Aufkl. Gr. 122 Mar 1943

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1 Mar 1943 – A Ju 88 of 1.(F)/122 left Decimo at 08.30 hrs on a reconnaissance sortie to the sea area north of the Algerian coast between Cello and just west of Algiers, at 09.25 hrs north of Cello the crew sighted a convoy of light naval forces, consisting of 6 vessels, on a south-westerly heading at high speed. When off Algiers the crew reported contact with a Spitfire.[1]

A Ju 88 of 1.(F)/122 that had left Decimo at 12.25 hrs for a reconnaissance sortie for coastal shipping approx 75 km off the Algerian coast between Bone and Algiers. At 13.53 hrs at a point midway between Bougie and Algiers the crew reported sighting five destroyers travelling at high speed. The aircraft landed back at Decimo at 16.40 hrs.[2]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
2 Mar 1943 3(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 Damaged at Amsterdam-Schiphol, 10%.
4 Mar 1943 4(F)./122 Ju 88 F6+NM Failed to return from sortie – no further details available, 100%,4 MIA.

5 Mar 1943 – an aircraft of 4.(F)/122 photographed Krasnodar I airfield (Ziel Nr. SU 10 648).[3] On the same sortie this aircraft also photographed Krasnodar II (Ziel Nr. SU 10 412).[4]

6 Mar 1943 – A Ju 88 of 1.(F)/122 departed Decimo at 05.50 hrs for the Alboran Sea and North African Coast returning to land at Decimo at 12.45 hrs. Nothing was sighted.[5]

At 07.20 hrs a Ju 88 from 1.(F)/122 departed Decimo for the North African coast between Bone and Algiers before returning to land at 11.35 hrs. Again nothing was sighted.[6]

A third Ju 88 from 1.(F)/122 sortied to the western Mediterranean. This aircraft sent an SOS message at 16.00 hrs. Its last known position was 03E 3885 which is approx 20 km from the Algierian coast NW of Dellys.[7] 5 Ju 88s from III./KG 26 flew a sea rescue sortie for this missing aircraft – however, the sortie was abandoned when it was realised that these aircraft would have arrived at the last known position (03E 3885) after dark.[8]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
6 Mar 1943 1(F)./122 Ju 88D-1trop F6+EH 43549[9] Failed to return from sortie to the vicinity of Algiers, intercepted by 48 Sqdn Spitfires 20km from Cap Djinet – crashed into the sea, crew seen to have bailed out. [10] 100%, Oblt. Alois Kiefer (F), Uffz. Fritz Hild (B), Fw Helmut Scheuner (Bf) and Uffz. Heinrich Müller (Bs) all MIA.[9]

7 Mar 1943 – 3(F)./122 at Schipol reported the following strength:- 8 Ju 88D-1, 4 Ju 88D-5 and a single Fw 58C-2.[11]

A Ju 88 (F6+BH) from 1.(F)/122 took off for the western Mediterranean at 04.00 hrs but had returned by 06.00 hrs having suffered damage to its undercarriage. No further sorties took place that day due to a lack of serviceable aircraft.[12]

4.(F)/122 photographed the airfield at Krasnodar I (Ziel Nr. SU 10 648, location 38º 57’ 0” E 45º 05’ 0” N). The photos were taken at 4000m.[13]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
7 Mar 1943 4(F)./122 He 111 Crashed on take-off from Fp.Sarabus, 90%. Uffz. Paul Rauber (F), Lt. Heinz Bösand (B), Gefr. Ludwig Lenzer (Bf) and Gefr. Gerhard Müller (Bs) all killed. [14]

8 Mar 1943 – A Ju 88 (F6+LH) departed Decimo at 05.46 hrs to perform a coastal reconnaissance from Cap des Trois Fourches east to Algiers and then returned to Decimo, landing at 12.25 hrs. At 10.45 hrs near Algiers this crew sighted 4 vessels on a south westerly course.[15]

A further Ju 88 (F6+NH) departed Decimo at 12.30 hrs for a coastal reconnaissance of the Algerian coast from near Oran to Algiers. The route to the target arera took the aircraft south of the Balearics to near the Cabo de Gata, on the Spanish coast near Almeria, before turning onto it’s return leg along the Algerian coast. An east bound convoy had been reported by a submarine but this was not picked up by 16.00 hrs. However, at 16.52 hrs near Algiers, a convoy of 9 vessels with 4 escorts was encountered on a course of 260º travelling slowly. Spitfires and Tomahawks were sighted on two occasions during the flight along the coast.[16]

12 Mar 1943 – 4(F)./122 sent an aircraft to photograph the seaplane bases to the south of Gelendshik Bucht (Gelendzhik Bay) – these were Seeflugplatz Gelendshik III and Seeflughafen Gelendshik IV. (target code 97 21021, Pl.Q. 44 85371.).[17]

4(F)./122 also photographed the airfield at Alder (Target code SU 10 3735, Pl Qu. 34 Ost 94634).[18] Krasnodar I was also photographed by 4.(F)/122 from 7500m (Ziel Nr. SU 10 648, location 38º 57’ 0” E 45º 05’ 0” N).[19]

13 Mar 1943 – 4(F)./122 sortie to photograph Armawir I in Krasnodar[20]The airfield was located south of the town and possessed a hard runway of 1050m in length.

An aircraft of 4(F)./122 also photographed the railway yards at Gulkewitschi (Gulkevichi) (target code SU 97 21129, 45 N 40E)[21]

15 Mar 1943 - 1.(F)/122 to transfer from Elmas, Sardinia to Catania, Sicily.[22]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
15 Mar 1943 ?(F)./122 Me 210A-1 15% damage on take-off in Tunisia[23]

20 Mar 1943 – 2(F)./122 despatched a sortie to the Straits of Sicily.

1(F)./122 despatched a sortie to cover Algiers and the Alboran Sea. At 13.15 hrs Z the mission was terminated owing to mechanical a defect and only extended to 2 degrees West.[24]

He 111 of AufklGr 122 took off at 22.00 hrs Z for recce a sortie covering from Pantelleria to the African Coast.[25]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
20 Mar 1943 2(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+BK Failed to return from Pl.Qu.15/13 East, combat with P-38s of 82nd FG – lost over the Scicilian Strait 100%, 4 MIA.*

21 Mar 1943 – 4(F)./122 sent an aircraft to photograph the airfield at Abinskaja.(Abinsk?) (44°54'7" N 38°10'40" E, Pl.Qu. 34 Ost 85151).[26]

1(F)./122 operated the following sorties:-

05.00 – 11.15 hrs Z – to the sea area off Melilla (Spanish city on the North African coast on the Alboran Sea).

06.00 – 10.00 hrs Z – to the sea area off Algiers.

13.00 – 17.30 hrs Z – to the sea area north of Cape Tenes (this is midway between Algiers and Oran).[27]

An aircraft of 1(F)./122 took off at 19.00 hrs Z on an ASV sortie from Sicily.[28]This was to screen the “Monti” convoy from Allied naval forces that had left Bone on an easterly or north-easterly course.[29]

22 Mar 1943 – 1(F)./122 operated the following sorties:-

05.00 – 11.45 hrs Z - recce to Cape Gata – Cape Palos.[30]

06.15 – 10.15 hrs Z – recce to Bone and Algiers.[31]

14.00 hrs Z single aircraft sortie to Oran.[32]

23 Mar 1943 – Aircraft from 1(F)./122 currently located in Sardinia were ordered by Fliegerführer Sardinia ordered to transfer to Catania by 11.00 hrs Z 24 Mar 1943. This was to take part in planned operations against Benghazi on 24th and 25th March.[33]

1(F)./122 had 10 aircraft on strength with 1 serviceable.[34]

One aircraft of 1(F)./122 departed at 11.15 hrs on a sortie to Algiers and the Alboran Sea, landing again at 17.00 hrs Z.[35]

24 Mar 1943 – Strength return for 1(F)./122 given as 10 plus 1 attached – 3 were serviceable at Catania plus an additional 2 from 17.00 hrs Z.[36]

25 Mar 1943 – Fliegerführer Sardinia intended recce against unspecified Allied convoys following the return of 1(F)./122.[37]

1(F)./122 reported a strength of 9 aircraft plus 1 attached. 1 serviceable, another serviceable from 17.00 hrs Z, 1 aircraft on ops and another still at Catania.[38]

1(F)./122 sortie to Cap Palos – Oran area in search of a large convoy. Took off 09.00 hrs Z landed 15.45 hrs Z.[39]A further aircraft from 1(F)./122 was given the same task, departing 14.15 hrs Z returning 18.30 hrs Z.[40]

Two aircraft of 1(F)./122 moved back to Sardinia (presumably from Catania).[41]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
25 Mar 1943 4(F)./122 Ju 88D-1 F6+VM 430535[42] Failed to return from a sortie to the P’ot’i-Bat’umi area of Georgia, 100%, 4 MIA.

26 Mar 1943 – 1(F)./122 strength return - total 9 plus 1 attached; only 2 serviceable; 1 on an operational sortie plus 1 aircraft at Catania.[43]

Ju 88 of 1(F)./122 departed 06.15 hrs Z on a recce sortie to cover the outer harbour at Algiers together with the coastal area from Algiers to Bone. Unfortunately, Algiers harbour was not seen due to defending fighters and cloud cover down to 2000m.[44]

A further aircraft of 1(F)./122 took off at 12.15 hrs Z to perform an unspecified task.[45]

27 Mar 1943 – An aircraft of 4(F)./122 photographed the airfield of Armawir I (Armavir) – 41.06.00E/44.58.00N.[46]

An aircraft of 1(F)./122 was up at 04.15 hrs Z to carry out a sea recce between Bone and Algiers returning at 09.00 hrs Z. A further aircraft of the same unit departed at 04.45 hrs Z for a coastal recce covering Algiers to Oran and the Alboran Sea. The aircraft returned at 12.15 hrs Z following an unsuccessful attempt to photograph Algiers Harbour.[47]

Another aircraft of 1(F)./122 departed at 15.00 hrs Z to take over the shadowing of a convoy in the vicinity of Philippeville.[48]

28 Mar 1943 – 4(F)./122 again photographed the airfield at Alder.(target Code SU 10 3735.)[49]

1(F)./122 ordered to take over close escort of Regina convoy with 2 Ju 88 from first light to 15.00 hrs Z.[50] An aircraft of 1(F)./122 departed at 07.30 hrs Z to commence this task.[51]

An aircraft of 1(F)./122 departed 05.20 hrs Z for an off-shore recce covering Algiers to Oran and Alboran Sea, the aircraft returned at 12.30 hrs Z. Another aircraft of the same unit departed at 06.15 hrs Z to cover the sea area Bone to Algiers returning at 10.40 hrs Z.[52]

1(F)./122 sent out a Met recce to Tripoli at 10.00 hrs Z.[53]

An aircraft of 1(F)./122 departed at 10.45 hrs Z for a sortie covering Cap Corbelin to the Alboran Sea, returning at 17.45 hrs Z.[54]

Strength of 1(F)./122 was recorded in the afternoon as 9 aircraft plus one attached with 2 on operations.[55]

2.(F)/122 Ju 88 (F6+OK) departed Trapani at 12.40 hrs on a reconnaissance sortie that was to cover the following harbours – Phillippeville, Bougie and Algiers. The planed flight path was – Trapani – Cap Serrat – and then along the coast from Cap Bougaron to Bone. No shipping traffic was detected. Phillippeville was not checked due to haze and Bone harbour was not inspected due to heavy flak. The aircraft suffered a direct hit from flak on the fusalage, tailplane and rudder. Another hit was to the right wing – the wing fuel tank failed as a result of this. The plane recovered to 1800 m and flew back to Pl.Qu. 03 E/9868 where the crew bailed out, they suffered light injuries.[56]

29 Mar 1943 – An aircraft of 1(F)./122 took off at 05.45 hrs Z for a coastal recce covering Melilla and Cap Palos.[57]

At 13.15 hrs Z an aircraft of 1(F)./122 left for a recce covering Bone to Algiers, returning at 17.30 hrs Z.[58]

Strength return of 1(F)./122 in the afternoon was as follows – 9 aircraft plus 1 attached; 2 plus 1 on operations (1 from 16.00 hrs Z).[59]

30 Mar 1943 – An aircraft of 1(F)./122 took off at 03.30 hrs Z for an off-shore recce taking in Bone and Algiers, it landed at 07.30 hrs Z. At 05.30 hrs another aircraft of the same unit performed a recce of Algiers, Oran and the Alboran Sea, landing at 13.15 hrs Z. A further aircraft of 1(F)./122 took off at 12.00 hrs Z for a recce encompassing Algiers and Bone.[60]

31 Mar 1943 – 1(F)./122 still noted as at Decimo (Decimomannu).[61]


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References

  1. HW 13/110 via Remi Traconelli.
  2. HW 13/110 via Remi Traconelli.
  3. Krasnodar – 02.jpg from LdZIV.
  4. Krasnodar – 02.jpg from LdZIV.
  5. HW 13/110 via Remi Traconelli.
  6. HW 13/110 via Remi Traconelli.
  7. HW 13/110 via Remi Traconelli.
  8. HW 13/110 via Remi Traconelli.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Luftwaffe QMG Loss returns 8 Mar 1943 sheet 5 entry 86.
  10. P238/254/307 of Shores, Christopher et al – Fighters over Tunisia (Neville Spearman) – operations, losses etc
  11. Rob van den Nieuwendijk by e-mail 23/06/04
  12. HW 13/110 via Remi Traconelli.
  13. Target photo via LdZ IV
  14. Luftwaffe QMG Loss returns 8 Apr 1943 Sheet 17 entry
  15. HW 13/110 via Remi Traconelli.
  16. HW 13/110 via Remi Traconelli.
  17. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginningg/citynames-gele-gust/slides/Gelendshik%20II%20IV%20%20007.html
  18. J. Calvin ftp server targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-abascha-ales/slides/Adlert%20%20031.html
  19. Target photo via LdZ IV.
  20. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-arc-bak/slides/Armawir%20%20121.html
  21. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginningg/citynames-gele-gust/slides/Gulkewitschi%20%20014.html
  22. A. Arthy, 11 August 2003 – Ultra VM6577
  23. Luftwaffe QMG Loss returns7 Apr 1943 sheet 13, entry 190.
  24. NA DEFE3/806 VM7031 pg 38
  25. NA DEFE3/806 VM7031 pg 39
  26. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-abascha-ales/slides/Abascha%20%20%20005.html link now defunct
  27. NA DEFE3/806 VM7114 pg 128
  28. NA DEFE3/806 VM7114 pg 129
  29. NA DEFE3/806 VM7045 pg 52
  30. NA DEFE3/806 VM7232 pg 246
  31. NA DEFE3/806 VM7232 pg 246
  32. NA DEFE3/806 VM7232 pg 246
  33. NA DEFE3/806 VM7287 pg 306
  34. NADEFE3/806 VM7340 pg 360
  35. DEFE3/806 VM7342 pg 362
  36. NA DEFE3/806 VM7442 pg 470
  37. NA DEFE3/806 VM7435 pg 463, see VM7287 pg 306 there is no other indication of this unit moving back to Sardinia from Catania.
  38. NA DEFE3/807 VM7358 pg 61
  39. NA DEFE3/807 VM7570 pg 74
  40. NA DEFE3/807 VM7570 pg 74
  41. NA DEFE3/807 VM7570 pg 74 also refer VM7435
  42. Luftwaffe QMG Loss returns 21 May 1943 sheet 09, entry 165
  43. NA DEFE3/807 VM7667 pg 179
  44. NA DEFE3/807 VM7670 pg 182
  45. NA DEFE3/807 VM7670 pg 182
  46. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-arc-bak/slides/Armawir%20%20121.html
  47. NA DEFE3/807 VM7765 pg 281
  48. NA DEFE3/807 VM7765 pg 281
  49. http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/targetrussia/citynamesbeginninga/citynames-abascha-ales/slides/Adlert%20%20027.html
  50. NA DEFE3/807 VM7775 pg 292
  51. NA DEFE3/807 VM7865 pg 390
  52. NA DEFE3/807 VM7865 pg 390
  53. NA DEFE3/807 VM7865 pg 390
  54. NA DEFE3/807 VM7865 pg 390
  55. NA DEFE3/807 VM7864 pg 393
  56. RL7-2/135 pg 5 Nachtrag zur 10. Erfolgsmeldung vom 28.3.43
  57. NA DEFE3/807 VM7975 pg 512
  58. NA DEFE3/807 VM7975 pg 512
  59. NA DEFE3/807 VM7936 pg 470
  60. NA DEFE3/807 VM7985 pg 524
  61. LdZ - PRO AIR 40/1995.