Sonderkommando Rastedter

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Sonderkommando Rastedter

Formation and History. (c.Jul 43 - Feb 44)

Formed around July 1943 at Bordeaux-Merignac with, initially, 2 He 111s and 1 Fw 200 with crews from III./KG 40 under the supervision of Major Adolf Koch (see Sonderkommando Koch). The earliest document discussing the intended formation of Sd.Kdo.Rastedter is dated 2 June 1943 and originated by the Seekriegsleitung (the operations branch of the German Navy). As conceived, it was to monitor and determine the wave length and frequency of new British radar being used to locate U-boats in the Bay of Biscay. The Kdo. was not given the name Rastedter until Hptm. Siegfried Rastedter, an officer of the Luftnachrichtentruppe who had come from Sonderkdo. Koch in Italy, arrived to take over in October. While KG 40 provided aircrew and replacement aircrew, all of the technical personnel came from the Ln.-Versuchs-Rgt. at Köthen near Berlin. The first Junkers Ju 188 was received in August, followed by two more and two additional He 111s in September.[1]

Operations for the Kommando, which commenced in autumn 1943, and in practice consisted of day and night sorties over the Bay of Biscay monitoring and jamming Allied airborne ASV radar and radio transmissions, as well as those broadcast by Spanish and Portuguese fishing vessels believed to be collaborating with the Allies. The Ju 188s flew the day missions in conjunction with KG 40 convoy shadowing or attacks, while the He 111s flew the night missions. One Ju 188 failed to return from an extended mission on 29-30 December 1943, but otherwise losses were light. During January 1944, Rastedter reported 3 Ju 188s, 3 He 111s (MK+KM, RI+DF, plus another) and 5 or 6 crews on strength. In February 1944, Sonderkdo. Rastedter, still under the command of Hptm. Rastedter, was renamed Horch- und Störstaffel 2.

© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress). (1st Draft 2023)

Note: see Nick Beale’s Ghostbombers website - he has a very extensive article on this unit.

Additional Notes and Losses

Ju 188 F-1 NK+ZG (W.Nr. 280010) failed to return from a mission on 4 Dec 1943 with Ofw. Otto Langner and his crew.

Stammkenzeichen on two He 111s used by the unit were MK+KM and RI+RF.

One He 111 destroyed by allied bombing raid on Bordeaux probably on 5th Jan 1944.

In 4.44 redesignated Horch und Störstaffel 2.(Holm)


  1. S.Neitzel - Der Einsatz der deutschen Luftwaffe über dem Atlantik und der Nordsee 1939-1945 (Bonn, 1995), p.217; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.619 British AirMin P/W interrogations, ADI(K) series, microfilm rolls A5400-05, interrogations ADI(K) 38/44 and ADI(K) 503/44; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-405 roll 44/frame 230; private letter from K.Kössler to B.Rosch dated November 1992.

1.Bloody Biscay - Chris Goss - Pub. Crecy 1997 - also posting by Artie Bob July 14 1999 to a bullitin board.including a reference to ADI(K) 503/1944)

2.Michael Holm - Luftwaffe 1939-45 web site

3. Sea Eagles - Chris Goss - Classic

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