9. Seenotstaffel

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9. Seenotstaffel

(Unit Code: 3Y+ - assigned Mar 44)

as: 9. Staffel/Seenotgruppe d.Lw. (Jun 41 - May 42)
9. Seenotstaffel (Jun 42 - 19 Aug 44)

Formation. (Apr 41)

Formation of the Staffel was ordered in April 1941 at Kiel-Holtenau by reorganizing, expanding and renaming the Erg.Seenotstaffel, and on 5 June it was labeled in official documents as “in formation”. Its predecessor, the Ergänzungs-Seenotstaffel, had been set up at Kiel-Holtenau in late August 1939 with a few aircraft to provide advance training and replacement crews for the Seenotdienst organization. Equipped with a mix of He 59s, Do 18s and Do 24s. Assigned to Seenotzentrale (L) ostw. Ostsee (from 5 Jun 41).[1]

Central and Eastern Baltic. (Jun 41 - Sep 44)

17 Jul 41: now at Liepāja (Libau) and Ventspils (Windau) in NW Latvia, having just arrived with a total of 5 aircraft.[2]

20 Jul 41: Liepāja (Libau) and Ventspils (Windau) with 5 He 59s, the rescue ship Karl Meier and two sea rescue boats.[3]

30 Aug 41: He 59 crashed while landing at Santahamina, 6 km across an inlet from Helsinki/Finland, 100%, crew of 4 all KIA.[4]

Sep 41: Staffel was very active in providing rescue support for amphibious operations by land and sea forces (Operation “Beowulf II”) to take the Baltic islands off the west coast of Estonia, Saaremaa (Ösel), Hiiumaa (Dagö) and Muhu (Moon).[5]

14 Sep 41: Staffel ordered to transfer from Liepāja to Riga and establish Kdos. (detachments) at Helsinki (1 Do 18), Pärnu/Estonia (2 He 59s) and Haapsalu/Estonia (1 He 59), with 1 He 59, 1 Do 18 and 1 Do 24 to remain at Riga.[6]

16 Sep 41: He 59 (PY+NF) shot up and destroyed by ground fire as it landed near the shore of Saaremaa (Ösel) Is. off the western coast of Estonia, 100%, Lt. Sepke + 1 WIA.

Nov 41: transferred from Riga to Warnemünde due to the onset of ice in the Gulf of Finland and eastern Baltic. From this date on, according to its former Staffelkapitän, 9. Seenotstaffel served as the Do 24 training, replacement and experimental evaluation Staffel for the entire Seenotdienst, all of this in addition to its regular air-sea rescue duties in the central and western Baltic.[7]

Dec 41: set up a Kdo. (detachment) at Bug auf Rügen that also used Pillau; remained there until the entire Staffel moved to Bug auf Rügen beginning in February 1944.[8]

30 Mar 42: transferred from Warnemünde to Kiel-Holtenau and remained there until April 1944.[9]

7 Apr 42: Do 18 struck the mast of a ship while landing at Kiel-Holtenau and crashed, 100%, 1 KIA and 2 WIA.

Jun 42: reassigned to Seenotbereichskdo. VII effective this date for all operational matters (to 19 Aug 44).[10]

20 Jun 42: Kiel-Holtenau with 3(0) Do 24s, 4(2) He 59s, 9(0) Do 18s, 2(2) He 60s and 2(1) Ar 196s.[11]

11 Oct 42: Do 24 crashed while taking off from Kiel-Holtenau, 85%, 3 KIA, 2 WIA and 2 MIA.

30 Nov 42: Do 24 (VH+SL) force landed at Kiel-Holtenau after an engine caught fire while on a ferry flight from Travemünde, crew safe.

8 Mar 43: air crew member struck by a propeller at Fp. Bad Zwischenahn and killed.

5 Apr 43: Do 24 T-3 (DJ+ZJ) crashed while landing near Kiel due to an engine fire - sabotage suspected, 100%, crew safe.

12 Jun 43: Do 24 T-3 force landed at Altdorf near Nürtingen due to engine failure, 30%, Oblt. Otto Ossowski + 1 WIA.

1 Nov 43: Staffel reassigned (for matters concerning training only) to the Flieger-Ergänzungsgruppe (See) as a means of shortening the time needed to provide Do 24 transition training to new crews.[12]

12 Dec 43: Do 24 force landed in water (probably the Lys River) near Armentières/14 km WNW of Lille in NE France, 75%.

Feb 44: Staffel transferred from Kiel-Holtenau to Bug auf Rügen.[13]

16 Apr 44: sent 3 Do 24s to Constanţa/Romania for use in a provisional Sonderstaffel for the evacuation of Crimea (see 8. Seenotstaffel for more details). The Sonderstaffel was later disbanded on 9 June.[14]

18 Apr 44: Do 24 (CM+RB) crashed into the Black Sea while searching for survivors from the Romanian troop ship Alba Iulia, 100%, Oblt. Schönwetter + 2 KIA and 3 MIA.

8/9 May 44: Do 24 (KK+LW) struck obstacle during a night landing at Chersones/10 km W of Sevastopol in Crimea, 100%, Hptm. Guthoff (from 7. Seenotstaffel) and 3 others from the crew KIA, plus 11 passenger-evacuees KIA.

2 Jun 44: at Bug auf Rügen.[15]

19 Aug 44: 9. Seenotstaffel (Erg.) was ordered to remain subordinated to Flieger-Ergänzungsgruppe (See) following the reorganization of the Seenotdienst this date, but it could continue to be used operationally in the Baltic as directed by General d. Seewesens der Luftwaffe in Berlin. The operational Kdo. that had been operating from Bug auf Rügen and Pillau was ordered to Tallinn/Estonia and Riga/Latvia this date and flew air-sea rescue missions from there until mid-September when it was incorporated into the new Seenotstaffel 81.[16]

3 Oct 44: Staffel reorganized and down-sized to a single Schwarm (4 aircraft) and subordinated to 4.(See)/Erg.Aufkl.Gr. 1. The remaining Staffel personnel were incorporated into Seenotstaffel 81. The Seenotschwarm survived until it was ordered disbanded at Pütnitz on 1 April 1945, at which time it reported 3 Do 24s on strength with 7 crews.[17]

FpN:(L 01543)


Hptm. Hans Lösch (23 Jun 41 - 10 Sep 41)

Oblt.(d.R.) Karl Born (11 Sep 41 - 20 Oct 43)

Hptm. Gottfried Luchmann (28 Sep 43 - 19 Aug 44)

© H.L. deZeng IV, 2024


  1. Dierich-VdL:283-97; D.Jung/B.Wenzel/A.Abendroth-Die Schiffe und Boote der deutschen Seeflieger 1912-1976:188; M.Holm-website ww2.dk.
  2. PRO London: AIR 40/1976 and 1986; K.Born-Rettung zwischen den Fronten: Seenotdienst der deutschen Luftwaffe 1939-1945:96.
  3. H.Valtonen letter in Luftwaffe Verband Journal No. 19, p.26.
  4. BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs).
  5. K.Born-op cit.
  6. K.Born-op cit:96-97.
  7. K.Born-op cit:103, 107; H.Thürling-Die 7. Seenotstaffel 1941-1944:82; S.Carlsen/M.Meyer- Die Flugzeugführer-Ausbildung der Deutschen Luftwaffe 1935-1945/Bd. II:522-23.
  8. Carlsen/Meyer-op cit.
  9. F.Kurowski-Seekrieg aus der Luft: Die deutsche Seeluftwaffe im Zweiten Weltkrieg:169; K.Born-op cit:103; PRO London: DEFE 3 ULTRA signals (numbers not recorded); NARA WashDC: RG 242/T-77 Luftwaffenpersonalamt assignment orders.
  10. M.Holm-op cit.
  11. Luftwaffe Verband Journal No. 19-op cit.
  12. Carlsen/Meyer-op cit.
  13. F.Kurowski-op cit:255.
  14. J-L.Roba/C.Crãciunoiu-Seaplanes Over the Black Sea: German-Romanian Operations 1941-1944.
  15. DEFE 3 ULTRA signal-op cit (specific number not recorded).
  16. D.Jung/B.Wenzel/A.Abendroth-op cit:197; Carlsen/Meyer-op cit.
  17. Carlsen/Meyer-op cit.

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