Aufkl. Gr. 122 Dec 1941

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Dec 1941 – Stab./122 arrived at Trapani (Sicily) from Smolensk and remained there until April 1943. Directed strategic reconnaissance over the entire Mediterranean Theatre for Luftflotte 2.[1]

Dec 1941 – 1(F)./122 and 2(F)./122 transferred from Russia to Catania and Gerbini (Sicily) with II.Fliegerkorps, with a delay en-route in Germany.[2]

9 Dec 1941 – 3(F)./122 despatched a Ju 88 (F6+CL) on a maritime reconnaissance sortie to the English NE Coast. This aircraft was flown to Schiphol at 07.30 hrs and departed there at 08.12 hrs Z.[3]

3.(F)/122 operated a morning sortie to the Thames Estuary (F6+OL), the crew sighted four patrol vessels. Operated as far as 25 km E of Flamboro’ Head and back via Skegness to about 30 km E of Walton-on-the-Naze – reporting no shipping sightings in this area. The aircraft was in the target zone between 07.40 – 10.15 hrs Z. The operation was eventually broken off due to poor visibility. Crew landed at Montdidier at 11.30 hrs Z.[4]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
9 Dec 1941 3(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+CL 1465 Shot down by Huricanes of 43 Sqdn and crashed into the sea 10 miles off Seaham, Co Durham. Lt Böhme, Oberfw. L. Volk, Oberfw. F. Schackert and Fw W. Lentfert all MIA.[5]

10 Dec 1941 – 3.(F)/122 sent out F6+DL on the morning sortie to the Southern North Sea, the aircraft was noted by the British when it was east of Walton-on-the-Naze and then off Mablethorpe (it probably operated further up the coast). The sortie was abandoned at 12.00 hrs Z due to weather conditions and the crew were ordered to land at Montdidier as there was low cloud over Schiphol.[6]

12 Dec 1941 – F6+AL of 3.(F)/122 had operated the early morning sortie from Montdidier to the southern North Sea but abandoned the operation due to engine trouble and was ordered to land at Montdidier due to the weather conditions. (Landed at 09.24 hrs Z).[7]

F6+DL of 3.(F)/122 was ordered at 08.30 hrs Z to break off flight in Pl. Qu. 05 E 0570 and return to Montidier due to adverse weather conditions. 15 minutes later a further instruction was issued for the crew to break-off in Pl.Qu.05E 1470 and to return to Montdidier via the Thames Estuary. Notwithstanding all the instructions issued by the ground control the crew provided a weather report for Pl.Qu. 05E 0520 and reported that they were flying to “Target Area 2”. The crew subsequently provided a weather report for the Flamboro’ Head area and were proceeding to Pl.Qu. 05E 0470 when they were attacked by Spitfires 35 miles north of Spurn Head at approximately 09.10 hrs Z. The attack was unsuccessful and one Spitfire was reported as missing. F6+DL landed at Montdidier at 11.22 hrs Z.[8]

Luftflotte 4 recorded no operations for 4.(F)/122 on this day.[9]

13 Dec 1941 – 3.(F)/122 had an aircraft airborne at 11.30 hrs Z (F6+BL). This aircraft was operating in the southern North Sea and may have flown as far as Gateshead and Sunderland as part of the crew’s photo reconnaissance sortie. British sources record it as making landfall at St. Abs Head at 14.30 hrs Z and it possibly briefly shadowed convoy FS 72 off Blyth at 14.34 hrs Z. The aircraft had landed by 17.18 hrs Z.[10]

14 Dec 1941 – F6+KL of 3.(F)/122 was monitored on a morning sortie that took it from the Thames Estuary to at least Spurn Point. This aircraft probably shadowed convoy FN 77 NNE off Spurn Point at 11.17 hrs Z. This plane had landed back at Montidier by 12.15 hrs Z.[11]

16 Dec 1941 – F6+BL of 3.(F)/122 departed Montidier at 08.18 hrs Z on a weather/sea reconnaissance sortie, and was recorded 40-55 km due south of Newhaven. The crew did not report any shipping sightings in this area. The aircraft returned to France, crossing the coast in the vicinity of Boulogne and was tracked flying back out into the North Sea near Ostend flying on a northerly heading. F6+BL landed back at Montidier at about 11.50 hrs Z.[12]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
16 Dec 1941 5(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+WN Failed to return - no additional details available, 100%,4 MIA

18 Dec 1941 – 3.(F)/122 sent out F6+KL on a photo and weather reconnaissance sortie to the English East Coast, departing Schipohl at 12.04 hrs Z. Ground control notified the crew, at 12.44 hrs Z, of the positions of two convoys – it is likely that these convoys had previously been sighted by a crew from KGr. 506. The crew flew F6+KL parallel to the coat from north east of Whitby to east of Lowestoft at approx. 50-80 km distance. No shipping was sighted and the crew attempted to penetrate to the convoy lane but had to give up due to a lack of cloud cover. F6+KL landed back at Schipol at 14.44 hrs Z.[13]

19 Dec 1941 – F6+BL of 3.(F)/122 broke off its sortie about 10 km east of Tynemouth probably on account of the weather conditions. It returned via Spurn Point and off Happisburgh to Montidier, landing there at 12.48 hrs Z.[14]

F6+KL of 3.(F)/122 departed Schiphol at 13.55 hrs Z (intended departure had been planned for 13.30 hrs Z). The crew’s orders were to perform a convoy reconnaissance covering the area Pl. Qu. 15W 156 to 05E 1230 and to concentrate on the Whitby-Humber area. Weather reports were to be sent and the aircraft was planned to return to Schiphol. However, the flight was broken off in Pl. Qu. 05E 2475 due to engine trouble. The plane landed at Schiphol at about 15.10 hrs Z.[15]

22 Dec 1941 – F6+AL of 3(F)./122 departed Montdidier at 09.08 hrs on a reconnaissance sortie, returning at 14.30 hrs.[16]

27 Dec 1941 – reconnaissance of La Valetta and Filfola by an aircraft of 1(F)./122.[17]

31 Dec 1941 – The following result of a 4(F)./122 reconnaissance sortie was sent to Koluft Armee Gruppe Süd:-

11.00 hrs Z – Stalingrad to Lichawa 10 trains west, 7 trains east.

12.00 hrs Z – Stalindrad – Filonowo 5 trains north west, 3 trains south east.[18]

1(F)./122 performed a reconnaissance of La Valetta, Malta and Filfola (an islet off the southwest coast of Malta). This sortie that took place at 07.00 hrs Z showed no differences between its results and one that took place on 27 Dec 1941.[19]

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References

  1. LdZ - Beale-AWI:16; Karlsruhe Collection.
  2. LdZ - Dierich; Tessin.
  3. HW13/97 SALU 311 via Peter Taghorn.
  4. HW13/97 SALU 311 via Peter Taghorn.
  5. Ramsay et al – The Bliz Then and Now and Norman LotN p180
  6. HW13/97 SALU 312 via Peter Taghorn.
  7. HW13/97 SALU 314 via Peter Taghorn.
  8. HW13/97 SALU 314 via Peter Taghorn.
  9. HW13/97 SALU 314 via Peter Taghorn.
  10. HW13/97 SALU 315 via Peter Taghorn.
  11. HW13/97 SALU 316 via Peter Taghorn.
  12. HW13/97 SALU 316 via Peter Taghorn.
  13. HW13/97 SALU 320 via Peter Taghorn.
  14. HW13/97 SALU 321 via Peter Taghorn.
  15. HW13/97 SALU 321 via Peter Taghorn.
  16. Flugbuch of Fuchjohahn via Remi Traconelli.
  17. HW5/51 CX/MSS/588 T16
  18. HW5/51 1-4 Jan 1942 CX/MSS/584
  19. HW5/51 CX/MSS/588 T16