II./KG z.b.V. 323

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Revision as of 21:49, 31 August 2022 by Swoicr (talk | contribs) (Created page with "'''<big>II./KG z.b.V. 323</big>''' '''Formation. (Jan 43)''' Formed on or about 1 January 1943 at Leipheim in S Germany by renaming all or part of KGr.z.b.V. 104with a Gruppenstab and 4 – 6. Staffel. As with I./KG z.b.V. 323, it was equipped with the 6-engine Me 323 transport, a total of 24 being authorized. The crisis at Stalingrad and the urgent need for ever more airlift capacity to supply the surrounded 6. Armee curtailed the time available for formation, conver...")
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II./KG z.b.V. 323


Formation. (Jan 43)

Formed on or about 1 January 1943 at Leipheim in S Germany by renaming all or part of KGr.z.b.V. 104with a Gruppenstab and 4 – 6. Staffel. As with I./KG z.b.V. 323, it was equipped with the 6-engine Me 323 transport, a total of 24 being authorized. The crisis at Stalingrad and the urgent need for ever more airlift capacity to supply the surrounded 6. Armee curtailed the time available for formation, conversion training for the former KGr.z.b.V. 104 personnel and workup in Germany, and the Gruppe was ordered East shortly after the beginning of February, but arrived too late to take part in the Stalingrad operation.[1]


Central and South Russia. (Feb 43 – Mar 43)

28 Jan 43: Me 323 crash landed at Fp. Leipheim due to pilot error, 60%.

Feb 43: the bases used by II./KG z.b.V. 323 following its deployment to the Eastern Front are not known, but it appears to have been mainly involved in hauling equipment and supplies (i.e., replacement engines, spare parts, etc.) from the rear area air matériel depots at Lvov and Warsaw to forward airfields such as Konotop where desperate efforts were being made to concentrate field overhaul and workshop maintenance units to refurbish air formations depleted during the heavy fighting along the upper Don west toward Kursk.

15 Feb 43: Me 323 (WNr. 1220) crash landed at Lvov in poor visibility, 15%.

24 Feb 43: Me 323 (WNr. 1103) flew into the ground, crashed and burned at Fp. Warsaw-Okecie, 90%, 6 KIA and 4 WIA.

1 Mar 43: Me 323 (WNr. 1105) damaged its undercarriage while landing at Fp.Konotop/210 km ENE of Kiev, 15%.

16 Mar 43: Me 323 (WNr. 1105) crashed at Fp. Konotop, 100%, 5 KIA and 1 WIA.

29 Mar 43: 5. Staffel Me 323/WNr. 1251 crashed and burned while landing at Fp. Leipheim, 100%, 2 WIA. The front now stabilized in the East, this incident marked the brief return of the Gruppe to Leipheim prior to its transfer to the Mediterranean to reinforce airlift operations between Italy and Tunisia.


Italy and North Africa. (Apr 43)

1 Apr 43: Me 323 (WNr. 1104) crashed while taking off from Fp. Vicenza/N Italy, 70%, 2 WIA.

4 Apr 43: Me 323 (WNr. 1125) crashed landed at Fp. Vicenza, 70%, 1 KIA and 1 WIA from the crew, and 2 passengers KIA and 7 WIA.

7 Apr 43: Me 323 (WNr. 1123) damaged landing at Tunis, 50%.

12 Apr 43: at Naples-Pomigliano.[2]

13 Apr 43: 5(6?) Me 323s (WNr. 1116, 1212, 1221, 1232, 1233, 1235?) bombed on the ground at Fp. Castel Vetrano/Sicily, 100%, 2 @ 60% and 2 @ 40%, 1 KIA.

22 Apr 43: 7 Me 323s (C8+AR/WNr. 1115, CC/WNr. 1239?, CP/WNr. 1225, DN/WNr. 1245, DP/WNr. 1226, EP/WNr. 1224, ER/WNr. 1114) shot down off Cape Bone by South African P-40s, all 100%, Gruppenkommandeur Obstlt. Stephan + 5 others KIA, 47 MIA and 10 WIA. Like I./KG z.b.V. 323, the Gruppe was hauling fuel to Tunisia. Immediately following this disaster, the Gruppe ceased all further airlift operations to Tunisia.[3]

25 Apr 43: Me 323 (WNr. 1223) caught fire while being refueled at Fp. Pomigliano, 100%, 2 WIA.

1 May 43: renamed II./TG 5.[4]


FpNs:Gruppenstab and 4. – 6. Staffel (or 5. – 8.?) (L 35369)



Kommandeur:

Obstlt. Werner Stephan (Jan 43 - 22 Apr 43) KIA


© by Henry L. deZeng IV (Work in Progress, 2022).

(1st Draft 2022)

References

  1. Tessin-Tes; K.Kössler-Transporter – wer kennt sie schon!: Die Kennzeichen der Transportfliegerverbände der Luftwaffe von 1937-1945; J-L. Roba – “The Messerschmitt Me 323 in 1942-1943” in Luftwaffe Verband Journal No. 5; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs).
  2. PRO London: DEFE 3 ULTRA signal ML1542.
  3. K.Kössler-op cit; J.Prien-Geschichte des Jagdgeschwaders 77:1528.
  4. K. Kössler-op cit; Tessin-op cit., N.Kannapin-Die deutsche Feldpostübersicht 1939-1945.

KG z.b.V. 323

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