KGr.z.b.V. 5

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KGr.z.b.V. 5

Kampfgruppe z.b.V. 5

(Unit Code: L5+ and/or S3+)

Formation. (Feb 42)

Ordered formed early February 1942 at Radom/Poland with 22 Ju 52s, 50 He 111s, and probably at least some crews taken from Blindflugschule 7 which was based at Radom. Initially, only one Staffel was set up in mid-February, probably with Ju 52s. The remaining 3 Staffeln did not become operational until 31 May.[1]

North Russia and Germany. (Feb 42 - Jul 42)

18 Feb 42: assigned to air transport and supply support duties in the Luftflotte I area of North Russia; ordered this date to airlift Polizei-Btl. 305 (600 men) from Central Poland to the airfields at Siverskaya and Krasnogvardeisk near Leningrad; on completion, ordered to Breslau-Gandau in Silesia for further airlift duties. Troop and supply transport tasks continued during the balance of February and early March, with stations at Warsaw from 25 February to 5 March and Heiligenbeil/East Prussia from 5 to 9 March.

9 Mar 42: transferred to Pskov-West for participation in the Demyansk airlift, and then moved to Riga on 13 March for air supply operations in support of German troops surrounded at Kholm, where several He 111s were lost on 4 and 5 April.

27 Mar 42: minor He 111 crash at Fp. Korovye Selo/30 km N of Ostrov on the Leningrad Front.

1-17 Apr 42: He 111H crashes and accidents at Pskov, and Riga in conjunction with air supply missions to Kholm.

19 Apr 42: returned to Heiligenbeil, and then on 12 May moved to Diepholz in Germany to rest and refit.

South Russia. (Jul 42 - Apr 43)

Following a week at Langenhagen between 6 and 15 July, reassigned to South Russia to support the advance on Stalingrad with station at Kharkov-Rogan from 16 July. In an average strength of 57 He 111s (the Ju 52s having been given up in mid-March), 24 officers and 260 men, hauled troops and supplies to

forward airfields west of Stalingrad as German 6th Army approached the city.

21 and 23 Jul 42: He 111 crashes at Tatsinskaya and Morosovskaya to the west of Stalingrad.

28 Jul 42: He 111 belly-landed at Kharkov-Rogan, 35%.

29 Jul 42: He 111 up shot and belly-landed at Nikolskaya, 25%.

1 Aug 42: transferred to Makeyevka near Stalino and continued operations in the Stalingrad area under VIII.Fliegerkorps. Very few losses were experienced through fall 1942, but this quickly changed on 19 Nov when the Red Army opened its counteroffensive at Stalingrad.

23 Aug 42: He 111 crashes at Kharkov-Rogan and Tatsinskaya.

6 Sep 42: He 111H-5 crashed at Fp. Stalino-North, 95%, 4 KIA and 1 WIA.

12-13 Sep 42: He 111 crashes at Fp. Makeyevka and Fp. Oblivskaya.

4 Oct 42: He 111H-1 crash landed at Fp. Taganrog, 25%.

20 Oct 42: He 111H-5 crashed at Fp. Oblivskaya, 35%.

22 Nov 42: two He 111s were lost this date: the first, an H-5, was blown up at the forward airfield at Tusov to keep it from falling into enemy hands, and the second, He 111 (L5+IH), failed to return from a mission. The crew of 5, including the navigator Hptm. Gerhard Bäss, were reported missing.

24 Nov 42: moved to Morosovskaya to take part in the now famous Stalingrad airlift, flying many missions into Stalingrad-Pitomnik airfield and hauling out wounded on the return flights, and then transferred to Novocherkassk on 29 December.

Jan 43: continued air supply support for the 6th Army surrounded in Stalingrad, moving to Voroshilovgrad on 14 January, where 3 He 111s were damaged on the ground during a Russian air attack on the airfield on 20 January, and then moved to Stalino on 21 January.

22 Jan 43: He 111H-11 belly landed at Fp. Taganrog, 35%.

24 Jan 43: He 111 landed at Kharkov-Voichenko after being shot up, 25%.

25 Jan 43: He 111 crash-landed at Fp. Stalino, 25%.

31 Jan 43: He 111 ran out of fuel and force landed E of Proskurov, 45%.

Feb 43: following the surrender of 6th Army at Stalingrad at the beginning of February, the Gruppe moved to Saki/Crimea where it was stationed on 15 February, still under VIII. Fliegerkorps. Several losses occurred over the next month: on 22 February a He 111 was shot up on the ground by Soviet fighters at Taganrog and destroyed; on 5 March another was shot down at Yuzhnyi killing the crew of five; on 19 March a Staffelkapitän, Hptm. Heinz Bona, was hit and wounded by AA fire during operations near Kastornoye to the west of Voronezh, this being one of the first instances of the Gruppe operating in the bomber role; and on 22 March He 111 (L5+MH), operating from Novocherkassk, failed to return from a mission.

25 Mar 43: ordered to transfer to Stalino for operations under Geschwaderstab/KG 55.

31 Mar 43: Gruppe in transfer to Samorsk/28 km NW of Kerch in eastern Crimea in company with all or elements of KG 55.

9 Apr 43: 2 He 111H-6s crashed at Fp. Zhitomir-South in W Ukraine, 35% and 20%.

12 Apr 43: 2.St. He 111H-6 (L5+DL) failed to return from operations in vicinity of Kropotkin/North Caucasia, 100%, 2 KIA and 3 MIA.

12 Apr 43: He 111H-6 collided with another aircraft while taking off from Fp. Zhitomir-South, 85%, Oblt. Gerhard Müller + 3 WIA.

15 Apr 43: 2.St. He 111H-11 (L5+CM) failed to return from operations in vicinity of Kholmskaya, 100%, 5 MIA.

17 Apr 43: He 111H-11 crash-landed at Fp. Samorsk, 35%.

20 Apr 43: He 111H-6 crash-landed at Fp. Zhitomir in bad weather, 85%.

21 Apr 43: He 111H-6 shot up - details not reported, 15%.

24 Apr 43: He 111H-6 bombed on the ground - no details, 20%.

27 Apr 43: He 111H-5 collided with another aircraft while taking off from Fp. Samorsk, 100%, 3 KIA and 2 WIA.

1 May 43: KGr.z.b.V. 5 was ordered renamed Transportfliegergruppe 10, which in turn became I./KG 55 on or about 10 June 1943.

FpN:Stab and 1. - 4. Staffel (L 24342)


Hptm. Reinhard Zahn (Feb 42 - Jul 42)

Maj. Fritz Uhl (DKG) (Jul 42 - 1 May 43)

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

(1st Draft 2022)


  1. NARA WashDC: RG 242/T-971 rolls 9 and 12 (KTB of KGr. z.b.V. 5); T-312 roll 812, frame 0365 (AOK 18 KTB and Anlagen documents); T-501 roll 235; BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 20/274-77, 281-84 (Koflug KTBs); BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); PRO London: AIR 40/1982; W.Dierich-Kampfgeschwader 55 “Greif”: Eine Chronik aus Dokumenten und Berichten 1937-1945; U.Balke letter to H.L.deZeng dated 8 July 1993. [Note: it should be noted that there was no connection between 17./KGr.z.b.V. 5, a glider unit from the 1939-40 period, and this KGr.z.b.V. 5, which was formed many months later.]

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