The commander after whom the unit was named was Maj. Edgar Petersen, Geschwader Kommodore KG 40.
This unit was formed to fly anti-shipping interdiction missions over the Gulf of Suez, the Suez Canal and the Northern part of the Red Sea, it operated under the control of X Fliegerkorps.
It was sent to Greece at the end of August of 1941 equiped with 6 Fw 200 Condors and nine He 111.
The unit arrived at Athens-Eleusis on 26.8.41, Petersen was recalled to Germany as Director of Research with special responsibility for the He 177. Petersen’s replacement was Oberts Dr Georg Paswewaldt.
Kdo. Petersen flew approximately half a dozen sorties a night to the Suez/ Red Sea for about a month. Larry de Zeng indicates that, from his research, operations commenced 2 Sept and continued until 10 Sept. after which the unit returned to France.
3/4 Sep 1941 – Lt. Meyer flew a successful sortie, hitting a ship. (where – not reported) Meyer was reported lost in unknown circumstances two days later. (Hooton)
Luftwaffe Qu.M loss returns dated 8 Sep 1941.
Loss 5.9.41 1./KG 40 (Suez) Unbekannt Fw 200 (0074) F8+GH 100%
Oblt Horst Neumann (F)
Ofw. Martin Heidenreich (F)
Ofw. Willi Laufmann (Bf)
Uffz Johann Schneider (Bf)
Fw. Willi Schilf (Bm)
Uffz. Franz Rabensteiner (Bs)
Also Luftwaffe Qu.M loss returns dated 16 Sep 1941.
Loss 5.9.41 bei Bardia (Libya?) notlandung He 111 H-5 (3896?) 100% no crew details. ?./KG 40 .
Note – have not found any reference to this unit in Holm or Rosch, although on page 244 of Rosch there is a photograph of a Fw 200C (F8+GH) of 1./KG40 reputedly taken in North Africa at an unknown date.
Rosch, Barry - Luftwaffe Codes, markings and Units 1939-45
de Zeng, Larry - correspondence.
Hooten, E.R. - Pheonix Triumphant.