KGr. z.b.V. 111
Kampfgruppe z.b.V. 111
(Unit Code: ?)
also as: Transportgruppe He 111
Formation and History. (Dec 41 - Mar 42)
Information concerning this Gruppe is limited to a few entries from the Loss Reports as no documentation detailing its brief existence seems to have survived. It was formed at the end of December 1941 at Grottaglie/S Italy as a provision transport formation for use in the Mediterranean, probably in response to Operation Crusader, an offensive by British Western Desert Force (Eighth Army) that began on 18 November and drove Rommel’s Afrika Korps out of Cyrenaica and back toward Tripoli. A force of obsolete models of the He 111 bomber was hastily collected in Germany, mainly aircraft and crews from IV./KG 27, IV./KG 53 and IV./KG 55, and sent to Italy to transport fuel and other supplies to North Africa and to fly protective cover over convoys. The Gruppe’s organizational structure is not known, but at least one source claims that it only had two Staffeln and not four as usually called for. Yet, another source claims it initially had three Staffeln. However, not long after its formation it was reduced to a single Staffel. From 30 Dec 41 to 24 Jan 42 the Gruppe reported the loss of 1 He 111 P-2 destroyed and 10 He 111 H-2s damaged in crashes and accidents while transporting personnel and cargo between Catania and Trapani in Sicily and Arco Philanorum/195 km SSW of Benghazi and Castel Benito/26 km SSW of Tripoli. On 7 Feb 42, an He 111 was destroyed and another damaged in crashes at Fp. Grottaglie/14 km ENE of Taranto; another was damaged on 24 February in a forced landing near Sirte/340 km SW of Benghazi due to engine trouble; and finally on 16 March a He 111 H-5 crash landed at Fp. Brindisi/SE Italy with 40% damage. Sometime during the second half of February, what remained of the Gruppe departed Grottaglie and moved to Treviso and Lecce. During the last month or two of its existence, it was officially known as Kampfstaffel 111 (O.B.S.), with the “O.B.S.” standing for Oberbefehlshaber Süd, which was the name generally used for Luftflotte 2 after in moved to the Mediterranean from Russia in December 1941, and then briefly as Kurierstaffel He 111 (O.B.S.). It is believed to have been disbanded around the beginning of April 1942.
BENNEMANN, Hans, Lt.
COUNCKER (COUNCLON?), Gerhard, Lt. Techn.Offz. in Stab/KGr.z.b.V. 111.
PINNER, ? , Oblt.
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2022).
(1st Draft 2022)
- BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); B.Rosch-Luftwaffe Codes, Markings & Units 1939-1945:273; W.Waiss-KG 27 Boelcke history/Band III:40.
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