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).

1 Jan 1943 – 1(F)./122 identified a convoy off the North African coast. At 17.00 hrs Z arrangements were made for the convoy to be attacked by KG 26 and KG 60 on 2 Jan 1943.[4]

3 Jan 1943 – Fliegerkorps II orders, issued at 19.00 hrs Z, that Aufklgr. 122 provide reconnaissance in sea area Bone-Algiers at first light on 4 Jan 1943 to establish existence of Allied convoys. Shadowing aircraft to be at readiness to operate by arrangement with KG 26.[5]

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

II Fliegerkorps advised 1(F)./122 that general situation pointed to an Allied attack in mid-January.[7]

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.[8]

An aircraft of 1(F)./122 departed at 06.30 hrs Z for a sea recce of the western Mediterranean.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

8 Jan 1943 – single aircraft of 1(F)./122 left Elmas at 06.30 hrs Z on a recce sortie to Bone and Oran.[12]

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.[13]

Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus orders for 4(F)./122 for 10 Jan 1943 regarding Black Sea and Kalmak reconnaissance unchanged.[14]

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.[15] This aircraft appears to have been borrowed from I./KG 60, which was also based at Elmas.[16] (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.)[17]

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.[18]

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.[19]


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.

4(F)./122 operated the following sorties from Maikop-Nord:-

2 aircraft performing Black Sea coast reconnaissance.

1 to Elista (Kalmyk Steppe)

2 armed reconnaissance to Flugplatz Sotchi.[20]

Orders issued this day from Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus for 4(F)./122 for 11 Jan 1943 were as follows:-

1. Orders concerning Black Sea reconnaissance and that in the area around Elista were unchanged.

2. Armed reconnaissance, primarily against ship-building and port traffic at Gelendzhik and Tuapse, as well as adjacent airfields.[21]

11 Jan 1943 – Orders issued for 4(F)./122 for 12 Jan 1943 were unchanged.[22]

12 Jan 1943 – Orders for 4(F)./122 for 13 Jan 1943 were as follows:-

1. Black Sea reconnaissance requirements unchanged.

2. Recce in area bounded by Diwnowe – Arskir – Utta – Remontnoje.

3. Railway reconnaissance Bassy – Kissljar – Georgijewek.

4. Armed reconnaissance as per instructions for 11 Jan 1943.[23]

13 Jan 1943 - Following discussions between Hptm. Müller (StaffelKäpitan 4(F)./122), Hptm. Schumacher, Lw. Gr. Kaukasus 4(F)./122 is ordered to keep any aircraft not used for the daily reconnaissance sorties on half-hour notice to perform armed reconnaissance sorties as required. It was the Staffelkäpitan’s responsibility to ensure that this happened.[24]

4(F)./122 operated three sorties on this day, consisting of:-

1. Black Sea reconnaissance.

2. Recce in the Elista area.

3. Armed reconnaissance to Gelendshik – 10 SC 50 and 2 SC 250 bombs were dropped.[25]

Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus issued the following orders to 4(F)./122, for 14 Jan 1943 -

1. Black Sea reconnaissance requirements were unchanged.

2. Armed reconnaissance to be performed in the area Diwnowe (Diwnoje?) - Arskir – Remontnoje.[26]

14 Jan 1943 – 4(F)./122 sent out 5 sorties on this date, they included:-

One reconnaissance of the Black Sea coast.

One reconnaissance to Elista.

Three armed reconnaissance sorties to Gelendshik (Gelendzhik) during which 20 SD50 and 2 SC 250 were to be dropped although the Tagesabschlußmeldung of 14.1.43 issued by Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus indicates one SC 250 hung up or was not dropped.[27]

On this date Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus issued instructions to 4(F)./122 and Lw.Stab Krim regarding its reconnaissance requirements to detect Soviet shipping movements into the northern Black Sea ports. Essentially, the area to be watched was divided into two sections: A – covering the approaches to Anapa; Noworossijsk; Gelendshik; Archiposipowka; Tuapse; Lasarewskaja and Sotschi. B – Sotschi; Adler; Gagry; Suchum; Orschemtschiry; Anaklija; Pori and Batum.

4(F)./122 would be responsible for area A while Lw Stab Krim would be responsible for area B.

The orders emphasised that “gapless” strip searching was to be employed ensuring that there was a clear overlap on each search to ensure that nothing was missed. Crews were to be breifed accordingly.

The instructions indicated that reconnaissance of specific harbours, coasts, railways and roads would be ordered seperately. In addition it was planned that reconnaissance of specific harbours would be escorted when required.[28]

Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus issued the following orders to 4(F)./122, operating from Maikop-Nord, for 15 Jan 1943 -

1. Black Sea reconnaissance requirements were unchanged.

2. Armed reconnaissance east of Diwnoje unchanged.

3. Bombing sortie requirements unchanged.[29]

15 Jan 1943 – 4(F)./122 sent out 5 sorties on behalf of Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus.

A single reconnaissance of the Black Sea coast.

One sortie to the Elista area.

Three armed reconnaissance sorties to Gelendshik (Gelendzhik) – 30 50kg and 6 250kg bombs were released on the target. An R-Boot was sunk; two storage sheds and an oil storage tank were set on fire.[30]

16 Jan 1943 – 4(F)./122 operated 8 sorties on behalf of Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus.

One Black Sea recce.

One to Elista

Six bombing sorties – 20 50kg and 16 250kg bombs were expended on Eriwanskaja and Schapssugskaja resulting in six houses destroyed and heavy damage to parked vehicles.[31]

Orders issued by Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus to 4(F)./122 at Maikop-Nord for 17 Jan 1943 included:-

1 Black Sea recce unchanged.

2.Elista – Manytsch recce unchanged.

3.Bombing sorties to be operated separately.[32]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
16 Jan 1943 1(F)./122 Bf 109 Damaged on take-off at Comiso[33]

17 Jan 1943 – Fw Alfred Drechsler (B) of 4(F)./122 was killed by enemy fire in the vicinity of Mimaralny Wody[34]

According to the Tagesabschußmeldung für 17 Jan 1943 issued by Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus 4(F)./122 operated the following sorties:-

One over the Black Sea.

One to Elista

Four bombing sorties to Kalushakaja – 3 500 kg bombs; 9 250 kg bombs and 28 50 kgs bombs expended. This caused the destruction of 10 houses and left 1 damaged.[35]

Orders issued by Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus to 4(F)./122 at Maikop-Nord for 18 Jan 1943 included:-

1 Black Sea recce unchanged.

2.Elista – Manytsch recce unchanged.

3. Bombing sorties to be operated seperately and depending on the weather night operations can be expected.[36]

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.

18 Jan 1943 – 4(F)./122 operated the following sorties on behalf of Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus: 7 recce sorties including 1 over the Black Sea; 1 to Elista and 5 that included bombing (4 500 kg; 12 250 kg and 26 50 kg bombs used). Results from the bombing sorties included 2 houses destroyed and 1 damaged.[37]

21 Jan 1943 – 1 (F)/122 lost two personnel killed due to bombing at Elmas.[38]

22 Jan 1943 – Luftwaffengruppe Kaukasus recorded the following in its end of day report -

4(F)./122 operated 9 sorties – 1 Black Sea reconnaissance; 1 covering the area Elista – Mineralnyje – Wody. 7 sorties that attacked enemy forces in 15 minute intervals south of Nowo Dmitrijewskaja.[39]

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. [40]

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)[41]

25 Jan 1943 - Some of 1.(F)/122's rear echelon were still to be found at Catania.[42]

26 Jan 1943 – 4(F)./122 was ordered to transfer from Krasnodar to Bagerovo in the Crimea on this date.[43]

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)[44]

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![45]

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References

  1. LdZ - ULTRA Signal VM926.
  2. LdZ - PRO/London: DEFE 3 ULTRA Signal VM2034.
  3. LdZ - Defieux.
  4. DEFE3/792 (2) VM118 pg.29
  5. DEFE3/792(3) VM287 pg 100.
  6. LdZ - PRO/London: DEFE 3 ULTRA Signal VM597.
  7. DEFE3/793 VM797 p113
  8. DEFE3/793 VM655 pg 187
  9. DEFE3/793 VM700 pg 239
  10. DEFE3/793 VM630 p149
  11. DEFE3/793 VM655 pg186-7
  12. DEFE3/793 VM700 pg 239
  13. DEFE3/793 VM943 pg 506
  14. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843193
  15. Additional info from Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns item 9 of return dated 13 Feb 1943
  16. 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.
  17. F Andy Fletcher – detail provided in e-mail of 20/07/05
  18. DEFE3/793 VM926 pg 488
  19. DEFE3/793 VM943 pg 507
  20. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843195
  21. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843175
  22. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843146
  23. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843114
  24. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843133
  25. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843117
  26. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843080
  27. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843083
  28. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843099 and 843100
  29. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843054
  30. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843058
  31. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843032
  32. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 842999
  33. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns item 172 of return dated 17 Feb 1943
  34. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns item 125 of return dated 19 Apr 1943
  35. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 843003
  36. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 842973
  37. Bestand 500 Findbuch 12476 Akte 38 frame 842977
  38. Luftwaffe Quartermaster Loss Returns 4 Feb 1943
  39. Findbuch 12476 Akte 3 Unterlagen der Ia-Abteilung des Generalkommandos des I. Flakkorps Anlagen zum KTB des Generalkommandos des I. Flakkorps, Band C – Weisungen für die Auffrischung vo pg 135
  40. Luftwaffe Quartermaster General loss returns item 126 of return dated 19 Apr 1943
  41. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginningd/citynames-dabr-dzis/slides/Dymi%20%20029.html
  42. LdZ - Loss Report evidence.
  43. LdZ - PRO/London: AIR 40/1966.
  44. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-arc-bak/slides/Arbussowo%20%20092.html
  45. Additional detail provided by Rob van den Nieuwendijk by e-mail 11th June 2004