Träger-St.Gr. I./186

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Träger-St.Gr. I./186

Trägersturzkampfgruppe I./186


also as: I.(St.)/186 (T)


Formation and Organization. (Oct 39)

Formed 10 September 1939 at Kiel-Holtenau as a dive bomber (Stuka) Gruppe for the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin, then under construction at Kiel. The Gruppe was built around 4. Trägersturzkampfstaffel/186, which had existed since 1 Nov 38 at Kiel-Holtenau with Ju 87A/Cs under Maj. Walter Hagen, which was re-designated 3.(St.)/Tr.Gr. 186. The Gruppenstab and the other two Staffeln (1. and 2.) were set up with new assets.[1]


Campaign in Poland and Training in the West. (Sep 39 - Apr 40)

1-13 Sep 39: during the first two weeks of the campaign in Poland, 3. Staffel (still under its original designation 4. Trägersturzkampfstaffel/186 until 10 Sep) made several successful attacks on the Polish submarine base at Hela and on antiaircraft positions surrounding it with 11 Ju 87s. On 3 September the Stukas attacked and damaged a Polish destroyer and minesweeper in Hela harbour. Following three days of concentrated action around Danzig Bay, the Staffel then supported ground forces for the next 10 days, operating from Stolp-West (to 2 Sep), Brüsterort (2-6 Sep), then Lauenburg, Danzig and Radom (6-14 Sep).

14 Sep 39: 3.St. attacked and sank 3 Polish minesweepers in Heisternes harbor.

Nov 39: after 3. Staffel departed Poland and rejoined the Gruppe at Kiel-Holtenau, formation was completed at the beginning of November and on 8 November I.(St.)/186 (T) transferred to Wertheim near Würzburg where it spend the next 5 months training and bringing itself to a state of full readiness.

11 Apr 40: departed Wertheim and moved forward to a grass strip at Hennweiler/c. 30 km W of Bad Kreuznach in the Rheinland-Pfalz and within easy flying distance of the French and Belgian borders.


Attack on France and the Low Countries. (May 40 - Jun 40)

10 May 40: at Hennweiler with 39 Ju 87Bs under II. Fliegerkorps/Luftflotte 3 for the beginning of the attack on France and the Low Countries. On the first day of the offensive, the Gruppe attacked the French airfield at Metz-Frescaty losing 2 Ju 87Bs from 3. Staffel that were shot down by AA fire. That evening I.(St.)/186 (T) moved forward to a field strip at Ferschweiler near Bitburg.

11 May 40: began supporting offensive operations around Sedan as Panzergruppe Kleist advanced through the Ardennes.

14 May 40: 5 Ju 87Bs intercepted and shot down by French Morane fighters south of Sedan and 3 others damaged in the same action.

17 May 40: moved forward to Bastogne and then to Guise on 21 May.

22 May 40: 2 Ju 87Bs severely shot up by fighters during attacks in the Arras area, both later crashing and written off.

23 May 40: Ju 87B force landed at Cambrai, 60%.

24 May 40: Gruppe credited with sinking a destroyer in Boulogne harbor (possibly the French destroyer Orage).

26 May 40: 4 Ju 87Bs destroyed or damaged by AA fire while supporting German armor advancing toward Dunkirk.

1 Jun 40: 2 Ju 87Bs shot down by fighters while attacking evacuation shipping off Dunkirk.

5 Jun 40: Ju 87B shot down by AA fire near Amiens while supporting tanks moving forward toward the river Somme.

11 Jun 40: moved forward to a field strip at Buzancy/c. 55 km NW of Verdun to support ground forces advancing toward Troyes.

15 Jun 40: forward again to Villenauxe/50 km NW of Troyes.

16 Jun 40: 2 Ju 87Bs from 3. Staffel either shot down by AA fire or collided near the train station at Beaune to the southwest of Dijon.

22 Jun 40: the campaign ended with the signing of an armistice between France and Germany.

30 Jun 40: Gruppe transferred from Villenauxe to a field strip near Falaise in Normandy on or about this date.

2(5?) Jul 40: renamed III./St.G. 1.


FpNs:Gruppenstab (L 32206)

1. Staffel (L 33115)
2. Staffel (L 33244)
3. Staffel (L 18832)


Kommandeur:

Maj. Hans Hefele (1 Aug 38 - 21 Oct 38)

Maj. Walter Hagen (RK, EL) (15 Sep 39 - 2 Jul 40)



© H.L. deZeng IV, 2024

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References

  1. Dierich-VdL; Tessin-Tes; N.Kannapin-FpÜ; J-P.Défieux-Répertoire des Unités Aériennes de la Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Reconnaissance Aéronavale; M.Holm-website ww2.dk; F.Kurowski-Seekrieg aus der Luft: Die deutsche Seeluftwaffe im Zweiten Weltkrieg:28; Mahlke, Helmut, Stuka: Angriff – Sturzflug:45-46ff, 70; U.Balke-KG 2/Bd. I:407; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs).