KGr. z.b.V. 23
Kampfgruppe z.b.V. 23
(Unit Code: none)
Formation. (Jan 43)
Formed 7 January 1943 at Hannover-Langenhagen with a Gruppenstab and four Staffeln (1. – 4.) of He 111s. As a provisional transport formation hastily cobbled together for the Stalingrad crisis, the aircraft, crews and other personnel came from a variety of units, including training schools. For example, one component was the Stabskette of I./KG 26 which was rushed to South Russia from the Mediterranean. Most of the technical personnel were also provided by KG 26. Around half of the crews were made up of students who had just completed their training at Blindflugschule 6 (Wesendorf). Rather than moving to Russia as a full Gruppe, as soon as a Staffel had finished assembling at Langenhagen it was immediately dispatched to Konstantinovka in the Donets Basin to the north of Stalino.
South Russia and Crimea. (Jan 43 - Apr 43)
10 Jan 43: in transit He 111 crashed at Fp. Kalinovka/W Ukraine, 60%.
11 Jan 43: He 111 crashes west of Kiev, this also being in transit to Konstantinovka.
16 Jan 43: 2 He 111 H-6s crash landed at Fp. Kölleda in Thuringia.
17 Jan 43: He 111 H-6 crash landed at Fp. Langenhagen, 30%.
18 Jan 43: He 111 H-6 damaged taxiing at Fp. Langenhagen, 40%.
17 Jan 43: He 111 (GD+FI) reported missing on return flight from Stalingrad-Pitomnik to Konstantinovka, 100%, 5 WIA.
18 Jan 43: He 111 missing on flight between Stalino and Voroshilovgrad, 100%, 4 KIA.
23 Jan 43: 2 He 111 crashes at Stalino and Novocherkassk.
25 Jan 43: He 111 (BC+GY) missing on return flight from Stalingrad, 100%, 4 MIA.
26-27 Jan 43: 2 He 111 crashes at Fp. Konstantinovka, 3 KIA and 1 WIA.
27 Jan 43: He 111 (F3+RM) missing on return flight from Stalingrad, 100%, 4 MIA.
30 Jan 43: 2 He 111 crashes and accidents at Konstantinovka, 5 WIA incl. Oblt. Richard Rauscher. The Gruppe flew a maximum effort this date to support the ill-fated breakout attempt from Stalingrad with most flights made at very low altitude in the face of heavy Russian AA fire.
1 Feb 43: several take-off and landing crashes at Konstantinovka.
2 Feb 43: at Konstantinovka.
5 Feb 43: following three weeks of intense employment in support of 6. Armee encircle in Stalingrad, transferred to Saki/C. Crimea and remained there until 4 April. Operating from Saki and the forward airfield at Bagerovo in eastern Crimea, the Gruppe flew fuel, food and hay (for horses) to German forces holding the Kuban bridgehead in the Taman Peninsula of North Caucasia. Also, bomber raids were flown on Krasnodar and various rail targets in North Caucasia, and aerial mines were dropped in Gelendzhik harbor on the Black Sea coast.
25 Feb 43: Gruppenkommandeur Obstlt. Schellmann WIA by AA fire while flying a mission over the Taman Peninsula.
20 Mar 43: He 111 shot down by a fighter over Crimea, 100%, crew safe.
22 Mar 43: He 111 (S3+HL) failed to return from a mission to Gelendzhik on the Black Sea coast south of Novorossisk, 100%, 4 MIA.
25 Mar 43: He 111 shot up by AA fire over the Taman Peninsula, 60%.
4 Apr 43: transferred to Diepholz/40 km NE of Osnabrück to rest and to have most of the He 111s outfitted with glider-towing packages and their interiors reconfigured for paratroop operations. Practice flights with gliders then began at Hildesheim at the end of April.
29 Apr 43: He 111 H-6 and a He 111 P-2 collided while taxiing at Fp. Diepholz, both 40%.
1 May 43: renamed Transportfliegergruppe 30.
Obstlt. Karl-Heinz Schellmann (7 Jan 43 - 1 May 43?)
CESCOTTI, Roderich, Oblt., Staka 4./KGr.z.b.V. 23.
KARGL, Ludwig, Lt.
KLAPDOHR, Hans, Lt.
RADUSCH, Ernst, Lt.
STÖHR, Richard, Hptm.
ULM, Franz, Hptm.d.R.
WENDORFF, Hermann, ?
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2022).
(1st Draft 2022)
- F.Morzik-German Air Force Airlift Operations:406; [Kameradschaft Ehemaliger Transportflieger], Geschichte einer Transportflieger-Gruppe im II.Weltkrieg:239; Schmidt, Rudi, Achtung - Torpedos Los!: Der Strategische und Operative Einsatz des Kampfgeschwader 26:120-21; K.Kössler comment in Luftwaffe Verband Journal No. 15:4; BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 20/281-84; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); E.Hartmann-“Die Aufstellung der Transportfliegergruppe 30 als Kampfgruppe z.b.V. 23 und ihr Stalingradeinsatz”, Luftwaffen-Revue, 2/1993:35-36 and in issues 3/1993 and 4/1993.
Return to Transportverbände