IV/KG.z.b.V 1

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Formation. (Aug 1939)

Formed (new) 26 August 1939 at Seerappen/East Prussia and then immediately transferred to Silesia and Saxony to standby for the campaign in Poland.[1]


Campaign in Poland. (Sep 1939 - Nov 1939)

1 Sep 1939: at Liegnitz/60 km WNW of Breslau and Kamenz/37 km NE of Dresden with 53 Ju 52s.

Sep - Nov 1939: moved to Lüben/Silesia on 4 September and remained there until 14 September. The Gruppe was assigned to standby for airborne operations that were never carried out due to the unexpected success of the campaign in Poland and the rapid collapse of Polish forces. Transferred to Oppeln-Neudorf on 15 September and from there hauled fuel, bombs, equipment, supplies and occasionally personnel forward to cities all over central and south Poland. Some sources state that Ju 52s from the Gruppe were used in the ruthless air attack on the city of Warsaw on 25 September that destroyed hundreds of buildings and killed some 40,000 people. The Ju 52s were loaded with incendiary bombs that were manually thrown out the open doors at relatively low altitude. On conclusion of the campaign, IV./KG z.b.V. 1 was ordered to Bayreuth on 28 September and then to Parchim on 7 November where it was inactivated on or about 21 November and the aircraft and crews returned to the FFS C schools.[2]


Occupation of Denmark and Norway; Campaign in the West. (Apr 1940 - Feb 1941)

1 Apr 1940: reactivated o/a 1 April 1940 by re-designating KGr.z.b.V. 10.[3]

9 Apr 1940: at Hagenow/Mecklenburg for the occupation of Denmark and Norway commencing this date.[4]

9-11 Apr 1940: 5 Ju 52s damaged in transport operations at Aalborg (Ålborg) and Oslo.[5]

10 May 1940: Gruppe dropped c. 700 paratroops from I./Fj.Rgt. 2 at Ockenburg and Ypenburg in the opening phase of the airborne and air-landing assault on The Hague, and then airlifted infantry to secured airfields over the balance of the day. The cost to IV./KG z.b.V. 1 was 15 Ju 52s destroyed and 3 damaged, most of these due to force landings in open fields and along canal embankments.[6]

28 May 1940: Ju 52 shot down by AA fire at St-Pol-Brias, 100%.

30 May 1940: 3 Ju 52s shot down at St-Pol-Brias, all 100%.

13 Jun 1940: Ju 52 crash landed at Laon.

23 Aug 1940: Ju 52 force landed at Fp. Jersey in the Channel Islands, 70%.

19 Sep 1940: Ju 52 totaled taking off from Fp. St-Denis on the outskirts of Paris, 80%.

5 Nov 1940: Ju 52 crash landed at Ostende (Oostende) due to pilot error, 20%.

7 Dec 1940: Gruppe alerted for Operation “Felix” (the planned attack on Gibraltar) under VIII. Fliegerkorps. The operation, which was cancelled, called for the use of a sizeable force of paratroops.[7]

Jan – Feb 1941: no information; Gruppe possibly on an extended rest and refit in Germany.


Balkan Campaign. (Mar 1941 - Jun 1941)

11 Mar 1941: Ju 52 damaged taxiing at Fp. Krainitsi (Krajnici, Kraynitsi, Krainizi)/42 km SSW of Sofia in Bulgaria, 30%.

15 Mar 1941: Ju 52 crash landed at Fp. Vrba (Radomir)/33 km SW of Sofia, 35%.

28 Mar 1941: 3 Ju 52s involved in minor accidents at Fp. Krainitsi.

5 Apr 1941: based at Krumovo/12 km SE of Plovdiv under Dt.Lw.Mission in Rumänien for the attack on Greece and Yugoslavia beginning 6 April.[8]

1 May 1941: IV./KG z.b.V. 1 operating from Salonika-Mikra/NE Greece.[9]


Operations in Russia. (Jun 1941 - May 1942)

22 Jun 1941: assigned to support VIII. Fliegerkorps for the attack on the Soviet Union commencing this date.[10]

22 Jun 1941: Ju 52 damaged landing at Fp. Suwalki/113 km N of BiaÅ‚ystok in NE Poland, Staffelkapitän Oblt. Rudolf Burkheiser WIA.

27 Jun 1941: 2 Ju 52s (1Z+GQ, IQ) from 16. Staffel shot down in flames over Molodechno near Minsk, both 100%, 2 KIA and the rest all WIA.

19 Aug 1941: Ju 52 from the Gruppenstab shot down by a fighter in the vicinity of Fp. Novgorod at the north end of Lake Ilmen, 100%.

28 Aug 1941: based at Soltsy/W of Lake Ilmen under VIII. Fliegerkorps.[11]

7 Sep 1941: still at Soltsy.[12]

21 Sep 1941: ordered to transfer from Soltsy to Vitebsk for the forthcoming drive on Moscow (Operation “Taifun”) beginning 2 October. The Gruppe's based for the operation was changed to Smolensk-Stabna a week or two later.[13]

4 Oct 1941: 16.St. Ju 52 crashed at Fp. Orsha, 100%, 4 KIA.

18 Oct 1941: Gruppenstab Ju 52 flew into the ground at Fp. Smolensk, 60%.

19 Oct 1941: at Smolensk-Stabna.[14]

22 Oct 1941: 16.St. Ju 52 hit by artillery fire at Fp. Kalinin, 30%.

Dec 1941: still based at Smolensk-Stabna.[15]

17 Dec 1941: 14.St. Ju 52 crash landed at Fp. Staraya Russa at the south end of Lake Ilmen, 100%, crew safe.

19 Feb 1942: transferred (from Smolensk-Stabna?) to Ostrov-South/50 km S of Pskov to transport food, supplies and ammunition to the 95,000 German troops surrounded in the Demyansk pocket to the southeast of Lake Ilmen. During the 2 months IV./KG z.b.V. 1 participated in the airlift operation, it was assigned the temporary tactical designation KGr.z.b.V. Posen.[16]

2 Mar 1942: at Ostrov-South as KGr.z.b.V. Posen.[17]

31 Mar 1942: still at Ostrov-South as KGr.z.b.V. Posen.[18]

14 Apr 1942: ordered this date by Luftflotte 1 to immediately transfer all of its 42 serviceable aircraft, one-third each, to Halberstadt, Wittstock and Goslar. By the end of the day the Ju 52s had arrived at their destinations. After outfitting with glider-towing gear, the aircraft were to be ferried to Gorodets/23 km south of Luga beginning on 15 April and await further orders for Operation Freischütz. The purpose of this operation is not known with certainty, but it is believed to have been a plan put together by the Luftwaffe to reinforce the Kholm garrison with a battalion of glider-borne paratroops. In any event, it was cancelled before it could be carried out.[19]

1 May 1942: Gruppe reported 57 x Ju 52 on strength.[20]

9 May 1942: Ju 52 crashed near Uman/W Ukraine and burned, 100%, 5 KIA.


Operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa. (Jun 1942 - Apr 1943)

Jun 1942: transferred to Athens-Tatoi toward the end of June for operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa. While Athens-Tatoi was maintained as its principal station, most transport flights were staged through Fp. Máleme/Crete.[21]

8 Jul 1942: Ju 52 ditched in the sea off Tobruk, 100%, crew rescued.

23 Jul 1942: Ju 52 hit by a taxiing aircraft at Fp. Tobruk, 25%.

24 Jul 1942: 2 Ju 52s belonging to 15. and 16. Staffel bombed on the ground at Fp. Iráklion (Candia)/Crete and destroyed.

21 Aug 1942: Ju 52 reported missing on a flight from Brindisi to Athens, 100%, 5 MIA.

14 Oct 1942: 16.St. Ju 52 crash landed at Fp. Máleme/Crete, 30%.

22 Oct 1942: 2 Ju 52s from 15. and 16. Staffel bombed on the ground at Fp. Máleme, 100% and 25%.

30-31 Oct 1942: 2 Ju 52s destroyed on the ground during low-level attacks of Fp. El Adem (Hagiag el Adem)/26 km SSW of Tobruk, 2 KIA and 1 WIA.

1 Nov 1942: Gruppe reported 32 x Ju 52 on strength. During the month of November the Gruppe was based at Máleme with rear elements at Athens-Eleusis.[22]

7 Nov 1942: Ju 52 shot down by a fighter at Sidi Barrani/190 km ESE of Tobruk, 100%, 1 KIA and 1 WIA.

11 Nov 1942: 2 Ju 52s shot down by fighters west of Gambut/52 km ESE of Tobruk, both 100%, 1 KIA and 3 WIA.

18 Nov 1942: Ju 52 shot down by fighters near Magrun/75 km SSE of Benghazi, 100%, 1 KIA.

Dec 1942: transferred from Máleme and Athens-Eleusis via Brindisi to Reggio di Calabria near Messina during the first half of December. On arrival at Reggio, 16. Staffel was detached and based at Castel Vetrano (Castelvetrano)/44 km SE of Trapani in western Sicily. Operating under the tactical control of KG z.b.V. “S”/Lufttransportführer Mittelmeer (Stab at Trapani), the Gruppe retained these bases through the end of April 1943. However, nearly all flights to North Africa were staged through the airfields at Castel Vetrano and Trapani.[23]

4 Dec 1942: Ju 52 (1Z+KY) crashed after colliding with 3 other aircraft on a flight from Athens-Eleusis to Reggio, 100%, 4 KIA.

6 Dec 1942: 16.St. Ju 52 collided with an Italian aircraft while attempting to take off from Tripoli, 100%, 1 KIA.

6 Dec 1942: Ju 52 shot up and crashed south of Fp. Trapani/W Sicily, 100%, 2 KIA and 1 WIA.

8 Dec 1942: 13.St. Ju 52 (1Z+IX) reported missing on a flight from Castel Benito to Trapani and believed shot down, 100%, 4 MIA.

15 Dec 1942: Gruppenstab Ju 52 struck the ground near Fp. Trapani, 100%, 4 KIA.

17 Dec 1942: Ju 52 shot up by a fighter at Fp. Castel Vetrano/Sicily, 30%.

27-29 Dec 1942: minor accidents at both Castel Vetrano and Trapani.

2 Jan 1943: Ju 52 crashed taking off from Fp. Castel Benito near Tripoli, 60%.

6 Jan 1943: 14.St. Ju 52 (1Z+EY) missing on flight from Castel Benito/Libya to Castel Vetrano/Sicily, 100%, crew of 3 + 11 Italian soldiers all MIA.

8 Jan 1943: Ju 52 (1Z+LQ) shot down by a fighter south of Pantelleria Is., 100%, 4 MIA.

22 Jan 1943: 15.St. Ju 52 shot down near Fp. Gabès (Qabes)/Tunisia, 100%, crew safe.

22 Jan 1943: 16.St. Ju 52 bombed on the ground at Tunis, 100%, 2 KIA, 1 MIA and 1 WIA.

30 Jan 1943: Ju 52 damaged after taking off from Lampedusa Is./S of Sicily, 55%.

Feb 1943: Reggio di Calabria with Gruppenstab, 14., 15. and 16. Staffel, with 13. Staffel detached at Athens-Tatoi.[24]

24 Feb 1943: 2 Ju 52s from 16.St. bombed on the ground at Tunis, 100% and 45%, 7 WIA.

1 Mar 1943: 14.St. Ju 52 struck an obstacle while landing at Tunis, 80%.

26 Mar 1943: Ju 52 ditched in the Straits of Messina, 100%.

27 Mar 1943: Ju 52 crashed on a flight from Tunis to Sfax (Safāqis)/Tunisia, 100%, 4 KIA.

1 Apr 1943: Gruppe reported 50 x Ju 52 on strength.

5 Apr 1943: Ju 52 bombed on the ground at Fp. Trapani, 100%.

10 Apr 1943: a crew member WIA by fire from an enemy fighter near Cape Bone/Tunisia.

11 Apr 1943: 5 Ju 52s (incl. 1Z+FY, JY) shot down by fighters between Reggio and Tunis, all 100%, 1 KIA, 10 MIA and 6 WIA.

18 Apr 1943: Gruppe lost 7 Ju 52s shot down (incl. 1Z+BX, DY, HQ and MZ) and 2 more shot up and severely damaged (both 70%) during the so-called “Palm Sunday Massacre” over the Gulf of Tunis off Cape Bon when the large Pulk (formation) of 65 Ju 52s in which they were flying was intercepted at dusk by nearly 60 USAAF and RAF fighters. The Allies were later to claim a total of 61 Ju 52s and 15 Bf 109 escort fighters downed. German accounts admit to the loss of 59 Ju 52s, a true slaughter of relatively defenseless aircraft by any measure. Gruppe casualties were given as 5 KIA, 9 MIA and 5 WIA.[25]

28 Apr 1943: Ju 52 (1Z+CQ) from 16.St. shot down into the sea off Cefalu/N Sicily, 100%, 3 MIA and 1 WIA.

30 Apr 1943: based at Reggio - Gruppe engaged in flying fuel to Tunis with all available aircraft.[26]

1 May 1943: renamed IV./TG 1 effective this date.[27]


FpNs:Gruppenstab (L 36450, L 20480, L 31357, L 02362)

13. Staffel (L 21860, L 31854)

14. Staffel (L 22871, L 34513)

15. Staffel (L 23493, L 35348)

16. Staffel (L 24278, L 35798)


Kommandeur:[28]

Hptm. Julius-Theodor(?) Jansen (26 Aug 1939 - c. 21 Nov 1939)

Hptm. Theodor Beckmann (1 Apr 1940 - c. Jan 1942)

Hptm. Fridolin Fath (c. Jan 1942 - 15 Jan 1943)

Hptm. Kurt Schneidenberger (16 Jan 1943 - May 1943)

Maj. Theodor Schuering (acting?) (1943?)


© H.L. deZeng IV, 2003

Links

Stab/KG.z.b.V 1

I/KG.z.b.V 1

II/KG.z.b.V 1

III/KG.z.b.V 1


References

  1. K.Ries-Luftwaffen Story 1935-1939; G.Tessin-Tes; N.Kannapin-Feldpostübersicht; [Kameradschaft Ehemaliger Transportflieger]-Geschichte einer Transportflieger-Gruppe im II.Weltkrieg: Die II. Kampfgeschwader zur besonderen Verwendung 1 1938 - 1943 umbenannt in II. Transportgeschwader 1 (Ronnenberg/Hannover, 1989):19.
  2. U.Balke-KG 2/Teil 1:390; G.Tessin-op cit; E.R.Hooton-Phoenix Triumphant:187-88; H.Riedel Flugbuch (flight log) via B.Rosch.
  3. N.Kannapin-op cit; C.Zweng-Die Dienststellen, Kommandobehörden und Truppenteile der Luftwaffe 1935-1945/Bd. 1:42.
  4. G.Tessin-op cit.
  5. BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle..(Loss Reports - LRs).
  6. J-P.Pallud-Blitzkrieg in the West Then and Now:113-16; LRs.
  7. K.Gundelach-Med:55.
  8. O.Tuider-Die Luftwaffe in Österreich 1938-1945:119.
  9. PRO London: AIR 40/1982.
  10. F.Morzik-German Air Force Airlift Operations:143.
  11. K.Hoffmann-Ln: Die Geschichte der Luftnachrichtentruppe/Bd. II:137.
  12. AIR 40/1982.
  13. AIR 40/1986.
  14. AIR 40/1982.
  15. AIR 40/1982.
  16. F.Morzik-op cit:147.
  17. F.Morzik-op cit.
  18. F.Morzik-op cit.
  19. ULTRA signal CX/MSS/890/T2; AIR 40/1975; E.Ziemke/M.Bauer-Moscow to Stalingrad:195-96.
  20. BA-MA Freiburg: Flugzeug-Bereitstellungen (Aircraft Availability Status Reports - FzB) in: M.Holm-website (ww2.dk).
  21. F.Morzik-op cit:127-28; PRO London: DEFE 3 ULTRA signal MK7801.
  22. FzB; ULTRA signal QT6622.
  23. ULTRA signal QT8599; AIR 40/AirMin A.I.3.(E) study of G.A.F. transport operations in the Mediterranean dated 10 May 1943.
  24. AFHRA Maxwell: decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection; PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence documents.
  25. LRs; J.Prien-JG 77/Teil 3:1522.
  26. ULTRA signal ML1185.
  27. Document Lufttransportführer beim Gen.Qu. Abt. Ia Nr. 281/43 g.Kdos., dated 21.4.43, reproduced in: [Kameradschaft Ehemaliger Transportflieger], Geschichte einer Transportflieger-Gruppe im II.Weltkrieg:180; H.Boog-Die deutsche Luftwaffenführung 1935-1945: Führungsprobleme, Spitzengliederung, Generalstabsausbildung:25.
  28. C.Zweng-op cit:42.