Kdo. Junck

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Sonderkommando Junck'

This unit was used to project Luftwaffe and then German force in support of an Iraqi rebellion against the British. The hope was that this would cause the withdrawal of some of the British forces in North Africa.


6 May 1941 - Junck appointed commander of FliegerFuhrer Irak.The Transport chief was Major Pinagel.

Hauptmann Schwanhaeusser lead the He 111s of 4./KG 4,while the Me 110 Staffel was under Oberleutnant Holbeinstand.

10 May 1941 – Aircraft of Kommando Junck flew to Bagdad via the following route – Athens-Rhodes-Aleppo-Damascus-Mossul-Bagdad.

11 May 1941 - first He 111s reach Rhodes. One He-111 was fired on by Arab tribesmen as it approached

Baghdad airport, killing Major Axel von Blomberg, the Luftwaffe liaison officer to Rashid Ali.[1]

12 May 1941 – British reconnaissance aircraft discovered several german aircraft in Iraq.[2]

Ju 90 (GF+GA) with an 800 watt U-Boat radio and generator arrived in Damascus and the equipment was transferred to Bagdad by rail.[3]

13 May 1941 - Palmyra was used as airbase in Syria.

14 May 1941 - Ju 90 (GF+GE) located at Mosul.[4]

Between 14 and 27 May three SM 82 of the Italian 1490 Gruppo flew 18 sorties and flew in 25 men and 18 tons of weapons and ammunition. Due to the fuel situation at Mosul most flights were made to Kirkuk.[5]

15 May 1941 - first Luftwaffe deployment over Iraq, a desert patrol along Syrian-Iraq border. Three He 111s and three Me 110s transferred to Mossul. First recce sorties flown from Mossul on this day. Obst. Junck arrived in Mossul together with Oblt. Pawelko. Pawelko was a reserve officer who had previously been the legation secretary in Bagdad and was at that point the only Iraq expert available to the German military.

16 May 1941 - Three He 111s launch air attack on Habbaniya airfield. Following this six Me 110s conduct a low level attack on the RAF airfield.

Following this another strafing attack was made on a secondary airfield near Falluja. In response the RAF bombed Baghdad Airfield which was under Iraqi control. One of the Me 110s was shot down, while another made a forced landing. Junck moved a number of his aircraft into Mossul and Kirkuk.

Ju 52 (CF+IB) arrived in Mosul, carrying Oblt. Wochinger and radio communications equipment, where it was unloaded by Iraqi troops.[6]

17 May 1941 - Bf 110 of Zerst.st/Sonderkommando Junk was lost following combat the crew (Fw August Offermann and Uffz Hans Fischer) were both killed.[7]

18 May 1941 - Four Me 110s from Mosul launched strafing attacks against Habforce. These were assisted by Italian planes based at Mosul. RAF again bomb Baghdad. Only one Me 110 of the four available is still operational by the end of the day.

20 May 1941 - Habbaniya was again attacked by He 111s. The RAF encountered four Me 110s in an air battle over Falluja. The Germans claimed that they shot down a Blenheim and a Gladiator. The RAF bombed Iraqi Airforce HQ at Hinaidi. An Me 110 that made a forced landing there is destroyed on the ground.

Ju 90 (GF+GA) flew into Mosul carrying 72 SC 50 bombs.[8]

22 May 1941 – The Germans launched air attacks on the British Army columns advancing from Habbaniya. Two Me 110s and one He 111 were then lost on these operations that were attempting to halt the British advance.

He 111 of Kampstaffel/Sonderkommando Junk destroyed at Mosul during a British air raid.[9]

23 May 1941 - Falluja air battle. Two Gladiators shot down. However, RAF Hurricanes defended Habbaniya from attacks by three He 111s and subsequently two of these aircraft were lost. In addition, effectively 4./ZG 76 at Kirkuk had no more operational aircraft, there were only two under repair.

25 May 1941 - A Bf 110E (W.Nr. 4035) of Zerst.st/Sonderkommando Junk crashlanded.[10]

26 May 1941 - RAF bomb Baghdad. One He 111 attacked Habbaniya again. Wellington bombers took part in strikes at Mosul and knocked out the last remaining He 111 there.

12 Fiat Cr 42 fighters of 1550 Squadriglia, commanded by Capitano Francesco Sforza, arrived in Mosul.[11]

27 May 1941 - Junck counselled German officials flown in (Major Hansen OKH,Major Arnold Abwehr) about the situation. A decision was then made to withdraw from Iraq.

28 May 1941 - German Counsel in Baghdad tells Iraqis they will pull out the next day.

11 remaining CR 42s of 1550 Squadriglia moved to Kirkuk.[12]

29 May 1941 - remaining force of 5 Me 110s, 2 He 111s and 6 Ju 52s flew out via Syria towards their final destination of Rhodes. Up to this time the Luftwaffe units had flown six bombing operations to Habbaniya as well as seven recce sorties to the same target.

First of the two combat sorties attempted by 1550 Squadriglia, made by three CR 42s.[13]

30 May 1941 - last German elements leave Baghdad and the Italians pull out of Mosul the following day.

Final sortie made by 1550 Squadriglia, six machines attacked British troops near Bagdad.[14]

31 May 1941 - Ju 52 (4V+IN W. Nr. 6760), operated by Transportstaffel Rother, was lost on a flight between Aleppo and Rhodes. Uffz. Fritz Zarse and his crew (Fw Wilhelm Kleinekathöfer (BM), Uffz Arthur Skrandies (BF) and Gefr Max Strus (BS)[15]), together with three men from Kdo. Junk's Ln. Funktrupp were reported missing.[16]

The remaining Italian airplanes (7 CR.42, 1 S.79 and 1 S.81) returned to Aleppo. There a S.79 was destroyed by a British bombing before its return to Italy; no Italian airplanes were left in Syria.[17]

10 Jun 1941 – The last personnel from Kdo.Junck evacuated overland to Syria.[18]

16 Jun 1941 -“ The last operational German plane in the Levante was a Ju 52/3m operated by Transportstaffel Rother (1Z+FN, tail code “6”) on this day the aircraft returned to its homebase of Braunschweig-Waggum.[19]

21 Jun 1941 - 1Z+FN returned to Athens-Tatoi.[20]

29 Jun 1941 -“ 1Z+FN flew to Aleppo.[21]

30 Jun 1941 -“ 1Z+FN returned from Aleppo to Athens-Tatoi with a number of wounded Arab soldiers. This plane remained at Tatoi until 11 July 1941.[22]

Fliegerführer Irak consisted of:

4./ZG 76 with 12 Bf110Cs led by Oberlt. Hobein

1 kette from ZG 26 with 2 Bf110s led by Lt. Wörner

4./KG 4 with 7 He 111H-6s led by Hptm. Schwanhäuser

1./K.G. z.b.v. 106 with 20 Ju 52s led by Major Pinagel

1 kette of 3 Junkers Ju 90B (Lufthansa) - - W.Nr. 0003 (GF+GA "Baden" - Hptm Hans von Goessel)[23], 0005 (GF+GE "Preussen" - Hptm. Albert Gerstenkorn)[24] and 0009 (BJ+OV "Thüringen" - Hptm Albrecht Klitzsch)[25].

1 Flak Battery 20mm guns

Known Personnel[26]

Oberst der Lw. Werner Junck

Ia - Major Hentschel

Ic - Hptm. Roser

Hptm Hans von Goessel[27]

Hptm. Albert Gerstenkorn[28]

Hptm Albrecht Klitzsch[29]

Oblt. Pawelko

Maj Pinagel

Maj. Sittig (Transport officer)[30]

Hptm Schwanhäuser

Lt. Wörner

Oblt. Pawelke (F)

Oblt. Knemeier (F)

Oblt. Hobein, (F)

Oblt. Holbeinstand (F)

Oblt. Reinhard Graubner (F)

Oblt. Wochinger[31]

Fw. Prinz

Uffz. Guretzki

Ofw. Thomas (F)

Oblt. Daller (F)

Ltn. Wolf (F) (remained in Athens),

Ltn. Weisse (F) (remained in Palmyra)

Ofw. Willi Leonhardt (F)

Fw. Hans Borcher (F) +17.05.41,

Fw. Oskar Steinbrück (F)

Fw. Regelien (Bf) - GF+GE[32]

Fw. Schade (Bm) - GF+GE[33]

Uffz. Hans Maier (F)

Uffz. Lothar Seiler (F)

Uffz. Heina (Bm) - GF+GE[34]


  1. http://uncleted.jinak.cz/pdf/AeroNotes5.pdf
  2. http://uncleted.jinak.cz/pdf/AeroNotes5.pdf
  3. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 25
  4. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 26
  5. Jet and Prop 1991-4 page 42
  6. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 34
  7. TOCH posting by Eduardo 2 Aug 2006
  8. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 25
  9. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 42
  10. TOCH posting by Eduardo 2 Aug 2006
  11. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 42
  12. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 42
  13. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 42
  14. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 42
  15. TOCH posting by Eduardo 2 Aug 2006
  16. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 26
  17. Axis History Forum posting by DrG 20 Apr 2004
  18. http://uncleted.jinak.cz/pdf/AeroNotes5.pdf
  19. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 42
  20. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 42
  21. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 42
  22. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 42
  23. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 25 and Die Großen Dessauer p 230
  24. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 25 and Die Großen Dessauer p 230
  25. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 25 and Die Großen Dessauer p 230
  26. Posting by Byron to http://www.afrika-korps.co.uk/forum/index.php 26/4/2007
  27. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 25
  28. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 25
  29. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 25
  30. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 25
  31. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 34
  32. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 26
  33. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 26
  34. Jet and Prop 1991-3 page 26

Axis History Forum posting by Peter H on 01 Dec 2007 16:08 (According to Kurowski)

Axis History Forum posting by Peter H on 02 Dec 2007 04:00 (Further post)

Morzik, Fritz – German AirForce Airlift Operations.

Kossler, Karl and Ott, Gunther – Die grossen Dessauer.

Felmy, Helmuth General d. Flieger (Rtd) – The German Airforce in the Mediterranean Theatre of War.

Jet and Prop 1991 - 03 - article by Günter Ott.


The Iraq Coup of 1941, The Mufti and the Farhud