6. Seenotstaffel

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6. Seenotstaffel

(Unit Code: Q8 (K3?)+ - assigned Mar 44)

as: Seenotflugkommando 6 (Mar 41 - Jun 41)
6. Staffel/Seenotgruppe d.Lw. (Jun 41 - May 42)
6. Seenotstaffel (Jun 42 - 19 Aug 44)

Formation. (Mar 41)

Formed March 1941 at Siracusa (Syracuse)/SE Sicily with a Kdo. (detachment) at Taormina/NE Sicily. Equipped with He 59s and Do 24s. Subordinated to Seenotzentrale (L) Sizilien (to Jun 41), then to Seenotdienstführer Mittelmeer (to Jun 42).[1]

Central Mediterranean. (Mar 41 - Aug 44)

21 Apr 41: Do 24 shot down into the sea by a fighter, 10%, 2 WIA.[2]

28 Apr 41: Staffel had 5 Do 24s and 3 He 59s with a total of 8 crews on strength.[3]

17 Jun 41: elements temporarily at Athens.[4]

18 Sep 41: Do 24N accidently shot down by Italian AA fire in the Tripoli area, 100%, 3 KIA and 3 WIA.

8 Apr 42: Do 24 shot up and destroyed by a Spitfire while taxiing on the water during a rescue attempt off Malta, 100%, crew rescued.

1 May 42: Staffel reported 5 x Do 24 on strength.[5]

17 May 42: 2 Do 24Ts shot down by Spitfires in separate incidents in the waters off Malta, both 100%.[6]

Jun 42: reassigned to Seenotbereichskdo. X (to Oct 43).[7]

11 Jul 42: Do 24 (CN+IB) rescued the crew of an RAAF Hudson 50 km off the North African coast, but suffered structural damage while attempting to take off. The Dornier flying boat was forced to taxi across the sea the entire distance to Tobruk, a 4 hour trip.[8]

15 Jul 42: Staffel celebrated its 400th successful rescue this date.[9]

14 Aug 42: Do 24 rescued an Italian Ju 87 Stuka crew that had been brought down by Spitfires off the south coast of Sicily while attempting to dive-bomb the crippled tanker Ohio. In an odd twist, the Dornier was given protective escort by an RAF Beaufighter because the British thought the rescued crew were two of their own.[10]

13-14 Nov 42: 2 Do 24s failed to return from rescue operations in the Straits of Sicily, both 100%, Staffelkapitän Oblt. Wölke MIA and Oblt. Heinz Kühne WIA.

19 Dec 42: Do 24 shot down into the sea by a fighter, 100%, crew rescued.

6 Jan 43: Do 24 shot up and force landed at Pantelleria, 25%, 1 KIA.

18 Jan 43: Do 24 crashed while attempting to land in rough seas, 100%.

9 Mar 43: Do 24 (DI+ZO) flew into a cliff at Feodosiya/Crimea, 100%, 5 KIA and 1 WIA. This aircraft had been sent to Crimea in February for temporary assignment to 1. Seetransportstaffel Sewastopol.

16 Apr 43: Do 24 shot down by a fighter near Sciacca/W Sicily, 100%, 1 KIA and 4 WIA.

4 May 43: Do 24 shot down by a night fighter near Marettimo Is. off the western tip of Sicily, 100%, 6 KIA.

14 May 43: Do 24 shot down by a fighter NE of Cape Spartivento/SE Sardinia, 100%, Staffelkapitän Oblt. Warganz + 5 KIA.

31 May 43: Do 24 struck an obstacle and crashed at its base at Siracusa, 100%, 7 KIA.

29 Jun 43: Do 24 crashed at Porte Conte (not located), 100%, crew rescued.

Jul 43: Staffel transferred from Siracusa to Portofino near Genova (Genoa)/NW Italy immediately following the Allied invasion of Sicily (Operation “Husky”) on 9/10 July.[11]

7 Aug 43: Do 24 began leaking after landing east of Olbia/NE Sardinia and sank, 100%.

19 Aug 43: Do 24 flipped over while attempting to land near Elmas/Sardinia, 100%, 4 KIA, 1 WIA, 1 MIA.

31 Aug 43: Do 24 crashed at Venezia (Venice) – San Andrea due to pilot error, 60%.

Oct 43: transferred from Portofino to Venezia (Venice) shortly after the Germans completed their evacuation of Sardinia and Corsica on 4 October and reassigned to Seenotbereichskdo. XIV (to Aug 44). On 18 October 6 Cant Z.506s taken from the Italians were ordered delivered to the Staffel at Venice, and these are believed to have been received over the next several weeks.[12]

Jan 44: Venice with Kdos. (detachments) at Savona, Portofino, La Spezia, Piombino, Orbetello and Pola. From early 1944 on, most air-sea rescue missions had to be flown at night due to Allied air superiority over and around Italy. Only one aircraft was reported lost to enemy action in 1944: in the spring 3 P-47 Thunderbolts caught a flying boat (date and type not specified) off Portofino and shot it down into the sea.[13]

16-17 Apr 44: sent 3 Do 24s to Constanţa/Romania for use in a provisional Sonderstaffel being set up for the evacuation of Crimea (see under 8. Seenotstaffel for more details). The Sonderstaffel was later disbanded on 9 June and the Dorniers returned to their parent Staffel.[14]

2 May 44: Do 24 (Q8+HA) floated away from a buoy and crashed onto a rocky reef at Chersones seaplane anchorage/10 km W of Sevastopol (Crimea), 100%.[15]

31 May 44: Staffel had 22(13) Cant Z.506 flying boats on strength this date, but it is unclear whether these had completely replaced its Do 24s.[16]

9 Jun 44: Cant Z.506B shot down by a P-38 off the southwest coast of the Istrian Peninsula, 100%, crew rescued.[17]

19 Aug 44: disbanded at Venice.[18]

FpN:(L 22105)


Oblt. Hermann Wölke (Mar 41 - 14 Nov 42) MIA

Oblt. Erich Warganz (15 Nov 42 - 14 May 43) KIA

Hptm. Weiss (1943 - c. 1944)

© H.L. deZeng IV, 2024

Additional Notes and Losses

19.6.43 – Syrakus, 2 killed in a bomb explosion.[19]

23.6.43 – Mediterranean, 1 killed in a shipwreck.[20]


  1. Dierich-VdL:283-97; D.Jung/B.Wenzel/A.Abendroth-Die Schiffe und Boote der deutschen Seeflieger 1912-1976; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection, unpublished manuscript “Geschichte d. Seenotdienst 1939-45”; H.Haeger (Maj.,a.D.)-“Der Seenotdienst Italien, November 1943 bis Mai 1945” in K113 Karlsruhe Collection; J.Prien-Pik-As”: Geschichte des Jagdgeschwaders 53:459; M.Holm-website ww2.dk.
  2. BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs).
  3. F.Kurowski-Seekrieg aus der Luft: Die deutsche Seeluftwaffe im Zweiten Weltkrieg:92.
  4. PRO London: AIR 40/1996.
  5. BA-MA Freiburg: Flugzeug-Bereitstellungen (Aircraft Availability Status Reports – FzB) in: M.Holm-website (ww2.dk).
  6. C.Shores/B.Cull/N.Malizia-Malta: The Spitfire Year 1942:275-76.
  7. Decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection-op cit; M.Holm-op cit.
  8. Jet & Prop magazine, Heft (issue) 1/1993.
  9. Jet & Prop 1/1993-op cit.
  10. C.Shores/B.Cull/N.Malizia-Malta: The Spitfire Year 1942:512-13.
  11. Decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection-op cit.
  12. Decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection-op cit; PRO London: AIR 40 AirMin intelligence documents; Aerofan 80 magazine, issue Mar/2002, “Seaplanes and Transport Aircraft with Black Cross”, p.20.
  13. Decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection-op cit.
  14. J-L.Roba/C.Crãciunoiu-Seaplanes Over the Black Sea: German-Romanian Operations 1941-1944.
  15. J-L.Roba-op cit.
  16. N.Beale/F.D’Amico/G.Valentin-Air War Italy, 1944-45: The Axis Air Forces from the Liberation of Rome to the Surrender:37.
  17. N.Beale-op cit.
  18. Decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection-op cit; N.Kannapin-Feldpostübersicht.
  19. RL2-III/785, 14.7.43, pg 2 entry 8
  20. RL2-III/785, 14.7.43, pg 2 entry 9

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