KGr.z.b.V. 104

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Bold textKGr. z.b.V. 104

Kampfgruppe z.b.V. 104

(Unit Code: G6+)


Formation. (Mar 40)

Formed on or about 15 March 1940 at Stade/25 km W of Hamburg with Ju 52s and crews taken from the multi-engine training schools. The Gruppe was intended to be a provisional formation for use in the forthcoming occupation of Denmark and Norway that commenced on 9 April 1940.[1]


Denmark, Norway and Holland. (Mar 40 - May 40)

9 Apr 40: Stade under X. Fliegerkorps - airlifted I./Inf.Rgt. 193 from Stade to Stavanger-Sola in SW Norway on the opening day of the seizure of Denmark and Norway by German forces.[2]

11 Apr 40: in the first three days of the operation, KGr. z.b.V. 104 reported losing only 1 Ju 52 destroyed and 2 damaged.[3]

8 May 40: campaign in Norway all but concluded, assembled at Stade and reassigned to Luftflotte 2 for the attack on France and the Low Countries.[4]

10-15 May 40: flew limited transport missions into Holland and then deactivated with the aircraft and crews returned to the authority of the Chef d. Ausbildungswesens (Chief of Training). Most or all of these assets went to FFS C 8 at Wiener Neustadt in Austria, which is probably where they had come from when the Gruppe was formed in mid-March.[5]


Mediterranean and North Africa. (Mar 41 - Jun 41)

Mar 41: reactivated, and on 24 March based at Perleberg/c. 100 km NW of Berlin.[6]

1 Apr 41: 1. Staffel Ju 52 crashed near Wildbad/SW Germany, 100%, 2 killed.

8 Apr 41: Ju 52 crash landed at Neuburg/Donau, 80%.

Apr 41: transferred from Germany to the Mediterranean during the second half of April. Over the next two months the Gruppe operated in Staffel-strength or less from widely scattered locations throughout the Mediterranean theater and North Africa, but its permanent station was at Comiso/SE Sicily under X. Fliegerkorps.

27 Apr 41: 4 Ju 52s strafed on the ground at Fp. Benina near Benghazi in Libya, all 100%.

29 Apr 41: based at Comiso under X. Fliegerkorps. [7]

10 May 41: 2 Ju 52s belonging to 2. Staffel strafed on the ground at Fp. Comiso, both 95%.

May 41: operating from Foggia/SE Italy, flew transport missions between Sicily and North Africa using Trapani/W Sicily as its forward airfield.[8]

24 May 41: 2 Ju 52s damaged taxiing at Fp. Athens-Tatoi, both 80%.

25 May 41: Gruppe addressed at Comiso.[9]

1 Jun 41: 4 Ju 52s detached to Athens until 15 June to fly supplies to Aleppo/Syria via Rhodes for Sonderkommando Junck operating in northern Iraq.[10]

3 Jun 41: main body of the Gruppe transferred from Comiso to Oels/Silesia to rest and refit for the attack on the Soviet Union commencing 22 June.[11]


Romania, South and Central Russia. (Jun 41 - Jan 42)

8 Jun 41: Ju 52 force landed near Bautzen/E of Dresden due to engine trouble, 35%.

24 Jun 41: transferred from Oels to Bucharest/Romania.[12]

18 Jul 41: at Târgsorul Nou/12 km W of Ploeşti under Dt.Lw.Mission in Rumänien (DLM).[13]

12 Aug 41: Ju 52 (G6+FV) shot down near Nikolayev, 100%, 5 KIA.

23 Aug 41: still in Romania under DLM.[14]

19 Sep 41: Ju 52 damaged taxiing at Fp. Chaplinka/80 km SE of Kherson, 60%.

28 Sep 41: 4 Ju 52s and 3 DFS 230 gliders strafed on the ground by Soviet fighters at Fp. Odessa, all 100%, 2 KIA and 6 WIA.

21 Oct 41: now at Smolensk-North on the central sector of the Eastern Front in support of the advance toward Moscow.[15]

31 Oct 41: returned to South Russia and assigned to Luftflotte 4 with advance detachment moving to Tiraspol/88 km NW of Odessa this date.[16]

18 Nov 41: advance detachment moved forward to Nikolayev/S Ukraine and by 14 December the entire Gruppe was based there.[17]

26 Dec 41: Ju 52 shot down by a fighter at Mariupol/SE Ukraine, 100%, 1 KIA and 1 WIA from the crew plus 2 soldier passengers KIA and 1 WIA.

13-14 Jan 42: Gruppenkommandeur Obstlt. von Jena reported MIA at Nikolayev - circumstances unknown. The wreckage of his Ju 52 was found by a diving team off Odessa in waters 33 meters deep in 2009. It had picked up passengers in Prahova/Romania and was en-route to Nikolayev when the crew lost their way in bad weather, ran out of fuel and ditched.[18]

13 Jan 42: Ju 52 (G6+GM) crashed near Târgsorul Nou/Romania, 100%, crew reported missing.


Greece, North Africa, Ukraine and Germany. (Feb 42 - Jan 43)

Feb – Oct 42: transferred to Greece to begin conversion to the Go 244 twin-engine tactical transport, the first of which were received in March. Only a small number of the new aircraft are said to have been delivered and these were used for a short period in North Africa. Proving exceedingly vulnerable to enemy fighters, AA and ground fire, they were withdrawn from use. Strangely, no primary references to the Gruppe’s use of the Go 244 have been found, nor were any losses reported for the Gruppe after 13 January 1942. This is all very murky and strange, indeed.[19]

Nov – Dec 42: elements of the Gruppe reportedly at Kirovograd/C Ukraine in November with Go 244s, but during the month it underwent conversion again, this time to the new Me 323 Gigant heavy transport that was just becoming available. The location of the conversion training is not known, but between 9 and 15 November it was ordered to transfer to Ludwigslust/35 km ESE of Schwerin in N Germany, a base with no connection to the Me 323 at that time. The first two of these “Giant” aircraft were received in December, but before any more were delivered it was renamed II./KG z.b.V. 323 in January 1943, probably at Leipheim in S Germany.[20]



FpNs:Gruppenstab (L 34951, L 35369)

1. Staffel (L 31903)
2. Staffel (same as Gruppenstab)
3. Staffel (L 09086)
4. Staffel (same as Gruppenstab)



Kommandeur:

Obstlt. Axel, Freiherr von Jena (1 Jan 42? - c. 13 Jan 42) MIA

Maj. Werner Stephan (Jan 42? - Jan 43?)



Also see:

ALBRECHT, Richard, Oblt. Pilot.

BAUSE, Ferdinand, Lt.

BIELITZER, Alex, Lt. Beobachter.

FELDSIEN, Hans, Oblt.(Ln.).

FISCHER, Hans, Hptm. Staka.

FISCHER, Paul, Hptm. Techn.Offz.

GIESEN, Johann, Oblt.d.R. Pilot.

HASENBERG, Bernhard, Oblt. Pilot.

KALINOWSKI, Gerhard von, Lt.(Kr.O.).

MACK, Karl, Hptm.(Flak). Passenger. Killed.

MÜLLER, Hans-Hermann, Lt.(Tr.O.). Pilot.

MÜLLER, Heinrich, Hptm.(Flak). Passenger. Killed.

OPPERMANN, Alfred, Lt./Oblt.(d.R.).

RINGEL, Horst, Oblt. MIA.

SCHNEIDER, Horst, Lt. KIA.

SPRINGINK, ? , Lt. KIA.

STÄMMLER, Günther, Lt.

STOBER, ? , Lt.?

THOMÄ (THÖMA?), Heinz, Oblt./Hptm. Staka 2./KGr.z.b.V. 104.

VALET, Hans Joachim, Fw. Pilot.

WENDEL, Herwarth, Maj.d.R.

ZORNER, Paul Anton Guido, Lt.



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

(1st Draft 2022)


References

  1. G.Tessin-Tes.
  2. G.Tessin-op cit; C.Shores et al-Fledgling Eagles: The Complete Account of Air Operations During the ‘Phony War’ and Norwegian Campaign, 1940:239.
  3. BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs).
  4. C.Shores-op cit:310; F.Morzik-German Air Force Airlift Operations:400.
  5. Kössler, Karl, Transporter – wer kennt sie schon!: Die Kennzeichen der Transportfliegerverbände der Luftwaffe von 1937-1945.
  6. NARA WashDC: RG 242/T-971 roll 19.
  7. K.Ries-Deutsche Flugzeugführerschulen und ihre Maschinen 1919-1945:192; PRO London: AIR 40/1996.
  8. Flugzeug magazine, Heft (issue) 6/1991, page 7.
  9. AIR 40/1996.
  10. Flugzeug-op cit.
  11. BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 20/281-84.
  12. RL 20/281-84.
  13. NARA WashDC: RG 242/T-405 roll 49, frame 140.
  14. RG 242/T-405 roll 49, frame 833.
  15. AFHRA Maxwell: decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection.
  16. AIR 40/1983.
  17. AIR 40/1978.
  18. The London Daily Mail Online, 22 April 2014.
  19. J.R.Smith and A.L.Kay-German Aircraft of the Second World War:219; W.Green-Warplanes of the Third Reich:255; F.Morzik-op cit:400.
  20. G.Tessin-op cit; F.Morzik-op cit:400; G.Stemmer letter in Luftwaffe Verband Journal No. 7, p.24; PRO London: DEFE 3 ULTRA summaries.


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