Fliegerstaffel des Führers
Fliegerstaffel des Führers (F.d.F.)
(Unit Code: factory codes were used exclusively)
also as: Regierungsflugdienst
Formation and Early History. (Feb 33 - Aug 39)
The Staffel’s origin dates back to February 1933 when Adolf Hitler directed Lufthansa Flugkapitän Hans Baur, who was already the Führer’s personal pilot, to establish a Regierungsflugdienst (Government Flight Service) at Berlin-Tempelhof with 2 Ju 52/3m ce transports. In 1934, and now with 4 Ju 52s on hand, it was officially designated Flugbereitschaft RLM but informally referred to as Regierungsstaffel. By 31 December 1936, the Regierungsstaffel had grown to 13 Ju 52s, two of which were reserved for Hitler’s use, 3 for General Göring’s use and 7 of the remainder assigned to Hess, Himmler, Rippentrop and several other high officials. The first Fw 200 Condor was delivered to the Staffel in July 1939 and a specially outfitted Condor (D-2600 “Immelmann III”) for Hitler’s use was delivered on 19 October 1939. Through its existence from 1933 to 1945, the Staffel’s sole function was to operate as a private passenger airline for Hitler and the highest ranking personages of the National Socialist regime and foreign heads of state on official visits to the Führer. At no time during its existence did the Staffel belong to the Luftwaffe. Instead, it came directly under the Reichskanzlei and the Führer’s personal military staff. The aircrew personnel and other senior officials were former Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH) employees who held honorary rank in the SS and wore high-ranking SS uniforms. The remaining personnel were a mixture of DLH civilians and after the war began a smattering of carefully selected Luftwaffe personnel. During the early war years, Hans Baur created a Staffel emblem that consisted of an eagle’s head with a surrounding oak wreath or crown and the inscription “F.d.F.” The Regierungsstaffel was renamed Fliegerstaffel des Führers on or about 1 September 1939.
Germany. (Sep 39 - May 45)
1940: in early 1940, the Staffel acquired some light aircraft, including the Fi 156 “Storch”, that were used to courier Hitler’s orders and directives to field commanders during the Blitzkrieg into France and the Low Countries in May and June 1940.
24 Jun 41: from this date until the end of 1944, the F.d.F. had its forward element at Hitler’s command bunker complex at Rastenburg in East Prussia and the rear element at Berlin-Templehof. Nearly all of the Staffel’s activities originated from these two locations.
Jul 41: the Kurierstaffel des Führers, which belong to the Luftwaffe, became a component of F.d.F but retained its separate identity. The Kurierstaffel operated mainly between Hitler’s command bunker at Rastenburg and Berlin with a small number of aircraft and transported orders, directives, plans and lesser civilian and military officials. Several other similar units were also eventually incorporated into F.d.F.: Flugbereitschaft des Auswärtige Amt, Kurierstaffel des Auswärtige Amt, and the duty flights and courier squadrons of OKW, OKM, Reichsminister Todt and the Reichsführer SS.
23 Dec 41: an Fw 200 Condor belonging to F.d.F. was destroyed in a landing accident at Fp. Orel on the central sector of the Eastern Front.
Mar 44: most of the Staffel’s aircraft that were based at Berlin-Tempelhof were moved to Berlin-Schönwalde in March as a result of the heavy raids flown on the German capital during the month by U.S. 8th AAF based in England, although passengers continued to be picked up and dropped off at Tempelhof.
Nov – Dec 44: the forward element of F.d.F. departed Rastenburg and moved in small detachments to Pocking, Berlin-Schönwalde, Berlin-Rangsdorf, Rechlin and Finsterwalde, with Schönwalde and Pocking as the two primary airfields. In early December, a train carrying 50 F.d.F. personnel, spare engines and other equipment from Rastenburg to Pocking collided with another train in western Poland killing 17, making this the greatest loss of life suffered by F.d.F. during the war.
Mar 45: USAAF P-51 Mustangs strafed Berlin-Schönwalde in late March destroying a Fw 200 and a Ju 52 belonging to F.d.F. A few days later some of the aircraft remaining at Schönwalde and other airfields in the Berlin area were moved to Pocking and Ainring near Salzburg.
17 Apr 45: the day following the main Soviet offensive to take Berlin began, the Staffel commenced flying evacuation flights from the capital to Pocking and Ainring. The flights were numerous, made under extremely dangerous conditions in skies totally domination by enemy fighters, and continued right up to the end of April.
May 45: the capitulation of Nazi Germany on 8 May found the F.d.F. scattered on a number of different airfields in North and South Germany. One element of 4 Fw 200 Condors, for example, surrendered to British at Flensburg in Schleswig-Holstein.
FpN: (L 00652)
Gen.Lt.d.Waffen-SS und Polizei Johan („Hans“) Peter Baur (1933-45)
BANDHAUER, Hans, Hptm.(d.R.z.V.).
ECKL, Georg, Hptm.(Kr.O.).
HUEBNER, Joachim, Hptm.(Kr.O.). Pilot.
SCHNÄBELE, Karl, SS-Obersturmführer. Pilot. KIA.
WAGNER, Herbert, Lt./Oblt. Pilot.
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2022).
(1st Draft 2022)
- C.G.Sweeting-Hitler’s Squadron: The Fuehrer’s Personal Aircraft and Transport Unit, 1933-45:1-43; K.Kössler/G.Ott-Die großen Dessauer: Junkers Ju 89, Ju 90, Ju 290, Ju 390 – Die Geschichte einer Flugzeugfamilie:199-203; K.Ries-Luftwaffen Story 1935-1939:174; M.Griehl article in Flugzeug magazine, Heft (issue) 5/1994:22.
- C.G.Sweeting-op cit:50-51.
- C.G.Sweeting-op cit:56.
- C.G.Sweeting-op cit; K.Kössler/G.Ott-op cit:200.
- C.G.Sweeting-op cit.
- AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.619 British AirMin CSDIC P/W Interrogation Reports in microfilm rolls A5415-18, interrogation CSDIC A.513.
- C.G.Sweeting-op cit:83.
- C.G.Sweeting-op cit:87.
- Jet & Prop magazine, Heft (issue) 3/1995 and 4/1995. [Note: these two issues provide extremely detailed accounts of the Staffel’s last flights during April 1945 for those interested.]
- C.G.Sweeting-op cit:68.
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