Aufkl. Gr. 123 1939

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1 Sep 1939 - The Luftwaffe Order of Battle[1] recorded the following:-

1.(F)/123 was at Ansbach[2] under the control of Luftflottenkommando 3 with 12 Do 17P on strength of which 11 were servicable. Staffelkapitän Maj. Donaubauer.[3]

2.(F)/123 was at Würzburg under the control of Luftflottenkommando 3 with 12 Do 17P on strength of which 12 were servicable. At this time it was commanded by Maj. Freidrich Hessel.[4]

3.(F)/123 was at Schweidnitz under the control of Luftflottenkommando 4 with 12 Do 17P and 1 Ju 52[5] on strength of which 11 Do 17P and 1 Ju 52[6] were servicable. At this time it was commanded by Hptm. Liebe-Piderit

1 Sep 1939 – 3(F)./123 flew a recce sortie to the Krasnik area - Lublin - Kielce – Strachowice. On streets and railway lines no traffic was sighted. The bridge at Leka was checked. In Stupiec area there was troop movement via the ferry, more troop movements by ferry were seen at Oatrowec. There was a makeshift bridge at Kolo. Bad weather occurred throughout the reconnaissance sortie with visibility only extending to approximately 4 km.[7]

2 Sep 1939 – 3(F)./123, sorties covered Radom; Lodz; airfield at Brest; Deblin airfield.

3 Sep 1939 – 3(F)./123 flew recce sorties this day focusing on Raiways and transport movement. Identifying trains on the route Poznan-Warwaw, movement around Poznan; Krakow – mainly on the routes Kamienna – Ostoberschlesien and Przemysl – Krakow.[8]

5 Sep 1939 – 3(F)./123 located at Schweidnitz.[9]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
11 Sep 1939 1(F)./ 123 Do 17 Recorded as missing[10]

12 Sep 1939 – 3(F)./123 reported on rail traffic between 07.00 and 12.00 hrs.[11]

15 Sep 1939 – 3(F)./123 still located at Schweidnitz.[12]

3.(F)/123 had 11 Do 17P and 1 Ju 52 on strength of which 7 Do 17P and 1 Ju 52 were serviceable.[13]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
17 Sep 1939 3(F)./123 Do 17 Heavily damaged[14]

25 Sep 1939 - Three Do 17Ps of 2(F)./123 made the first Luftwaffe recce sortie over France. They covered the airfields at Reims, Mourmelon, Chalons-sur-Marne, Vitry, Brienn, Troyes and Sezanne.[15]

3.(F)/123 had 11 Do 17P and 1 Ju 52 on strength all off which were available.[16]

3 Oct 1939 – Do 17P of 1.(F)/123 flew a sortie to Paris to investigate the railway stations in that area. The aircraft received attention from the Flak defences to such an extent that it had to ascend to 8,000m. The Bordfunker (Fw. Reichenstein) had a damaged oxygen mask and the sortie was abandoned by the Beobachter, Oblt. Mühlbauer.[17]

4 Oct 1939 – 1.(F)/123 moves to Langendiebach near Frankfurt on Main.[18] 2.(F)/123 was located at Rebstock, also near Frankfurt on Main.[19]

12 Oct 1939 - A recce Do 17P of 1(F)/123 crashed during a sortie near Kerzenheim. Lt de Res Albert Kohler and his crew were killed.[20]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
12 Oct 1939 1(F)./123 Do 17P 4U+HK Crashed in flames due to an unknown cause. (Lt. A. Köhler, Uffz. K. Löw and Uffz. E. Schönborn all killed)[21]


20 Oct 1939 - Hptm. Baldüin von Normann appointed Staka 2(F)./123.[22]

23 Oct 1939 – 2(F)./123 had some problems with trees on this date.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
23 Oct 1939 2(F)./123 Do 17P Crashed after hitting a tree. Aircraft destroyed. Occurred at Geiselbach-Neuss, 8km south of Gelnhausen. Crew Killed (Lt Dewing plus two others).[23]
23 Oct 1939 2(F)./123 Do 17P Crashed and burned following hitting a tree north of the Oberursel-Schönberg road, near Frankfurt-Main. (Lt Rebwinkel plus two others killed)[23]

30 Oct 1939 - Do 17P of 2(F)./123 shot down by Hurricanes of 1 Sqdn. crashed at Traveron, on a sortie in the vicinity of Toul. Hptm. Baldüin von Normann and crew killed.[24]

1 Nov 1939 – Hans-Günther von Obernitz appointed Staka 2(F)./123.[22]

8 Nov 1939 - A Do 17P of 1(F)/123 was chased and shot down by Hurricanes of 73 Sqdn RAF. The Dornier crashed near Lubey, Nw of Metz, Oblt Hans Kutter (B), Ofw. Stühler and Ogefr. Schneidmüller (Bf) were killed[25]. This was the first victory for Flg Off. Cain.[26]

17 Nov 1939 - Do 17P of 2(F)./123 forced landed near Bolzano in Italy . Lt Werner Vranken, Oberfw. F. Mende and Uffz. M. Pietras all unhurt and were returned to Germany.[27]

23 Nov 1939 - Do 17P of 1(F)./123 (4U+MH[28]) on a recce sortie to airfields in the Dijon area was intercepted at 0935 by Lt Bissoudre and Sgt Tourne of GC II/3. Bissoudre caught the Do 17P sw of Baume-les-Doubs. Fw Leo Koch belly landed the Dornier at La Chaus de Fronds, close to the Swiss frontier, the crew (Fw. L. Knoch, Uffz, H. Pötzinger and Uffz. F. Böhle)[29] escaped across the Swiss border and were interned.They were eventually repatriated on 28 June 1940.[30]

25 Nov 1939 – 1.(F)/123 reported 10 Do 17Ps available with 8 crews also available.[31]

22 Dec 1939 - Two Do 17s of 1(F)./123 were escorted by 11 Bf 109Es of III/JG53 while on a recce sortie to the west of Saarbrücken.[32]

Links

Aufklärungsgruppe 123

Aufkl. Gr. 123 1940

Aufkl. Gr. 123 1941

Aufkl. Gr. 123 1942

Aufkl. Gr. 123 1943

Aufkl. Gr. 123 1944

Aufkl. Gr. 123 1945


References

  1. Der LuftKrieg in Europa 1939-41 Ulf Balke.
  2. Note that Radeber in The Knullenkopfstaffel records that 1.(F)/123 was located at Roth from 26 Aug 1939 – 4 Oct 1939 (p31).
  3. Radeber – The Knullenkopfstaffel p33
  4. Chris Goss Posting to TOCH 5 Sep 2006
  5. TsAMO file 500-12452-000667 3(F)/123 39-09
  6. TsAMO file 500-12452-000667 3(F)/123 39-09
  7. TsAMO file 500-12452-000319 Koluft Heeregr. Süd Meldungen Luftflotte 4 31.8 – 19.9.39 (includes 3/123) page 9
  8. TsAMO File 500-12452-325 Luftflotte 4 Morgen AbendMeldungen Sept 1939 p7
  9. TsAMO File 500-12452-000004 Der Einsatz der operativen Luftwaffe gegen Polen. 1 Teil 22.VIII – 5.IX.1939 page 35
  10. Luftwaffe Quartermaster Loss Returns 11 Sep 1939
  11. Polenkrieg 1939 Luftflotte 4 Fernsprüche- Meldungen vom 10.9 – 14.9.39
  12. TsAMO File 500-12452-323 p82
  13. TsAMO file 500-12452-000667 3(F)/123 39-09
  14. Luftwaffe Quartermaster Loss Returns 17 Sep 1939
  15. “Fledgling Eagles” p70
  16. TsAMO file 500-12452-000667 3(F)/123 39-09
  17. Radeber - The Knullenkopfstaffel p33
  18. Radeber - The Knullenkopfstaffel p33 – note also on this page that Radeber also asserts that 1.(F)/123 was flying operationally from this airfield on 1 Oct 1939.
  19. Radeber - The Knullenkopfstaffel p33
  20. “Fledgling Eagles” P86
  21. “The Battle of France – Then and Now” - Peter Cornwell p104
  22. 22.0 22.1 Stankey and de Zeng – Career Summaries -Luftwaffe Officers 1935-45
  23. 23.0 23.1 “The Battle of France – Then and Now” - Peter Cornwell p107
  24. Fledgling Eagles p96
  25. Radeber - The Knullenkopfstaffel p36
  26. Fledgling Eagles p106/7
  27. Fledgling Eagles p112
  28. Radeber - The Knullenkopfstaffel p38
  29. “The Battle of France – Then and Now” - Peter Cornwell p120
  30. Fledgling Eagles p119- - also “The Battle of France – Then and Now” - Peter Cornwell p120
  31. Radeber - The Knullenkopfstaffel p40
  32. Fledgling Eagles p147

Cornwell, Peter - The Battle of France Then and Now

Dierich, Wolfgang - Die Verband der Luftwaffe, 1939 - 45

Foreman, John - The Battle of Britain, the Forgotten Months

Goss, Chris - Do 17 in Focus

Green, William - Warplanes of the Third Reich

Griehl, Manfred - Strahlflugzeug Arado Ar 234 Blitz

Mason, Francis - Battle over Britain

Price, Alfred - The Luftwaffe Data Book

Ramsey, Winston et al - The Battle of Britain, Then and Now

Ramsey, Winston et al - The Blitz, Then and Now

Rosch, Barry - Luftwaffe Codes, Markings and Units 1939-45

Shores, et al - Fledgeling Eagles

Shores, et al - Air War for Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete 1940-41

Shores, et al - Malta – The Hurricane Years 1940-41

Shores, et al - Malta – The Spitfire Year – 1942

Michael Holm's Luftwaffe 1939-45

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