I./KG z.b.V. 172

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I./KG z.b.V. 172

Formation. (Aug 39)

Mobilized 26 August 1939 at Berlin-Tempelhof with Ju 52 transports. Initially had a Gruppenstab and three Staffeln and then from 9 Sep 39 a Gruppenstab and four Staffeln (1. – 4.). Equipped with Ju 52s. This Gruppe is poorly documented in the surviving records and it has not been possible to identify its operating bases in most cases.[1]

Poland, Denmark and Norway, West. (Sep 39 - Aug 40)

Sep 39: campaign in Poland. On 17 September, the Gruppe reported the crash of a Ju 52 (N3+HR) near Patzer/Kreis Trautenau, 100%, 3 killed. Deactivated following the end of the campaign.

Jan - Feb 40: Gruppe renamed III./KG z.b.V. 172 and III. Gruppe renamed I. Gruppe - in other words, they exchanged identities.

15 Mar 40: reactivated on or about this date for the occupation of Denmark and Norway.

9 Apr 40: occupation of Denmark and Norway under X. Fliegerkorps.

10 May 40: attack on France and the Low Countries - one Staffel from the Gruppe dropped paratroops from 6.Kp./Fj.Rgt. 2 at Valkenburg near The Hague and these secured the drop zone for air-landing troops who followed a little later. The rest of the Gruppe dropped Stab and I./Fj.Rgt. 1 in the Dordrecht area near Rotterdam, and then spent the rest of the day airlifting air-landing troops to Rotterdam-Waalhaven. I./KG z.b.V. 172 lost a total of 9 Ju 52s destroyed in operations on 10 May.[2]

May – Oct 40: transported personnel, equipment and supplies from Germany to Holland, Belgium and France.

30 May 40: Ju 52 crashed near Malmedy/S Belgium – cause not reported, 100%, 4 KIA and 1 WIA.

16 Jun 40: based at Darmstadt-Griesheim.[3]

18 Jun 40: Ju 52 crashed while landing at Escor-Pain (not located), 50%.

20 Jun 40: Ju 52 bombed and strafed during enemy raid on Amsterdam-Schiphol, 35%.

23 Jun 40: Ju 52 bombed on the ground during RAF raid on Amsterdam-Schiphol, 100%.

3 Jul 40: Ju 52 crash landed near Brest, 20%.

Germany, Poland, Balkans and North Russia. (Aug 40 - Oct 41)

Jul – Aug 40: circumstantial evidence suggests that half of the Gruppe was deactivated following the campaign in the West and reverted to a training role under Chef d. Ausbildungswesens/Ob.d.L. This was done with most of the transport units between mid-July and mid-August. The other half of the Gruppe was deactivated in October.

2 Sep 40: Ju 52 crashed at Pritzwalk/25 km W of the paratroop school at Wittstock while transporting paratroops for a training drop, 95%, 10 killed.

Oct 40: elements at Blindflugschule 6 in Radom/Poland providing instrument instruction to students.[4]

31 Oct 40: Ju 52 crashed at Mława/NNW of Warsaw, 100%.

Mar 41: probably reactivated for the forthcoming campaigns in the Balkans and Russia.

26 Apr 41: at Wiener Neustadt in reserve to Stab/KG z.b.V. 2 for operations in Greece.[5]

12 May 41: listed in German documents as being at Berlin-Rangsdorf with 53(53) aircraft refitting in preparation for the Crete operation.[6]

14 May 41: deployed in the Athens area under Stab/KG z.b.V. 1/XI. Fliegerkorps for the airborne and air-landing assault on Crete (Operation Merkur) beginning 20 May.[7]

16 May 41: an ex-Lufthansa Junkers G 38 apparently assigned to the Gruppe bombed on the ground at Menidi/S Greece and destroyed.[8]

3 Jun 41: the Gruppe was in the thick of it from 20 May, dropping paratroops over the objectives along the northern coast of Crete and then bringing in other troops, weapons, ammunition, supplies and probably fuel. By the end of the operation I./KG z.b.V. 1 has lost 6 Ju 52s and a further 14 damaged.[9]

Jun – Oct 41: assigned to Qu./Luftflotte 1 as the only transport unit permanently assigned to operations in North Russia, according to Morzik, but this is both untrue and misleading (KGr.z.b.V. 106 was also assigned to Luftflotte 1 during much of this period). A chart maintained at Ob.d.L. in Berlin that displayed the daily distribution of units show the Gruppe to have been directly under Lufttransportführer/Ob.d.L. from 20 June to 9 August and then under Qu./Luftflotte 1 from 10 August on. Strangely, there is no mention of it in the Loss Reports during this period so there is no way to corroborate its location or detail its activities.[10]

24 Oct 41: I./KG z.b.V. 172 credited with flying 1,883,287 kilometers, airlifting 3,001,707 kilograms (3,309 tons) of cargo, 11,407 passengers and evacuating 10,278 wounded during the period 1 August to 24 October 1941.[11]

Oct 41: renamed KGr.z.b.V. 172.[12]

FpNs:Gruppenstab and 1. – 4. Staffel (L 31213, L 08093)


Maj. Rudolf Krause (Mar 40 - ? ) 5/41

© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2022).

(1st Draft 2022)


  1. K.Ries-Luftwaffen Story 1935-1939; G.Tessin-Tes.
  2. J-P.Pallud-Blitzkrieg in the West Then and Now:112-19; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs).
  3. BNA HW 5/2.
  4. F.Morzik-German Air Force Airlift Operations:401.
  5. F.Morzik-op cit:116.
  6. BNA HW 5/14.
  7. C.Shores et al-Air War For Yugoslavia, Greece, and Crete 1940-41:337.
  8. C.Shores-op cit:329.
  9. LRs; C.Shores-op cit:350, 360, 385, 389, 400.
  10. F.Morzik-op cit:143; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal K113.309-3/v.4 Karlsruhe Collection.
  11. TsAMO 500/12452/Akte 172/frame 71.
  12. N.Kannapin-Feldpostübersicht.

KG z.b.V. 172

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