Verbindungskommando (S) 1
Code: (F7+ _ _)
Ordered formed February 1942 at Pskov/North Russia. Renamed Schleppgruppe 1 in October 1943.
1.(DFS) Staffel/l: L 49 381 (*6/42 by renaming 6.(DFS 230)-Staffel. 11 Nov 43 renamed 1.(DFS)/Schleppgruppe 1).
1 (Go) Staffel/l: L 49 091 (*6/42 by renaming 3.(Go 242)-Staffel. +Oct 1942).
This glider detachment was initially assembled in February 1942 at Pskov (Pleskau) in North Russia as Go-Kommando/Luftflotte 1 from a handful of Go 242s. Some or most of these had been brought to Tartu (Dorpat)/Estonia in January for snow trial tests. Quickly reinforced with additional gliders from Germany, it was used to resupply the German forces surrounded in Kholm to the southeast of Pskov. The gliders were towed to the objective by Ju 52s, and then either came down on the nearby airfield or, later, on the town's streets after the airfield began to come under intense machine gun and rifle fire. A total of 81 Go 242 sorties were flown to Kholm between February and early May, with most of the gliders and a number of the crews being lost. In June, Go-Kdo./Luftflotte 1 was renamed Verb.Kdo.(S) 1.
During the second half of 1942 the Kommando's 1.(DFS) Staffel flew supply missions from Riga to Pskov, and to Gatchina near Leningrad. The Go Staffel was not used after the Kholm operation, and the remaining gliders and personnel were transferred to Lechfeld in October and incorporated into I./LLG 2. In December, a composite assault company (Sturm-Kp./Verb.Kdo.(S) 1) was put together by III./LLG 1 and transferred from Goslar to Riga. Intended for an attack on the Russian naval fortress at Kronshtadt, it moved to Gatchina airfield/41 km S of Leningrad (St. Petersburg) on 28 January 1943, but the attack was cancelled and it returned to Riga a few weeks later where it was disbanded and its assets taken over by 1 (DFS) Staffel.
VK(S) 1 sent a detachment of DFS 230s to Zaporozhye in South Russia in February 1943 and another to Nevel, north of Vitebsk in Central Russia. The Nevel detachment made a number of supply runs to the German garrison cut off in Velikiye Luki. In April, several cargo-hauling missions were undertaken to the Lake Ilmen area, and then in May the Kommando was ordered to Yugoslavia by way of Austria, where it was to rest and refit for a week or two. In October 1943 Verb.Kdo.(S) 1 was renamed Schleppgruppe 1. 
Kommandeure (Commanding Officers)
Oberst Otto Brandes (7/42 - ? )
Hptm. Walter Dittmar (c. 1/43 - 10/43)
Pskov/N.Russia (2/42 - c. 5/42)
Riga-Spilve/Latvia (c. 5/42 - 5/43)
Wiener Neustadt/Austria (5/43 - 6/43)
Belgrade-Zemun/Yugoslavia (6/43 - 10/43)
Equipment and Returns
Hs 126s, Avia 534s, DFS 230s and Go 242s (1942 - 10/43).
Reported 11 Hs 126s and Avia 534s, and 15 DFS 230s on strength 1/43.
Reported 6 Hs 126s and 8 DFS 230s on strength 5/43.
Representative Losses Verb.Kdo. (S) 1
2-4.5.42: 7x Go 242 gliders intentionally destroyed by own crews to prevent capture by the enemy at Kholm, all 100%.
6.10.42: DFS 230 glider crashed near Siverskaya airfield in NW Russia, no details.
26.9.43: DFS 230 crashed south of Krusevac/Serbia airfield, 80%, 2 injured.
21.11.43: 1 man from the unit KIA at Zemun near Belgrade by Partisan small arms fire.
BRANDES, Otto, Oberst. Kdr. 7/42.
BRANDT, ? , Oblt. Führer Einsatzkommando d. 1.(DFS)/VK(S) 1.
DITTMAR, Walter, Hptm. Staka Feb – Jun 43. Kdr. Jun – Oct 43.
SONNEBORN, Walter, Lt. WIA.
WERNER, Erhard, Oblt. Staka 1.(Go)/Verb.Kdo. (S) 1.
See: Ketley, Barry. Luftwaffe Emblems 1939-1945. Manchester: Crécy Publishing Limited, 2012.
Distinctions and Remarks
First operational use of the Go 242 glider under combat conditions (Kholm, 2/42).
© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2023).
(1st Draft 2023)
- Sources checked: BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); BA-MA Freiburg: Flugzeug-Bereitstellungen (Aircraft Availability Status Reports – FzB) in: M.Holm-website (ww2.dk); AFHRA Maxwell: decimal K113 Karlsruhe Collection. AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.619 British AirMin P/W interrogations, ADI(K) series, microfilm rolls A5400-05, interrogation; AFHRA Maxwell: decimal 512.619 British AirMin CSDIC P/W Interrogation Reports in microfilm rolls A5415-18; British National Archives ULTRA signals; U.S. National Archives: RG 242 T-312 roll 861/frame 100; Kannapin, Norbert: Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945, 3 Bde (I – III) (Osnabrück, 1980-82); Morzik, Fritz: German Air Force Airlift Operations, USAF Historical Studies: No. 167. New York: Arno Press, 1968; Schlaug, Georg: Die deutschen Lastensegler-Verbände 1937-1945: Eine Chronik aus Berichten, Tagebüchern, Dokumenten. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag, 1985. ISBN: 3-613-01065-8. Hb. Dj. 296p. Illus. Maps. Appendices. Glossary of abbreviations. Bibliography.
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