(Unit Code L8+)
Formation and Background. (April 1942)
Staffeln (Aufklärungsstaffeln known to have been subordinated to NAGr. 4 with the approximate dates): NASt. 11./12 (1/45 to 5/45); NASt. 12./12 (from 8/43 to c.1/44); 6.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 13 (5/42 to 11/42); 3.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 14 (c.10/43? to c.2/44?); 4.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 31 (c.5/44 to c.12/44?); 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41 (5/42 to 11/42); 2./NAGr. 2 (4/45, 5/45); 1./NAGr. 4; 2./NAGr. 4; 3./NAGr. 4, 2./NAGr. 5 (6/44 to 7/44).
[Note: unless otherwise stated, the aircraft losses noted below are those of the independently designated Aufklärungsstaffeln that were subordinated to NAGr. 4 at the time of the loss.]
South Russia. (May 1942 - February 1943)
16 May 1942: Stab in transfer to Kharkov with 6.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 13 and 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41.
24 May 1942: Stab arrived Kharkov this date.
June 1942: NAGr. 4 advanced eastward from Kharkov to the Stalingrad area via Volchansk (June), Millerovo (July), Frolov (August) and Yelampiyevski (September) in support of AOK 6/Heeresgruppe B (6th Army/Army Group B) and at times Pz.AOK 4 (4th Panzer Army).
12 July 1942: Gruko Obstlt. Börner WIA by enemy fire at Vasil’yevka (not located – hundreds of locations in present day Belarus and Russia with that name) necessitating his replacement.
15 July 1942: Fi 156 from Stab/NAGr. 4 damaged, but location not reported, 20%.
31 July 1942: Bücker Bü 131 from the Stab crash landed, location not reported, 25%.
20 September 1942: Stab had 1(1) Hs 126, according to a strength return of this date - not included are a few Fi 156, Bü 131, etc., liaison aircraft and hacks used by the Stab.
30 September 1942: Stalingrad front with 6.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 13 and 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41 - had 17(3) aircraft; no explanation as to why 14 of its aircraft were unserviceable.
20 October 1942: Stab reported 4 men WIA by enemy fire at Yelampiyevski airstrip/72 km north-west of Stalingrad.
17 November 1942: Stab/NAGr. 4 at Yelampiyevski in direct support of LI. Armeekorps/AOK 6 that was engaged in the desperate fighting right in the center of Stalingrad - struggling to carry out its mission with just 4 or 5 serviceable aircraft, it was ordered to transfer from the Stalingrad area to Konotop with 6.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 13 and 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41 to rest, refit and re-equip; all aircraft were to be handed over to other units before leaving. Just two days later, all hell broke loose as the Russians began their powerful counteroffensive along the front to the west of Stalingrad.
21 November 1942: at Konotop under VIII. Fliegerkorps?
27 November 1942: all or many of the ground personnel belonging to the Gruppe were impressed into infantry service as part of the rearguard along the Don to the west of Stalingrad.
December 1942 – February 1943: whereabouts unclear - fragmentary evidence suggests NAGr. 4’s refit at Konotop was cancelled shortly after the Soviet counteroffensive began along the Stalingrad Front on 19 November. Both of its assigned Staffeln, 6.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 13 and 2.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 41 were reported to have been destroyed in the fighting along the Front, with the survivors rejoining the Gruppe and then moving to Jesau/East Prussia in late January and February 1943 for conversion to the Messerschmitt Bf 109 reconnaissance type. The master list of units destroyed at Stalingrad dated 3 February 1943 also lists Stab/NAGr. 4, its Stabskompanie and its Sanitätsgruppe as being destroyed there.
Central Russia. (March 1943 - June 1944)
March 1943: following conversion and work-up at Jesau, Stab transferred to Vitebsk and reassigned to Luftwaffenkdo. Ost during the latter part of March. From March 1943 to at least the end of 1944, the Stab had 1 to 3 Bf 109Gs assigned to it.
26 March 1943: Stab Bf 109 G-4 shot up and crashed at Vitebsk airfield, 100%, pilot KIA.
21 April 1943: Bf 109 G-4 crashed on take-off from Vitebsk, 80%.
22 April 1943: 2 Bf 109 G-4s damaged landing at Shatalovka airfield/55 km south-east of Smolensk, both 40%.
24 April 1943: Stab transferred to Pankovo, a just-completed field airstrip 20 km south of Orel, and assigned to support AOK 9 (9th Army) which was then in the process of redeploying to the Orel sector for Operation “Zitadelle”, the powerful attack on the Kursk salient that began on 5 July.
29 April 1943: Bf 109 G-4 crashed on landing at Pankovo, 80%.
3 May 1943: further accidents at Pankovo.
6 May 1943: Bf 109 G-4 crashed at Belopolye auxiliary airstrip/75 km east of Konotop, 85%.
9 May 1943: Bf 109 G-4 damaged taxiing at Pankovo, 50%.
31 May 1943: Stab Bf 109 F-2 damaged taking off from Pankovo, 50%.
1 June 1943: Bf 109 G-4 shot down in air battle east of Kursk, 100%, pilot MIA.
11 June 1943: NAGr. 4 and its subordinate Staffeln reported flying 1,000 operational sorties between 1 May and 11 June, most of which were over the Kursk salient.
3 July 1943: Bf 109 G-4 damaged due to engine failure at Pankovo, 10%.
5 July 1943: beginning of “Zitadelle” - intense operations for NAGr. 4 over the next several months in support of AOK 9’s effort to drive armored spearheads through heavily defended Soviet positions south of Orel.
10 July 1943: NAGr. 4 reported a total of 38(31) Bf 109s and Bf 110s on strength in its four components: Stab, 1.St., 2.St. and 3.St./NAGr. 4.
14 July 1943: Stab Bf 109 G-4 belly landed at Pankovo, 30%.
28 July 1943: Stab Bf 109 G-4 crashed on take-off from Orel-Ledna, 100%, Gruko Maj. Vinek severely injured necessitating his replacement.
31 July 1943: Bf 109 F-2 damaged landing at Subotovo airstrip (not located, but believed to be between Orel and Bryansk), 60%.
10 August 1943: Bf 109 G-4 damaged at Subotovo due to engine failure, 40%, pilot injured.
15 August 1943: Bf 109 G-4 damaged taking off from Rechitsa airstrip/40 km west-south-west of Gomel, 50%.
27-28 August 1943: NAGr. 4 ordered north to 4. Fliegerdivision to support defensive measures as Soviet West Front began its attack toward Smolensk from the east and south-east.
27 August 1943: Bf 109 G-4 damaged landing at Shatalovka-East airfield, 60%.
28 August 1943: Bf 109 G-4 force landed at Smolensk-North airfield, 35%.
31 August 1943: Bü 131 (L8+HH) belonging to the Stab reported missing in Pl.Qu.3465 (south-east of Smolensk), 100%, pilot MIA.
1 September 1943: Bf 109 G-6 shot down by ground fire south-west of Yel’nya/75 km east-south-east of Smolensk, 100%, pilot KIA.
14 September 1943: Bf 109 G-4 shot up by AA fire and force landed at Letoshniki/40 km east-south-east of Roslavl’, 100%, pilot KIA.
14 September 1943: 2 Bf 109 G-6s (40% and 10%) and a Bf 108 (20%) damaged in Russian afternoon bombing of Shatalovka-East airfield by three regiments of Pe-2s (25 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed or damaged on the ground according to Luftwaffe records).
17 September 1943: Bf 109 F-2 damaged landing at Smolensk-North, 20%.
18 September 1943: Bf 109 F-4 crashed on take-off from Smolensk-North, 90%.
22 September 1943: Bf 109 G-4 shot down by fighters south-west of Smolensk, 100%, pilot WIA.
24-25 September 1943: Soviet forces retook Smolensk - NAGr. 4 withdrew from Shatalovka-East and Smolensk-North to Orsha airfield/110 west of Smolensk a few days earlier.
25 September 1943: Bf 109 G-2 damaged at Orsha airfield, 60%.
17 October 1943: Bf 109 G-6 shot up by AA fire and force landed west of Dubrovna, 30%, Oblt. Gottfried Hagena WIA.
2 March 1944: Stab still at Orsha.
April 1944: Stab at Orsha under 4. Fliegerdivision.
5 May 1944: Stab transferred from Orsha to Biala Podlaska/158 km east of Warsaw to relieve NAGr. 10 now under 1. Fliegerdivision in support of AOK 2 (2d Army).
25 June 1944: in response to the Soviet summer offensive that began 22 June, Stab/NAGr. 4 with Nahaufkl.St. 4./31 ordered forward to Lepel-West/125 km south-west of Vitebsk.
28 June 1944: Stab now at Parafyanovo/170 km east of Vilnius and near Lepel with 2./NAGr. 5 and Nahaufkl.St. 4./31 under 4. Fliegerdivision in support of Pz.AOK 3, then attempting to withdraw from the Vitebsk-Orsha sector.
East Prussia and Germany. (July 1944 - May 1945)
July 1944: following the collapse of German forces along the central sector of the Eastern Front, NAGr. 4 transferred to Jürgenfelde/East Prussia under 4. Fliegerdivision and remained there through September.
2 October 1944: NAGr. 4 or elements thereof identified at Polangen (Palanga) north of Memel (Klaipeda) on the coast along the East Prussian-Lithuanian border. German ground forces, principally Pz.AOK 3 (3d Panzer Army), were fighting hard to block Soviet spearheads from reaching Memel so they could seal off and destroy Heeresgruppe Nord in western Latvia.
October 1944: Stab pulled back to Eichwalde/East Prussia, still under 4. Fliegerdivision, to continue supporting Pz.AOK 3 and is believed to have remained there into January 1945.
10 January 1945: NAGr. 4 reported 23(21) Bf 109s and Fw 189s on strength. Two days later on 12 January, the Soviets opened their enormous winter offensive along the Vistula aimed at the Oder and the destruction of German forces in East and West Prussia.
1 March 1945: Stab now at Praust/14 km south of Danzig under Gefechtsverband Weiss/II. Fliegerkorps following the withdrawal from East Prussia of most Luftwaffe units.
6 March 45: NAGr. 4 transferred 8 x Bf 109s, 1 x Bf 108, 4x Fw 189s and 1 x Fi 156 from Praust to Hexengrund.
26 March 1945: Stab placed at Danzig-Langfuhr, but it may have only been there for a few days.
29 March 1945: Stab in transfer to Neubrandenburg to the north of Berlin, still under Gefechtsverband Weiss/II. Fliegerkorps. In April it was ordered south to the Luftflotte 6 area.
3 May 1945: Stab at Glatz-West (Klodzko)/c.80 km south-south-west of Breslau under Gefechtsverband Weiss. Soviet spearheads swept through the Glatz area a few days later (6-7 May), by which time the Stab had fled to the west.
FpNs:Stab/NAGr. 4 (L 16147), Stabskp./NAGr. 4 (L 43621), Ln.-Betr.Kp./NAGr. 4 (L 07778)
Obstlt. Günther Börner (8 June 1942 - 12 July 1942) WIA
Maj. Hans-Friedrich Schultze-Moderow (c.13 July 1942 - 4 September 1942)
Maj. Horst Barsickow (4 September 1942 - 29 December 1942)
Maj. Anton Vinek (29 December 1942 - 28 July 1943) WIA
Hptm. Friedrich-Wilhelm Kahler (c.13 August 1943 - 1 February 1944)
Maj. Hans-Joachim Jäger (1 February 1944 - 8 May 1945)
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress). (1st Draft 2022)
- 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-311 roll 228/491), (Microcopy T-312 roll 203/585; roll 568/314-19, document Genst.d.Heeres/Org.Abt.(II) Nr.1483/42g.Kdos., 19 Apr 1942 detailing the creation of the Nahaufklärungsgruppen; roll 1304/644), (Microcopy T-321 roll 50/876; roll 115/001ff Stalingrad master list of destroyed Luftwaffe units); AFHRA Maxwell: decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection; PRO London: AIR 40/1975, 1976, 1980; PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence documents; ULTRA CX/MSS/R. 490; BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 20/274-77; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 40/Kart; BA-MA Freiburg: Genst.d.Lw. document Ia Nr. 280/45; M.Kehrig - Stalingrad: Analyse und Dokumentation einer Schlacht (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt), 1974), pp.242, 660, Anlage 4; M.Rauchensteiner - Der Krieg in Österreich, 1945. (Wien, 1984), p.360; Archiv Gruppe 66 magazine, No. 6/v.2, page 25 and No. 8/v.2, page 15; M.Holm-website ww2.dk.