Aufkl. Gr. 122 Jan 1943

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Jan 1943 - From Elmas (Sardinia), 1(F)./122 flew daily maritime reconnaissance along the North African coast in search of convoy targets for torpedo attacks by II.Fliegerkorps units.[1]

Operating from Trapani, 2(F)./122 was engaged in shadowing Allied convoys off the North African coast, with Ju 88s fitted with maritime search radar, after the convoys had been initially located by 1.(F)/122. A few hours before the convoy was to be attacked by bombers and torpedo aircraft from KG 26, KG 30 and I./KG 60, the shadower would begin transmitting a homing signal.[2] Also, between January and April 2(F)./122 flew a number of operational evaluation flights with the Messerschmitt Me 210.[3]

4(F)./122 – at the beginning of January this staffel transferred from Maikop to Krasnodar (N Caucasia).

6 Jan 1943 – 1(F)./122 now established at Elmas (Sardinia) under II.Fliegerkorps.[4]

II Fliegerkorps advised 1(F)./122 that general situation pointed to an Allied attack in mid-January.[5]

7 Jan 1943 – 1(F)./122 aircraft up 06.00 hrs Z and landing 12.45 hrs Z course Elmas – Bone – Djidjelli – Algiers - Elmas, sighted eastbound and westbound convoys plus another convoy entering Algiers.[6]

An aircraft of 1(F)./122 departed at 06.30 hrs Z for a sea recce of the western Mediterranean.[7]

Orders issued for 8 Jan at 16.00 hrs Z for 1(F)./122 to make a sea recce sortie looking for Allied shipping in the Bone-Oran area from first light. A sufficient number of shadowing aircraft were also to be made available. In addition KG 26 were to prepare for torpedo operations dependent upon the results of the recce sortie as well as strikes on Bone and/or Souk El Arba airfields.[8]

1(F)./122 aircraft committed to shadowing convoy from 15.15 – 17.30 hrs Z sighting east and westbound convoys crossing at 15.15 hrs. A second aircraft shadowed the eastbound convoy from 16.00 – 17.30 hrs Z.[9]

8 Jan 1943 – single aircraft of 1(F)./122 left Elmas at 06.30 hrs Z on a recce sortie to Bone and Oran.[10]

9 Jan 1943 – An aircraft of 1(F)./122 took off from Elmas and returned at 13.00 hrs Z having performed an off-shore recce covering the area from Bone to Oran. A convoy of approximately 28 vessels was sighted off Cape Tenes.[11]

10 Jan 1943 – 1(F)./122 recorded the loss of Ju 88A-4 (P1+NK, Wnr 140427) this failed to return from it’s mission - no further details are available, Hptm. Karstinat (B), Uffz. Emil Budde (F), Uffz. Hans Krause (BF and Uffz. Harry Müller (BS) all MIA.[12] This aircraft appears to have been borrowed from I./KG 60, which was also based at Elmas.[13] (S/L Leonard Harold Bartlett C/O 253 Sqn claimed 1xJu88, 30 miles N.W. Bougie. He was flying Hurricane IIc (HV968). This claim is probably Ju88A-4 (PI+NK) of 1(F)/122 which was lost this date.)[14]

An aircraft from 1(F)./122 left Elmas at 14.30 hrs Z to fly a route Djidjelli – Cape Sigli – Cape Bugaroni. The route Djidjelli – Cape Sigli – Cape Bugaroni was flown three times. The coastal area and off-shore waters were extensively searched without sighting any convoy. The aircraft landed back at Elmas at 18.30 hrs Z.[15]

An aircraft of 2(F)./122 left Elmas on a photo recce sortie flying Elmas – Djidjelli – Setif – Aumale- Algiers – Beni Mansour – Bougie – Convoy off Gulf of Bougie – Elmas. The aircraft landed at 15.20 hrs having successfully photographed Djidjelli; Setif; the railway from Setif to Mansourah; Algiers airfield; the railway from BenMansour to Bougie and the convoy off the Gulf of Bougie.[16]

Luftwaffe Order of Battle for Luftflotte 2 on this date records 1(F)./122 operating from Elmas with Ju 88 and Fw 200 aircraft 15 on strength – 4 servicable.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
16 Jan 1943 1(F)./122 Bf 109 Damaged on take-off at Comiso[15]

17 Jan 1943 – Fw Alfred Drechsler (B) of 4(F)./122 was killed by enemy fire in the vicinity of Mimaralny Wody[17]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
17 Jan 1943 2(F)./122 Bf 110A-1 Crash landed at Munich-Riem, 15%. This was probably a courier flight to pick up critically needed parts.

21 Jan 1943 – 1 (F)/122 lost two personnel killed due to bombing at Elmas.[18]

22 Jan 1943 – 4(F)./122 Sta.Kap., Hptm. Müller(B) and Lt August Györy (F) were reported as WIA by enemy AA-fire near Nowo Dmitriewskaja although an aircraft was not recorded on any damage reports. [19]

24 Jan 1943 – An aircraft of 5(F)./122 photographed the railway halt at Dymi (Target Code SU 40 18031, Pl.Qu. 36 Ost 30454, 59.35.15 N 33.46.00 E)[20]

25 Jan 1943 - Some of 1.(F)/122's rear echelon were still to be found at Catania.[21]

26 Jan 1943 – 4(F)./122 was ordered to transfer from Krasnodar to Bagerovo in the Crimea on this date.[22]

27 Jan 43 - A member of 4(F)./122's ground staff was killed when struck by a propeller at Fp.Krasnodar (Kuban).

5(F)./122 sortie to Arbusowo (30.58.30 E 59.50.00 N)[23]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
28 Jan 1943 3(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+ML 430521 Crashed into the sea 4 miles off Great Yarmouth at 15.00 hrs. Uffz. H. Schwartze, Uffz. W. Pilz, Uffz. P. Wagner and Ufffz. K. Herbinger all missing presumed killed. Shot down by Spitfires of 167 RAF Squadron by Pilot Officer C T K Cody and Sergeant W P Nash. King George was inspecting the homebase of 167 Squadron at that very time![24]


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  1. LdZ - ULTRA Signal VM926.
  2. LdZ - PRO/London: DEFE 3 ULTRA Signal VM2034.
  3. LdZ - Defieux.
  4. LdZ - PRO/London: DEFE 3 ULTRA Signal VM597.
  5. DEFE3/793 VM797 p113
  6. DEFE3/793 VM655 pg 187
  7. DEFE3/793 VM700 pg 239
  8. DEFE3/793 VM630 p149
  9. DEFE3/793 VM655 pg186-7
  10. DEFE3/793 VM700 pg 239
  11. DEFE3/793 VM943 pg 506
  12. Additional info from Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns item 9 of return dated 13 Feb 1943
  13. LdZ also Shores – Fighters over Tunisia p141 records the following – spotted near convoy NW of Bougie by 253 Sqdn Hurricanes. Shot down by one and crashed into the sea.Holm – 1.and 2./KG60located at Elmas from 8 Nov 1942 to 8 Feb 1943 when disbanded. 1./122 located at Elmas from Jan to Jun 1943.
  14. F Andy Fletcher – detail provided in e-mail of 20/07/05
  15. 15.0 15.1 DEFE3/793 VM926 pg 488 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ftn188aa" defined multiple times with different content
  16. DEFE3/793 VM943 pg 507
  17. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns item 125 of return dated 19 Apr 1943
  18. Luftwaffe Quartermaster Loss Returns 4 Feb 1943
  19. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns item 126 of return dated 19 Apr 1943
  21. LdZ - Loss Report evidence.
  22. LdZ - PRO/London: AIR 40/1966.
  24. Additional detail provided by Rob van den Nieuwendijk by e-mail 11th June 2004