with German troops sailing from Simi, at 09.00 hrs Z
20.12.43, to Rhodes (ETA 13.00 hrs Z).
23.12.43 – Strength 11 (6), 8 crews ready out of 11. One aircraft shot up and sunk.
26.12.43 – Strength 10 (6), 3 Rhodes and 3 Lemnos, Crews 11 (ready 7).
27.12.43 – Orders issued to staffel for operations on 28.12.43 – Three Leros based aircraft to perform anti-submarine patrol from 13.00 hrs Z off Port Laki Harbour as far as Turkish territorial waters, and reconnaissance to Turkish waters against light Allied naval forces. Escort for 4 Ju 52, depending on weather, by Ar 196s operating from Kavalla.
Afternoon strength report – aircraft 10 (6 serviceable of which 3 at Kavalla). Crews 11 of which 7 ready (3 Kavalla, 4 Leros).
30.12.43 – Evening strength report – 10, serviceable 6 (3 Kavalla and 3 Leros); crews 11, ready 8.
22.3.45 – 3./126 Strength Bug – Bv 138 9 (4) ; Kop (Copenhagen?) Bv 138 7(3)
- Gen.St.d.Lw.-Gen.Qu.2.Abt. Nr.9281/43g.Kdos., 13.7.1943, cited in Kurowski:249; Tessin; Kannapin.
- ULTRA ML5771; AirMin.
- NARA T-311:179/656.
- NARA T-311:177/486 and 818, 178/701, 179/601 and 180/433; BA-MA RL 40/Kart.
- Gen.St.d.Lw./8.Abt. appreciation in Karlsruhe Collection G VII/3 v.6; H.Hr.E KTB in NARA T-311:180; Lw.Kdo.Südost Lagebericht for June 1944 in T-311:180/018ff.
- ULTRA HP1421
- ULTRA HP2916; NARA T-311
- BA-MA RL 2 III/Einsatzbereitschaft- meldungen
- NARA T-321 Lfl.6 entry for 14.1.45; Tessin; ULTRA K0460
- BA-MA RL 2 III/Einsatzbereitschaftmeldungen
- ULTRA KO0460
- AFHRC 512.6258
- Jet & Prop-4/95:58
- DEFE3/12 VL1857
- DEFE3/12 VL1757
- DEFE3/12 VL1882
- DEFE3/12 VL1973
- DEFE3/13 VL2089
- DEFE3/14 VL2391
- DEFE3/15 VL2667
- DEFE3/16 VL2765
- DEFE3/16 VL2787
- DEFE3/16 VL2813
- DEFE3/16 VL2982
- T321 R050 Luftflotte 6 E-Meldungen 22.3.45