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4.(H)/Aufkl.Gr. 23

Code: (6K + )

Formation and Training. (c.Jan 39 - Aug 39)

Formed early 1939 (January?) at Eschwege/40 km SE of Kassel (new) with Heinkel He 45s and He 46s.[1] (Ries; Tessin; Defieux).

Polish Campaign. (Sep 1939)

1.9.39: deployed from Eschwege to Juliusburg-South near Oels in Silesia with 12 He 45s and He 46s on receipt of the 26 August order calling for general mobilization. Assigned to support X. Armeekorps/8th Army for the 1 September attack on Poland, moving forward with the Corps from the area northeast of Breslau, across western Poland to the Kutno-Lodz area, the battle of encirclement along the Bzura River (9-10 September) and then the battle for Warsaw to the end of the campaign (19-27 September).

10.39: converted to the Henschel Hs 126, probably at Eschwege. As soon as conversion was completed, the Staffel was ordered to the German-French border area.

West - Attack on France and the Low Countries. (May 40 - Apr 41)

30.10.39: Hs 126 shot down by French Morane fighters over Bergzabern/Rheinpfalz to the west of Karlsruhe while spotting for German artillery, 100%, crew bailed out and safe.

11.39 – 4.40: training and occasional operational flights as the winter weather allowed - location or base not known.

10.5.40: believed to be under Koluft AOK 18 for the campaign in the West this date, and assigned to support X. Armeekorps through the Netherlands, along the Belgian coast and toward the end of May into the Dunkirk area. Following the successful evacuation of British and other Allied forces from the Dunkirk beaches, the Staffel may have been reassigned to support 7th Army, specifically XXV and XXXIII Corps, deployed along the Rhine between the Baden Baden area and the Swiss border for the attack into Alsace during June.

24.5.40: Hs 123 (Hs 126?) shot up over Tassey (not located).

30.10.40: Hs 126 damaged landing at Amsterdam-Schipol, 45%.

11.12.40: Hs 126B damaged taxiing at Hilversum/Holland, 5%.

North Russia. (Apr 41 - Jun 42)

4.41: transferred (probably from Holland) East around April 1941.

12.5.41: Hs 126 B-l crash landed at Graudenz/West Prussia, 25%.

22.6.41: East Prussia under Koluft AOK 16/Army Group North for the attack on the Soviet Union this date - assigned to support X Corps along a line of advance East Prussia - across Lithuania and Latvia - Pskov area (mid-July) - Lake Ilmen area (early August) - to the Valdai Hills area south and southeast of Lake Ilmen (September).

1.8.41: Fi 156 C-2 damaged taking off from airstrip at Michailevski, 20%.

7.8.41: 2 Hs 126 B-ls damaged taxiing at airstrip Kalenitsa.

12.8.41: a member of the Staffel’s ground staff KIA by machine gun fire at Staraya Russa at the south end of Lake Ilmen.

17.12.41: Fi 156 iced up and crashed near Pskov, 80%, Oblt. Julius Schmitt injured.

9.1.42: 4 Hs 126s destroyed at Nichayeva near Lake Ilmen to keep them from falling into enemy hands during Soviet offensive in the area.

1.42: Staffel now based at Soltsy/36 km N of Dno under Koluft AOK 16.

19.2.42: Hs 126 shot up by a fighter near Kholm, 8%.

1.3.42: Staffel reported 2 x Hs 126 A-1 and 4 x Hs 126 B-1 on strength.

3/42: still based at Soltsy under Koluft AOK 16.

21.3.42: Hs 126 B-1 destroyed in enemy bombing raid on Fp. Demyansk, 100%.

20.4.42: Hs 126 B-1 crash landed at Fp. Demyansk, 45%.

15.5.42: Hs 126 B-1 shot down by a Russian fighter over Demyansk, 100%, 2 KIA.

6.42: transferred to the central sector of the Eastern Front.

Central Russia. (Jun 42 - Aug 43)

20.6.42: Smolensk-Vyazma area under either Nahaufklärungsgruppe 2 or NAGr. 5 - Staffel reported 9(7) Hs 126s on strength this date.

27.8.42: ordered transferred from the Lw.-Kdo. Ost area to Luftflotte 1 for assignment to NAGr. 8 with station at Nikolskoye.

5.9.42: operating in the Spas-Demensk area/ESE of Smolensk - Staffel flew its 1,500th operational recce sortie this date. Since 1 September 1939, it had photographed 222,625 square kilometers of terrain during operations over Poland, Holland, France and Russia, assisted in the silencing or destruction of 354 enemy batteries, while losing a total of 10 aircraft, 14 killed and 20 wounded (Staffel report to 4th Army).

9.9.42: reassigned to NAGr. 8 this date, which was then en-route from Crimea to Gatchina on the Leningrad front; however, there is no evidence that the Staffel ever moved from the central sector back to the northern sector of the Eastern Front.

28.10.42: 4 Hs 126s hit by bombs during Russian raid on Fp. Smolensk-North, 10% to 80% damage.

23.11.42: Smolensk-North under NAGr. 5 in support of VI Corps and XXXXI Panzer Corps.

26.11.42: Hs 126 B-1 crash landed at Smolensk-North due to engine failure, 70%.

26.12.42: Hs 126 shot up by a fighter in Planquadrat 2677, 20%, 2 WIA.

29.12.42: Hs 126 B-1 (20%) and Fi 156 (100%) hit by bombs during air attack on Smolensk-North.

28.1.43: Hs 126 (6K+JM) shot down by AA-fire in Pl.Qu. 1648, 100%, 2 MIA.

1.3.43: Staffel reported 8 x Hs 126 B-1 and 1 x Hs 126 A-1 on strength.

17.3.43: Hs 126 B-1 collided with another aircraft at Smolensk-North, 80%.

4.5.43: ordered to transfer from Smolensk-North to Kharkov-Alekseyevka for operations under Luftflotte 4.

2.6.43: Hs 126 shot down by a fighter in Pl.Qu. 61351 (Belgorod area north of Kharkov), 100%, 2 KIA.

6.43: departed Russia for Germany to convert to the Bf 109G and renamed 2./NAGr. 5 in August 1943.

FpN:4.(H)/23 (L 32471).


Maj. Adalbert Filips (  ? -  ? ) 9/39

Hptm. Peter-Eberhard Müllensiefen (  ? -  ? ) 1942, 4/43

Also see:

BERTSCH, Heinrich, Oblt.

BÜHL (BUEHL), Herbert, Oblt.

BUTTLER, Walter, Lt.

DEMER, Hermann, Lt.

EHLERS, Wolfgang, Hptm.

FEIGL, Franz, Oblt.

HAASE, Heinrich, Oblt.

HEIDLAND, Hans-Joachim, Oblt.

HERBEL, Gerhard, Oblt.

IPPICH, Friedrich, Lt.

NEBEL, Erhard, Oblt.

SCHMITT, Julius, Oblt.

WITTMANN, Heinz, Lt.

© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress). (1st Draft 2021)


  1. J.-P.Défieux - Répertoire des Unités Aériennes de la Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Reconnaissance Aéronavale (Nanterre, privately published, n.d. (c 1988-90?); K.Ries - Luftwaffen Story 1935-1939; Tessin, Georg, Deutsche Verbände und Truppen 1918-1939: Altes Heer, Freiwilligenverbände, Reichswehr, Heer, Luftwaffe, Landespolizei; G.Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Zweiten Weltkrieg 1939-1945, 16+ Bde., Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte (Osnabrück, 1980); W.Dierich - Die Verbände der Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Gliederungen und Kurzchroniken – Eine Dokumentation; N.Kannapin - Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945; U.Balke - Der Luftkrieg in Europa: Die Operativen Einsätze des Kampfgeschwader 2 im Zweiten Weltkrieg, Teil I, p.398; AFHRA Maxwell decimal Karlsruhe Collection KC-Kl13.309-3/ v.1; BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 2 II/278; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-312 roll 187/4119, roll 188/768; roll 305/792); PRO London: AIR 40/1975; 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); TsAMO Podolsk RG 12454, Akte 405:f.4.

Aufklärungsgruppe 23

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