KG 54

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Kampfgeschwader 54 (Totenkopf Geschwader) - B3+

Totenkopf.jpgKG54 Emblem.jpg


Aircraft operated during the existence of the unit included – Fokker G.1, Go 145, He 111, He 177, Ju 87, Ju 88, SM-82 and W.34.



1 May 1939 - formed at Fritzlar with a stabstaffel by the simple expedient of redesignating Stab/KG254. [1]

1 Sep 1939 - Stab moved from Fritzlar to Guettersloh prior to mobilisation.

I./KG 54

1 May 1939 - formed at Fritzlar by redesignating I./KG254. [1]

II./KG 54

15 Dec 1939 - formed at about this date at Hoya (SSE of Bremen) by redesignating II./KG 28. [1]

III./KG 54

1 Feb 1940 - Formed Wiener Neustadt (Austria) from elements of I. and II./ KG 54 plus some personnel drawn from the training schools.

19 Jul 1940 - at approximately this date the gruppe was disbanded at Munster-Handorf with some personnel going to I. and II./ KG 54 while others were posted to Nightfighter units.[1]

1 Sep 1942 - formed at Catania (Sicily) by redesignating K.Gr.806 - operational with Ju 88A-4.[1]

IV(Erg.)./KG 54

11 Jul 1940 - formed originally as an Ergänzungstaffel at Lager Lechfeld (nr Augsberg) using personnel from the dissolved Stabstaffel/KG 54 and others from III.KG 54. Equipment was Ju88s and He 111.

Operational Duties


Polish Invasion, one staffel each of I and II Gruppe.

He 111 in the workshop.jpg


19 Apr 1940 - I and II./KG 54 used to reinforce Fliegerkorps X. Other units included KG 30, 1./KG 40, II and III./LG 1. [2][3]

21 Apr 1940 - 17 He 111Ps of II./KG 54 attacked shipping in Namsfjord. During this operation a number of KG 54 aircraft strayed into Swedish airspace.[3]

5./ KG 54 He111P of Uffz Gunter Golz was fired upon by the Swedish Destroyer Nordenskjold and was also attacked by a Swedish Air Force fighter. The He 111 eventually force-landed and the crew were interned.[3]

Two aircraft of 4 Staffel became lost in the bad weather - B3+CM (Lt Alfred Kiefer) landed on a beach on Gotland Island, while B3+JM (Lt Hans Shute) landed on Gotland - both crews were interned. [3]

23 Apr 1940 - 52 He 111s of KG 4, LG 1 and II./KG 54, plus 25 Ju 88s of LG 1 and KG 30 attacked supply lines in the area Dombas- Ota - Hjelle and also, once again, attacked shipping in Moldefjord and Romsdalfjord.[3]

26 Apr 1940 - 46 He 111s of KG 4, KG 26, KG 54 and LG 1 attacked road and railway targets in the Vinstra-Dovra-Dombas-Aadalsnes areas of Norway.[3]

3 He 111 from 4./KG 54 in conjunction with three from 5./KG 4 were sent on an armed recce over the Otta-Loma Grotli area.[3]

27 Apr 1940 - KG 54 together with KG 26 and G 1 furnished a total of 61 He 111s for attacks on Aandalsnes town and harbour, shipping in Moldefjord and Romsdalsfjord and other targets - KG 30 also sent 34 Ju 88s to take part in these attacks.[3]

30 Apr 1940 - KG 54 together with KG 4, KGr. 100 and LG 1 sent 65 He 111s to attack shipping found between Aalesund and Aandalsnes following up on an early morning recce flight by an aircraft of KuFlGr. 506.[3]

1 May 1940 - Control of KG 54 passed from Luftflotte 5 to Luftflotte 2.[3]

May 10, 1940 - Took part in German air attacks against airfields in France, Belguim and Holland, together with railway junctions, tank and troop concentrations and their surrounding areas.

Summer 1940 – Operational under Luftflotte 3. Stab and I./KG 54 located at Evreax with II./KG 54 at St. Andre D'Leure.[4]

KG 54 He 111 Crash.jpg

I./KG 54 took off for the first sorties at 02.45[5]

Day and nights operations during the “Battle of Britain” and the subsequent night blitz.

KG 54 He 111 Crash a.jpg

1 Jul 1940 – 1 He 111 of III./KG 54 took off at 23.35 hrs on 30 Jun 1940 for an attack on the port of Belfast. The aircraft carried 2 SC 250s.

The attack against the Belfast port facilities resulted in one hit near the harbour. The actual effect was not closely observed as the harbour was then obscured by clouds. 2 SC 250s deropped from 4,000 m. East of Portland this aircraft observed 10 warships. Towns in Ireland were not blacked out. There was heavy searchlight activity on the English Coast. No defence observed over Belfast.[6]

3 He 111 of III./KG 54 departed Le Bourget between 01.25 and 01.55 hrs for an attack on Cardiff and Newport ports. Each aircraft was loaded with 4 SC 250.[7]

2 of the 3 aircraft attacked the port of Newport. The bombs were reported to be on target but the results were not seen due to haze.[8]

Observations - 30 km north-west of Cherbourg 3 larger ships in line astern, eastwards at Portland Bill and westwards 8 warships were seen.

Two more aircraft of the III./KG.54 (take-off 23.30 and 01.55 hrs Le Bourget) were still to report. The aircraft landed at Enghien-Moiselles and Rouen.[9]

4/5 Jul 1940 - III/KG 54 operating from Le Bourget sent out a single He 111, this aircraft took-off at 10.00 hrs on weather reporting sortie that was to incluse an attack on Bristol's Filton aircraft factory. The aircraft was lost crashing at Gillingham in Dorset.[10]

8/9 Jul 1940 - III/KG 54 again operating from Le Bourget sent out 3 He 111 on a night attack on Grain Silo & Electricity Works nr. Bristol with 8 SC 250.[10]

13 Jul 1940 - took part in early morning raids against Portsmouth.[11]

16 Jul 1940 – 1 Ju 88 of II./KG 54 departed at 10.30 hrs on a weather reconnaissance and to attack the Fawley refinery (GB 65 31) and the Oil storage tanks at Hamble (GB 21 32). Due to bad weather this attack did not take place.[12]

Another Ju 88 of II./KG 54 took off at 16.01 hrs also to attack the Fawley refinery (GB 65 31) and the Oil storage tanks at Hamble (GB 21 32).[13]

19 Jul 1940 - The KG 54 I2 informed III./KG 54 that there were 5 aircraft to be handed over to KG 55 (it was not clear by whom). Part of KG 54 would receive six aircraft, to be sent to Ausbildungsstaffel KG 54 at Handorf, together with 3 Ju88 of III./KG 54. KG 51 would receive four aircraft; these were being equipped at the time with vitally important controls. They were, when ready, to be taken to Le Bourget and handed over to the Geschwader. [14]

21 Jul 1940 - V. Fl.Korps sent word to KG 54 and JG 2 that the Paris parade would not be held, those concerned returning to their units. [14]

Late afternoon, the Kommodore of ZG 2 announced that a single aircraft of KG 54 might be expected to arrive at Caen late that evening on return from operations against the enemy. [14]

Early evening, the Kommodore of ZG 2 questioned the planned escort duties for a joint operation with KG 54. He was uncertain if it had been carried out as the weather at the selected rendezvous was very bad. [14]

22 Jul 1940 - Crews of III./KG 54 are notified they are on leave unto 24/7 (inclusive). [14]

Orders for 23 July issued by Fl.Korps: One group (I./KG 54?) of KG 54 to be in a state of readiness 2 from 0700 against sea targets; attacks only to be carried out by order of the Korps. [14]

23 Jul 1940 - III./KG 54 reported from Handorf that it had transferred 5 He 111 to KG 55, 5 to KG 51 at Le Bourget and 3 Ju 88 and 6 He 111 to Erg./KG 54. 6 He 111s remain, of which 2 have been detached, but not yet removed. [14]

KG 54 and JG 2 were notified that Räum- and Schnellbooten were to be active in the Channel near the French and Belgian coasts between 17.00 hrs and 15.00 hrs Z on 24 July. They were similarly notified that aircraft in distress over the Irish Sea/North Channel area and are unable to return to their base, are to attempt to land in Eire, but at the same time to take care to avoid the neighbourhood of the Northern Ireland border. The formations are to be supplied with details of the aerodrome organisations in Eire in due course. V Fl.Korps also informed the two units that all crews should be supplied with dye-bags, two per person. A further two per person would be supplied as a reserve. The number needed was to be communicated to V.Fl.Korps by the following day. [14]

Hptm Freimann of III./KG 54 was to be transferred to Erg.KG Quedlinburg, while a Staffelkapitän from there would replace him. [14]

It appears the establishment of KG 54’s LN Zug was 38 men, while actual strength was only 33. [14]

Stab./KG 54 received a report from Luftflotte 5 that the supply depot intended to withdraw all Lotfe 7b bombsights, in use by bomber formations, which have not already been replaced by the Lotfe 7C. The Lotfe 7b were to be converted in “Kreiselgeräte” (? Gyroscopic sights) by the Zeiss works at Jena. It was pointed out that the change was in the unit’s own interest. [14]

24 Jul 1940 – Mid-evening I./KG 54 was ordered to be at readiness 2 against sea-targets from early morning on 25 July. [14]

Orders were issued indicating that the bomber aimers of III./KG 54 were to be distributed between the I and II Gruppen after the formers dissolution. On the same day, Stab./KG 54 requested the supply of 722 dye-bags for its subsidiary units. [14]

25 Jul 1940 - KG 54 requested 320 pairs of goggles for eye protection. [14]

28 Jul 1940 - Early in the evening III./KG 54 asked II./KG 54 what the condition of night illumination was at Chartres. [14]

Orders from V Fl.Korps for 29 July as follows: One Gruppe of KG 54 to be at readiness 2 to attack sea targets from the early morning. It is again pointed out the quays in the harbour areas along the south coast of England are not to be attacked under any circumstance. [14]

29 Jul 1940 - Orders from V Fl.Korps for 30 July as follows: 1 Gruppe of KG 54 in readiness 2 to attack sea targets from early morning. [14]

During the morning V. Fl.Korps telexed KG 54 the following: One gruppe will prepare instructional and technical details for installation of SBO (Seilbomben) for the destruction of high-tension cables. Special orders will be issued when operations are to take place. One crew together with a NCO bomb aimer are to be sent for instruction at a course at Rechlin for two days. They are to arrive by evening of 30th at the latest. [14]

KG 54 enquired about the whereabouts of Ju 88 WNr 7101. They also wished to know from which service park WNr 7789 was drawn from and on whose orders 7095 and [70?]77 had been allotted to them. Oblt von Böckmann informed KG 54 that the two Ju 88s they were interested in were not for III./KG 54, but the Schulestaffel. [14]

V. Fl.Korps asked III./KG 54 for a strength return of all ground crew. Surplus ground crew that had been trained under KG 250 were to be distributed to I./ and II./ KG 54. [14]

V. Fl.Korps reported that it only had 90 pairs of protective goggles available for KG 54. They could be collected from Luftpark St Cyr. [14]

Five men of Erg./KG 54 were killed in the crashed of W.34 WL-ORYS. According to Bergungstrupp Kastellaun they were buried at Ville-Devant-Chaumont. [14]

30 Jul 1940 - The rear HQ of III./KG 54 reported to Stab./KG 54 that all but the ground units had been dissolved. Luftgau VI was to dissolve the ground personnel that day, but by early afternoon that was changed to Luftflotte 3. Flying personnel of the Gruppe had been shared by the I and II Gruppen, with transport provided by the Ergänzungsgruppe. [14]

31 Jul 1940 - I./KG 54 faced stiff interrogation from the Accident Examination Dept. of Luftflotte 3 about the crash of W.34 WL-ORYS. It replied:

1) Aircraft left Worms-Biblis for Coulommiers late afternoon on 18 July.

2) This question could not be answered at the time as communication with Germany was wanting. (On 18/7 in Worms there was neither a meteotrological station or Air HQ, as both had already left for Coulommiers. The pilot had therefore to get his weather report from meteo-station Mannheim-Sandhofen.)

3) The aircraft was at the disposal of Fliegerhorst Coulommiers for fetching important personnel from Worms. (The whole Fliegerhorst Worms has been transferred to Coulommiers.)

4) Pilot had – certificate, was well acquainted with W.34 and had a hitherto blameless record.

Oblt Östermann informed the Erg.St./KG 54 at Munster-Handorf that I./KG 54 required, from Flughafen bereicht Castelaun near Verdun, a detailed report about the defects in W.34 WL-ORYS, which had crashed on 18 July. [14]

Orders from V Fl.Korps for 1 August as follows: 1 Gruppe of KG 54 to be at readiness 2 to attack sea targets from early morning. [14]

1 Aug 1940 – Evening, orders from V Fl.Korps for 2 August as follows: 1 Gruppe of KG 54 to be at readiness to attack sea targets from early morning. [14]

Inspector Schumann of KG 54 reported to “Freischütz” the following concerning equipment: Clothing and equipment adequate for original personnel, but not entirely so for new drafts. The Geschwader needed 210 blankets, 325 zeltbahnen and 1020 body belts. The Staffeln lacked iron rations owing to shortage of transport and storage facilities. Deficit was 645 full and curtailed rations. [14]

2 Aug 1940 - B3+GK of I./KG 54 arrived at Evreux from Münster-Loddenheide [14]

V. Fl.Korps informed KG 54 that ground staff of III./KG 54, now dispersed, were to be placed under the command of a suitable officer and sent to Villacoublay and placed and the disposal of the Korps. [14]

Oblt von Böckmann radioed weather details of Worms – Coulommiers to KG 54. [14]

3 Aug 1940 - V. Fl.Korps informed KG 54 that Luftflotte 3 had approved the increased vehicle establishment of bomber, dive-bomber and heavy-fighter formations, as follows:

Geschwader HQ: 1 lorry, 3 cars (or motorcycles)

Gruppe HQ: 2 lorries, 3 cars [14]

11 Aug 1940 – I./KG 54 and II./KG 54 attacked Portland during the late morning. 38 Ju 88s were sent out together with 2 He 111s to provide ASR support. Intention was to attack the harbour installations (including the oil tanks, torpedo store and ships in the harbour). Hits were claimed on:- the oil dock; the mole; a floating dock; rail tracks; 2 freighters of 4,000 t and some installations in Weymouth harbour. In addition they claimed near misses on a Destroyer.[15]

II./KG 54 claimed the destruction of a Hurricane and a Spitfire. I./KG 54 lost 2 Ju 88s and II./KG 54 reported the loss of 3 Ju 88s.[16]

13 Aug 1940 – 20 Ju 88s from I./KG 54 and 16 Ju 88s from II./KG 54 (again there were 2 He 111s on ASR duty).[17] I./KG 54 reported the loss of 2 aircraft (Ju 88) as did II./KG 54. Hptm. Strauch of Stab II./KG 54 coming down near Arundel. I./KG 54 claimed 4 Spitfires and 1 aircraft described as either a Hurricane or a Spitfire. II./KG 54 claimed 4 Spitfires and 3 Hurricanes.[18]

KG 54 had sent aircraft against Odiham and the RAE airfield at Farnborough. There was also an intended feint attack against Portland which was postponed until later in the day. This feint attack again involved aircraft from both I. & II./KG 54 which became embroiled in combat with Fighter Command aircraft over Lyme Bay, Portland and the Isle of Wight.[19]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
13 Aug 1940 Stab I/KG54 Ju88A-1 B3+ DB Shot down by Hurricanes of 43 and 601 Sqdns. Exploded on impact in Phillis Wood, Treyford at 06.30.

Oblt. J. Oestermann is recorded as being MIA while Uffz. F. Räsler, Ogefr. K. Brieger and Uffz. K. Seltz all baled out to become POWs.[20]

13 Aug 1940 6./KG 54 Ju 88A B3+TP Attacked by Hurricanes of 43 and 601 Sqdns over the Isle of Wight while on a bombing sortie to RAE Farnborough. The Ju 88 was relatively undamaged. Following the attacks the engines started to fail and Gefr. G. Niessl baled out to become a POW. The remainder of the crew – Lt. Siescher, Gefr. Handelmeier and Ogfr. Hosport were all uninjured.[20]
13 Aug 1940 Stab II./KG 54 Ju88A-1 Shot down by Hurricanes of 43 and 601 Sqdns while on a bombing sortie to RAE Farnborough. Crashed and exploded at Swanbourne lake, Arundel at approx. 06.30.

Oblt H. Rose and Uffz. H. Scholz both baled out to become POWs. Fw. W. Bickel baled out but was killed. Hptm. A-W Strouch baled out and was found hanging in a tree. However, he died of his wounds two days later.[21]

Ju88 KG54 crashed.jpg

16 Aug 1940 – 12 Ju 88s of I./KG 54 together with 6 Ju 88s of II./KG 54 set off at 16.30 hrs to attack Croydon aerodrome.[22]This attempt on Croydon was unsuccessful as the target could not be attacked due to cloud. However, all machines despatched returned successfully. [23]

21 Aug 1940 – 5 Ju 88s of I./KG 54 took off between 12.48 and 14.38 hrs. 1 aircraft of I./KG 54 departed at 14.32 hrs while 7 of II./KG 54 left between 15.29 and 16.29 hrs. Their targets were ambitious and numerous - Southampton-Woolston, Supermarine Aviation Works, and Southampton, Cuncliffe Owen Aircraft Ltd. In addition they were to attack Abingdon Airfield, Brize Norton and Little Rissington airfields.[24]

At 14.17 and 14.20 hrs 2 Ju 88s attacked Abingdon airfield each dropping 4 SC 50 and 4 SC 250s. Hits were claimed on hangers and buildngs. These times appear to match with aircraft that left their base at or around 12.48 hrs. [25]

At 15.35 hrs Ju 88s hit the Supermarine works at Southampton- Wollston with 4 SC 250. In addition they claims a hit on a cargo steamer of 4-5,000 t. [26]

1 Ju 88 of II./KG. 54 (started at 15:52 hrs.) was due to attack the Cuncliff Owen aircraft factory, north of Southampton. However, this was not carried out due to British fighter activity. The bomber’s load of 4 SC 250s was jettisoned over Ventnor.

1 Ju 88 of ll./KG. 54 (departed at 15:59 hrs.) attacked an alternative target - the factory premises by the railway line near Worthing with 3 SC 250, 1 Flam 250 and 4 SC 50. Unfortunately, the impact of the attack not be ascertained due to defensive fighter activity.

1 Ju 88 of II./KG. 54 (take-off at 16:10 hrs.) - attacked Poole as an alternative target with 4 SC 250s. Claimed a hit on railway tracks and gas works on the south-east edge of the town.

The crew of a Ju 88 of II./KG. 54 that started at 16.20 hrs abandoned the sortie due to robust fighter activity.

A Ju 88 of II./KG. 54 that took off at 16:29 hrs, attacked an alternative target - the works airfield of the Cuncliff Owen aircraft factory, north of Southampton. The crew dropped 4 SC 250s and 4 SD 50s. But did not stick around to view the results of their action.

Another Ju 88 of II./KG. 54 (departed at 17:15 hrs.) also struck an alternative target - a merchant ship of around 5000 tons in the entrance to Portsmouth harbour. This was attacked with 3 SC 250s and 1 Flam 250. Again the results were not seen.

1 Ju 88 of II./KG. 54 (start 17:32 hrs.) - attacked another alternative target - factories in Readlng with 2 SC 250s, 1 SC 250 (LZZ) and 1 Flambo 250. Results were not seen. This crew claims to have sighted a Sunderland flying boat in Bournemouth harbour.[27]

On this day KG 54 lost three aircraft. One aircraft attacked Brize Norton and was intercepted, the crew abandoned the Ju 88 north of Selsey Bill (Hptm. Maiwald)[28]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
21 Aug 1940 1./KG 54 Ju 88A-1 Shot down by aircraft of 234 Sqdn. Crashed and burned at King's Sambourne at 14.15.

Oblt. M-D Birkenstock, Ogfr. G. Freude, Uffz. R. Schlze and Gefr F. Becker all MIA.[29]

21 Aug 1940 4./KG 54 Ju 88A-1 B3+BM The aircraft's engines were hit by AA Fire during an attack on Brize Norton airfield. The Ju 88 was also subject to attacks by Hurricanes of 17 Sqdn and finally crashed at Marsh farm, Earnley at 16.15.

Hptm. L.Maiwald, Ogfr. H. Apollony, Uffz. K. Miethner and Uffz H. Hempel at POWs.[30]

30 Sep/1 Oct 1940 – I./KG 54 took part in the attack on London, Between 21.57 - 23.41 hrs 13 Ju 88s dropped the following:4 SC 1000, 18 SC 500, 5 Flam 250, 30 SC 50, 432 B1 E1. Bombs were dropped by dead reckoning, results not seen.[31]

1/2 Oct 1940 – 1 Ju 88 from I./KG 54 dropped the following 2 SC 500 and 180 B1 E1 in the Hastings area.[32]

4/5 Oct 1940 – 2 Ju 88s of II./KG 54 were over London depositing 2 SC 1000 bombs. The aircraft were unable to observe the results of the bombing.[33]

5/6 Oct 1940 – I./KG 54 took part in the attack on London - by two Ju88s between 3:30 hrs and 3:52 hrs with two SC1000, one Flam 250, four SC50 and seventy two B1 (incendaries). Bombing was performed by dead reckoning and the results were not able to be observed.[34]

A third Ju 88 had icing issues and deposited its load of one SC 1000 and four SC 50s 20 Km south of London.[35]

6 Oct 1940 – 11 Ju 88s of I./KG 54 set out between 13.45 hrs and 14.36 hrs for London arriving over the target between 14.56 hr and 15.50 hrs. Total bomb load amounted to 5 SC 1000; 2 SC 500; 2 Flam 250 and 30 SC 50. Results were not viewed due to the extensive cloud cover.[36]

A planned attack by two Ju 88s of I./KG 54 on the Wolseley Motor Works north-east of Birmingham did not take place. One Ju 88 abandoned the sortie over the Channel dumping its bomb load due to heavy icing. While the second also aborted the mission, it diverted to the secondary target of London with its load of one SC1000 and four SC 50s.[37]

7 Oct 1940 – 16 Ju 88s from II./KG 54 took off between 12.45 hrs and 14.43 hrs to take part in the daylight attack on London – between 14.25 and 15.58 hrs twelve aircraft dropped the following ordnance on the target: 5 SC 1000; 8 SC 500; 10 SC 250; 2 Flam 250 and 2 AB 36 containers. A single Ju 88 deposited its load in Hertford and three other aircraft aborted the sortie.[38]

7/8 Oct 1940 – I./KG 54 committed 5 Ju 88s to the attack on London this night.[39]

10/11 Oct 1940 – 8 Ju 88s from I./KG 54 and 9 Ju 88s from II,/KG 54 took part in the raid on London that night.[40]

2/3 Dec 1940 – I./KG 54 (operating from Evreux) and II./ KG 54 (operating from St. André) each provided 4 aircraft for the 132 aircraft raid on the Bristol Docks and Harbour area.[10]


Continued night operations against England until the end of May.

3/4 Jan 1941 – Aircraft from I./KG 54 (8 Ju 88) and II./KG 54 (6 Ju 88) operating under the control of Luftflotte 2 took part in the combined Luftflotte 2 and 3 attack against Bristol City centre. The I./KG 54 aircraft carried a mix of explosive and incendiary bombs while those from II./KG 54 carried high explosive and fire bombs (Flam).[10]

4/5 Jan 1941 - Aircraft from I./KG 54 (4 Ju 88) and II./KG 54 (5 Ju 88) operating under the control of Luftflotte 2 took part in the combined Luftflotte 2 and 3 attack against the Avonmouth docks. Of a total of 165 aircraft despatched 103 reported attacking their target.[10]

9/10 Jan 1941 – II./KG 54 sent out a single Ju 88 from St. André with orders to attack its primary target of Manchester with Bristol as an alternative. This was one of a number of single aircraft with targets in the Bristol area as alternatives.[10]

16/17 Jan 1941 – I and II./KG 54 took part in the major attack on Avonmouth committing 14 and 9 aircraft (Ju88) respectively.[10]

June 1941 – Moved to Polish bases in preparation for the assault on Russia. From 22 June employed in attacks on tank columns, bridges, airfields, troop concentrations, railway junctions etc.


Jan 1942 – Stab, I and III Gruppe (formerly KGr 806) transferred to Catania (Sicily) at the beginning of the month. Commenced operations against Malta, flights to North Africa and anti-shipping strikes over the Med.

II Gruppe remained operational in Russia.

KG54 Ju88.jpg

2 Feb 1942 – 6./KG 54 lost a Ju 88 shot down while attacking Soviet troops. The aircraft was struck by ground fire in the port engine and belly landed in the snow. Lt. Johannes Griessler (F), Gefr. Siegfried Wittmer and the rest of the crew spent the next four days walking back to the German front line. [41]

13 Feb 1942 – Ju 88s from II./KG 54 attacked a Russian transport column. They succeeded in knocking out one tank and set three trucks on fire.[42]

14 Feb 1942 – II./KG 54 flew sorties against Soviet tropps attempting to relieve a surrounded russian pocket SW of Rzhev. During these actions the Gruppe lost Ju 88s of Hptm. Heinz Gehrke (Gr. Kd.) and one other crew.[43]

Ju88 KG 54 4051.jpg

4 Mar 1942 – II./KG 54 attacked a soviet supply column in the Rzhev area. The Ju88s were in turn attacked by Russian fighters and lost three crews including that of the acting Gruppen Kommanduer – Oblt. Gunther Seubert.[44]

29 Apr 1942 – Aircraft from 1./KG 54 took part in a raid on Hal Far, Malta. The raid consisted of seven Ju 88s and eight Bf 109s (at least one of these aircraft were from 8./JG 53). 1./KG 54 lost a Ju 88 shot down by defending fighters.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
29 Apr 1942 1./KG54 Ju 88A B3+DH Shot down by a 126 Sqdn Spitfire (BR185/Q) flown by Flt.Sgt. Schade.

Lt martin Krickl and crew all missing.[45]

10 May 1942 – Elements of I./KG 54 took part in sorties against Malta.

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
10 May 1942 I./KG 54 Ju 88A-4trop B3+JH 1420191 All of the crew with the exception of Uffz. Georg Hero were rescued by the Axis air sea rescue service.[46]

12-13 Dec 1942 – Attack on Bone harbour by aircraft of KG 54. 14 aircraft in total took part – 7 Ju 88s from I./KG 54; 5 Ju 88s from II./KG 54 and 2 Ju 88s from III./KG 54. They all took off at approximately 20.00 hrs Z. 1 aircraft is known to have attacked at 22.20 hrs Z. The results of the attack were not observed owing to bad flare-dropping. Ju 88 B3+LP landed at Elmas at 23.54 hrs Z with a damaged pump. Ju 88 B3+BM ditched south of Elmas and another was shot down over the target. A number of aircraft are thought to have landed in Tunisia following the raid.[47]

14-15 Dec 1942 – Further attack on Bone by a number of aircraft from I./KG 54 (4) and II./KG 54 (3). 1 aircraft reported engine trouble. The attack was carried out, the British reported 10 aircraft over Bone.[48]


Operations from Catania against Harbours and shipping along the Tunisian/North African Coast.

Due to the final loss of Tunisia KG54 moved to the Italian mainland in preparation for operations against the expected invasion of Sicily and subsequently Italy.

JU88 KG 54 B3+IM.jpg

II Gruppe moved from Russia to Vienna-Aspern airfield for recuperation.

2 Mar 1943 – 6 Ju 88s from I./KG 54 and 2 from 4./KG 54 made a dusk raid on Tripoli. Allied reports indicate that 10 aircraft attacked Tripoli causing slight damage, 1 Ju 88 claimed damaged by Beaufighters.[49]

2-3 Mar 1943 – 1 Ju 88 from I./KG 54 on decoy flare dropping and anti-submarine patrol, had landed by 21.25 hrs Z.[50]

3 Mar 1943 – 3 Ju 88s from I./KG 54, together with aircraft from II./KG 30; I./KG 76 and II./KG 76, made a late afternoon/early evening attack on Algiers harbour. Crews reported explosions in the harbour area. 1 aircraft from KG 54 may have broken off due to technical issues while one from KG 76 jettisoned it’s bombs following contact with a night fighter.[51]

3-4 Mar 1943 – 1 Ju 88 active between 22.00 and 02.00 hrs Z. This aircraft was responsible for flare dropping for own convoys and conducting an anti-submarine patrol on convoy routes. At 00.50 hrs Z this crew sent warning of approaching Allied torpedo aircraft.[52]

4 Mar 1943 – 5 Ju 88s of I./KG 54 and 2 from II./KG 54 took part in a raid on Philippville harbour. Other units taking part included II./KG 30 (5 Ju 88s); I./KG 76 (3 Ju 88s) and II./KG 76 (2 Ju 88s). The aircraft took off around 16.30 hrs Z with the attack taking place atapproximately 18.00 hrs Z. 3 transports were claimed as damaged and hits were also claimed on quays and wharves. Ju 88 B3+BK was reported as missing. All aircraft had landed by 21.40 hrs Z back in Sicily.[53]

5 Mar 1943 – I./KG 54 contributes 3 Ju 88s to an attack on a convoy off Tripoli. II./KG 30 (4 Ju 88s); I./KG 76 (2 Ju 88s) and II./KG 76 (5 Ju 88s) also took part in the attack. 3 vessels were claimed as sunk and 2 as damaged. There had been a proposed torpedo attack by KG 26 but this was cancelled.[54]

6 Mar 1943 – I. & II./KG 54 were part of a number of units (along with II./KG 30; I./KG 77; KG 76: III./ZG 26 and 10./ZG 76) that provided aircraft to escort the convoys of the following ships – Ines Corrado, Frosinone and Labor.[55]

7 Mar 1943 – I. & II./KG 54 were part of a number of units (along with II./KG 30; 2.(F)/122 and III./ZG 26) that provided aircraft for a close escort for the the convoys containing the following ships – Ines Corrado, Devoli and Frosinone. During this escort mission Ines Corrado was sunk by Allied aircraft. B3+DL landed at Castel Vetrano.[56]

8 Mar 1943 – 1 Ju 88 from I./KG 54 took part in an attack on convoy in Algiers harbour along with aircraft from II. & III./KG 26 and I. & II./KG 76 – 12 aircraft in total out of 36 that were originally planned to take part in this sortie. No damage caused.[57]

6 Ju 88s from I./KG 54 and 1 from II./KG 54 were part of the escort (along with aircraft from III./ZG 1, KG 30 and KG 76) detailed for the convoys of Sterope Carnaro, KT 13 and 14, and Labor. 2 aircraft from I./KG 54 landed at Castel Vetrano.[58]

9 Mar 1943 – During the morning 3 aircraft each from I. and II./KG 54 together with 3 aircraft from I./ KG 76; 10 from II./KG 76 and about 6 from KG 30 were transferred from Sicily to Sardinia. In addition 3 aircraft from I./KG 26 and 8 from II./KG 26 were moved from Grosseto to Elmas. All of these aircraft were detailed for an attack on a fast eastybound convoy before it reached Algiers. Eventually, only 6 bomber and 5 torpedo carriers departed Sardinia for Algiers. By the time they reached the target area the fast convoy had entered Algiers harbour. Therefore the bomber aircraft (including 1 from I./KG 54) attacked the shipping in the harbour, the torpedo carriers did not engage. Allied sources record only two bombs dropped outside the harbour with no damage caused.[59]

A total of 13 Ju 88s from I. & II./KG 54 provided part of the escort (along with aircraft from II./KG 30; III./ZG 26 and 10./ZG 26) for Sterope and Tommaseo from dawn until dusk. Two of the aircraft from either KG 54 or KG 30 were also to provide a roving partol along the route of the Sterope convoy.[60]

III./KG 54 had eight Ju 88s airborne on training flights in the Piacenza area between 08.27 and 13.54 hrs.[61]

10 Mar 1943 – 1 Ju 88 from KG 54, flew from Sardinia at 02.29 hrs to attack a convoy off Algiers along with 3 Ju 88s from KG 76.[62]

I./ and II./KG 54 provided escort for KT 13 & 14 and the Toti Rosino and Devoli convoys.[63]

11 Mar 1943 – 1 Ju 88 from I./KG 54 and 3 from II./KG 54 along with 11 Ju 88s from KG 76 departed Sardinia (16.36-16.48 hrs) to attack a convoy in Bone outer harbour. All 15 aircraft attacked between 17.45 and 17.55 hrs, 2 direct hits were claimed. The aircraft had all landed by 19.11 hrs.[64]

8 Ju 88s from KG 54 detailed to provide part of the escort for Sterope between 10.00 and 17.00 hrs until arrival at Messina. There would be 2 bombers over the convoy at any one time, along with six heavy fighters.[65]

III./KG 54 had 15 Ju 88s active in the Piacenza area on training flights between 12.17 and 16.15 hrs.[66]

12 Mar 1943 – Aircraft from KG 54 and KG 76 were among the 13 that departed Sardinia at 17.25 hrs to attack shipping at Bone. 12 aircraft attacked and hits were claimed against ships and harbour installations, although owing to the darkness only the outline of the harbour could be made out. (British intelligence identified 2 aircraft from I./KG 54).[67]

Ju 88s from KG 54 were part of the escort for Sterope under the same conditions as the previous day.[68]

Six Ju 88s from III./KG 54 active between 09.45 and 10.20 hrs on training flights in the Piacenza area.[69]


The complete geschwader was transferred to the western front and commenced operations from German home airfields.

Mid-Jan 1944 - I./KG 54 were based at Wittmundhafen, while II./ KG 54 were at Marx.[70]

21-22 Jan 1944 - I. and II./KG 54 took part in the first of the "Steinbock" raids. This was an attack on London - specifically the area South East of Waterloo station, codenamed Muenchen - the bombers made landfall north of Southend.[70]

29-30 Jan 1944 - Luftwaffe operations over the UK extended from Suffolk to Hampshire with a large concentration over the Thames Estuary. KG 54 took part in these sorties.[70]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
29-30 Jan 1944 KG 54 Ju 88A-4 B3+AL 300228 Crashed at Barham (NE of Ipswich) after being attacked by a Beaufighter of 68 Sqdn.

1-2 Mar 1944 – A total of seventy aircraft set out across the English Coast to attack London but only ten reached their target. Units with aircraft committed to this raid are believed to have also included KG6, KG66 and KG100.

14-15 Mar 1944 -I./KG 54, based at Wittmundhafen, and II./ KG 54, based at Marx, took part in the raid on London. Other units included - I, II and III./KG 2; I and II./KG 3; I, II and III./KG6; II and III./KG 30; and KG 51. Diversionary sorties were to be operated by SKG 10s FW 190s.

This raid was to target "Hamburg"(Government buildings within a 500 metre radius of Westminster Abbey). Take-off commenced at 21.00, joining the main stream of bombers over the North Sea and set course for the turning point at Cambridge. Landfall was mainly made between yarmouth and Southwold, crossing the coast at heights between 14,000 and 24,000ft. KG 54 were timed to arrive over target at approx 23.00 with the last aircraft leaving at 2312 - bombing height was planned to be 4,000m. Aircraft from I./KG 54 were not to return to Wittmundhafen but were to land at Juvincourt.[71][70]

Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes
14-15 Mar 1944 2./KG 54 Ju 88A-14 B3+CK Shot down by nightfighter of 410 Sqdn near Tunbridge Wells. Unt.Heide and crew bailed out and became POWs.[71]

20 Mar 1944 - Luftflotte 3 Order of battle recorded the following for KG 54:-

Stab - 3 Ju 88 of which all were serviceable.

I Gruppe - 17 Ju 88 of which 9 were serviceable.

II Gruppe - 19 Ju 88 of which 14 were serviceable.[71]

21-22 Mar 1944 – The Luftwaffe despatched 144 aircraft for this raid of which their records report 123 having bombed their targets, 7 aircraft bombing emrgency targets, 14 aborting and 11 being lost. However, the UK reporting service recorded that a total of approximately 95 aircraft crossed the English Coast for London. Apart from KG 54 the following units were also involved :- KG6, KG30, KG51 and KG66.

24-25 Mar 1944 - A major effort was made with 143 aircraft taking part in a raid on London. Other units, apart from KG54, taking part were KG2, KG6 KG30 and it was led inevitably the pfadfinders of KG66

27-28 Mar 1944 - Strike on Bristol - Luftwaffe claimed to have attacked this city with 139 aircraft although no bombs struck the town. Aircraft were plotted over the whole of southern England. Units involved were KG2, KG6, KG30, KG54 and KG66.

Subsequent move to Giebelstadt and Kitzingen for conversion from the Ju 88 to the Me 262 and a change of operational status to that of Jagdgeschwader – the unit designation being changed to KG(J)54.


Committed to operations on the Western Front both in the air and surrplus personnel and infantry.

At the end of the war the remains of KG(J)54 were to be found around Prague and in Central Germany.


Date Unit Aircraft Type Code Wkr.No. Notes

7Sep40 II/KG54 Ju88A-1 B3+AM 6032 Shot down by an early cannon armed Spitfire of 7 OTU. Crew killed or missing.

18Sep40 II/KG54 Ju88A-1 B3+CP 0226 Lost to Hurricanes while operating against South Coast convoys. Crew listed on returns as missing.

19Sep40 II/KG54 Ju88A-1 B3+HM 4148 Believed shot down by British flak – crew missing.

17Sep40 I/KG54 Ju88A-1 B3+OL 2152 Missing from combat sortie over England – crew killed – fate not known.


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  13. Luftflotte 3 Einzelmeldung Nr 8 16.7.40
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  16. T321 R88 Einzelmeldung Nr 9 11.8.40
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  24. Einzelmeldung Nr 7 vom 21.8.40
  25. Einzelmeldung Nr 8 vom 21.8.40
  26. Einzelmeldung Nr 8 vom 21.8.40
  27. Einzelmeldung Nr 2 vom 22.8.40
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  33. T321 R88 Luftflottenkommando 3 p891
  34. T321 R88 Luftflottenkommando 3 p907/8
  35. T321 R88 Luftflottenkommando 3 p907/8
  36. T321 R88 Luftflottenkommando 3 p921
  37. T321 R88 Luftflottenkommando 3 p920
  38. T321 R88 Luftflottenkommando 3 p925
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  50. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
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  55. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
  56. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
  57. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
  58. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
  59. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
  60. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
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  62. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
  63. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
  64. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
  65. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
  66. HW13/110 (via Remi Traconelli).
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