(Unit Code Y9+)
Formation and Background. (April 1942)
Ordered formed on or about 19 April 1942, probably in Germany (ex-Gruppenfliegerstab 31, which had returned to Germany in November 1941 and was still there in April 1942), as part of the general reorganization of the reconnaissance branch of the Luftwaffe. The Stabskompanie and the Luftnachrichten-Betriebskompanie were assembled at the same time from various assets.
Staffeln (Aufklärungsstaffeln known to have been subordinated to NAGr. 12 with the approximate dates): 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 10 (3/43, 4/43); 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 10 (4/43); 4.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 13 (5/42 to 6/42); 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 21 (11/42); 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41 (3/43); 3.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41 (12/42); 6.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41 (5/42 to c.11/42); 7.(H)/LG 2 (4/42 to 10/42); 1./NAGr. 12; 2./NAGr. 12.
[Note: unless otherwise stated, the aircraft losses noted below (if any) are those of the independently designated Aufklärungsstaffeln that were subordinated to NAGr. 12 at the time of the loss.]
South Russia. (May 1942 - March 1943)
April 1942: as initial complement, the Stab was to subordinate 7.(H)/LG 2 and 6.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41.
16 May 1942: Stab in transfer to Stalino with 6.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41.
20 June 1942: Stab/NAGr. 12 reported 2(1) Hs 126s assigned to it.
28 August 1942: transferred to Golubinskaya/50 km west-north-west of Stalingrad following the advance to the Don and Volga.
20 September 1942: Stab/NAGr. 12 reported 1(1) Fw 189 and 1(1) Hs 126 assigned to it.
29 September 1942: a man from the Stab reported WIA during a Soviet air attack on Golubinskaya airfield.
30 September 1942: Golubinskaya with 6.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41 and 7.(H)/LG 2 - had 17(8) aircraft.
2 October 1942: a man from the Stab reported KIA by enemy fire at Golubinskaya airfield.
11 November 1942: Stab still at Golubinskaya - in direct support of XIV. Panzerkorps/AOK 6 that was locked in the fierce fighting in the northern outskirts of Stalingrad.
19 November 1942: the powerful Soviet counteroffensive on the Stalingrad Front began.
19-24 November 1942: few reconnaissance missions flown due to abysmal weather conditions with snow showers, clouds down to 100 meters and visibility of less than a kilometer. All three of the Nahaufklärungsgruppen (7, 12 and 16) operating from the so-called Great Don Bend area were ordered to pull back to airfields farther west.
December 1942: Stab/NAGr. 12 reportedly re-equipping at Jesau/East Prussia with 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 21, 4.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 33 and 3.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41. There is considerable doubt whether this actually occurred. It may be that plans called for the Stab to move to Jesau, but the commencement of the Soviet counteroffensive on the Stalingrad Front probably caused these plans to be canceled and the Stab either remained where it was or was hastily recalled from East Prussia.
10 December 1942: Fw 189, probably belonging to the Stab, shot up by a fighter in Pl.Qu.29472 (c.50 km east of Morosovskaya), 45%.
3 February 1943: Stab and Stabs-Kp. both listed as destroyed on the Stalingrad Front. However, both were quickly rebuilt in the field using the survivors of Nahaufklärungsgruppe Fleischmann.
13 February 1943: Stab now appears to be at Gorlovka airfield/40 km north-north-east of Stalino.
12 March 1943: Stab now at Stalino.
March 1943: Stalino with 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 10, 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 10 and 1.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41.
Germany. (April 1943 - September 1943)
April – September 1943: returned to Germany to reorganize as a single-seat reconnaissance Gruppe with Messerschmitt Bf 109s - locations uncertain, but probably at Jesau/East Prussia initially and then moved to Herzogenaurach in Bavaria.
27 August 1943: Bf 109 G-6 damaged at Würzburg, 10%.
30 August 1943: a Fw 44 (damaged 50%) and a Kl 35 (damaged 15%), both single-engine trainers or hacks assigned to Stab/NAGr. 12, were rammed by a Ju 52 transport at Herzogenaurach airfield.
25 September 1943: formation and work-up completed, ordered to transfer to Albania this date.
28 September 1943: several crashes reported at Herzogenaurach, probably connected
with the departure of the Gruppe for the Balkans.
Balkans. (October 1943 - May 1945)
October 1943: Stab moved to Albania during the first half of October with station at Tirana initially, and then on to Devoli airfield/1.5 km south of Berat. The Stab had its own complement of 3 or 4 Bf 109s and 1 or 2 Fi 156s and subordinated 1. and 2./NAGr. 12. From its arrival in the Balkans through 1944, NAGr. 12 flew mostly reconditioned Bf 109 G-6s ferried in from the Messerschmitt plant at Wiener Neustadt. The majority of these were equipped with the Rb 12.5 cm focal length camera, although most recce missions were visual rather than photographic. However, some 4 or 5 planes were outfitted with the larger, more powerful Rb 50/30 camera, were pressurized and were equipped with GM 1 methanol injection for flights up to 40,000 feet (12,186 meters).
14 October 1943: Bf 109 G-6 assigned to the Stab crashed and burned near Römerstadt, 100%, pilot killed. The crash probably occurred during a transfer flight to Albania.
23 November 1943: Stab moved from Albania to Mostar/Croatia due to increased Allied air activity over the Albanian airfields. Assigned to Luftwaffenkdo. Südost and remained at Mostar for nearly a year.
1 April 1944: Gruppenkommandeur Maj. Werner Fleischmann shot down in Bf 109 G-6/U3 by Allied fighters while taking off from or landing at Devoli airfield where he had gone to fly some missions with 1. Staffel. Very badly wounded, he later died while receiving medical care.
October 1944: Stab transferred from Mostar to Sarajevo-Butmir as Axis forces pulled back from much of the Dalmatian coastal area.
11 November 1944: Stab transferred from Sarajevo-Butmir to Pécsvárad/South Hungary with 2 Bf 109s and 1 Fi 156 to support Luftflotte 4 operations against advancing Soviet forces.
29 November 1944: Stab now at Kaposvár/Hungary operating under II. Fliegerkorps.
10 January 1945: NAGr. 12 reported 23(16) Bf 109s on strength (this number possibly including one or a few Ju 88s?).
10 January 1945: Fi 156 belonging to the Stab destroyed on the ground at Budapest by artillery fire, 100%.
February 1945: Stab transferred from Kaposvár to Zagreb-Borongaj in Croatia and assigned to 17. Fliegerdivision.
9 April 1945: NAGr. 12 reported 30(26) Bf 109s and Hs 126s on strength.
April 1945: Stab transferred from Zagreb-Borongaj to Zagreb-Lucko.
28 April 1945: Stab ordered disbanded by Luftwaffenkdo. 4 (formerly Luftflotte 4).
3 May 1945: Stab still at Zagreb-Lucko under 17. Fliegerdivision. The remaining personnel from the Stab are believed to have withdrawn to Austria around 7 May and surrendered there to Allied forces.
FpNs:Stab/NAGr. 12 (L 28165), Stabs-Kp./NAGr. 12 (L 44527), Ln.-Betr.Kp./NAGr. 12 (L 45447).
Maj. Hans von Berchem (30 April 1942 - August 1942)
Oberst Gerhard Frantzius (acting?) (October 1942 - ? )
Maj. Hubert-Horst Correns ( ? - c.20 February 1943)
Maj. Werner Fleischmann (1st appt) (February 1943 - June 1943)
Hptm. Friedrich-Wilhelm Kahler (19 June 1943 - 13 August 1943)
Hptm. Rolf Kröber (acting?) ( ? - ? ) 1943
Maj. Werner Fleischmann (2d appt) (September 1943 - 1 April 1944) KIA
Hptm. Werner Wilke (April 1944 - 15 January 1945)
Hptm. Günther Weidmann (c.16 January 1945 - 8 May 1945)
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress).
(1st Draft 2022)
Additional Notes and Losses
1 Dec 1943 – Stab had 4 Me 109s serviceable, of 4, in the evening. 2 at Mostar and 2 at Devoli, 2 Fi 156 and 1 W34 at Belgrade.
- W.Dierich - Die Verbände der Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Gliederungen und Kurzchroniken – Eine Dokumentation; G.Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945, Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte (Osnabrück, 1980); N.Kannapin - Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945, 3 Bde (I – III) (Osnabrück, 1980-82); NARA WashDC: RG 242 (Microcopy T-312 roll 568/314-19 document Genst.d.Heeres/Org.Abt.(II) Nr.1483/42g.Kdos., 19 Apr 1942 detailing the creation of the Nahaufklärungsgruppen), (Microcopy T-321 roll 115/001ff; Lw.-Kdo. 4 order Nr.5979/45 in an unrecorded roll); AFHRA Maxwell: decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.619 British AirMin CSDIC P/W Interrogation Reports in microfilm rolls A5415-18; PRO London: AIR 40/1971, 1982; PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence reports and lists based on ULTRA (HP640 plus numerous others), “Y” Service intercepts, captured documents and PoW interrogations; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 40/Kart; Archiv Gruppe 66 magazine, No. 6/vol. 2 and 7/vol. 2; M.Kehrig - Stalingrad: Analyse und Dokumentation einer Schlacht (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt), 1974), Anlage 4; M.Rauchensteiner - Der Krieg in Österreich, 1945. (Wien, 1984), pp.355-63; M.Holm-website ww2.dk.
- DEFE3/9 - VL1043