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Historical Notes

Western Europe: Spain


Feb-36

Popular Front (Spanish Communists + other left wing parties) wins the election.

18-Jul-36
19-Jul-36

Army garrisons revolt against the Spanish (Republican) government.


Spanish Morocco: Franco flies to Tetuan and takes command of the 25000
troops of the Spanish foreign legion. Asks germany for transport planes to fly
them to Spain. Hitler sends 9 Ju52s directly, and ships 11 more plus 6 He51s in
22000 t. merchantman Usaramo.
France: Popular Front Prime Minister Lon Blum promised assistance and sold
Dewoitine D.372 fighters, Bloch MB.210 and Potez 54 bombers to Spain.
Ju52s begin ferrying Francos 25000 troops 40 at a time, 5 trips a day from
Africa to Spain.
Teruel: First Republican bombing attack on Teruel a Vickers Vildebeest
flying out of Manises air field drops 6 bombs. It flies additional missions over
the next few days, occaisionally reinforced by Br XIXs..
Italy: Mussolini promises arms and troops to the Spanish rebels.
Malraux forms the Escuadra Espana. 14 D.372s brought to Spain to serve with
Escuadra Espana and the 2nd Lafayette Sqdn. Most aircraft arrived unarmed,
and were fitted with slow firing (400 rpm) Vickers 7.7mm MGs
First 7 Po.540s arrive in Spain, forming the 1st International Squadron.

20-Jul-36

23-Jul-36

24-Jul-36
5-Aug-36
8-Aug-36

11-Aug-36

15-Aug-36

The Usaramo arrives in (port?). 3 He-51s destroyed while training Spanish


pilots. Remaining three then flown only by German pilots.
Spanish Morocco: First Italian CR.32s arrive in Mellila from Italy. They begin
to fly up the coast and into Spain, eventually reaching Tablada airiport near
Seville as a base.
Madrid: First D.372 shot down by Italian CR.32s shot one down near Madrid.
Teruel: Continued raids by small flights of Republican Br.XIXs (2-3 aircraft
per raid 6 raids between 15-30 Aug.

23-Aug-36

Madrid: 1st large Nationalist air raid: 8 Ju52s each carrying 1x 250 kg and 3-6
50 kg bombs escorted by 2 He51s attack Grotale air field near Madrid from
3000 m. Opposed only by AAA.
Teruel: 1st air-to-air combat in the area as two NiD.52 meet Angel Salas; Salas
shoots one down.

25-Aug-36

29-Aug-36

Kondor Legion He51 fighters get first kill when "Hannes" Trautloft shot down a
Breguet XIX recon biplane. Eberhardt downed a second Breguet during the
same encounter. The following day saw Knppel and Eberhardt dispatch one
Breguet each.
Sqdn leader Lieut. Antonio Haro Lpez intercepted and killed over Guadix by
the Italian pilot Magistrini in a CR.32.
Kondor Legion He51 downs a Nieuport fighter.
Kondor Legion He51 piloted by Eberhardt downs a Potez bomber (Po.540?)

30-Aug-36

Knppel, Eberhardt and Trautloft each destroyed a Potez 54. Trautloft shot

27-Aug-36

26-Feb-07

The Condor
Legion in Spanish
Skies
The Condor
Legion in Spanish
Skies
The Condor
Legion in Spanish
Skies
La Guerra Aerea
en el Alto
Palancia (Span)
French Aircraft
Over Spain (Hist)
French Aircraft
Over Spain (Hist)
Kondor Legion in
Spanish Skies

French Aircraft
Over Spain
(Dewoitines)
La Guerra Aerea
en el Alto
Palancia (Span)
Combat over
Spain
La Guerra Aerea
en el Alto
Palancia (Span)
Kondor Legion in
Spanish Skies
French Aircraft
Over Spain
(Dewoitines)
Kondor Legion in
Spanish Skies
Kondor Legion in

Page 3

Historical Notes

31-Aug-36
10-Sep-36
13-Sep-36

21-Sep-36
28-Sep-36
Sep-36

Western Europe: Spain

down, sending the biplane into a spiral dive. He bails out at 8000 ft and is
recovered.
Two CR.32s destroyed by D.372s of the Lafayette Squadron. A nationalist
NiD.52 piloted by Capt. Miguel Garca Pardo downed an 11th Group from
Getafe that was escorting a Potez 540.
Soviet technicians prepare Carmoli and Los Alcazares.
Two Ni-52 of the 2nd Sqdn shot down over Talavera by several Fiat CR.32
piloted by Italians from the "Aviacin del Tercio".
First Loire 46 combat (no damage either side). The a/c was well- liked by pilots,
but its combat history is not especially bold: 2 shot down, 4 destroyed on the
ground by the end of 1936.
Kondor Legion suffers its first fatality, when a junior pilot crashes an He51 (2
left) into a church spire in Vitoria.
30 I-15s delivered to (Republican) eastern Spain, marking the first aid to the
Republicans. Followed shortly by SB-2s, R-5s, and later I-16s. Russians also
supplied volunteer air crew, who rotated in, gained experience, and rotated
out. .
The most active month for D.372s. (Their inferiority to CR.32s was beginning
to show).

II-Oct-36

SB-2 first used. Could run at 250 mph at 16,500 ft & out-climb the CR.32.
Kondor Legion reinforced with 6 more He51s (8 total) plus more Ju52s.

III-Oct-36

12 I-16s arrive at Bilboa and take up station.

27-Oct-36

Escuadra Espanas best mission: 3x Po.540s (2 vet, 1 reg) bomb the airfield at
Talavera, where Francos staff was. Escorted by 3x D.372s. Intercepted but
undamaged by enemy fighters near front lines during return.

Late Oct36
5-Nov-36

200 Soviet pilots in Spain, including:


107th & 119th Sqdn (I-15s)
107th & 119th Sqdn (I-15s) used in large formations.

18-Nov-36
24-Nov-36

Due to the victories of the leading pilots, 60 more He51s shipped to Spain and
assembled, and were given to the Nationalist Spanish Air Force.
Cartagena bombed for 2 days.

20-Jan-37

He70 shoots down an I-15.

Mar-37

I-16s concentrated in 31 fighter Group (Grupo 31?). Of 1409 a/c supplied to


Republican Spain by the Soviet Union (of 1947 a/c supplied by outside nations),
475 were I-16s.
KGr88 attacks Republican airfields at Alcala and Barajas (Madrid).

3-Mar-37
16-Mar-37

26-Feb-07

KGr88s 3 flights are 4x He111s, 4x Ju86D, 4x Do17E-1 all attack Jarinto. Its
successful enough that 20 more Do17Es are flown in; in summer, becomes 2
sqdns of KGr.88.
He51s (and a single He112) destroy an armored train flying out of Almorox.

Spanish Skies
French Aircraft
Over Spain
(Dewoitines)
French Aircraft
Over Spain
(2nd Lafayette
Sqdn)
French Aircraft
Over Spain (Loire
46)
The Condor
Legion in Spanish
Skies
Red Falcons by
Robert Jordan
French Aircraft
Over Spain
(Dewoitines)
Red Falcons by
Robert Jordan
Kondor Legion in
Spanish Skies
Red Falcons by
Robert Jordan
French Aircraft
Over Spain
(Escuadra
Espana)
Red Falcons by
Robert Jordan
Red Falcons by
Robert Jordan
Kondor Legion in
Spanish Skies
Kondor Legion in
Spanish Skies
Kondor Legion in
Spanish Skies
Polikarpov I-16
on Aviation
History
(Book on German
DBs)
Air War: Do.17E
(Russian)
Kondor Legion in

Page 4

Historical Notes

26-Apr-37
Jun-37

Jul-37

Western Europe: Spain

Northeast Spain: With the Basque Front threatening to collapse, Kondor Legion
bombers are dispatched to destroy the Guernica railroad station. Instead, they
bomb the whole town, bombing blind through the dust, killing
The Republicans form the 71st Coastal Defense Group, with Dewoitine fighters
part of its first squadron. Its mission was to patrol from El Carmol, La
Aparecida, La Rabasada, Castelln, Reus and Baolas airfields. Breakdowns
and accidents were frequent, but there was only one loss: Sgt. Antonio Bocquer
Morata was killed when his D.371 crashed 31-Dec-38.
Brunete: The Battle of Brunete features large air battles of clashes of patrolling
fighters

Spanish Skies
Kondor Legion in
Spanish Skies
French Aircraft
Over Spain
(Dewoitines)

(Book on German
DBs)

I-Jul-37

Brunete: During the first week of July 1937, the German Condor Legion
launched a spectacular coordinated attack on Spanish Republican forces. Bf109B fighters flew top cover for He-111s which attacked both strategic and
tactical targets. He-51 biplanes barreled in below 500 feet, strafing and
bombing troops and anti-aircraft batteries. The biplanes came in waves of nineacross, wingtip to wingtip, each carrying six 10-kg fragmentation bombs and
dropping them together. The resulting carnage demolished the morale of the
surviving troops. So effective was the onslaught that by the time the Heinkels
completed their runs, the attacking Spanish Nationalist troops were within hand
grenade range of the Republican defenders.

Kondor Legion in
Spanish Skies

1-Jul-37

Toledo: Escuadrilla 1/26 sent 12 I-15s to patrol the Avila road. Near Toledo,
they were met by an equal number of CR.32s. The Natinalists claimed 6 shot
down, the others driven off.

Soviet Biplane
Aces Yakushin

6-Jul-37

Brunete: At dawn on 6 July 1937 escuadrilla 1/26 was flying over the North
Railroad Station in Madrid when they saw a group of He-51 flying towards
them. Unexpectedly the He-51s were attacked by ten I-16 from 1\21 escuadrilla.
Three He-51 were shot down over the Queens Bridge. The I-16s and I-15s
joined to patrol over Boadilla against a group of Do-17 bombers. Two Do-17s
were shot down, one pilot captured by the Republicans. During his
interrogation, he said he was an advisor to Himmler.

Petrovich:
Yugoslav Ace of
Spanish War

In the evening 19 squadrons (10 Fiats CR.32) from group Asso di Bastoni
attacked 12 I-15s from 1/26 come back from reconnaissance. 2 Fiats were shot
down, 3 others crash-landed.
7-Jul-37

Madrid: In the early morning Kaptain Ivan Yeremenko took his escuadrilla and
fly towards Madrid to join with Lakeyev's escuadrilla in the air. Meanwhile the
escuadrilla of Aleksandr Minayev was flying over the front line. The antiaircraft
defence opened fire upon the Republican fighters over the Delicias railroad
station. Fiat CR.32s appeared from the Princess Bridge side. Dogfights began
over the Delicias railroad station and Andalusia Bridge. A group of Ju52/3ms
and Do17s appeared from the western side and Minayev's escuadrilla flew to
intercept the bombers but Fiats attacked the l-l5s and dispersed them.

Soviet Biplane
Aces Yakushin

Jose Redondo (Spanish I-15 pilot), was wounded and L. Rybkin shielded him,
but both were forced to fight nine Fiats. Two Fiats collided and were set on fire.
Rybkin and Redondo joined with M. Petrov and I. Karpov. At that moment
Yakushin, Yeremenko, and Anatoly Serov attacked the leading group of Fiats
from above. One Fiat was shot down, pilot bailed out. Pilots of 1-15s and 1-16s
saw four Bf-109s in the area, but none attacked the Republican fighters.
Austrian Walter Korrows I-15 was shot down by a Fiat. Yakushin attacked this
Fiat and destroyed it in the air. Serov claimed two CR.32s.
The Fiat CR.32s involved in this combat were from 23o Gruppo led by

26-Feb-07

Page 5

Western Europe: Spain

Historical Notes

Maggiore Zotti; they claimed three l-l5s and three 1-16s for the loss of two Fiats
- Gino Passeri (killed) and Alfonso Mattel (parachuted safely).
9-Jul-37

12-Jul-37

Brunete: Petrovich shot down a Bf-109B in an air battle over Avilla. This was
his 5th victory and he became an ace. (Some sources credit the kill to both
Bozhko and Ptukhin attacked a Bf-109 and shot it down.)
Brunete: Morning: a flight of I-15s (Vet, Reg, Reg/Ace) was ordered to
intercept an He-111B long-range recon flying over the Sierra de Guadarrama
mountains. It was shot down by Petrovich. While flying back, the I-15s were
attacked by two Fiats that appeared unexpectedly over Soto aerodrome. One
Fiat attacked Petrovichs Chato and damaged it. However, a few minutes later
this Fiat was shot down by the other wingman almost over the landing strip.

Petrovich:
Yugoslav Ace of
Spanish War
Petrovich:
Yugoslav Ace of
Spanish War

Evening: Nationalist bombers were making a bombing raid over the BruneteBoadilla road on which the 13th and 15th International Brigades were on the
offensive. An escuadrilla of I-15s (Yeryomenko with Kuznetsov and Karpov as
wingman, Rybkin, Serov, Sorokin, Petrovich and Baumler) attacked the
bombers over the Mosquito and Rommanillas hills. Six escorting Fiats attack
Yeryomenkos flight but one Fiat was shot down by Kuznetsov and another
Bozhko. Then, unexpectedly, Bozhko apparently lost control of his aircraft and
crashed. The pilot perished, the only ace in the history of the Yugoslav Air
Force..
18-Jul-37

Sagunto: Decommissioned AV Dedalo sunk by German aircraft at Sagunto.

25-Jul-37

Madrid: In response to Nationalist (Kondor Legion) night raids, a small cadre


of Soviet pilots begin to fly night patrols in I-15s. Their first night, they drive
off a 3 engine bomber. The next two nights they shoot down 2 Ju52s
22 Aero A-101s captured at sea put into use by Nationalist AF as Grupo 17.
65 Sqda of the Avionze Legionaria formed, equipped with single-seat Ba.65s.
Santander: Nationalists concentrate airpower in the north, destroying most of 4
republican fighter squadrons during campaign..

Aug-37

Sep-37

Capt. Salas becomes commander of 2-G-3.

Oct-37

Final northern Nationalist offensive.


Do17F-1 combat tested in Spain.

15-Oct-37

A ground strike on Garapinilios airfield, Zaragoza. Taking part in the attack was
following units and aircraft:

26-Feb-07

Unit

A/C

Base

Commander

1a/Gr. 26

twelve I-15s

Bujaraloz

Antonov

2a/Gr. 26

nine I-15s

Sariena

Aleksandr(?) Smirnov
(mixed Spanish / Russian
Escuadrilla)

1a/Gr. 21

six I-16s

Caspe

Aguirre

2a/Gr. 21

ten I-16s

Caspe

Pleshchenko

3a/Gr. 21

nine I-16s

Hijar

(Boris) Smirnov

5a/Gr. 21

seven I-16s

Escatrn

Ivanov

World Aircraft
Carrier Lists:
Spain
Soviet Biplane
Aces Anatoly
Serov
Red Falcons by
Robert Jordan
(Ba.65 web site)
(Book on German
DBs)
WWII Ace
Stories: Salas - A
Fighter Ace in
Two Wars
(Book on German
DBs)
Do17F-1 info
Soviet Biplane
Fighter Aces
Stepanov

Page 6

Western Europe: Spain

Historical Notes

6a/Gr. 21

eleven I-16s

Puig Moreo

Gusev

The I-15s strafed and bombed with the I-16s providing air cover. About 60
planes claimed, but the real losses were only three Ju52s, six CR.32s and three
He46s. Other aircraft were damaged by fire. The Republican aircraft only
suffered one damaged I-15
28-Oct-37

At 03:00 hrs three S.81s of the 251a Squadriglia, XXV Gruppo BN. took off
from Alcudia to bomb the airport of Sabadell. The formation leader Capitano
Nicola Ruggeri would drop his war-load first, so that the fires caused by his
incendiary bombs would allow the other two aircraft carrying 15kg bombs, to
choose the best targets. Reaching their target at 700 meters, the tri-motors were
met by the MG AA fire placed on the hills south-west of the airfield, and then
by an I-15 flown by Starshiy Leytenant Stepanov. Stepanov (supported by
another I-15). Stepanov shot down the second aircraft, flown by Tenente Ezio
Maccani, He then tried to ram the third S.81 with the left leg of his I-15s
undercarriage. The S.81, which was badly hit, manage however to keep contact
with his leader. The two diverted to the secondary target, the explosive factory
of Badalona, which they bombed at 04:35.

Soviet Biplane
Fighter Aces
Stepanov

Dec-37

Teruel: Battle of Teruel begins; lasts through Feb-38.


3 Ju87A-1s sent to Spain and used in locations where little fighter activity
expected. 1 lost to ground fire.
Teruel: Ba65s of 65 Sqda Assalto attacks Republican tanks and troops with
bombs and MGs

(Book on German
DBs)

30-Dec-37
7-Feb-38

Oblt. Wilhelm Balthasar of 2./J88 claimed four SB-2s in 6 minutes while flying
a Bf109B-1.

22-Feb-38

Almirante Cervera (CL) bombed by Republican bombers and badly damaged.

Mar-38

Ebro: Do17F shot down by AAA.

12-Mar-38

During the Aragn offensive, 2-G-3 encountered enemy aircraft attempting to


stop the sweeping advance. During the afternoon eighteen Fiat CR.32, led by
Commander ngel Salas Larrazbal, escorted Ju52s on a raid, and then made a
sweep of the front as far as Hjar, where they encountered twenty Chatos. In the
ensuing dogfights, Salas claimed one probable, while Garcia Pardo destroyed
one Chato, which fell near Hjar. Guerrero set fire to another Chato, whose pilot
bailed out at very low height. Salvador attacked another machine, which began
to trail smoke, but he was unable to continue his attack as his Fiat was almost
out of fuel; unable to return to his base at Tauste, he had to land at Saragossa.
Carlos Serra, Carlos Bayo Alessandri and De Hemricourt each were successful
in shooting down an enemy machine.
A patrol of I-16s Tipo 10s of 3/21 (Republicans) commanded by the Mexican
Tarazona Toran was scrambled from Nules in the evening and intercepted a
patrol (4) of Bf109Bs, claiming 1 shot down in the Espadan mountains; the
Kondor Legion claimed one I-16 downed.

11-May-38

31-May-38

8 CR.32 of (Nationalist) 2-G-3 took off in company with Captain Murcias


squadron (3-G-3) to escort a number of Ju52s and Ro.37s over the Puebla de
Valverde sector.
On arrival they encountered 25 Chatos and ten Ratas. Combat began
immediately but the Nationalists protected the bombers, which, their task

26-Feb-07

Biplane Aces of
WW2: Ranieri
Piccolomini
WWII Ace
Stories: Salas - A
Fighter Ace in
Two Wars
Principe Alfonso
class Operational
History
Air War: Do.17E
(Rus)
Biplane Aces of
WW2: De
Hemricourt De
Grunne

La Guerra Aerea
en el Alto
Palancia (Span)
Biplane Aces of
WW2: De
Hemricourt De
Grunne

Page 7

Historical Notes

Western Europe: Battle of Britain (Night)

completed, made good their escape.


Eight I-15s and two I-16s were claimed shot down without losses. The
successful pilots were De Hemricourt (I-15), Salvador (2 I-15s and 1 I-16),
Simon (I-15), Vzques (I-15), Murcia (2 I-15s) and Meurza (I-16).

18-Apr-38

During this combat Commander ngel Salas was attacking a Chato when three
enemy fighters in turn attacked him. His Fiat was hit several times before he
managed to break away from the attack, but his machine was vibrating so badly
that he had to return to base.
Cartagena: Libertad (CL) bombed and damaged by Nationalist bombers.

15-Jun-38

Valencia: Republican gunboat Laya sunk by Nationalist aircraft.

19-Jun-38

10 Fiats of 2-G-3 took off at 18:00 led by Commander ngel Salas to escort
Ju52s bombing Puebla de Valverde. They encountered a formation of 18
Chatos, which they chased as far as Alcublas, where nine Ratas joined the fray.
Salas dived over the Chatos to attack, but was unable to fire his guns because a
leak had emptied his compressed air bottle. He continued to make dummy
attacks, being hit five times by the Ratas, one bullet puncturing the coolant
radiator. Salvador enjoyed better luck, destroying two Chatos, one of which
exploded in the air, the other following in flames. He then had to retire with an
overheating engine. Garca Pardo effectively removed a Rata from the tail of
Aristides Fiat by shooting it down. De Hemricourt downed a Chato near
Alcublas, then a Rata to the north of Villar del Arzobispo. Esteban Ibarreche
fired at a Chato close to the ground; it separated from the formation and fell near
to Higueruela. Ansaldo had to return to base when an engine cowling parted
company from his Fiat.

Belgian Biplane
Fighter Aces - PO
Count Rodolphe
Ghislain Charles
De Hemricourt
De Grunne

16-Jul-38

3 Ba65s destroyed the Asc Bridge over the Ebro with 100 kg bombs. Two
hours later six Ba.65s were back to strafe roads around the bridge, one shot
down and crash-landed near Gandesa, pilot suffering only minor wounds.
Ebro: A Do17F is shot by AAA down and crashes in the Ebro

Biplane Aces of
WW2: Ranieri
Piccolomini
Air War: Do.17E
(Rus)
Biplane Aces of
WW2: De
Hemricourt De
Grunne

5-Aug-38
14-Aug-38

2-Sep-38

2-G-3 CR.32s attack Ratas which had been chasing He111s over Gandesa.
Other Ratas and Chatos joined in. 5 Ratas claimed for 1 Fiat downed.
Republicans admit 1 Rata lost. Additional aircraft joined in; Republicans
claimed that 3 sqdns (1st, 3rd & 4th) fought 90 nationalist aircraft, including
Bf109s (7), He111s (27), He51s, and Fiat Cr.32s (2 sqdns),
Battle of the Ebro: Capt. Salas in a single pass shot-down 3 SB-2 bombers of
the 4o.Escuadrilla de Katiuskas of Grupo 24 and one Polikarpov I-16 of the
1 Escuadrilla de Moscas; it pilot bailed out.

Nov-38

5 Ju87B sent to Spain for combat evaluation.

28-Mar-39

Madrid: The Nationalists capture Madrid, ending the Spanish Civil War.

Principe Alfonso
class Operational
History
Spanish Navy

WWII Ace
Stories: Salas - A
Fighter Ace in
Two Wars
(book on German
DBs)

Western Europe: Battle of Britain (Night)


Sep-37

Rawnsley joins No. 604 Sqdn (reserve) in Hendon as mechanic

Aug-38

Rawnsley becomes Gunner. No. 604 Sqdn called up briefly for Czech Crisis.

Aug-39

German Zeppelin with observation car dropped flies along English coast 100
miles out to sea, with electronic ears on. They were looking for English radar

26-Feb-07

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Radar: A Wartime
Miracle

Page 8

Historical Notes

Western Europe: Battle of Britain (Night)

20-Nov-39
Jan-40

locations, but only received a constant hum all along the route (since Chain
Home was in place all along the route). The Germans assumed that the RAF did
not have radar, since they could identify no stations.
No. 604 Sqdn called up. Sqdn moves to North Weald, Essex, armed with
Blenheim Is. No real activity until May 1940. Sqdn does both day and night
work. Rawnsley paired with Cunningham.
Nothing better than flying at night (Luftwaffe bomber's perspective). Chain
Home sometimes gave a high reading, up to 1,000 ft off.
RAF Lockheed Hudson of No.224 Squadron, operating out of Leuchars, shoots
down a German Dornier Do18 flying boat of 2/Kstenfliegergruppe 506. First
victory recorded in WW2 for a US-built aircraft and is the first German aircraft
to be destroyed by a Royal Air Force aircraft operating from Britain.
12 Ju88As of KG.100 raid Rosyth dockyards, under strict orders to not bomb
land. 1 cruiser damaged. Attacked by No. 602 Sqdn (Spitfires) and No. 603
Sqdn (Gladiators). 4 Ju88A shot down. One of these carrying the X-Gert that
the Brits captured?
British warships at Rosyth in the Firth of Forth attacked by Ju88s of KG30
flying from Westerland. 3 Ju88s shot down by Spitfires of No. 602 Aux Sqdn.
Two Luftwaffe air raids take place on warships at Scapa Flow. The first enemy
bombs to explode on British soil land on the Island of Hoy in the Orkneys.
Supermarine Spitfires of No.602 (County of Glasgow) and No.603 (County of
Edinburgh) Squadrons bring down a Heinkel He111 of Stab/Kampfgeschwader
26 near Haddington in Lothian. This is the first enemy aircraft to be brought
down on mainland Britain during the Second World War.
Harwich: He115Bs begin to (help) lay mines in English waters.
No. 604 Sqdn moved to Northolt.

15-May-40

No. 604 Sqdn moved to Manston on North Foreland.

31-May-40
18-Jun-40

No. 826 Sqdn (Albacores) attacks E-boat


No. 604 Sqdn gets its first kill at 16000 ft on a clear moonlit night. At 14,000 ft
was an He115. Radar (just Chain Home) generally not good enough to provide
full night intercept.
Brits introduce Blenheim IF w/ AI Mk III. Loads a/c.

24-Aug-39

Sep-39/
Jul-40
8-Oct-39

16-Oct-39

17-Oct-39
28-Oct-39

Jul-40
22-Jul-40
29-Jul-40

FO G. Ashfield, pilot, and Sgt RH Leyland, RO, destroy Do17 over Ford.
Luckily, they were perfectly positioned by chance w/ AI MK. III.
No. 604 Sqdn to Middle Wallop. Some a/c fitted with AI Mk III

31-Aug-40

No. 604 Sqdn has unsuccessful intercept at beginning of night blitz.

Nov-40

Havoc I w/ Turbinlite & AI Mk IV spotting for Hurricanes (of No.85 Sqdn).


Beaufighter IF w/ AI Mk IV introduced.

26-Feb-07

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Battle of Britain
by Len Deighton
British Military
Aviation in 1939
Johnstones book
Weapons of
Darkness by Price
British Military
Aviation in 1939
British Military
Aviation in 1939
British Military
Aviation in 1939

WarMachine 118
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Battle of Britain
by Len Deighton
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Battle of Britain
by Len Deighton

Brits propose 6 techniques for nightfighting:


1. Fixed patrol lines
2. GCI overland control - using data from the Observer Corps
3. GCI seaward control - using Chain Home radar
4. Predicted coast-in point defense
5. AI aircraft w/ searchlights (Turbinlite)
6. A/C w/neam receivers to fly up German navigational beams to intercept.

Nightfighter:
Battle for the
Night Skies by
Kevin Delve

Night Fighters being sent after KGr.100 He111 pathfinders using X-Gert.

Night Fighter by

Page 9

Historical Notes

Western Europe: Battle of Britain (Night)

12-Jan-41

Many get through.


Nearly 100 fighters (42 CR.42, 46 G.50, + 109s) escort 10 BR.20Ms 3 3x250 kg
bombs to Harwich. Shortly after TO, the 109s and G.50s turned back. The
attack approached Harwich at 14:40 hrs at 3700m. The RAF scrambled
Hurricanes from No. 17 and 277 Sqdns well in advance, and added some from
No.46. 10 miles off Harwich, No. 257 attacked from the north, 15.0 diving
down to 12.0. At the same time, 6 a/c from No. 46 attacked form the South.
They were hit from above by CR.42s. The RAF claimed 9 bombers and 5
fighters destroyed - actual was 3 and 3; Italians claimed 9 Hurricanes; actually,
2Rawnsley's
were slightly
firstdamaged.
kill.

Spring-41

Day battle dies off. Continues as Night Blitz

Spring-41

It's Never in the Papers


Off the Dutch coast, 1 Stirling vs. small tanker with medium flak, attacking
from fairly low. Pilot gets mad (due to flak), and makes several strafing runs
after bombs all gone.
Bombing England
He111 at night to Barrow, Furness to bomb a shipyard. Armed with 1 500 kg,
4x 100 kg (250 lbrs?), and some small incendiary canisters. Flew at 4000 m.
over the North Sea from Lille. Turned west and flew through cloud cover over
England to Irish Sea. Could not spot Furness after three circles around a wide
bay (Solway); gave up, turned south for Liverpool and found Barrow 10
minutes later. Lots of SLs and AAA from earlier bombers; also a fire. Dropped
bombs in the midst of the fire and left.
Updated AI equipment installed. Buggy at first.

11-Nov-40

Apr-41

May-41
2-May-41

Sep-41

Bombing England
He111 at night to Dumbarton shipyard in the Firth of Clyde. Start late evening
from Lille north to Texel, then north some 150 miles east of England over the
North Sea at 4000 m. at 300 kph. 1 hour into the flight, turned west over the
Cheviot Hills near Glasgow. Soon, lots of SLs and Heavy clouds of smoke.
Dumbarton itself was clear and visible in the moonlight. Dropped, then North
and back over empty Scotland to the North Sea.
Most of Luftwaffe goes East to Russia. Cunningham appointed commander of
No.604 Sqdn.
NFs trying to deal with Night Intruders (He111s and Ju88s). No. 604 Sqdn sent
to Norwich while No.255 Sqdn works up with AI.
Mosquito NF.II with AI. Mk IV being worked up.

Nov-41

Conference to standardize AI training. Found there is not much standardization.

Winter
41/42

Generally quiet. Germans mostly away at Russia, small Brit outgoing raids.

5-Feb-42

North Sea: No. 133 Sqdn, flying Spits over the North Sea, scores its first kill
when intercepting several Do217s during CAP over a convoy.
Sqdn No. 604 used as "all-weather" interceptors in poor spring weather. AI was
fine, but windows iced up. No accurate shooting was possible.
Cunningham and Rawnsley (Beau IF) vs. Hpt. Langer of "proving unit" of
KGr.100 (He111H). Beau starts 100 yds behind & in sight. Roll each turn for
sighting Beau. Start @ 5000 ft.
Updated Beau VIF? W/ AI MkVII. Narrow beam, but could see below 5,000 ft.

Jun-41
Jul-41

Apr-42
23-May-42

Jun-42

26-Feb-07

Rawnsley

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
War in the Air

Bombs Away!

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Bombs Away!

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
336th Fighter Sqdn
history
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley

Page 10

Historical Notes

Western Europe: Battle of Britain (Night)

Jul-42 to
Jan-43

Rawnsley with Group 81 Staff, working up AI training.

7-Sep-42

No. 71, No. 121 and No. 133 Sqdn becomes USAAFs 334th, 335th, and 336th
Fighter Sqdns, comprising the 4th Fighter Group, 8th AF, keeping their Spit VBs.
Instantly becomes the USAAFs most experienced sqdns and Group. They are
immediately put to work as escorts for small raids and running patrols
(Rhubarbs, Rodeos, and Circuses) over the Channel and France.
Posted to No. 85 Sqdn at Hunsdon N. Weale. Mossie IIF w/ AI Mk V. Sqdn
needed lots of training up.
4th FG transitions to P-47s. Many pilots missed the maneuverability of the
Spits.
Visited by Beau VIF w/ AI MkVIII

Feb 43

Mar-43
Mar-43 to
Apr-43

Apr-43

Assigned Mossie XV (modified to extra light, with wider wings and no cannon)
to hunt for high alt Ju86P at 43,000 ft over England. 10,000ft in 2 minutes,
28,000 ft in 10 minutes. Pressure Cabin.
Ju86Ps started in Dec-42 at nearly 50,000 ft. 3rd chased off by special Spit II.
FW190 FBs used as intruders.

16-Apr-43

FW190s first used as night intruders. 4 of 13 get lost or crash land in Kent. Not
a good start.

May-43

12-Jun-43

No 85 Sqdn to West Malling. Raids by 217s and Ju88As step up. AI MkX
displayed. Raiders try height, flying in at 30,000 ft.
A Ju88C-8 defects to England, landing in Aberdeen, delivering a Lichtenstein
AI radar.
Raids stay small. Luftwaffe takes 20% losses. Raiders are FW190s, Me410s
(which look like Mossies), Ju88As, Do217s. a/c issued Rose night glasses to ID
targets after near shootdowns of Mossies.
German night raiders hit Plymouth.

9-Aug-43

Up at night, 3 contacts were friendly a/c.

22-Aug-43

Chased a FW190 at 17000 ft at level max down to 2000 ft at level Max.

Oct-43

No. 85 Sqdn get AI MkX. Buggy at first. Wider than MkVIII (180 cone). Not
fully operational until Dec-43. RAF suspects Luftwaffe has tailing Radar
Warning system (Neptun Gert) - ~20 cone.
3 USN VPB sqdns (103, 105, and 110) operating out of St. Eval in PB4Y-1s
under RAF Coastal Command (Grp 19). Used for ASW/Anti-shipping patrols.
A flotilla of 12 German destroyers & TBs escort the blockade runner Orsono
(6951 BRT). Noticed by CC and USN (PB4Y-1) patrols. Several missions were
run against the enemy ships over a period of five days. Several a/c shot up,
including US VPBs, & various Sunderlands (from No. 201, 422 RCAF, and 461
RAAF were attacked by Ju88s & AAA).
Still using older Mossies w/ AI MkVII, w/ NO2 boost. Start phasing in new
Mossies.
Biggest raid since 40-41: 200+ raiders in 2 waves.
1st = FW190s and Me410s w/ dppel (chaff)
2nd = Ju88s, Ju188s, Do217s.
Brit NJs on their own, and cooperation with searchlight units.
US 422nd NFS transferred to England. First US NFS in ETO armed with P-61.

9-May-43
Jun-43 to
Jul-43

30-Oct-43
24-Dec-43

Jan-44
21-Jan-44

Feb-44

26-Feb-07

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
AAHS No. 23 Vol
4: Boise Bee.

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
AAHS No. 23 Vol
4: Boise Bee.
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
New Zealanders
with the RAF
(Chap 8)
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Instruments of
Darkness by Price
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Remembering the
1st Fight Against
Fascism
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
VPB 110 History
(pg 16)
VPB 110 History
(pg 17)

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley

US Army Air

Page 11

Historical Notes

Mar-44
May-44
13-Jul-44

4-Mar-45

26-Feb-07

Western Europe: Battle of Britain (Night)

Joined by 423rd (which became a Night photo Recon) and 425th NFS. Trained
up, and used vs V-1s (422nd claimed 5; 425th claimed 4) before invasion in June.
Cunningham posted to Grp Capt, No.11 group, Staff for NFs. Rawnsley to Ford
FIU (radar development)
J-Watch notes the 1st and only case of German aerial jamming
Ju88 nightfighter accidently lands at Woodbridge (tyhinking himself over France.
This gives the RAF technical branch a working SN-2 Lichtenstein radar, allowing
Serrate III to have the data to be effective against that radar.
Operation Gisela: Unternehmen (Operation) Gisela, sent 142 Ju88G nightfighters
of the Luftwaffe NachtJag Gruppen to intercept the allied bombers returning to
base at their most vulnerable point, just before landing. The marauding aircraft
crossed the North Sea at extremely low altitude at points between the Thames
Estuary and up the east coast to the North Yorkshire moors. That these intruders
were able to cross the North Sea coast without being picked up by English radar
operators seems to indicate a degree of complacency had set in amongst ADGB, as
the Luftwaffe appeared to be subdued.
The BC mission scheduled for that evening was a dual attack on the synthetic oil
plant at Kamen and a raid on the Dortmund Elms canal. 234 aircraft from the
northern 4 & 6 Groups took on the first mission, with 222 bombers from 5
Group, Lincolnshire, tackling the canal, departing bases at around 10.00pm on 3Mar-45. The mission ran smoothly, until the return, when they ran into the
intruders. On this clear night, some of the early returning aircraft had inexplicably
switched on their navigation lights much earlier than usual, despite warnings of the
dangers of possible predators, which was copied by those following. This gave the
circling intruders a clear, enticing target.
Having already claimed two Halifax Bombers of 158 Squadron returning to RAF
Lissett, near Bridlington, Hauptmann Johann Dreher (Iron Cross) flying his JU88
of 12 NJG, set his sights on a French 347 Squadron Halifax, returning to RAF
Elvington. At approximately 1.50am as Capitaine Notelle approached Elvington,
he received the warning of the attack, just as the airfield lights went out. He pulled
his aircraft up and headed north for Croft, narrowly escaping.
The nightfighter continued its attack on Elvington, strafing the road at a passing
taxi. Circling for another pass at 1.51am, the JU88 was too low, clipped a tree and
crashed into Dunnington Lodge, a farmhouse on the outskirts of the airfield.
Machine gun fire from the fighter had strafed the farmhouse, before the aircraft
crashed through one section of the building. The JU88 ended up in a field at the
junction of the Elvington and Dunnington roads.
This was the last German aircraft to crash on British soil during the war, preceded
by a 7 NJG JU88 crashing at Welton, near Lincoln at 1.48am and 5 NJG JU88
crashing near Halesworth, Suffolk, at 01.37am. Three French Halifaxes were
brought down that morning, though with miraculously few casualties. On route to
Croft in escaping the trap at Elvington, Notelles Halifax was hit three times by fire
from another JU88 before successfully belly-landing the burning aircraft at
Rockcliffe Farm, Hurworth, near Darlington. Notelle was treated at hospital at
Northallerton for a head injury. Sous-Lt Terrien, remaining at the controls of his
burning Halifax whilst the other six baled out, crashed at Glebe Farm, Sutton on
Derwent, close to the Elvington base. In a tragic irony, Capitaine Laucou, on his
first mission, was brought down near Orford Ness, Norfolk. Both he and the flight
engineer were killed, but the others baled out.
Intervention by Mosquito fighters brought this disastrous Night of the Intruders to
an end, but, in just a couple of hours, Bomber Command had lost 24 aircraft in
addition to the 9 reported missing on the raids themselves. The Luftwaffe also lost
21 fighters out of the 142 involved in the operation.

Forces in WW2:
Nightfighters
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Radar: A Wartime
Miracle
History of Serrate
Online Discussion
mentioning
Operation Gisela

Page 12

Historical Notes

Western Europe: Norway & Arctic

Western Europe: Norway & Arctic


9-Apr-40

10-Apr-40
1608 hrs
(London)

1820 hrs
(London)

11-Apr-40

1430 to
2030 hrs

1730 hrs

1946 hrs
(London)

12-Apr-40

13-Apr-40

26-Feb-07

Germany invades Norway by sea and by air. 5 Norwegian Gladiator IIs (Lt
Tradin, 2Lt Thorsager, Lt Krohn, Sgt Wadler, Sgt Schye, Lt Branthon; 2 forced
back to ground w/bad engines) vs. ~ 70 bombers and transports, followed by 80
more.
Gladiators at 5500 ft, Luftwaffe at 3500 ft. Luftwaffe was Ju52s of II/KGzbV1
& KGzvV103, escorted by 2 sqdns Bf110s of ZG.76 (1 to Oslo, 1 to Stavanger);
later group included He111s and Do17s.
3 No. 254 Sqdn Blenheim IVF (Flight Lt. Mitchell) were sent at 1415 t/o to
attack aircraft at Stavanger-Sola airfield. They encountered thick cloud at the
coast, and lost formation. 1 a/c (Sgt Rose) strafed the airfield in a dive attack
from 4,000 feet to 100 feet firing 2,000 rounds and claimed 2 a/c destroyed, 1
fuel truck on fire, and at the seaplane base 5 seaplanes hit. Luftwaffe losses
were 2 Junkers Ju52 transports from K.G.z.b.v. 107- one 100% and one 60%
damaged. Six Bf110C-1 from I/Z.G.76 were seen taking off to intercept. Lots of
light MG fire encountered wounded the pilot and damaged the undercarriage.
On the return, Roses Blenheim at 58.30N 01.08E encountered a II/KG26
He111 returning from an attack at Scapa Flow. The He111 was 60% damaged
and crash-landed at Stavanger-Sola where it was a complete loss. Roses aircraft
was hit by return fire. When Rose landed at Lossiemouth his undercarriage
collapsed and the plane became unserviceable.
Coastal Command Strike Orders: 5 Wellingtons from Lossiemouth sent to attack
the reported German transport Levante supported by two Blenheims (Levante
originally located at 0925 by a No. 201 Sqdn Saro London from Sullom Voe).
Six Wellingtons from Lossiemouth were to rendezvous with two Blenheim
fighters from Bircham Newton at Stavanger and attack the airfield at StavangerSola
5 Vickers Wellington IA from No. 9 Sqdn CC at Lossiemouth searched for the
4770-ton German merchant vessel S/S Levante (carrying aircraft fuel,
antiaircraft weapons, and 10.5 cm coastal guns- arrived 13-Apr at Trondheim)
north of Bergen unsuccessfully.
Two 254 Sqdn Bristol Blenheim IVF (FO Shawe and PO Illingworth) attacked
from 1,500 to 500 feet the Norwegian minesweeper Dristig (Vpl.Ltn.
F.Trjesen- 2.Minesveiperdivisjon) with machine-guns in snow and rain
showers in Hjeltefjorden (between Fedje and Rady islands). Light flack- one
dead (Trjesen- commander) and the ship was damaged and disabled.
Two 254 Sqdn Blenheim IVF (FO Bain and Sergeant A.W.Tubbs) flew out of
Bircham Newton to rendezvous with the 6 Wellingtons at Stavanger-Sola and
then escort them back to 18 Group. After reconnoitering the Stavanger area in
heavy 10/10 clouds from 3,000 feet, Bain decided not to wait for the
Wellingtons and immediately attack. Both Blenheims approached formation
abreast from the SE at 2,500 feet, using MGs in a steep dive. Light flak and
machine-guns returned their fire immediately. The Blenheims dove to 100 feet,
strafing parked aircraft and personnel, then climbed to 500 feet to fly over a
bluff.
In support of hunting the reported Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off southern
Norway, 9 Wellingtons with 2 254 Sqdn Blenheim escorts t/o Lossiemouth but
met rain, sleet and low clouds. They thus spread out their formation to search.
One Wellington No. 9 shot down- lost. The Blenheims had no contact with
enemy forces.
Coastal Command sent a series of attacks on Stavanger-Sola airfield of one or
two Hudsons each. One attack was more organized and included apparent
coordination with Blenheim fighters from 254 Sqdn and two Hudsons from 233
Sqdn were to coordinate an attack on Sola. The two types were ordered to attack

Online piece
about Gladiators

No. 254 Sqdn


history

No. 254 Sqdn


history

No. 254 Sqdn


history
No. 254 Sqdn
history

No. 254 Sqdn


history

No. 254 Sqdn


history

No. 254 Sqdn


history

Page 13

Western Europe: Norway & Arctic

Historical Notes

1114 hrs

1115 hrs

1117 hrs

17-Apr-40
0630 hrs

0715 hrs

753 hrs

0851 hrs

1115 to
1500 hrs
Jul-40
16-Oct-40
12-Jun-41

30-Jul-41

26-Feb-07

with different tactics- the Hudson bomb from 6,000 feet while the Blenheims
were to carry out a low level attack.
233 Sqdn Lockheed Hudson I (PO Rhein) from at Leuchars approached the
coast at 6,000 feet to attack Stavanger-Sola airfield. Went straight in and
bombed using two 250 lb. G.P. Mk IV bombs- one failed to release. Results
were not observed due to cloud cover.
At Stavanger airfield, 233 Sqdn Lockheed Hudson I (Sgt J.I.Hawken) from
Leuchars was shot down by a Junkers Ju88C-2 (Unteroffizier P.Lauffs) from
Zerstrerstaffel/K.G.30 at Stavanger-Sola while attempting to attack the airfield.
Two 254 Sqdn Blenheim IVF from Lossiemouth sent for low attack at
Stavanger-Sola. At 6000 ft, they spotted 6 Bf110C-1s over the field at 1000 ft.
RTB 1330 hrs
3 254 Sqdn Blenheims from Lossiemouth were ordered to meet HMS Suffolk at
59.33N 05.10E as fighter escort. Only 2 were sent.
2x 224 Sqdn Hudsons from Leuchars searched the Norwegian coast from
Stavanger north for reported German destroyers. They reached 59.44N 04.48E
at 0630 and could not locate anything due to low clouds 10/10 to 200 feet. They
searched south of this position for 30 miles. At 0632 they encountered 2
Blenheims from No. 254 searching for HMS Suffolk. The 4 a/c operated
together to 59.00N 05.40E when they split up. Hudsons and Blenheims
proceeded north in pairs.
two 224 Sqdn Lockheed Hudson I (F/Lt. Wright) from Wick located the
German submarine U.58 (Kapitnleutnant Herbert Kuppisch1.Unterseebootflottille) on the surface (apparently surprised; it had just left
Bergen) reported position 60.10N 05.09E Bjrnafjorden. Wright attacked with
two 250 lb. G.P. Mk IV bombs from 1,100 feet- no damage. The other Hudson
(Sgt Cargill) could not attack- the submarine had submerged. The 2 Blenheims,
N/254 and O/254 searched north to Bjrnafjorden and Sognefjorden.
O/254 was attacked by 2 Messerschmitt Bf110C-1 from I/Z.G.76. It fired 200
rounds from front guns at the first Bf110 and then evaded into clouds as the
second fighter was attempting to get behind him.
N/254 patrolled Bergen and sighted 3 Heinkel He59D seaplanes at
Kristiansholmen Island and strafed with machine-guns claiming one damaged.
Antiaircraft fire from machine-guns at the base.
3 Blenheims from No. 254 Squadron at Lossiemouth were to locate HMS
Suffolk at 59.44N 04.48E for escort- failed to locate.
7 He115 staffelen in Norway.
Raod vs. Tromso: HMS Furious launches 6 Skua to raid the harbor at Tromso.
One Skua flies to Sweden and ditches. Crew interned and returned in
December.
Fourteen
Beaufighters of Nos. 22 and 42 Sqdns depart from their bases in
Scotland to locate the German battleship Lutzow which had been sighted off the
Norwegian coast by a No. 114 Sqdn Blenheim. The vessel was sighted by Flight
Sergeant RH Loveitt of No. 42 Sqdn, and torpedoed during the night.
Raid vs. Kirkenes. HMS Victorious & Furious raiding Kirkenes airfield to
support Russia. Victorious was spotted at sea launching aircraft, so Kirkenes
was prepared: AAA manned and ready, Bf109Es up. 11 Albacores, 2 Fulmars
lost.
Petsamo: Raid by aircraft from HMS Furious. Furious launches:
Sqdn
812

a/c
12 Albacore

Armed
torpedos

Results

817

6 Albacore

bombs

1 shot down by AAA

800

6 Fulmar

No. 254 Sqdn


history
No. 254 Sqdn
history
No. 254 Sqdn
history
No. 254 Sqdn
history
No. 254 Sqdn
history

No. 254 Sqdn


history

No. 254 Sqdn


history
No. 254 Sqdn
history
No. 254 Sqdn
history
War Machine 122
FAA No. 810
Sqdn Profile
RAF History 1941

HMS Victorious
In Boston Public
Library
Postwar article
about the raid

1 lost

Page 14

Western Europe: Norway & Arctic

Historical Notes

There are no targets in Petsamo, frustrating the purpose of the raid.


Kirkenes: Raid by aircraft from HMS Victorious: Victorious launches:
Sqdn
827

a/c
12 Albacore

Armed
torpedos

Results
6 lost!

828

8 Albacore

torpedos

5 lost!

809

9 Fulmar II

2 lost.
Claimed 2x Bf110s, 1x Bf109

Victorious crews were inexperienced. They were attacked by 3 Bf109s and 6


Bf110s of 6./JG5. Attacked Bremse, a DD-sized artillery training ship; thought
2 possible hits (none actually); may have hit 2 small (<2000t) ships.

6-Sep-41

No. 828 Sqdn pulled off-ship to rebuild. Sent to Malta Mar-42.


Bremse was destroyed Sep-41 fighting 2 RN cruisers.
72nd IAP's base attacked in the Far North by Stukas with Bf109 escort. Boris
Safanov & 4 others attack, claiming 2 Ju87s, 3 Bf109s (none verified by JG5)

Black Cross/Red
Star excerpt by
Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

12-Sep-41

15-Sep-41

17-Oct-41

17-Dec-41

31-Dec-41

20-Mar-42

151 Wing, RAF flies in (from carrier Argus) to Murmansk (No. 81 Sqdn, 24
Hurricane II) and Arkhangelsk (No. 143 sqdn, 15 Hurricane II). The No. 81
Sqdn went into combat that day vs 5 Bf109s escorting an Hs126 on recon. 1
Hurri down; claimed 3 109s (1 actual) & Hs126.
Safanov shows his British guests how it is done in I-16s:
A Schwarm of Messerschmitt 110s from 1.(Z)/JG 77 was an escorting the
Stukas of Hauptmann Arnulf Blasigs IV.(St.)/LG 1, which were attacking
Soviet ground troops in the Zapadnaya Litsa region. Leutnant Heinz-Horst
Hoffmann, piloting one of the Bf 110s, spotted a lone I-16 below. Hoffmann
was one of the veterans of the Zerstrerstaffel, with three victories to his credit.
Without hesitating, he put the nose of his twin-engine fighter down to make an
attack.
Hoffmann didnt see the trap until it was too late. A dark green I-16 with the
bold inscription "Smert fashistam!" ("Death to the fascists!") painted in twofeet-high red letters on the side of the fuselage came arrowing down from
above. It was Boris Safonovs "White 11." Hoffmanns Bf 110 was hit in an
engine. The plane made a roll and went down from low altitude, exploding on
impact three miles west of Zapadnaya Litsa. Having scored his 12th victory,
Safonov turned against the Stukas. One of them went down in flames, Safonovs
13th victory. Shortly afterwards, the Russian ace caught a third German plane,
an Hs 126, and shot it down as well. On the following day, Boris Safonov
received the highest Soviet award, the Golden Star--the token of the Hero of the
nd
Soviet
Union.
72
IAP
lends staff to (new) 78th IAP, both in far north. Units receive 33
Hurricane IIs. Shortly after Russians begin to consider field changes to arms,
like trading 2 browning 7.92mm MGs for 1 12.7mm UBK w/ 100 rnds.
5 Soviet Hurricanes led by Safonov encountered 7 Bf 109s. During the fierce
combat in a polar night the Russians claimed three 109s (actual one Bf 109E-7
of JGr.z.b.V, its pilot returned). The Russians lost two aircraft. Lt. M. F. Bolkov
was shot down and killed, while Safonov force-landed on a frozen lake; picked
up by a UT-2 two-seater.
Boris Safonov, flying a Hurricane, claimed one He 111H-5 (piloted by
Unteroffizier Engelbert Roithmayr of 1./KG 26).
78 IAP, commanded by the top ace Boris Safonov, has most pilots transferred
out to a new Guards unit, 2 GSAP. 78th IAP filled with new pilots

Black Cross/Red
Star excerpt by
Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red
Star excerpt by
Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red
Star excerpt by
Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red
Star by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

26-Feb-07

Page 15

Historical Notes

Apr-42

17-May-42

Western Europe: Norway & Arctic

In April and May 1942 the Soviet air force suffered its heaviest casualties on all
fronts, including the one in the Far North. the heaviest losses in the whole year.
At that time PQ-15 and PQ-16 convoys steamed towards the USSR. The
Germans did their best to prevent deliveries of equipment to the Eastern Front.
The task of gaining air superiority fell to the fighters of JG5 Eismeer. Its
successes were largely achieved by the pilots of 6./JG5, in Bf 109F-2s and F-4s.

Black Cross/Red
Star by Bergstrm &

Early AM morning aattack by 13 KG30 Ju 88s escorted by nine II./JG5 Bf109's


against the ships of the PQ-15 convoy at Murmansk was beaten back by eight
Hurricanes led by a single P-40 conspicuously painted in U.S. Navy blue.

Black Cross/Red
Star by Bergstrm &

Mikhailovich

Mikhailovich

This was one of two Kittyhawks handed over to the CIC of VVS-SF, GeneralMayor Aleksandr Kuznetsov, and to the current top ace - the commander of
2GSAP, Podpolkovnik Boris Safonov - by the American delegation that arrived
with the PQ15 on May 6.
23-Apr-42

the Soviets lost 5 Hurricanes and an SB

28-Apr-42

2 GSAP led by Safonov lost 7 Hurricanes and 4 pilots.

10-May-42

11 Hurricanes failed to return: six of 2 GSAP and five of 78 IAP, five pilots
were killed.

18-May-42

tactical ("frontal") aviation lost five Hurricanes.

26-May-42

122 IAD PVO lost seven Hurricanes

30-May-42

The Northern Fleet Air Force flew 270 sorties in defence of the PQ-16 convoy.
In air combats the Russians claimed 7 Ju 88s and 4 Bf 109s shot down (in fact
the Luftwaffe lost a Ju 88A-4 and a Ju 88D-5). The Soviets lost a Kittyhawk
and two Hurricanes. Lt. Col. of Guards Boris Safonov was killed in the P-40E
Kittyhawk. By the time of his death he had claimed 20 victories.

Black Cross/Red
Star by Bergstrm &

4-Apr-43

The first successful torpedo attack by a Beaufighter; aircraft of No. 254 Sqdn
sank two supply ships off Norway.

Bristol
Beaufighter

3-Apr-44

Operation Tungsten: HMS Furious & Victorious vs. Tirpitz


Altenfjord is 3/4 mile wide (only 13 hexes!) with 3000 ft cliff sides. AA on top,
plus smoke generators. CVEs (Emperor, Pursuer, Sea Archer) had fighters,
one (Fencer) with Swordfish for AS work. Barracudas armed with 1600 & 500
lb bombs
First strike of 45 Corsairs, Wildcats, & Hellcats (~15 each) covering 21
Barracuda attack Tirpitz in Altenfjord. DBs came in from 8.0 ft. Wildcats and
Hellcats strafed ship & suppressed AAA; Corsairs stayed up at 10.0 looking for
interceptors (who never showed). Tirpitz begins to weigh anchor, then hit 9
times.
After first attack, Tirpitz moves back into place. Smoke in place for second
(smaller) strike. 20 DBs attack with smaller escort. Achieved 5 hits.
All hits from low altitude, which lowered penetration. Tirpitz wounded enough
so that it could not move (it was going to leave) having just finished repairs.
Operation Tungsten: Luftwaffe comes to defend Tirpitz, causing actual dog
fight w/No. 800 sqdn vs. Bf109Gs and FW190s.

HMS Victorious
In Boston Public
Library

530 hrs

630 hrs

8-May-44

15-Oct-44

Soviet 36th Air Division uses torpedo armed A-20Cs vs. convoy off Norway.

Nov-44

Lancasters carrying huge bombs hit Tirpitz.

26-Feb-07

Mikhailovich

FAA Sqdn
Histories (No. 800
Sqdn)
US Combat
Aircraft of WW2

Page 16

Historical Notes

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

Western Europe: France & Low Countries


Sep-37

Nov-39

May-40

10-May-40

France: In an attempt to prove their value to the General Staff, the 601 GIA
stages a raid, taking the General Staff prisoner. The Generals are impressed,
but annoyed at the cavalier impudence. The French paras are at least allowed to
jump more often.
Northern France: Both AdlA GIAs (Groupe dInfanterie de lAir paras) are
moved mfor their bases in southern France and Algeria to prepare to jump into
Walcheren in the event of a German attack on Holland. After a few weeks, the
plan is cancelled, and the GIAs are returned to their usual bases.
French radar: range 31 miles; no height information
No. 85 Group (RAF Lt bombers) in France
No. 96 Sqdn (Blenheims?)
No. 219 Sqdn (Blenheims?)
Belgium: 0420 hrs: Schaffen Airbase (main Belgian base) flown over by ~50
unknown aircraft; base alerted. 1 flight of Glads took off (and sqdn of Fox IIIs,
off for a gunnery exercise). A/C were He111s and Do 17s, escorted by
Bf110Cs. The Luftwaffe bombed and strafed a few minutes later. 2 Hurris took
off during battle. 4 Hurris destroyed, 6 damaged on the ground.
5 CR.42s of II Group are performing CAP over Brustem when attacked by 4
Bf109Es. 1 of each is shot down.
9 Fox VIs patrolling over the airfield at Vissenaken attacked by 12 Bf109Es
from 3./JG27. 3 Foxes, 1 Bf109 downed; all 6 others damaged.
0900 hrs: 2 Glads encounter 10 Bf109Es of JG/1 and are shot down.
1000 hrs: 3 Glads try to bounce Ju87s, but are attacked by Bf109Es, and are
shot down.
Holland: 0800 hrs: As part of the plan to seize the Dutch Royal Family, the
Luftwaffe bombed Ypenburg field to soften it up for an immediate raid by the
I/FJR.2 btn attempts to jump and seize Ypenburg airfield. The scattered
battalion was held off by light troops. A Dutch officer had been present at
Fornebu in Norway, and got small infantry units (reinforced company sized?)
stationed at Dutch military airfields. The attacking aircraft overflew the field
(the plan was to make the Dutch think the assault was against England), alerting
the Dutch, flew out to sea to come in from the west. This allowed the field
(actually, several fields), already alerted, to get some a/c up and to get its
defenders into position. The Luftwaffe flew (some of) the 22nd Luftlande Regt
to Ypenburg and landed. They took heavy losses from the Dutch
machinegunners who still held the field. Losses and being behind schedule
caused the Germans to land elsewhere. By the same time, they had seized
Ockenburg field (west of the Hague), which was held by a smaller, green unit
that did inflict heavy casualties before surrendering the field.

Quand les Paras


Etient Aviateurs
(French)
Quand les Paras
Etient Aviateurs
(French)

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley

The Battle for The


Hague, 1940.
Brongers, E.H.

Other FJs, jumping in company and btn strength seize key bridges in Western
Holland to limit or cut off aide from France.
1000 hrs: The Luftwaffe lands at Valkenburg, which was contrary to German
intel, not finished. The troops were able to land with minimal casualties, but the
Ju52s took a beating. Some 13 Ju52s landed near the Hook of Holland, more
due to its open beaches than anything else. However, this drew the attention of
some of the Dutch defense, as this was the water opening to Rotterdam. In the
afternoon, the Dutch DD Van Galen appeared and shot up the downed
transports.
[From what I have read, it seems that opposed German landings led to crash-assault
tactics that caused the brunt of German equipment casualties Uncle Ted]

26-Feb-07

Page 17

Historical Notes

11-May-40

12-May-40

13-May-40

Early AM
0700 hrs
1200+ hrs

1500+ hrs

14-May-40

26-Feb-07

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

By the end of the day, the Luftwaffe had some 200 Ju52s smashed on the
gound. 7th Fleiger Div and 22nd Luftlande was spread out in clumps; about
1,000 were dead and hundreds (1750 taken to England 12-May-40) were
prisoners
France: 400 hrs Raid by He111s on Calais airfields surprise F1C pilots, who
only get 4 Po631 in the air before field is closed. No aircraft lost in bombing.
These aircraft ran into Bf110s, and initiated combat. Several germans claimed
down in exchange for 1 Po631.
Later that morning, some are in action over Holland, downing 1 Ju52.
Belgium: 9 Belgian Battles (of 5/III/3Ae) try to attack 3 bridges over Meuse.
Glad escort is unable to rendezvous. Only 1 actually bombs. 6 Gladiators OF
1/I/2, to be the escort for the Battles attacking the bridges, met 8 Bf109Es. 4
Glads, 1 Bf109 downed. 4 Bombs hit their bridges 1 and 3, but the three did
not explode. Only 3 Battles and 2 Glad returned. This is Belgiums only
offensive air action in the campaign.
France: F1C trades 2x Po631 for 2 He111s. After this F1C not used as an
interceptor, but as an escort for F1A
Over Belgium
6 Defiants of No. 264 Sqdn with 6 Spitfire Is of No. 66 Sqdn flying over
northern Belgium spotted a large number (probably a Gruppe or two sqdns) of
Ju87B Stukas bombing a railway. The Defiants lit into the Ju87s, shooting
down 10. They were spotted and attacked by 5/JG26 at 8000 ft. 1 Bf109E-3, 1
Spitfire, and 5 Defiants were shot down
A Last Dutch Raid
Early on 13-May-40 was the last Dutch Offensive Raid. At 0509 hrs, the last
operational T-V medium bomber escorted by 2 G-1 twinboom fighters took off
from Schipol and flew to bomb the Moerdijk bridge. It made two runs and
missed the bridge, and then returned at tree-top level. However, they were
spotted by 4/JG26 (8-12 Bf109E-3s) who shot down the bomber and one G-1.
The remaining G-1 landed at Schipol at 0559 hrs.
Sedan: This is a day of key attacks in the Sedan area
Elements of two German Corps appear on the east banks of the Meuse near
Sedan and 40 miles north near Dinant.
First of several waves of Do17Zs hit French positions on the west bank.
Attacks do little but keep French heads down.
StGr76 Stukas under Col. Sigel loaded w/ 250Kg bombs divebomb French
positions at Sedan, sirens and all. They hit accurately. StGr77 under Col.
Schwartzkopf hit positions 3 miles downriver. The Stukas were well-protected
by fighters in Gruppe or Geshwader strenth. The French AA hit back in patrol
strength, and could do nothing. French troop morale drops.
Guderian crosses the Meuse in rubber boats. AT Donchery, a pontoon bridge is
built, covered by 88mms. More bridges cross at Montharme and Dinant.
Germans begin crossing by nightfall.
Sedan: Major attempt by RAF and AA to destroy the bridges over the Meuse.
The defenses include a full flakbattalion and Bf110s and Bf109Es.
First attack was by 10 Fairey Battles miss the flak, but miss the bridge.
Next several sqdns of French bombers including Am.143s, LeO451s, Br.693s,
M.17s and DB-7s. JG2 and JG53 in great evidence. 47 LeO451s lost; French
units avg 50% losses.
Afternoon: RAF tries again with 63 Fairey Battles and 8 Blenheims IVs w/
some Hurricanes and 200 French fighters as escort. Allied fighters tied up by
109s; 110s bore into bombers, as did heavy and medium flak (88s & 37s). One
sqdn lost 10 of 11 Battles. No. 12 lost 4 of 5 remaining after its bridge raid in
Belgium the week before. 40 of 71 bombers lost. Those that actually hit Sedan

La Campagne de
France

La Campagne de
France
JG26 Top Guns of
the Luftwaffe by
Donald Caldwell

JG26 Top Guns of


the Luftwaffe by
Donald Caldwell

Page 18

Historical Notes

16-May-40
17-May-40

18-May-40

19-May-40

20-May-40

21-May-40

IV-May-40

22-May-40
23-May-40

26-May-40

26-Feb-07

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

held up the German advance for about an hour.


Dusk: RAF Bomber Command (in France) sent 28 Blenheims. 7 lost, bridges
still intact.
Belgium: II Group vs. 8./JG3 near Fleurus (bitter fighting between CR.42s and
Bf109Es). 1 Bf109E, 5 CR.42s claimed, neither side actually lost an aircraft.
Holland: Attack on a Dutch bridge on Walcheren by Aeronavale force
Po631s of AC1, & LN40s of AB2&4 based in Berck. Attack results unknown.
Only 1 Came Back
Belgium: 12 Blenheim IVs of No. 82 Sqdn, armed with 4x 250 lb. Bombs were
sent to attack Gembloux airfield in use by the Luftwaffe. Their escorting
Hurricanes never showed, as they had already been intercepted by Bf109s. At
8,000 ft. in the attack area, they were jumped by 15 Bf109E-3s of JG3, then flak
over the field. 1 returned to base. 2 made it far enough to friendly lines to ditch.
France: 4 sqdns of Po.631 nightfighters, having proved little better as NFs than
they had as day fighters (lack of special sensing equipment), were used as attack
aircraft against German armored columns. 6 Po.631s lost (2 shot down, 2 simply
never returned).
Holland: Night attack by LN-40s of Aeronavale AB2 in the area of Flushing. 2
dont return.
Northern France: 2 Po631 attack Ju87s attacking DDs in Nieuport. They
down 2 Stukas, but are shot down by the escorting Messerschmitts (doesnt say
if 109s or 110s).
Northern France: LN-40s of both AB2 & AB4 attack a concentration of
German armor at the crossroads (crossing?) of Berlaimont on the Sambre. (1830
hrs) 50 km out, they begin to be attacked by flak, which follows them to the
target. At 1900 hrs, they bomb, diving from 3800 ft to 400 ft, afterwards
strafing convoys and other German vehciels in the area. They were hit by flak
again all the way back. 6 (perhaps half) of the attacking force returned, all
damaged. Mechanics put three to rights for the next days attack.
Northern France: V-156F (SB2U-2) baptism of fire: AB1, flying out of
Alprecht near Boulougne, was ordered to bomb a number of bridges that
crossed a canal near Origny-Ste-Benoite on the Oise River. The Navy pilots had
no training or experience in attacking land targets. The squadron was caught by
a flight of Messerscmitt Bf-109Es and lost five aircraft.
They were accompanied by some (3?) LN-40s of AB2 armed w/ 2x 150 kg
bombs. As the LNs were slower, they ended up 10 minutes behind,
accompanied by English fighters (Hurricanes). As the Bf109s had RTBd, the
LNs went in to hit the target. F1C used for ground attack.
France: A D.520 accidently attacks a Po.631, killing th pilot. It had mistaken it
for a Bf110, of a very similar shape.
F1B, based in Alprecht near Boulogne, pulls back to Dunkirk as Boulogne falls.
F1C is moved to Cherbourg. The final a/c had cleared the field when the first
tanks appeared.
Skuas over Dunkirk:
Skuas w/ Rocs
800 Sqdn
Skuas
801 Sqdn
Northern France: With Dunkirk surrounded, the suriving a/c of F1B pull out;
AB1s 4 a/c go to Cherbourg. One later rejoins them.
Northern France: 18 Late 298 sea-planes carrying 500 kg bombs attack
German-held bridges. 4 lost to German fire (implies AAA).
Northern France: MB.152s accidently attack and shoot down a Po.631
belonging to onf of the NG sqdns near Paris.
Northern France: AB1 flies additional missions vs. German armor & artillery

La Campagne de
France
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier

Air War: Po.631


(Russian)
La Campagne de
France
La Campagne de
France
La Campagne de
France

Vought Hertiage
Museum: V-156F

La Campagne de
France

Air War: Po.631


(Russian)
La Campagne de
France
Skua article in Air
Power
La Campagne de
France
War Machine No.
xxx (seaplanes)
Air War: Po.631
(Russian)
Vought Hertiage

Page 19

Historical Notes

31-May-40

1-Jun-40
2-Jun-40
5-Jun-40
6-Jun-40
7-Jun-40
8-Jun-40
9-Jun-40

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

until 4-Jun-40, losing 1 more aircraft.


France: DB-7s active with Groupement 2 (GB I/19, II/19, II/61. First raid by
DB-7s. 12 sent to St. Quentin region. 4 shot down
England: AB1s 5 SB2U-2s fly to Tangmere, and from there fly group support
missions over Dunkirk.
France: F1C personnel sent to Toulouse for fresh aircraft. It will take until 19June but the replacement aircraft will be D.520s!
France: Raid by 12 DB-7s on Somme River front. 1 shot down.
France: Raid by 5 DB-7 on Mealte Air Base. All survive.
France: Raid by 8 DB-7s on Royen region. 1 shot down.
France: Raid by 6 DB-7s and 6 M-167F on Aisne River bridges. 1 lost.
France: Raid by 4 SB2U-2 of AB1 vs German motorized column.

10-Jun-40

France: Raid by 5 DB-7s on Montmirail. 1 shot down.


Italy declares war against France.
France: Raid by AB-1 vs a bridge over the Seine at Elbeuf.

12-Jun-40

France: Farman F.224 of 602 GIA is shot down ferrying paratroop equipment
from France to maison-Blanche, Algeria. 2 KIA, 4 POWs.
France: Final raid before capitulation by 10 DB-7 at Chateau-Thierry. 1 shot
down. The rest were ordered to N Africa several days before Armistice (25Jun).
Southern France: AB3, flying V-156Fs based in Cuers, attacks targets of
opportunity in Northern Itay. One flight spots a sub and sinks it with 2 direct
hits.
France: An operation was begun to send 12 Blenheims and 12 Hurricanes to
the Mid East across France. This became a disaster, with most of the Blenheims
crashing and the rest returning to England. By 25-June, 6 of the Hurricanes
reach Malta and 3 are ordered to fly on to Alexandria.
Provence, France: Regia Aeronautica attacks French airfields, hoping to catch
French aircraft on the ground. During one, 7 CR.42 acting as high cover for a
strafing Gruppo (20 a/c) was engaged by 6 MB.151 of AC3 (not counting 2 shot
down on take-off), who shot down 2 CR.42. At Cuers, AB3 loses 6 V-156F to
strafing CR.42.
Provence: AB3 launches its last attack, raiding Porto San Stefano Liguria.
After this attack, AB3 was evacuated to Corsica.
Western France: British evacuation ships attacked.
1348 hrs: Oronsay (20,000 t. liner) attacked in Charpentier Roads off St.
Nazaire; hit by one bomb (from Do17).
1550 hrs: having waited another 2 hours, the over-loaded Lanacastria (16,243 t
liner) is hit by 4 bombs from a divebombing Ju88 of I/KG30 flying out of
Louvain, Belgium. 14 Ju88s took part; at least 1 Hurricane of No. 73 Sqdn +
MS.406s defended (1 MS.406 chased the Ju88 that hit Lancastria through divebombing run). 1 Ju88 downed. Lancastria armed w/ 1 4-inch gun, plus 3-4 Bren
LMGs available to troops aboard. They had stopped counting troops at 6000.
Lancastria sunk in 15 minutes; some 2500 were saved. Loss not announced for
some time by Churchills order.
Rochefort: AC1 & AC2 rearm with D.520s, and are then sent to Hyreres. On
24-Jun, like many units, they are ordered to fly to North Africa.
Bordeaux: 12 He111H-2s avoid the local air defenses to hit the heart of the city
despite the intervention of the Bloch MB.152s. The Luftwaffe easily penetrates
the new French capital killing 65 and wounding 160. The mission was intended
to stimulate the French government to quickly finalize armistice negotiations.

14-Jun-40

15-Jun-40

17-Jun-40

18-Jun-40
19-Jun-40

26-Feb-07

Museum: V-156F
AAHS Journal
Vol.13, #1,
French DB-7 use
La Campagne de
France
La Campagne de
France
AAHS Journal
Vol.13, #1,
French DB-7 use
La Campagne de
France
AAHS Journal
Vol.13, #1,
La Campagne de
France
Memoir 78:
Farman
AAHS Journal
Vol.13, Num 1,
Vought Hertiage
Museum: V-156F
Malta: The
Hurricane Years
by Shores, Cull,
and Malizia
La Campagne de
France
Vought Hertiage
Museum: V-156F
Vought Hertiage
Museum: V-156F
Sinking of the
Lancastria by

La Campagne de
France
Bombardment of
Bordeaux and the
Italian submarine
base BETASOM

Page 20

Historical Notes

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

20-Jun-40

France: French AAA shot down an Air France D.338 near Ouistreham

16-Oct-40

Bordeaux: 12 Hampdens of No. 44 (Rhodesia), and No. 49 Sqdns (5 Grp) took


off from Waddington and Scampton. Two a/c aborted due to foul weather; 4
aircraft the remaining aircraft delivered 900 kg marine mines (Deodar); the
other six experienced various breakdowns, with one a/c disappearing. The
mission was a partial failure.
Bordeaux: a larger number of Hampdens, along with some Blenheims (32 a/c
total) attacked the airport of Merignac, destroying 4 hangars and 6 a/c, including
4 FW.200C Kondors.

2-Nov-40

27-Nov-40

Western Med: Italian fighters shot down an Air France Farman F.224 airfliner.

8-Dec-40

Bordeaux: 44 R.A.F. a/c including 29 Wellingtons of No. 49 (5 Grp), No. 149


and No. 115 Sqdns (3 Grp), and 15 Whitleys of 4 Grp attacked the city itself
and more specifically the Italian submarine base at Bacalan. The bombardment
lasted over 5 hours and was facilitated by excellent weather conditions.

27-Dec-40

6-Apr-41

11-Apr-41

24-Jul-41

Feb-42

1-Feb-42
to
11-Feb-42

26-Feb-07

In the luminescent night, the "Bassin a Flot" (tidal basin) was perfectly visible
and the Wellingtons dropped their bombs from altitudes ranging from 1500 to
3600 feet. Each a/c carried 8 to 13 250lb bombs, while the Whitleys carried 250
and 500 lb bombs. The German MM (cargo and passengers) Usaramo (7775 t)
was hit and settled on the muddy bottom of the Garonne. The tanker Cap Hadid,
caught fire and was lost., The large French liner De Grasse (18450 t Italian
floating HQ) was only marginally damaged. The Italian base, and especially the
submarines, received minimal damage. The civilian population bore the brunt;
16 dead and 67 wounded. Most bombs fell 2500 to 3000 meters from the base
toward the center of the city (Bacalan is to the north). British lost 1 Wellington
of the 115th Squadron, near Cardiff along with its 5 crewmembers.
Bordeaux: RAF attacks the airport of Merignac, west of the city w/ over 70
aircraft participated, but there was no report of any Focke-Wulf 200 "Kondor"
being destroyed.
Brest: 6 Beauforts attack the Gneisenau in Brest in the teeth of extremely high
AAA. 1 torpedo hits; pilot awarded VC posthumously.
Bordeaux: 11 Wellington attacked Merignac, demolishing two hangars, two
FW 200, two He111, and a Do215. The R.A.F. lost one bomber. Meantime,
aerial reports from British fliers informed the High Command that the number
of submarine in port was substantially increasing, but no action taken.
France: Major daylight raid on Brest by RAF by 99 a/c (including Grp 11 ftrs).
14 Halifaxes sent to La Pallice (alone) for Scharnhorst while Main Force hit
Brest (Gneisenau damaged). Jumped by 12-18 fighters. 5 shot down, 5 took 3
weeks to repair, others took less damage. Whole raid suffered 14% loss.
Average Bomber Command attack uses 300 long range bombers, including 69
heavies (mostly Stirlings).
England: Bomber Command is supposed to have 300(!) bombers waiting to act
against a breakout of the German Capital ships in Brest (Operation Fuller).
Keeping that many a/c idle annoyed Bomber Command; they only kept 100
bombers on alert. Operation Fuller included practice for a co-ordinated night
attack by 32 MTBs and Esmondes No. 825 Sqdn of Swordfish, No. 217 Sqdn
of Beauforts, which had been moved to the FC field at Manston, lit by flares
dropped by Hurricane FBs. Pizeys Sqdn of old DDs was also on alert in
Harwich during this time; they were to intercept anything that managed to get
through the Dover Straits. The Fuller plan was not widely disseminated down
to squadron leader level; nor had a day attempt to force the Straits of Dover by

Plane crash Info:


1940
Bombardment of
Bordeaux and the
Italian submarine
base BETASOM
Bombardment of
Bordeaux and the
Italian submarine
base BETASOM
Bombardment of
Bordeaux and the
Italian submarine
base BETASOM

Bombardment of
Bordeaux and the
Italian submarine
base BETASOM
RAF History 1942
Bombardment of
Bordeaux and the
Italian submarine
base BETASOM
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Page 21

Historical Notes

8-Feb-42

11-Feb-42
1930 hrs

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

day been considered.


Scotland: A temporary move of No. 42 Sqdn from Leuchars (where it had been
kept to use against Tirpitz) to Coltishall is ordered. However, it is delayed 4
days due to a snowstorm and hazardous flying conditions.
Dover: some 26 MTBs are sent back to their normal stations across southern
and eastern England.
Brest: Within minutes of leaving the wharf to break out, the German capital
ships are stuck in Brest by an air raid. From 01745 to 2030, 16 Wellingtons raid
Brest. While nothing was damaged, it did delay their departure for about nearly
2 hours. All clear finally sounded at 2114 hrs.

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

[IMHO, this worked to their advantage on the other end; another 1.5 hours of
daylight in the afternoon might have allowed the RAF to score. Uncle Ted].

2130 hrs

12-Feb-42

0413 hrs
0630 hrs
0750 hrs
0824 hrs

0835 hrs

26-Feb-07

Brest: later still due to fouling cables while exiting the harbor. The Germans
then steam through the night making up time.
Channel: There were generally three radar armed night patrols looking for
traffic through the Channel. The western patrol, covering Brest, shut off its
radar about 19:30 over Brest after a close encounter with a Ju88 nightfighter. It
did not come back on. They tried fixing it aloft, which did not work, and so
returned to base. They tried repairing it on the ground, and after 50 minutes
returned to their mission. By the time they returned to station at 22:40 hrs, the
German flotilla had left and was 50 miles away.
The middle patrol also lost their radar in mid patrol. After flying around for a
while in dark conditions, they flew home at 21:15 hrs. They were not replaced.
Operation Thunderbolt: The air operation covering Operation Cerberus
(moving Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, and Prinz Eugen, 7 DDs, and 50 smaller
vessels (Minelayers, TBs, E-boats) from Brest to Germany through the
Channel.). Pits 250 Luftwaffe fighters (Bf109s and FW190s) plus 30 110 Night
fighters vs 250 bombers (Swordfish, Blenheims, Hampdens, Wellingtons, "4
engine" Beauforts using Torpedos, bombs, and mines guarded by 15 sqdns of
Hurricanes and Spitfires. The attackers were hampered by poor weather that got
worse as the day went on.
Of 242 pursuing aircraft, only 39 found targets. Weather kept bomb drops to as
low as 200 ft. Total of 17 Luftwaffe fighters, 17 RAF fighters, 20 bombers and
6 Swordfish shot down.
Details: Galland put 16 ftrs (4 Schwarm)/shift over the ships, two schwarms
high, two low. Each shift flew 30 minutes, with 10 minutes overlap with
previous shift.
RAFs J-Watch notes German jamming.
Channel: The German flotilla speeds east up the channel through the night
undetected by the RAF. Without a (detected) breakout, the RAF and RN forces
on alert for a week were stood down for a bit of rest.
Channel: Ciliax hears of new minefield discovered off Boulogne, right in the
flotillas path.
Channel: Flotilla off Guernsey. The dawn patrol over the eastern Channel ends
early due to fears that the fog would to be too thick to allow for landing.
Channel: First batch of day fighters appear, hovering at 3000 ft.
England: Swingate radar detects circling fighters, and notes that the swarm is
moving NE at about 25 knots, some 25 miles north of Le Havre. Tracked for an
hour. When reported, told not to worry about it.; eventually, two Spitfires did
get sent. To investigate. Part of the Luftwaffe effort includes 2 He111s
equipped with jammers that simulated 25 fighters swirling around at 2 other
points in the Channel.
England: The Coastal naval forces tagged for Operation Fuller allowed to

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

First and the Last


by Adolf Galland
German Navy in
World War 2

JG26 War Diary

Radar: A Wartime
Miracle
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco!
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John

Page 22

Historical Notes

0900 hrs
1010 hrs
1026 hrs
1016 hrs
1040 hrs

1140 hrs

1145 hrs

1155 hrs

1200 hrs

1210 hrs
1215 hrs
1219 hrs

1223 hrs

1225 hrs
1232 hrs
1245 hrs

26-Feb-07

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

standdown.
Scotland: No. 43 Sqdn gets a break in the weather and take off to fly to the FC
field at Coltishall. Type M radar begins to be jammed; Type K band radar
unaffected.
England: Kenley and Hawkinge (No. 91) patrols take off, each a pair of
Spitfires.
Channel: German ships reach the new channel, which is not fully cleared yet.
They slow to 10 kn for about half and hour.
England: Swingate detects 3 big blips 52 miles out in the direction of Boulogne
and wonders if it is ther German BBs.
Channel: Two patrols, each of a pair of Spitfires, tangle briefly with German
fighters (12 109s) and flak, and spot the German fleet. 1 radios the report, the
other reports 20 minutes later on landing. Both try to contact Dowding
immediately, but are put off by his staff for about an hour while he is reviewing
Belgian air units. Admiral Ramsay on alert, beings to try to coordinate attacks.
Manston: Gleave (station commander) and Esmonde (CO No. 825) alerted.
Battle plans locked in a safe. Esmonde given choice about attacking; he goes.
The Biggen Hill Wing (3 sqdns for top cover) & the Hornchurch Wing (2 Sqdns
for close escort) alerted; told to be over Manston at 1225 hrs.
Coltishall: No. 42 Sqdn lands after beging delayed on the flight form Leuchars.
3 a/c are unarmed. The Mobile Torpedo Servicing Unit, based 150 miles away
in North Coates, is ordered to Coltishall its first activity during the war. They
will not arrive until dark. 2 a/c go u/s; others kept waiting until all are ready.

Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Dover: LCdr Pumphreys 5 (Fairmile D) MTBs clear the breakwater. 2 smaller,


faster boats w/o torpedos (Vosper MGB) follow.
Thorney Island: No. 217 calls manston to request fighter escort at 1330 hrs. 2
planes had been loaded with bombs, not torps, and it would require time to
change them (had they left immediatelyt, they could have caught up to the
Swordfish and attacked with them).
Channel: Flotilla off Cape Gris Nez. Joined by 2nd, 3rd & 8th TB flotillas (15
TBs) + 2nd, 4th, 6th E-boat flotillas (15? eboats).
Harwich: Capt. Pizey receives his orders, and immediately gets his 6 DDs
underweigh. 6 Hunt DEs move to escort, but once clear of Harwich, these are
sent back (too slow & no torpedos).
Channel: Pumphreys boats spot a sqdn of low-flying FW190s (gear down,
flaps, looking for Swordfish).
Channel: Flotilla enters the thinnest part of the Channel
Channel: South Foreland battery of 9.4 guns fires its opening salvo. 14 rail
guns considered too inaccurate for this use; 15 naval cannon not yet installed.
Target invisible, tracked only by radar. No fall of shell info for first shots. Only
in range for 20 minutes enough for about 5 salvos. Last three, the shells gave a
radar return. German guns in Calais send 3-4 answering salvos that land in
empty fields.
Channel: MTBs send report of 2 BBs, 1 BC, 20 DDs and TBs and E-boats. Eboats are faster and move in a row to intercept the MTBs. TBs behind them lay
smoke. MTBs closed as best they could under fire from E-boats and launched
from long range. All missed or were dodged. No fighter cover..
A Gallant Sortie: Esmonde and No. 825 takes off from Manston and circles at
1500 ft, waiting for the fighters; (warned they would be late)
A Gallant Sortie: S/Ldr Kingscombe arrives with 10 Spitfires of No. 72 Sqdn.
He had been told about escorting to attack a convoy not warships. They leave
Swordfish at 50 ft, Spits at 2.0 just under cloud ceiling.
Manston: No. 64 and 411 RCAF Sqdns from Hornchurch finally arrive 10+

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco!
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John

Page 23

Historical Notes

1250 hrs
1255 hrs
1318 hrs
1325 hrs
1335 hrs

1355 hrs

1400 hrs
1415 hrs

1430 hrs:

1440 hrs
1445 hrs

26-Feb-07

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

minutes late. No. 64 flies towards Calais and sees nothing, then goes home.
411 RCAF flies in the right direction.
Channel: After 15 minutes of flying, No. 825 and escort find the German
flotilla, attacking from the rear.. No. 825 attacks in 2 flights of 3. Escort first
sees 6 Bf109s down low and then a whole mess of FW190s, and they engage
at about 3:1 odds. Swordfish best by AAA and fighters as they closed (at 90
kn). First flight all managed attacks 2 at Prinz Eugen, 1 at Gneisenau,
launched at long range, all missed. Esmonde destroyed (direct hit by heavy
AA), other two shot down, 1 having flown a bit back toward Dover (picked up
by MTBs, who saw flight attack and stuck around in case needed.). Total of 5
survivors.
2nd flight all destroyed by heavy AA during approach. No survivors. No. 72
Sqdn claims 3 fighters, loses 1-2 Spits.
Ramsgate: the three Ramsgate MTBs leave, and head for interception.
Channel: 411 RCAF Sqdn tangles with fighters over the BBs. Shortly
afterward, Biggin Hill Wing appears late; No. 401 RCAF claimed 1 Bf109
down & 1 damaged. No. 124 Sqdn
North Sea: Pizey, at sea, given a better estimate of German position & speed
(original speed was from when Germans slowed down in minefield). He speeds
up to 28 kn and takes a chance to head through a minefield (no damage).
Thorney Island: No. 217 Sqdn launches 4 a/c under PO Carson after a german
convoy 20 minutes late.
North Sea: Walpole turns back due to bad engines. It is attacked by a
Wellington until the Wellington is driven off by a Bf109! Ju88 spots the DD
flotilla; drops bombs and misses, and warned German Navy of their presence.
Manston: Spitfires over manston (escort for No. 217) sent on to battle, to meet
the Beauforts over the battleships. Manston tries to contact No. 217 flight using
Morse but No. 217 had exchanged their Morse systems for radio telephones.
No one told Manston.
Manston: No. 217 flight circles waiting for escort, while Manston control tries
to contract them to tell them of new plan. Carson and a wingman fly off toward
the last eport contact now 50 miles behind the current German position. The
other two circle.
Channel: Germans through the worst piece of minefield. Ciliax speeds flotilla
to 20 kn
Channel: 3 Ramsgate boats tangle with Eboats and DD Fredrich Ihn. They
never see the capital ships.
North Sea: 12 Hunt-class Des ordered to patrol 40 east of Harwich leave the
Thames estuary. The 5 Hunt-class ships in Harwich ordered 13 miles SE of
Harwich.
Coltishall: No. 43 Sqdn (finally) takes off with 9 torpedo-armed Beauforts
under S/L Cliff.
England: RAF bombers now begin to take off in drops and drabs, with vague
instructions. First wave of 73 bombers take off in singles and pairs with vague
directions. 12 Beauforts of No. 86 Sqdn land at Thorney Island. They flew to
Coltishall for torpedos, only to find there were none (the Mobile Torpedo Unit
had not yet arrived), and flew back to Thorney Island to be loaded.
North Sea: Pizey clears the minefield.
Holland: Admiral Ciliax reaches the Scheldt. Scharnhorst strikes a mine and
halts. Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen continue. Ceiling less than 1000 ft; visibility
less than 1 mile.
Holland: Adm Ciliax & crew transfer to Z.29, leaving Scharnhorst with 4 TBs
as escort.
Manston: The two circling Beauforts of No. 217 land due to lack of fuel. They
are finally briefed while their aircraft are refueled, and take off again.

Deane Potter

JG26 Top Guns of


the Luftwaffe by
Donald Caldwell
Fleet Air Arm
book

Fiasco
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Page 24

Historical Notes

1453 hrs

1517 hrs
1530 hrs

1540 hrs
1542 hrs

1545 hrs

1547 hrs

1550 hrs

1556 hrs
1600 hrs

26-Feb-07

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

North Sea: Typical of the bomber experience, No. 241 Sqdn flew 12
Wellingtons with 6x 500-lb bombs toward the Dutch coast; ceiling down to 500
ft. Only 1 pilot saw what he thought were German warships, and there he
dropped his bombs. Another turned to pursue a wake, when attacked by a
Messerschmitt, which vanished into the clouds. One Wellington (CO) failed to
return. Of 242 bombers sent, 15 were lost, + 5 CC Hudsons and Beauforts.
North Sea: Pizey clears the minefield. MacKay & Worcester attacked by a
Hampden
Manston: No. 42 arrives over Manston only three minutes late. Makes good
rendezvous with 11 Hudsons of No. 407 RCAF (armed with bombs and ASV),
and with 20 Spitfires overhead. No. 407 was told they would be guided to the
target, without being told what the target was. No. 42 was told the Hudsons
would guide. Manston tried to clarify over the Morse, but the Hudsons (and the
Beauforts) had the radio telephones, so no one could not talk.
Holland: Scharnhorst under way again, soon making 27 kn.
Meanwhile, the three remaining aircraft of No. 217 (under PO Ethridge) flew to
Manston, had no orders and landed. They were briefed by the incredulous
Gleave and went off, over the Dutch coast before dipping under the murk right
over the German battle squadron. Ethridges a/c was damaged by flak before he
could drop; he was hit by British flak crossing the coast back home and landed
wheels-up in Horsham St. Faith. The other 2 a/c were jumped immediately by
fighters a Bf109 and an FW-190 but held on to attack Scharnhorst from
either side and escape damaged but alive. The torpedos missed.
Carson returned to Manston after a futile search; got briefed, and went out
immediately without waiting for other aircraft to refuel. He flew through the
flak of E-boats and DDs and made a run dropping at range 2000 yards and
missed by only 20 yards..
North Sea: Campbells radar shows blips 9.5 miles away when 22 miles off
Hoek den Holland.
Manston: After the Beaus formed on the Hudsons, and the Hudsons formed on
the Beaus, No. 42 Sqdn lead in the general direction. 6 Hudsons flew with
them. The other five waited andother 30 minutes for orders, then at 1600 hrs
returned to Bircham Newton.
North Sea: RN DDs spot gun flashes in the murk the German ships, some 4
miles off.
North Sea: The other element of Carsons flight of No. 217 reach the battle
area. They both drop torpedos, but miss.
North Sea RN DDs see the Germans very clearly; they are near enough that
German a/c fire off recognition symbol. Germans begin to zigzag, mostly due
to RAF attacks.
North Sea RN opens fire with guns. Germans figue out who they are an fire
back, while RN DDs maneuver for torpedo shots. Whitshed and MacKay attack
Prinz Eugen from 4000 yds, but miss.
North Sea: Campbell and Vivacious close to 3500 yds and fire torpedo but
miss. They turn away as German DDs appear ahead. Worcester continues to
close.
North Sea Worcester closes to 2500 yds as both Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen fix
her and open fire. Worcester is hit by three heavy shells. Worcester fires her
torpedos, but they pass between Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen. Worcester is
shelled for another 3 minutes; her. engines die and she nearly founders.
North Sea: Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen secure their main guns as the British
DDs fall behind and disappear in the murk.
North Sea: 6 Hudsons of No. 407 RCAF soon lose the Beauforts in the clouds,
but their ASV radar soom picks up strong blips. When close, they dove through

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter
Fiasco! by John
Deane Potter

Page 25

Historical Notes

1606 hrs

1700 hrs
1718 hrs

1741 hrs

1826 hrs
1850 hrs
1930 hrs
1955 hrs
2025 hrs
2135 hrs
2239 hrs
2400 hrs

4-Jul-42

19-Aug-42

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

the clouds, spotted the German DDs and E-boats, and attacked, losing 2 aircraft
to AAA and/or fighters.
Holland: Scharnhorst gets reports of combat; air activity around her picks up.
T.13 is badly damaged by near misses and is escorted into Hoek of Holland by
another TB.
North Sea: S/L Cliff and the Beauforts of No. 42 could see both the RN and
German ships form the air but could not necessarily tell them apart! 1
Beaufort dropped a torpedo vs Campbell but missed. There was fighter activity
and other air actions at the same time. All torpedo shots missed.
Manston: 12 Beauforts of No. 86 Sqdn arrive over Manston, but find no fighter
escort.
North Sea: Worcester has steam and an engine working and slowly makes
way. Campbell and Vivacious move off at 20 kn.
Holland: Damaged TB Jaguar is escorted into the Hoek of Holland by
Friedrich Ihn, passing Scharnhorst..
North Sea: 12 Beauforts of No. 86 Sqdn arrive over position reported to them
at 1430 hrs. They searched north, spotting a group of 4 german MS; they flew
home. 2 crashed into the sea.
Holland: Scharnhorst nearly runs down Adm Ciliax, changing flag from Z.29
to Schoemann. Ciliax orders Scharnhorst to follow while Z.29 makes repairs.
North Sea: 10 minutes after the RAF disappear from the area, the Luftwaffe air
cover leaves.
England: No. 42 Sqdn lands at North Coates.
Holland: Squall separates Schoemann and Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz
Eugen. Scharnhorst passes Texel..
Holland: Gneisenau hits an air-dropped mine 6 miles off Terschelling.
Holland: Gneisenau underway again, making 8 knots. Prinz Eugen slowed to 8
knots (and lost); Scharnhorst closing on their position.
Holland: Scharnhorst strikes a second mine (10 miles off Terschelling) and
stops.
Holland: Scharnhorst under way again at 14 knots.
North Sea: Germans reach home waters; Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen go to
Brunsbuttel (west end of the Kiel Canal); Scharnhorst goes to the entry to
Wilhelmshaven.
First USAAF Raid: raid on Dutch airfield by 15th BS in 6 borrowed DB-7s.
Ordered as a publicity/morale stunt in face of talk of US not doing anything. 6
DB-7s went in at low level; 3 shot down. 15th BS later sent to North Africa in
A-20Bs.
Dieppe Raid:
Luftwaffe had:
~190 FW190s & 16 Bf109F from the elite JG2 & JG26
45 Do217E from KG2
some Ju88A-4s

US Combat
Aircraft of WW2

Fighter vs.
Fighter

Allies had some 70 sqdns, 48 w/Spits including 307, 308, 309 FS from USAAF,
and No. 71, 121, 133 Eagle Sqdns (getting ready to transfer to USAAF).
No.71 crossed the Channel at ~5000 ft. First sortie, 4 fought vs 4 FW190s; then
vs. 4x Bf109F(E-7?) w/bombs. On the 3rd sortie, they ran into 20 Ju88As
divebombing the beaches, escorted by FW190s and Bf109Fs.
Wing formation used:

26-Feb-07

Page 26

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

Historical Notes
No. 252 Sqdn
+
+ + +
+ + +
+ + +
+ +

17-Oct-42
3-Nov-42
9-Nov-42

Dec-42

6-Dec-42

20-Dec-42

6/12-Jan-43
Mar-43
4-Apr-43

13-Apr-43

15-Apr-43
17-Apr-43
21-Apr-43

29-Apr-43

26-Feb-07

No. 71 Sqdn
+
+ + +
+ + +
+ + +
+ +

No. 124 Sqdn


+
+ + +
+ + +
+ + +
+ +
La Creusot: Day raid by 44 Lancasters of 5 Group on Schneider electronics
factory. Flew long dogleg out to sea. Lost only 1 bomber; flak and fighter
defense weak. But caused little damage to the target.
No. 21 Sqdn makes first attack with the Ventura I: 3 a/c attack railway line near
Hengelo.
33 B17E & 13 B-24D flew over Channel at 500 ft to avoid radar, then climbed
w/i 50 miles of the coast on the way to St. Nazaire. They did not meet fighters but AAA downed 3 and damaged 23.
I/KG40 trained for anti-shipping (in He177A3s).
47 Ventura Is of No. 21, 464, and 487 Sqdns along with Bostons and Mosquitos
make a daylight low-level attack against the Philips radio and vacuum tube
factory at Eindhoven. The raid went bad - 9 Venturas were shot down and 37
damaged. After that, Venturas stuck to medium to high level attacks.
Eindhoven: Day raid on Phillips Electronics factory (source of about 1/3 of all
hi-tech components) by 93 aircraft of 2 Group (Bostons, Mosquitos, Venturas).
Raid successful, fast maneuverable aircraft able to make repeated passes over
target causing severe damage to target- but 13% losses.
First field use of Oboe Mk I navigation system over Florennes, Belgium.
1. 1 Oboe Mossie pinpoints target and drop flares low over the target.
2. Pathfinder Mossies drops incendiaries based on the flares.
3. Heavies on high drop based on the burning they saw.
USAFs 56th FG crosses Atlantic embarked on Queen Elizatbeth. In Feb-43,
armed with P-47Cs.
France: No. 141 Sqdn makes offensive instruder sweeps in Beaufighter IFs w/
AI Mk. IV radar.
England: USAFs 56th FG moves to Horsham St. Faith, near Norwich.
France: 24 Venturas attack Caen/Carpiquet airfield form medium altitude. 24
Venturas attack a shipyard in Rotterdam. Each raid lost 3 a/c to fighters &
AAA.
France: 56th FG contributes 12 pilots for a Rodeo (fighter sweep) over Calais
w/ 12 each from 4th & 78th FG, escorted by RAF Spit Vs. Kept at 31,000 ft and
saw nothing. 1 op loss, pilot saved.
Another 12 pilots fly a Rodeo with 4th FG. 4th loses 3, claims 2.
Holland: 56th FG flies a Rodeo over Walcheren at 31,000 ft. Bob Johnsons
first mission.
France: Venturas of No 21 Squadron, escorted by Spit Vs of No. 485 Sqdn, hit
the marshaling yards at Abbeville and were ambushed by some 40 (a gruppe) of
FW190s. 3 Venturas, two Spits, and 3 FW-190s were claimed.
The Big Day. 56th, 4th, and 78th FG each put 36 P-47s over the Hague. 61st FS
had 12 P-47C at 30.000 ft as top cover; the others at 28,000 ft. Hit by pairs and
fours of FW-190s and Bf109Gs from dead ahead. 2 P-47s lost, 3 shot up, no

The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
Lockheed Ventura
for the RAF

Warplanes of 2nd
World War: 8 by
W Green
Lockheed Ventura
for the RAF

The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
Radar: A Wartime
Miracle
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
JRD Bob
Braham
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
Lockheed Ventura
for the RAF
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
Lockheed Ventura
for the RAF
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin

Page 27

Historical Notes

3-May-43

13-May-43
14-May-43

19-May-43

Jun-43

12-Jun-43

13-Jun-43

14-Jun-43
26-Jun-43

28-Jun-43
29-Jun-43
Jul-43

1-Jul-43

26-Feb-07

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

claims.
Major fighter sweep over France with 200 Spits and T-bolts.
11 Venturas from No 487 Sqdn attacked an Amsterdam power station; only one
Ventura survived determined German fighters. The formation leader, Sqdn Ldr
L Trent, shot down a Bf 109 with his forward-firing guns before being shot
down himself.
56th flies bomber escort over St. Omer. No opposition
A Big mission: 48 P-47s from each of the 4th, 56th, and 78th FG escorting 30 B17s over Antwerp. 56th at 31,000 ft. Battle formation is line abreast, 1a/c every
100 yards. Bombers get flaked, then intercepted. Johnson flying #4 in Zemkes
flight. Flight dives at 4 fighters (2:00 low); jumped by 8 FWs. Zemke wings up
and around to counter. Johnson separated in fight, goes home alone.
After two missions of no contact, 4th, 56th, and 78th FGs assigned to escort 40 B17s on a Circus mission to the Hague. (main attack going to Kiel sans escort).
Quiet, but on the way out, Johnsons flight gets jumped. Johnson dives and runs.
Battle of the Bay:
1 Sunderland vs 8 Ju88C-6. @ 1900 hrs over the Bay of Biscay, patrolling
Sunderland spots 8 a/c, six miles away and 1000 ft up. They close to 1500 ft,
+1500 ft up, 3 from Starboard beam, 1 Port, 1 from each quarter. As they come
in, would corkscrew down to startboard, then up to port. The Ju88s made
passes, then would reform and come in from either side in pairs. Top turret got
one at 1 hex range. A few passes later, the tail gunner waited until the Ju88s
closed and hit one at 2 hex range. Nose and Mid turrets finished him off s he
went by. Then turned and dove to port. Again ju88s came in to either quarter.
Galley guns were used against them.
2 Ju88s came in from 1000 yards to starboard; at 800 yds, the Sunderland
corkscrewed to starboard.
56th FGgets 1st kill 20,000 ft over Calais against FW190s. Johnsons flight
dives down to bounce 12 FWs. 8 dive away, 12 reverse up to fight. 2nd flight
comes out of the sun, jumping the FW190s, getting one.
First European attack of No.342 Lorraine Sqdn (GBI/20) using 3 Boston IIIs
hitting a power station 3 miles SE of Paris. Two were shot down, but were quite
visible to populace.
Johnson is #4 in Gabreskis flight, when it passes over 12 FWs. Johnson called
them out, then went in. His lead was supposed to go with him as wingie, but
didnt. Johnson got a kill and a two major dressing downs. Zemke got two kills.
Holland: First successful use of Serrate (AI detector/homer) by S/L Bob
Braham of 141 Sqdn over holland
Ramrod to Villacoublay. 100 B-17s w/ 8 sqdns of P-47s for escort (128 a/c!);
8 Sqdns of Spit Vs escort 100 B-17s over at Le Mans railyards; 50 B-17s with
Spit V escort hit the airfield at Trcquveille; 12 RAF Boston IIIs w/ Spit escort
scoot in low to hit Abbeville. 61st is lead sqdn. Battle formation: 200 yds
between a/c; 500 yds between flights, 1500 yds between sqdns. Bad day for the
56th FG: 5 dead, 2 trashed (including Johnson), others badly damaged. Claim 2.
Still, only 2 bombers shot down by some 60 interceptors.
Ramrod to St. Nazaire. Unopposed.
Ramrod to Villacoublay. Unopposed.
482nd Bomb Group formed as USAAF pathfinders. H2S and Oboe equippedB17s & B-24s used to lead other formations.
No radar-equipped intruders allowed over Europe until now. But AI MkX not
allowed until May-44.
Ramrod to Romilly-sur-Seine (east of Paris). Unopposed.

Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
J Baughers files
for Lockheed
Ventura
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin

Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
War in the Air

Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
AAHS Journal
Vol.13, #1,
French use of DB7
Thunderbolt!
by
Martin Caidin
JRD Bob
Braham
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin

Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
Weapons of
Darkness by Price
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin

Page 28

Historical Notes

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

2-Jul-43

Rodeo to Le Touquet

27-Sep-43

First used radar-lead bombing (by 482nd BG) vs. Emden. Before this, missions
were scrubbed if the target was obscured.
MPQ-1 Tuba (a house sized jammer!) could jam Lichtenstein radars from the
ground 200 miles away!
II/KG40 trains for Hs293s mounted on He177A5/R2s. .1/KG40 transferred to
I/KG100 for use as pathfinders during Operation Steinbok

Oct-43

8-Oct-43
Nov-43
13-Nov-43
26-Nov-43

28-Nov-43
22-Dec-43

30-Dec-43

96th and 388th BGs with 48 a/c w/ Carpet APT-2 jammers in action. Took 1/4
the losses as the other 327 aircraft on the raid.
Wurzlaus could differentiate between stationary chaff and moving a/c.
Nurnberg could detect the modulation of radar caused by a/c propellors.
Marseilles: 1st FG escorts bombers to southern France. "More rain and cold
wind today. First mission over France. Marseilles to bomb airdrome."
Algeria: II/KG40, with 21 He177A-5/R-2 loaded with 2x Hs293A apiece (42
total) attacks KMF26 convoy off Algeria. 2 merchants, 1 small warship (HMS
Egret) destroyed, 1 damaged. 6 He177s (including Gruppe commander Major
Rudolph Mons, Vet/Hero) shot down when Allied fighters arrive at end of
battle.
Marseilles:
"Mission to Marseilles today. 71st got 3-1-3."
51 bombers (29 Stirlings, 11 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos, 3 Halifaxes) to attack 2
V-1 sites between Abbeville and Amiens. 1 was bombed accurately but the
other could not be located. 16 Bombers laying mines off Biscay ports. No a/c
lost.
10 Lancasters of 617 Squadron and 6 Pathfinder Mosquitos attempted to destroy
a V-1 site which had been missed on an earlier raid, but the markers were 200
yards from the target and, with the Lancasters' bombs well grouped around
these, the site was again undamaged. No aircraft lost.

Thunderbolt! by
Martin Caidin
Weapons of
Darkness by Price
Online somewhere
Warplanes of 2nd
World War: 8 by
W Green
Weapons of
Darkness by Price
Weapons of
Darkness by Price
1st Fighter Group
Book about Hs293
missiles
1st Fighter Group
Bomber
Command
Campaign Diary
Bomber
Command
Campaign Diary

10 Mosquitos to Cologne, 8 to Duisburg and 3 to Bochum, 26 aircraft


minelaying off Texel and French ports, 28 OTU sorties. No losses.
1944

24-Jan-44

26-Feb-44

6-Mar-44

Apr-44

May-44

26-Feb-07

22nd Group RAF (Lt Bombers) formed for use for intruder missions over France
to prepare for the invasion.
4 sqdn Boston IIIs
2 sqdn Mitchells (1 Dutch)
6 Mosquito FB (107th, 305th)
Southern France: Spit Vs of US 52nd FG flying from Calvi, Corsica tangle
with I/JG2 over the Cuers Aerodrome. 3 Spits lost, 1 FW190 downded, others
damaged. OTOH, raid kept I/JG2 busy so they could not respond to a heavy
bomber raid at same time.
France: While searching the sea for a missing comrade NW of Dunquerque, 2
Bf110G-4s (including the leading ace of IV/NJG 1) were attacked by 2
Typhoons of No. 109 Sqdn, shooting down the ace.
RAF Bomber Command begins attacks on French rail centres, preparing for the
invasion, with a raid by 261 Halifaxes and six de Havilland Mosquitoes on the
marshalling yard at Trappes. Railway tracks, rolling stock and buildings were all
heavily damaged, with no aircraft lost.
423rd NF Sqdn (P-61As) joins 9th AF in England
Night intruders (Mossies) equipped with AI MkX allowed over Europe.
FuG240 Berlin N-1a radar in use long before now??
J-Watch records first and only case of German airborne jamming

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley

Cocardes Air
battles of France Anzio
Heinz Vinke

British Military
Aviation, 1944

Americas
100,000 by
Francis Dean
Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
Radar: A Wartime
Miracle

Page 29

Historical Notes

24-May-44
Jun-44
2-Jun-44
5-Jun-44
6-Jun-44

10-Jun-44
24-Jun-44q

Jul-44

16-Jul-44
17-Jul-44

31-Jul-44

Aug-44
2-Aug-44

4/5-Aug-44

5-Aug-44

26-Feb-07

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

No. 415 Sqdn RCAF flying 6 Albacores sink the Torpedo boat Greif
V-1s launched day and night. Nighfighters used at night. Ship-borne GCI
stations, then rolling ground stations used. No. 85 Group in France.
Dieppe: 18 Typhoons of No. 198 & 609 Sqdns put radar at Dieppe/Caudecote
out of action.
Northern France: Rocket-armed Typhoons of No.174, 175, and 345 cripple the
Jobourg radar near Cap de la Hague.
Normandy Invasion: Largest invasion in History as 5 allied armies land on
Normandy coast. Features thousands of aircraft, all marked with black and
white stripes on the wings. Also features dropping 3 airborne divisions by
parachute and glider into the areas behind the lines the evening before.
9 Spitfire sqdns provide initial air cover over beaches, plus more over convoys
and sea lanes. 55 Sqdns used through the day.
6 RAF (2 wings of Group 100?) and 2 US nightfighter squadrons (422nd &
425th) patrol at night.
Normandy: Spitfire Mk IXBs of No 222 Sqdn, the first Allied fighters to
operate from Normandy after the invasion, landed at St. Croix-sur-Mer
Normandy: After two mission aborts due to weather, 16 Lancasters and 3
Mossies hit the Wizernes V-1 base between St. Omer and Boulougne, set up in
an old chalk quary under a protective (cement?) done 70 m across & several
thick. Lots of rail-lines beneath to move missiles, plus launch rails. 1 shot
down, several damaged by flak.
By mid-summer, when Ju88G-1 first appears in action, night fighters were about
15% of 1st line fighter strength. Most available were Ju88C-6bs & -7s. 706 built
during 1943.
Oboe ground stations begin to set up in France after the invasion; new stations
put up as the front advances, eventually setting up on the borders of Germany
w/range to Berlin.
P-61 of 422nd NFS shoots down V-1
Normandy: 2nd raid on Wizernes V-1 base by some 16 Lancasters, 1 Mossie,
and 1 never-flown P-51, aftyer marking by 3 Lancasters. 3 Tall boys hit,
collapsing the roof. Another raid on the 20th was called off due to weather (but
was undecessary anyway; the Germans abandoned the site after 17-Jul.
422nd NFS (P-61s) moves to Cherobourg. Becomes part of IX Tactical Air
Command (First Army), the 425th NFS to the XIX Tactical Air Command
(Third Army), and the 415th NFS to the Seventh Army (in southern France).
Falaise Pocket: All 18 Typhoon squadrons used to reduce the Failaise pocket
using bombs and rockets.
Falaise Pocket: a D0217E of II/KG40 destroys a bridge at pontanbault using
Fritz X.
Brest: Civilian population ordered out of Brest in anticipation of the allied
assault. The Germans mostly did not want the civilians around, and thought this
was the best way to remove Free French elements. Some left; some did not.
Germans had been turning the Atlantic ports into fortresses for a month.
Falaise Pocket: No. 342 Sqdn in 10 Boston IIIs provides low-level night
bombing in Falaise pocket. 4 shot down, 1 crashlanded.
Brest: No. 617 & 9 Sqdns attack the sub-pens in Brest. 5 direct hits by
Tallboys; 3 penetrate.

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
War machine 23
War machine 23

RAF Spitfire
History
US Army Air
Forces in WW2:
Nightfighters
RAF Spitfire
History
No. 617 Sqdn:
facts

Warplanes of the
Second World
War (Vol 10)
Radar: A Wartime
Miracle
Americas
100,000 by F Dean
No. 617 Sqdn:
facts

Americas
100,000 by F Dean
War Machine 23
German Guided
Missiles by Heinz
Nowarra
Brest 1944
(French)

AAHS Journal
Vol.13, Num 1,
article on French
use of DB-7
Royal Navy
Heritage

Page 30

Historical Notes

Western Europe: France & Low Countries

7-Aug-44

Brest: Allied (mostly US) tanks reach Brest and begin to invest the area.
Infnatry brought in for the assault.

Brest 1944
(French)

10-Aug-44

Brest: Air bombardment begins in earnest while US forces reinforce and bring
up supplies. Many remaining citizens take to air raid shelters.

Brest 1944
(French)

13-Aug-

Brest: A truce halts the bombardment long enough for civilians to leave the
city. Germans are offered surrender, but refuse.

Brest 1944
(French)

15-Aug-44

Operation Dragoon: Martlets (and F4Fs) flown as CAP from Attacker,


Emperor, Khedive, Pursuer, Searcher, Stalker, and 2 US CVEs support landings
in southern France.

Martlet
information page

British 2nd (Ind) Parachute Brigade lands in southern France and despite
confusing spread of forces, achieves all of its objectives. Holds until relieved
17-Aug-44.
22-Aug-44

25-Aug-44
26-Aug-44

2-Sep-44

6-Sep-44
8-Sep-44
19-Sep-44
Oct-44

5-Oct-44
24-Oct-44

late Fall-44
1-Nov-44

26-Feb-07

Western France: The last 15 He177s capable of flying Fritz Xs were destroyed
because their crews were stuck in Strassbourg without safe transport back to
base.
Brest: VIIth Corps of 3rd Army begins its ground assault well-supported by
aircraft (P-47s & P-38s as air support).
GB I/34 Barn formed with 6 M-167F, 6 DB-7 moves to Toulouse, supporting
the allies.
Brest: P-47 fighter-bombers assault Fort Toulbuch, the strongest of a chain of 5
forts assigned to the 5th Ranger Btn. The rangers attacked immediately after
bombs, rockets and strafing had worked over the fort, and captured it without
problem or casualty. They took the next two forts in much the same way.
Brest: First A-26 Invader combat in ETO is an attack on coastal guns 8 miles
south of Brest.
Brest: Bombs destroy a major air raid shelter in Sadi Carnot, killing nearly
1000, including 336 French civilians.
Brest: Brest is liberated, but the battle to liberate it destroyed the city and port
(which had been the reason for taking the city in the first place.
Belgium: 425th NFS begins flying night intruder missions. 1,162 intruder
missions from October 1944 to May 1945, losing six aircraft-a loss rate of only
0.5 percent.
Holland: Spitfires of No. 401 Sqdn are first to shoot down an Me262.
Holland: 5 sqdns of Typhoons (No. 193, 197, 257, 263, 266) of 2nd TAF attack
a building in Dodrecht, where intelligence told them generals were gathering.
1st squadrons attacked from the flanks, suppressing flak, then came attack on
building. 2 Generals, 72 other officers killed.
Mosquitos receive Monica and Gee
Walcheren: Operation Infatuate Canadian forces assault the fortress island of
Walcheren at the mouth of the Scheldt. No. 84 Composite Group (flying from
air bases around Lille) is tasked to support the landing (and other Canadian
operations in that SW corner of Holland). No. 183 Sqdn of Typhoons appear in
near-zero visiblility, attacking with rockets and bombs. Over next 8 days, 6
sqdns of Typhoons are available in shifts, using 11637 rockets and 1,558 tons of
bombs while losing 22 Typhoons. Purpose is to clear Walcheren so the allies
can access the port of Antwerp.

German Guided
Missiles by Heinz
Nowarra
Brest 1944
(French)
AAHS Journal
Vol.13, Num 1,
article on French
use of DB-7
Rangers in World
War 2 by Robert
Black

Brest 1944
(French)
Brest 1944
(French)
US Army Air
Forces in WW2:
Nightfighters
RAF Spitfire
History
War Machine 23

Night Fighter by
Rawnsley
War Machine 23
Canadian Military
Report No. 188

Page 31

Historical Notes

26-Dec-44

Belgium: 422nd & 425th active in end of Battle of the Bulge, claiming 16 and 8
aircraft downed respectively.

1-Jan-45

Bodenplatte
Eindhoven: No. 485 and 486 Sqdns RCAF at Maldeghem ambushed on the
runway by Bodenplatte raid, losing 16 Spit IXs 14 from No. 485.
At Ophoven, Nos 130 and 350 Sqdns had 10 Mk XIVs badly damaged;
curiously Nos 41 and 610 Sqdns at the same airfield were unscathed. The five
Canadian sqdns of 126 Wing at Heesch lost one pilot from No 442 Sqdn in
combat, and another crashed on landing.

Atlantic and Iceland

US Army Air
Forces in WW2:
Nightfighters
War Machine 23
RAF Spitfire
History

Belgium: No. 131 (Polish) Wing at St Denis-Westrens the three sqdns - No


302, 308 and 317 - lost about 20 Spitfires, some from forced landings due to
lack of fuel, No. 308 and 317 Sqdn each lost a Spit in combat. The Wing
claimed 18 Fw-190s shot down.
In all, five Spitfires were lost in the air and two crashed on their return, six
pilots were killed and one was wounded. Spitfire pilots claimed 56 of the
enemy, mostly Bf-109s and Fw-190s.

Atlantic and Iceland


29-Nov-41

14-Aug-42
20-Feb-43

Jun-43

17-Oct-43

10-Nov-43

26-Feb-07

Bay of Biscay: A No. 502 Sqdn Whitley makes the first successful attack by a
Coastal Command aircraft on a German U-boat. Flying alone, and using ASV
radar, the aircraft sinks U-206 in the Bay of Biscay.
Iceland: 2d Lt Joseph D Shaffer (33rd FS in a P-40) and 2d Lt Elza Shahan (27th
FS/1st FG in a P-38) jointly shoot down FW-200 Kondor off the coast of
Iceland, a first USAAF downing of a Luftawffe aircraft.
Eastern Atlantic: USAAF B-24 patrolling the eastern Atlantic locates the
Hohenfriedberg, a German tanker (11585 t) that had left Kobe, Japane on
11Oct42. where 3 other freighters or tankers had left Japan within a two month
period, only Hohenfriedberg made it to the Atlantic. HMS Sussex intercepted
within hours and sank it.
Battle of the Bay:
1 Sunderland vs 8 Ju88C-6. @ 1900 hrs over the Bay of Biscay, patrolling
Sunderland spots 8 a/c, six miles away and 1000 ft up. They close to 1500 ft,
+1500 ft up, 3 from Starboard beam, 1 Port, 1 from each quarter. As they come
in, would corkscrew down to startboard, then up to port. The Ju88s made
passes, then would reform and come in from either side in pairs. Top turret got
one at 1 hex range. A few passes later, the tail gunner waited until the Ju88s
closed and hit one at 2 hex range. Nose and Mid turrets finished him off s he
went by. Then turned and dove to port. Again Ju88s came in to either quarter.
Galley guns were used against them.
2 Ju88s came in from 1000 yards to starboard; at 800 yds, the Sunderland
corkscrewed to starboard.
Bay of Biscay: a Sunderland of No. 422 Sqdn RCAF caught 2 Uboats surfaced
way out in Atlantic S of Iceland, side by side and attacked w/ depth charges. 1
uboat was damaged. A/c craft damaged by AAA, ha dto land in ocean.
Surviving crew picked up by RN.
Bay Biscay: Near Cape Ortegal, Spain, a long surface battle of a/c vs U-966 by
American and Czech aircraft.
0800 hrs: A VB-105 PB4Y-1 Liberator was alerted by an RAF aircraft of a
radar contact near the coast of Spain. They located the surfaced U-boat and

RAF History 1941


USAAF History:
Aug-42
US Navy History:
1943

War in the Air

422 Squadron

VP-105 History
Summary (1943)

Page 32

Historical Notes

12-Nov-43
24-Dec-43

26-Dec-43
27-Dec-43

28-Dec-43

3-Jan-44
4-Jan-44

5-Jan-44

Central Europe: Armageddon to Germany

made two strafing attacks. Heavy AA fire damaged his aircraft and forced him
to break off the attack. An RAF fighter then dove to attack the submarine. The
PB4Y-1 made a third strafing attack, but had to break off afterwards due to a
fuel shortage.
1040 hrs: A PB4Y-1 of VB-103 located U-966 near Ferrol and strafed and
depth charged. Intense AA fire drove him off and he, too, had to depart the
target for lack of fuel.
1230 hrs: Another PB4Y-1 arrived on the scene. A depth charge attack was
conducted in cooperation with a rocket-firing RAF Liberator. The sub was
abandoned after running aground at Oritiguiera, Spain. The crewmen were
quickly picked up by nearby Spanish fishing vessels and interned in Spain.
VB-103 loses PB4Y-1 in battle with U-508.
A flotilla of 12 German destroyers & TBs escort the blockade runner Orsono
(6951 BRT) Several missions were run against the enemy ships over a period of
five days. Several ships shot up in various Sqdns, including US VPBs, various
Sunderlands sqdns shot up.
Orsono runs aground in the Goronde. The German ships almost immediately
turn around and go out for a 2nd blockade runner Alsterfer.
Operation Trave: a blockade runner, Alsterfer (2729 BRT), having run up the
Atlantic threading between convoys, is IDed by radio, located by air in Bay of
Biscay even as 5 DDs and 6 TBs were coming to meet it. 1615 hrs, attacked by
Liberator of No. 311 (Czech) Sqdn, burned and abandoned.
Operation Trave: Alsterfer escort force finally told it sunk, and returns.
Spotted at noon by patrols. Intercepted by 2 RN CLs (Enterprise and Glasgow.
1 DD, 1 TBs sunk. Weather poor; high seas did not allow for torpedo use.
While returning to base after looking for targets, a PB4Y-1 encountered four
He-177A-3 aircraft. In the resultant melee, the PB4Y-1 damaged one He-177,
sending it towards France trailing smoke from a fire in its starboard engine. A
11/KG40 He-177A-3 crashed into the sea. Luftwaffe reports the crew missing.
South Atlantic: Destroyer Somers (DD-381) sinks German blockade runner
Weserland, 1455'S, 2139'W, and recovers 130 survivors.
South Atlantic: Light cruiser Omaha (CL 4) and destroyer Jouett (DD- 396)
intercept German blockade runner Rio Grande about 55 miles NE of the coast
of Brazil, 0641'S, 2536'W. Gunfire and scuttling charges sink Rio Grande
South Atlantic: PBM-3S (VP 203) sights German blockade runner Burgenland
and summons CL USS Omaha (CL 4) and DD Jouett (DD-396). Gunfire and
scuttling charges sink Burgenland, 0729'S, 2537'W.

VP-103 Aircraft
VPB 110 History
(pg 17)
Seakrieg 1943
Dezember
(Deutsch)
Seakrieg 1943
Dezember
(Deutsch)
Seakrieg 1943
Dezember
(Deutsch)
VPB 110 History
(pg 17)

US Navy History:
1944
US Navy History:
1944
US Navy History:
1944

Central Europe: Armageddon to Germany


4-Sep-39

20-Sep-39
3-Dec-39

26-Feb-07

Wilhelmshaven: 15 Blenheims and 14 Wellingtons of Bomber Command


attacks the German Fleet, reported off Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel. 19 a/c
found target and attacked. Negligible fighter defenses, but lost 7 Blenheims to
flak. Caused no damage. Admiral Scheer shot one down. Only damage caused
to Emden by Blenheim crashing on it.
1st RAF-Luftwaffe engagement: Three Fairey Battles of No.88 Squadron,
Advanced Air Striking Force, are attacked by three Messerschmitt Bf109s of
Jagdgruppe 152 west of Saarbrcken. 2 Battles shot down.
North Sea: BCs No. 3 Group Wellingtons attack at low level, losing no
aircraft, but causing no damage.

The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
British Military
Aviation in 1939
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier

Page 33

Historical Notes

14-Dec-39

18-Dec-39
12-Jan-40
15-May-40
25-Feb-41

7-Nov-41
Spring-42

Mar-42
13-Mar-42

Apr-42
17-Apr-42

30-May-42

1-Jun-42

26-Feb-07

Central Europe: Armageddon to Germany

Helgoland: 12 Wellingtons of BCs No. 3 Group attack Shillig Roads in poor


weather at 600 ft. Beset by fighters off Heligoland, the by effective flak at
target. Low level attack proved extremely difficult. 5 a/c lost, 1 crashed on
return.
Wilhelmshaven: 24 Wellingtons of BCs No. 3 Group attack Wilhelmshaven.
Intercepted by fighters at 15000 ft. Estimated 24 ftrs shot down. 12 Wellingtons
lost.
Austria: Whitleys of No.77 Sqdn, Bomber Command, operating from
Villeneuve, France, drop leaflets over Prague and Vienna for the first time.
The Ruhr: BC attacks Germany. 99 attacked oil and railway targets in the Ruhr
at night. Little actual damage caused.
BC begins regular night bombing of industrial towns in Germany. The attacks
normally consists of around 100 aircraft, including Stirling, Manchester and,
from 10 March, Halifax bombers, but have only limited success.
BC suffers 15% loss in night raid (highest between Sep-39 and Nov-43) due
mostly to coordinated nightfighter attacks.
Gee navigation system in full use. Range about 350 miles from England
accurate to within a few miles. Passive system (bombers just listened) used to
bring bombers to target area, then active measures to locate precise target.
Particularly useful for returning, as Germans learned to jam, screwing it up over
the target area.
Germany: RAF raids Lubeck with incendiaries; fires destroy many wooden
homes.
50 bombers equipped with Gee bomb Cologne. Considered 5 times more
effective than non-Gee equipped aircraft (probably due to simply reaching
proper town).
Germany: RAF raids Rostock with incendiaries; fires destroy many wooden
homes.
12 Lancasters launch a daylight raid against the M.A.N. diesel engine facotory
in Augsburg, Germany. Organized as teams of two elements from each of two
squadrons (Nos. 44 and 97), each carrying 4x 1000 lb bombs. They crossed the
Channel at 50 ft. Augsburg is 500 miles from the French coast. No. 44 in the
l;ead was attacked by a gaggle of Bf109s and FW190s. The Germans had
already flown an interception, so they were down some ammo. These included
Maj. Oeseau (Vet/Ace/Hero) & his wingman. The fighters show down the rear
vic, then came in from ahead. Major Oeseau shot down one more. After
bombing, No. 44 lost another.
No. 97 Sqdn got to the target unscathed, but then lost two Lancasters over the
target, including the sqdn leader.
Operation Millenium: the First 1000 bomber Raid. 1048 bombers sent (begged
borrowed or stolen from Coastal Command, OTUs, sqdn reserve a/c; avg
available bombers was 416) to Hamburg. Hamburg defended by 500+ Hvy & Lt
AAA plus 150 searchlights. Dropped incendiaries to lead others in, with orders
of drop near fires.
Bomber Stream: Designed to overwhelm German point defenses by sending all
aircraft in a large raid throughthe same small area, then over the target on a tight
schedule (to avoid collisions). Eventually formed 2 Group of Mosquito
pathfinders whose job was to find the target and mark it (see 20-dec-42).
The second 1,000-bomber raid; 956 aircraft attack Essen. The success of the
first raid on Cologne is not repeated as many crews mistakenly bomb other

The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
British Military
Aviation in 1939
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
RAF History 1941
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
Radar: A Wartime
Miracle

The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
RAF History 1942
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier

War in the Air


(among others)

RAF History 1942

Page 34

Historical Notes

25-Jun-42

11-Jul-42

Central Europe: Armageddon to Germany

cities.
The third 1,000-bomber raid; of the 960 aircraft launched against Bremen, 49
fail to return. Despite heavy cloud, considerable damage is caused, in particular
to the Focke-Wulf aircraft factory, which was hit by a 4,000lb (1,800 kg) bomb.
Danzig: Day raid on submarine yards by 44 Lancasters of 5 Group. Only 2
aircraft lost, but attacks were spread over area, causing little damage.

Aug-42

Path Finder Force created to specialize in night navigation to lead the bomber
stream.

6-Dec-42

47 Ventura Is of No. 21, 464, and 487 Sqdns along with Bostons and Mosquitos
make a daylight low-level attack against the Philips radio and vacuum tube
factory at Eindhoven. The raid went bad - 9 Venturas were shot down and 37
damaged. After that, Venturas stuck to medium to high level attacks.
Eindhoven: Day raid on Phillips Electronics factory (source of about 1/3 of all
hi-tech components) by 93 aircraft of 2 Group (Bostons, Mosquitos, Venturas).
Raid successful, fast maneuverable aircraft able to make repeated passes over
target causing severe damage to target- but 13% losses.
First field use of Oboe Mk I navigation system over Florennes, Belgium.
1. 1 Oboe Mossie pinpoints target and drop flares low over the target.
2. Pathfinder Mossies drops incendiaries based on the flares.
3. Heavies on high drop based on the burning they saw.
First bombing of Berlin since Nov-41. First use of target marker bombs.

20-Dec-42

16-Jan-43

27-Jan-43

30-Jan-43

5-Mar-43

May-43
16-May-43

27-May-43

26-Feb-07

Germany: First USAAF raid on Germany hits Wilhelmshaven and Emden. 64


B-17s (from 4 Groups) and 24 B-24s (from 2 Groups) sent unescorted. B-24s
did not hit the target. Flak and 50 (distinctly unaggressive) fighters down 1 B17, 2 B-24s; most attackers sustained some damage.
A rally in Berlin to mark the 10th anniversary of Hitler coming to power and
addressed by senior Nazi leaders including Goering and Goebbels, is interrupted
several times by six raiding Mosquitoes of Nos. 105 and 139 Sqdns. In a night
attack on Hamburg, aircraft of the Pathfinder Force use the H2S bombing radar
for the first time.
400 Lancasters raid on Essen guided by Oboe, hitting within 30 minutes.
First full use of Oboe on large BC raid on Essen. 442 a/c sent (140 Lancs, 69
Halifax, 52 Stirling, 131 Wellies + 22 PFF Heavies + 8 Mosquitos with Oboe.
Flew to Egmong (Dutch coast), then to 15 miles north of target for final run.
Went over target 11/minute. Whole attack = 38 minutes. Marker Mosquitos redropped every 3-7 minutes.
RAF No. 2 Group detached from Bomber Command to form the nucleus of 2nd
Tactical Air Force. Not considered a problem or weakening by Harris; allowed
him to concentrate on strategic targets.
The famous Dambusters Raid. The Mohne and Eder Dams in the industrial
heart of Germany were attacked and breached by mines dropped from specially
modified Lancasters of No. 617 Sqdn. A third Dam, the Sorpe, was also
attacked. Two other dams could not be located. An estimated 1,294 people were
killed by floodwaters. 8 of the 19 aircraft failed to return with the loss of 53
aircrew. Wing Cdr Guy Gibson, No. 617 Sqdn CO, awarded the VC for leading
the attack.
B for Beer: Daylight raid in squadron strength (2 sections 12 a/c?) by
Mosquitoes on a Zeiss factory. Cruise over the North Sea at wave top level) to
avoid radar. Sped up at the flak belt at coast; none hit, but two a/c collide and
went down. Then it clouded up 50 miles from the target, where they climbed

RAF History 1942


The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
J Baughers files
for Lockheed
Ventura
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
Radar: A Wartime
Miracle
RAF History 1943
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
RAF History 1943

Radar: A Wartime
Miracle
The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier

The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
RAF History 1943

Mosquito!
(an expanded
telegram
describing the use

Page 35

Historical Notes

11-Jun-43
12-Jun-43

13-Aug-43

17-Aug-43

14-Oct-43

Nov-43
2-Dec-43

Central Europe: Armageddon to Germany

over the clouds. At 20 miles out, visual range was down to 1500 yards. They
increased speed and opened bombbay doors. Target (identified by 2 tall
smokestacks) visible at 1000 yards, with light AAA and barrage balloons
around it. Wing Cmdr HW Reynolds dropped spot on (as told later by a
following a/c). Hit by AAA, but the engine kept running, and they returned
without trouble.
Wilhelmshaven: US raids w/ 200 B-17s. RAF night raids hit Munster and
Dsseldorf.
RAF night raiders hit Bochum in the Ruhr
Austria: 61 B-24s of the 9th AF attack on Wiener Neustadt.
Italy: Other (9th AF) attacks include 80+ B-25s attacking Piedmonte and Sicily,
and 200+ P-40s as fighterbombers all over SW Italy.
Operation Hydra: The research establishment at Peenemunde on the Baltic
coast is attacked by 600 BC aircraft. Although only part of the complex is
destroyed, this raid results in the dispersal of V2 rocket production, thereby
delaying the V2's introduction into service.
Schweinfurt II: The last big unescorted day mission. 266 B17s (& B-24s?) vs.
300 fighters, 40 zerstorers, and some night fighters. 140 were damaged, 61
were shot down; 35 fighters and zerstorers lost.
Gee put on some US 8th Air Force bombers. US had been using LORAN, which
had longer range but less accuracy.
Battle of Berlin: 458 bombers (425 Lancasters, 18 Mosquitos, 15 Halifaxes)
raid Berlin with minimal diversion effort. Germans figure out target 19 minutes
before raid hit. Incorrectly forecast winds scattered the bomber stream,
particularly on the return flight, and German fighters scored further victories. 40
bombers (37 Lancasters, 2 Halifaxes, 1 Mosquito) were lost, 8.7% of the force.
460 (Australian) Squadron lost 5 of its 25 Lancasters. The inaccurate wind
forecast caused the Pathfinders to fail to establish their positions correctly. The
attack was scattered over a wide area of southern Berlin and the countryside
south of the city. Some useful damage was caused in industrial areas of the
eastern and western districts, with two more of the Siemens factories, a ballbearing factory and several railway installations being badly hit. Damage
elsewhere was light.

of Mosquitoes to
de Havilland
workers.)

Remembering the
1st Fight Against
Fascism
USAAF in Med 43
Pt 2
RAF History:
1943

The Bomber
Offensive by
Anthony Verrier
Radar: A Wartime
Miracle
Bomber
Command
Campaign Diary

6 Mosquitos to Bochum;. 1 Mosquito lost from the Bochum raid.


3-Dec-43

Leipzig: 527 aircraft (307 Lancasters, 220 Halifaxes) to Leipzig. Despite the
loss of two pressmen on the previous night, the American broadcaster Ed
Murrow flew with a 619 Squadron Lancaster crew. The bomber force took a
direct route towards Berlin before turning off to bomb Leipzig. German fighters
were in the bomber stream and scoring successes before the turn was made but
most of them were then directed to Berlin when the Mosquito diversion opened
there. There were few fighters over Leipzig and only 3 bombers are believed to
have been lost in the target area, 2 of them being shot down by flak. Many
aircraft flew in error to the Frankfurt defended area on the long southern
withdrawal route; more than half of the bombers shot down were lost there. 24
aircraft (15 Halifaxes, 9 Lancasters) were lost, 4.6% of force. The Pathfinders
found and marked this distant inland target accurately and the bombing was
very effective; the most successful raid on Leipzig during the war. A large area
of housing and many industrial premises were severely damaged. One place
which was hit by a large number of bombs was the former World Fair exhibition
site, whose spacious buildings had been converted to become war factories, the
largest buildings being taken over by the Junkers aircraft company.

Bomber
Command
Campaign Diary

9 Mosquitos in feint attack on Berlin, 12 Halifaxes minelaying in the Frisians.


No losses.

26-Feb-07

Page 36

Historical Notes

Central Europe: Armageddon to Germany

13-Dec-43

No.141, 169 and 169 Sqdn replaces old Beaufighters with Mosquito NF.IIs w/
Serrate II & radar.

History of Serrate

16-Dec-43

Battle of Berlin: 483 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos raid to Berlin and 5 further
Mosquitos dropped decoy fighter flares south of Berlin. The bomber route led
directly to Berlin across Holland and Northern Germany and there were no
major diversions. The German controllers plotted the course of the bombers
with great accuracy; many German fighters were met at the coast of Holland and
further fighters were guided on to the bomber stream throughout the approach to
the target. More fighters were waiting at the target and there were many
combats. The bombers shook off the opposition on the return flight by taking a
northerly route over Denmark. 25 Lancasters, 5.2 per cent of the Lancaster
force, were lost. Berlin was cloud-covered but the Pathfinder skymarking was
reasonably accurate and much of the bombing fell in the city. In the city centre,
the National Theatre and Germany's military and political archives were both
destroyed. The damage to the Berlin railway system and to rolling stock, and the
people still leaving the city, were having a cumulative effect upon the
transportation of supplies to the Russian Front; 1,000 wagon-loads of war
material were held up for 6 days. More than a quarter of Berlin's total living
accommodation was now unusable. Many bombers encountered very low cloud
at their bases. The squadrons of 1, 6 and No 8 Groups were particularly badly
affected. 29 Lancasters (and a Stirling from the minelaying operation) either
crashed or were abandoned when their crews parachuted..

Bomber
Command
Campaign Diary

47 aircraft (26 Stirlings, 12 Mosquitos, 9 Lancasters ) carried out raids on 2


flying-bomb sites near Abbeville. Neither raid was successful. The larger raid,
by the Stirlings on Tilley-le-Haut, failed because the Oboe Mosquito markers
could not get any closer than 450 yards from the small target. The 9 Lancasters
of 617 Squadron which attacked the second site, in a wood at Flixecourt,
dropped their 12,000lb bombs accurately on the markers placed by the only
Oboe Mosquito operating at this target but the markers were 350 yards from the
flying-bomb site and none of the 617 Squadron bombs were more than l00 yards
from the markers. No aircraft lost.
2 Beaufighters and 2 Mosquitos of 141 Squadron, recently transferred from
Fighter Command to No 100 Group, inaugurated Bomber Command's Serrate
operations in patrols near the routes of the Berlin raid. (Serrate was a device
which homed on to the radar emissions of a German night fighter.) 1 Mosquito
made contact with one Me110 and damaged it with cannon-fire (S/L FF
Lambert and Flying Officer K Dear).
5 Mosquitos to Duisburg, 35 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians and off Biscay
ports. No losses.
20-Dec-43

26-Feb-07

Frankfurt:650 aircraft (390 Lancasters, 257 Halifaxes, 3 Mosquitos). German


control rooms were able to plot the bomber force as soon as it left the English
coast. Many combats on the route to the target. The Mannheim diversion did not
draw fighters away from the main attack until after the raid was over but the
return flight was quieter. 41 aircraft (27 Halifaxes, 14 Lancasters) lost, 6.3% of
the force. The bombing at Frankfurt did not go according to plan. The
Pathfinders had prepared for ground-marking plan in the forecast clear weather
but they found up to 8/10ths cloud. The Germans lit a decoy fire site 5 miles SE
of the city and also used dummy target indicators. Some of the bombing fell
around the decoy but part of the creepback fell on Frankfurt, causing more
damage than Bomber Command realized at the time. Part of the bombing
somehow fell on Mainz, 17 miles to the west, and many houses along the Rhine
waterfront and in southern suburbs were hit.

Bomber
Command
Campaign Diary

Page 37

Historical Notes

Central Europe: Armageddon to Germany

44 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of 1 and No 8 Groups carried out a


diversionary raid on Mannheim but most of the bombing fell outside the city.
No aircraft lost.
8 Lancasters of 617 Squadron and 8 Pathfinder Mosquitos attempted to bomb an
armaments factory near Liege but the Mosquito marking was not visible below
the clouds and the Lancasters did not bomb; 1 Lancaster lost. 6 Mosquitos to
Rheinhausen and 5 to Leverkusen, 2 Beaufighters on Serrate patrol, 23 Stirlings
minelaying in the Frisians. 1 Stirling minelayer lost.
22-Dec-43

9 Mosquitos to Frankfurt and 2 to Bonn. No losses.

23-Dec-43

Battle of Berlin: 379 aircraft (364 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos, 7 Halifaxes).


Lower bomber casualties partly because German fighters encountered difficulty
with the weather and partly because the German controller was temporarily
deceived by the Mosquito diversion at Leipzig. The main NJ force only
appeared in the target area at the end of the raid and could not catch the main
bomber stream. 16 Lancasters were lost, 4.2 per cent of the force. The Berlin
area was covered by cloud and more than half of the early Pathfinder aircraft
had trouble with their H2S sets. The markers were scattered and sparse.

Bomber
Command
Campaign Diary
Bomber
Command
Campaign Diary

12 Mosquitos to Aachen, 9 to Duisburg and 7 to Leipzig, 3 Beaufighters on


Serrate patrols. 1 Beaufighter lost.
29-Dec-43

Battle of Berlin: 712 aircraft (457 Lancasters, 252 Halifaxes, 3 Mosquitos)


returned to Berlin. A long approach route from the south, passing south of the
Ruhr and then within 20 miles of Leipzig, together with Mosquito diversions at
Dsseldorf, Leipzig and Magdeburg, caused the German controller great
difficulties and there were few fighters over Berlin. Bad weather on the outward
route also kept down the number of German fighters finding the bomber stream.
20 aircraft (11 Lancasters, 9 Halifaxes) were lost, 2.8% of the force. Berlin was
cloud-covered. The BC report claiming a concentrated attack on skymarkers is
not confirmed by the local report. The heaviest bombing was in the southern and
south-eastern districts but many bombs also fell to the east of the city.

Bomber
Command
Campaign Diary

8 Mosquitos to Magdeburg, 6 to Dsseldorf, 5 to Leipzig, 4 to Bristillerie (a


suspected V-weapon site near Cherbourg) and 3 to Leverkusen, 2 Beaufighters
on Serrate patrols, 5 Stirlings minelaying in the Frisians and off French ports.
No losses.
Feb-44

Serrate II contacts fall off. Germans switch to Lichtenstein SN-2 radar opn
different frequency.

History of Serrate

26-Mar-44

Battle of Berlin: Last major raid of the 'Battle of Berlin', 811 RAF BC aircraft
attack the German capital, but, an extremely powerful north wind carries the
attacking force south, scattering the bomber stream and the target markers
dropped by the pathfinders. No fewer than 126 towns and villages outside
Berlin were bombed in error.

British Military
Aviation: 1944

The south-western suburbs of the city were heavily damaged. Aircraft on the
return leg of the mission were forced to fly over some of the most heavily
defended areas of Germany; heavy casualties (72 aircraft lost).
25-Jun-44

Sep-44

26-Feb-07

Denmark: JRD Braham is shot down returning from a lone daylight Ranger
operation over Denmark and North Germany when attacked by two FW l90s
over Denmark. His Mosquito was set on fire during the dogfight, and he
managed to crash land on a sandstrip by the coast. Held POW until the end of
the war.
With the fall of Romania, SG2 moves to Transylvanian Hungary to Sachsisch-

Scramble!, JRD
Braham

Stuka Pilot by

Page 38

Historical Notes

Fall-44

Oct-44

Nov-44
Jan-45?

Central Europe: Armageddon to Germany

Regen. Rudel takes command of SG2. Tricky flying in the mountains. Airfield
is raided; 50 aircraft (incl a few SG2 Stukas) lost.
Despite radar jamming, losses to AAA continue because Germans use
'predicted' barrage in advance of bombers w/ lots of shells. (Gun production
continued to rise).
SG2 moves to Farmos, W of Szolnok. Russians take Szeged and probe the
Theiss river. At the end of the month, Soviets thrust from Kecskemet to push
toward Budapest.
Many NJ pilots pulled onto night attack duty; only few, best NJ pilots retained
for anti-bomber work.
Last flights of the Komet: Due to a vulnerability to escorting fighters after their
attack run, Me163s were not allowed to attack bomber formations. They were
ordered to attack only unarmed recon planes. Finally, they had a chance to
attack two F-5As(?) - recon versions of the P-38 shortly before sundown one
winters day over Brandis (outside Leipzig). The F-5As were at 8000m (26,200
ft). 2 Me163Bs were sent after them - but were stopped just short of the attack
by compressibility debility. The pilots were both Vets. What if..

Hans Ulrich Rudel

Stuka Pilot by
Hans Ulrich Rudel
Instruments of
Darkness by Price
Rocket Fighter by
Mano Zeigler

The next day, there was an intercept of a Mossie recon plane by a Komet, which
zoomed up to 14000 m (45,900ft!) and then circled down, spotted the Mossie,
closed and then the Mossie ran by entering a steep dive. The Komet did get
him
The continuous, harassing presence of Allied airpower made operations
increasingly risky. When 18 Ar-234s were relocated to a new airfield in early
January 1945 and came in to land, they were bounced by Spitfires who shot
down three of them and damaged two others, killing two German pilots.
Feb-45
24-Feb-45

23-Mar-45
24-Mar-45

7-Apr-45
15-Apr-45

20-Apr-45

Germany: I/JG-1 moves to Parchim (near the Heinkel factory in Marienhe) to


begin training on the He162.
An Ar-234B suffered a flameout in one of its engines and was forced down to a
hard landing by an American P-47 Thunderbolt fighter near the village of
Segelsdorf. The jet was captured by the advancing Allies the next day. It was
the first example of the type to fall into Allied hands largely intact.
Operation Plunder: 250 Lancaster and Mosquito bombers dropped over 2,000
tons of HE in the Wesel area in support of the cross-Rhine breakhout.
Operation Varsity Launched after dawn, the largest and last single day
airborne action of the war. 17,000 airborne troops were landed and required
1,572 aircraft, 1,326 gliders and 900 fighter to transport them. The troops
dropped in the Wesel area were from the US 17th Airborne Division. Also
dropped was 6th Brit Airborne
Parchim: 134 B-17s bombard Parchim. Two days later, I/JG1 moves to
Ludwiglust, a small nearby field.
Southern Germany: 1st FG P-38s strafed rail lines, specifically in RegensburgSalzburg-Munich in squadron size formations: 71st went to Lake Chiem toward
Munich, 94th went to Regensburg south toward Landshut, and 27th strafed from
Regensburg southeast parallel with the Danube toward Passaau. In addition to
many ground targets either damaged or destroyed, the group also claimed an
aerial victory over an FW-190 last of the war for the 1st FG. Five pilots did not
return from this mission including all three squadron leaders.
Schleswig-Holstein: I/JG1 flies its He162s to Leck, and prepares to use them in
action. II/JG1 is at Marienhe, trading in FW190s for He162s.
1st and only successful use of an He162s ejection seat
Berlin: Hitlers Birthday was celebrated by 299 B-17s bombing Berlin for

26-Feb-07

Ar234 site

Ar234 site

He162 in Action
1st Fighter Group

He162 in Action
Fighting Jets of
WW2 by Price +
He162 in Action
WW2 Forums:

Page 39

Historical Notes

22-Apr-45

25-Apr-45

2-May-45

5-May-45
6-May-45
8-May-45

Jul-45
Dec-45

Eastern Europe: Poland

two hours, followed by RAF Mosquitos and then a Bomber Command night
raid. Due to the proximity of Soviet troops, these were the last Anglo-American
air raids on the German capital. The RAF and 8th Air Force were soon replaced
in the sky by the Red Air Force
From the Long Liberation
An excerpt from Wing Commander Roland Beaumonts diary, held in a POW
camp in central Germany near Potsdam describing air action he witnessed from
the camp, including two Bf109G-10s diving through a squadron of Russian P39s twice, shooting down three:
1. P-39s cruise at a few thousand feet under a cloud deck.
2. 2 Bf109G-10s zip out of the clouds astern, zap two P-39s, and zip back up
into the clouds before the P-39s could react.
3. P-39s circle around looking for foes.
4. Bf109s come down again from another quarter, zap one more P-39 and
return to the clouds.
Berlin: Russians sends some 1300 aircraft in orchestrated raids.
I/JG1 operational on He162 stationed at Leck. (about 16 a/c)
II/JG1 joins I/JG1 at Leck (about 15 a/c), forming a special consolidated
"Einsatzgruppen (Special Action Group)", but this amounted to little more than
"rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic".
From mid-April, I/JG-1 had scored a number of kills, but had also lost thirteen
He-162s and ten pilots. Most of the losses were from flying accidents, due to
problems such as engine flame-outs and occasional structural failures.
Germans agreed to a cease-fire and the He-162s were all grounded
British troops capture Leck including 31 He162.
Erik Hartmann and a schwarm are scrambled against a Soviet raid coming to
Brno, Czechoslovakia. Between them and the Soviets are an American P-51
squadron (12). Hartmann & Schwarm make one diving pass through the P-51s
and some 8 Yak 9s, and get the Soviets to think the Americans attacked them. 3
Yaks shot down, 1 P-51 damaged.
Planned use of 3 Schmetterling batteries
Planned use of 60-70 Schmetterling batteries and 3 Wasserfall batteries

Russian facts

War in the Air

WW2 Forums:
Russian facts
Fighting Jets of
World War 2 by
Price
He162 in Action

Eastern Europe: Poland


1-Sep-39

3-Sep-39
17-Sep-39
Jul-44

26-Feb-07

The war begins with a massive attack of He111s & Do17s escorted by Bf110Cs
on the main Polish air base in Warsaw. They are intercepted by a few PZL
P.11s that had the time to get above the incoming bombers and dove to meet
them.
Joining the Luftwaffe are elements of the Slovakian Air Force:
Letka Aircraft
Base
Mission
12
10 Letov S.328 Zvolen
Ground attack (for Slovak troops)
13
10 Letov S.328 Zvolen
Ground attack (for Slovak troops)
45
10 Avia B.534 Spisska Nova Ves Escort the Letovs
49
10 Avia B.534 Spisska Nova Ves Escort the Letovs
Britain and France ask Poland not to bomb Germany whoile they try to
straighten the mess out. This does not work, and Poland loses its chance to
attack with its PZL P.36 medium bombers.
The Soviets invade Poland from the east. Surviving Polish aircraft begin to be
pulled out to Romania.
Russian troops and aircraft break into Poland heading west. SG2 moved to
Zamosc, Poland to try to stop the Soviets on the Bug River. Soviets NW of
Lemberg, at Rawaruska, Towaszow, and Chelm. SG2 moves to Lilec, 60 mi

Aircraft of the
Aces: Slovakian
Aces

Stuka Pilot by
Hans Ulrich Rudel

Page 40

Historical Notes

Aug-44

Eastern Europe: Yugoslavia

NW of Krakow. Soviets cross the San north of Premysl. Rudel running into
more USAF fighters flying triangle escort into Russia.
Move to Leutzen in East Prussia (Mazurian Lakes region). Later moved to
Wenden near Latvian/Estonian border to help the Courland pocket.
Late Aug, moved back to Romania, which was collapsing.

Stuka Pilot by
Hans Ulrich Rudel

Eastern Europe: Yugoslavia


6-Apr-41

11-Apr-41
12-Apr-41

Yugoslavia is blitzed.
Destruction of Grupa 36: Attack on Kumanova by 30 aircaft from:
I(J)/LG2
Bf109s
II(Sch)/LG2
Bf110s
II/ZG76
Bf110s
1 Fury destroyed on the ground. 11 shot down; 2 more damaged and unusable.
2x 109s, 2x 110s shot down. Grupa 35 avoided similar fate by having been
moved to forward field fogged in that morning. Attacking force found similarsized unit of Br.XIX recond aircraft, assumed tey were the biplanes in question,
and destroyed them.
Austria: Small counter attacks on Graz, Austria by Do.17Ks.
Yugoslavia: Hungary invades Yugoslavia to (re-)seize the Vovjodina region
Greek and RAF officers flown in to confer with Yugoslavian command.
Determined that short of supplying massive immediate material aid, there was
not much to do and massive material aid was not available.
When the Hungarians attacked from the north, the Yugoslav troops retreated
from their first defensive line along the border with Hungary, behind the Franz
Josef Canal. The Canal divides the Batchka area and the two canal bridges at
Szenttamas and Verbasz had to be taken before the Hungarian Mobile Corps
could occupy the rest of the region. The Hungarian airborne forces made their
first operational combat jump over the northern Yugoslavian district of Delidek.
The Hungarian paratroopers marched over 30 kms to their objectives at night,
then took the bridges from behind after brief fighting with Yugoslav forces."

13-Apr-41
15-Apr-41

17-Apr-41
9-Nov-44

Final Fury: Surviving Furies of Grupa 35 fleeing to Niksoc meet 12 Italian


fighters (CR.42?). Losses on both sides; 1 Fury shot down. At least 7 Furies
survived. No other details available.
Air Bridge: Surviving JKRV aircraft begin to fly out of Yugoslavia to Greece,
via Florina, Yanina, or Paramythia, particularly the last. Bombers carried JKRV
personnel; some made multiple trips. Those that could be refueled flew to
Athens-Crete-Egypt.
Greece: Paramythia strafed by Italian aircraft; about a dozen JKRV aircraft
destroyed.
Bulgaria: 1/6 Orliak of Royal Bulgarian Air Force, now (forcibly) allied to the
Soviet Union, undertakes recon and battleifed CAP vs the Germans in Serbia
and Macedonia.

Hungary & WW2

Axis History
Forum

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary


22-Mar-39

26-Feb-07

Slovakia: Dissatisfied with its gain of territory from the Vienna Judgement of
Nov-38 that divided Czechoslovakia, Hungary invades, seizing a corridor
between Ruthenia and Slovakia that connects ethnic Magyar populations. This
includes two of the main airports in the region in Uzhorod and Kosice. Recon
flights but no combat.

Aircraft of the
Aces: Slovakian
Aces

Page 41

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary

Historical Notes

The new Slovak Air Force, still undermanned from personnel returned to Czech
regions, had 4 squadrons in the region based in Spisska Nova Ves:
Letka
12
13
45
49

Aircraft
15 Letov S.328 (between the two)
5 Avia Ap32
16 Avia B.534 (between the two)
4 Avia Bk.534

Whole Slovak AF has 66 B.534, 15 are Bk.534.


23-Mar-39

Slovakia: 0740 hrs Fhadnagy (Lieutenant) Aladr Negrs 2. Section (3


CR.32) of the 1/1. vadszszzad was patrolling the area over Szobrnc. At
07:40 three Slovakian Avia B-534s from 49th Letka suddenly appeared. The
B.534s were loaded with bombs. In the ensuing brief aerial combat Negr shot
down Poruck (Lieutenant) Jn Prhcek (commanding officer of the 49th Letka)
west of Sobrance. Prhcek was killed. A second was shot down, but the pilot
survived. The third Avia was claimed, but the pilot landed safely.

Aircraft of the
Aces: Slovakian
Aces

1000 hrs: 3 Avia B-534s of 45th Letka took off to bomb Hungarian tanks. Two
were shot down by flak.
Later in the day, Spisska Nova Ves is raided by 10 Hungarian Ju86K-2. 6 a/c
damaged, 12 people killed, 17 wounded but airfield not closed.
24-Mar-39

Slovakia: At 15:00 the 1/1. vadszszzad scrambled 3 sections that flew of in a


V of Vs. The CR.32s reached the cloud-base at about 6200 feet and then flew
into fog. In a hole in the clouds, the rear two sections saw 3 B.534s (of 45th
Letka) escorting 3 Letov .328s on the port side. The 1. Section did not notice
the enemy and were swallowed by the fog. The Avias jumped Negrs 2.
Section but opened fire too soon, outside the range of their machine-guns. The
Cr.32s turned the table and shot down 2 Avias . The Letovs, from 12th Letka,
on their way to bomb Hungarian troops at Sobrance, were deserted by their
escort and offered a tempting target. They were 300 feet higher; the 3. Section
of Cr.32s did a short dive to accelerate, then climbed behind the Letovs and
fired. 2 were shot down. Three more Avia B.534 (another section of 45th Letka)
were discovered and Palks wingmen were now locked in combat with the
enemy fighter. One pursued one over the border and shot a thousand rounds
from both machine guns into it before shooting it down. The Hungarians
suffered no losses

Fiat CR.32 in the


Hungarian Air
Force
Eagles of the
Tatras

Germany guaranteed Slovakias borders the next day, ending the campaign.
27-Aug-40
22-Jun-41

3-Jul-41

Romania: Due to heightened tensions along Hungarian-Romanian border, A


Grupul 5 he112b intercepts a Hungarian Ca135 and seriously damages it.
Romania: Flying out of Foscani North, Grupul 5 conducted its first mission. 12
He-112Bs took off to escort several Potez 633 B2 bombers that were supposed
to attack the Soviet airfields at Bolgrad and Bulgarica. When they reached their
second target, there were about 30 I-16s in the air. Slt. av. Teodor Moscu
surprised two Ratas just taking off and downed one. He saw another I-16
coming directly at him, and fired again. The Soviet went down in the Danube,
but he had several Soviets on his tail and was hit himself. He manged to
maneuver and fire on one of the attackers, before he and his wingman headed
home. He put his damaged Heinkel down on the first friendly airfield.
Romania: The next day an IAR-80 celul (Rotte) took off quickly and intercepted
three Soviet SB bombers which have just raided the airfield near Rmnicu Srat
and shot down all of them.

26-Feb-07

Grupul 5
Vntoare
Grupul 5
Vntoare

Grupul 8
Vntoare

Page 42

Historical Notes

26-Jul-41

13-Aug-41

11-Jun-42
13-Jun-42

1-Aug-43

Sep-43

Oct-43

26-Feb-07

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary

Romania: A raid by the 2nd Special Sqdn of 32 IAP of the Black Sea Fleet AF:
2x TB-3s, each carrying two I-16 Type 24 fighters under each wing armed with
a pair of 250 kg bombs, commanded by Capt Shubikov, released the fighters to
attack a petrol factory in Konstanta, Romania.
Romania: three "Zveno" (6 fighters) destroy the Chernavodsky Bridge over the
Danube, on which passed a Ploesti-Konstanta oil pipeline.
First Strike at Ploesti: Raid by B-24Ds in squadron strength from Egypt to
Ploesti alerts Germans to the possibility of such a raid.
Slovakia: The SVZ departed again for the front, but in numbers considerably
reduced from its previous deployment. The 1st Letka mustered only six S-328s
and the 11th had a dozen B-534s. Due to their obsolescent aircraft they weren't
committed to the front line, but were deployed in support of the Slovak Security
Division's anti-partisan operations. 1 Letka was withdrawn in October 1942, but
the 11th remained until August 1943. The morale was not of the highest in these
units and, indeed, the crews of a S-328 and a B-534 deserted to the Soviets.
Operation Tidal Wave: The First Big Ploesti Raid
5 US Bomber groups (1 green, 2 avg, 2 vet, 3 sqdn each) raid Ploesti
unescorted. Opposition includes 237 AA guns (especially heavy south and west
of town) and "hundreds of MGs," including a flak train. Barrage balloons. 50+
Bf109G2s. Fairly alert that the raid was coming.
The bombers had trained for low-level attack. All carried 4x1000lb bombs +
18000 lbs fuel. They had trouble navigating across the Med (half of the
distance flown) when lead and deputy navigators were forced down or turned
back with engine problems. 178 took off; 10 turned back over Med; 1 crashed.
Flew over Albania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and finally Romania. Al, Yugo,
Bulgaria lightly defended. 1150 miles (29 boxes?)
First fighter attacks over the flats of the Danube. 2 Groups traveled high over
Yugoslavia; 1 group was lower. The high groups caught a tail wind and pulled
ahead. The defenders were alerted; fighters were waiting on high; B-24Ds came
in low. Had trouble telling apart checkpoints in ground haze; 2 groups turned at
the wrong checkpoint toward Bucharest (35 miles away) and flew over heavy
flak concentrations. Bf109s came down into the raid. Smoke from burring oil
very heavy. Once group flew right over the flak train!
Final Approach details:
1. Scorpions (389th) turn off per plan to hit their target (18 miles north of
Ploesti)
2. Eightballers (376th) and Pyramiders (98th) turn off 20 miles early, mistaking
Bucharest for the target.
3. Liberandos (44th) and Travelling Circus (93rd) hit the target as planned.
4. Eightballers and Pyramiders turn back over Ploesti from wrong direction
at wrong time.
This put a lot of the bombers over Ploesti at the same time at low level going in
different (and sometimes opposite directions).
The bombers returned at tree top level, scattered all over the place. A few made
Sicily, 1 in Cyprus, some in Turkey (interned) 2 in Bulgaria, some in the Med.
Finally, a dozen damaged B-24s on their way home were hit by 10 Bf109Gs
over Greece. 3 B-24s went down so did 2 109s.
53 of the 178 never returned.
Romania: Romanian AF reactivates Grupul 1 Vntoare (1st Fighter Group)
with 3 squadrons: 55th, 63rd and 64th and based at Targsorul Nou airfield.
Bulgaria: Royal Bulgarian AF buys 100 D.520s from Germany.
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Royal Air Force now operational with its new fighters:
Unit
Base
Aircraft
Notes

Zvenno: Soviet
WW2 LR Bomber
System
Zvenno: Soviet
WW2 LR Bomber
System

Eagles of the
Tatras

Target: Ploesti

Grupul 1
Vntoare
Air War Forum
Axis History
Forum

Page 43

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary

Historical Notes

1/6 Orliak
(wing)
2/6 Orliak
(3 sqdns)

Nov-43

B.534 + D.520
Karlovo

D.520

Liked its
maneuverability, but
slow and underarmed
for 1943

3/6 Orliak
Vrazhdebna
Bf109G-6
Romania: Grupul 1 Vntoare was moved to the Rosiorii de Vede airfield, as
part of the air defense of Bucharest and of the Ploesti area. The 43rd Squadron
replaced the 55th.
I/JG5 moves from Norway to Targsorul Nou airfield.

Grupul 1
Vntoare
Luftwaffe in
Norway

14-Nov-43

10-Dec-43

20-Dec-43

10-Jan-44

28-Mar-44

Apr-44
2-Apr-44
3-Apr-44

4-Apr-44

5-Apr-44

15-Apr-44

26-Feb-07

Bulgaria: Sofia bombed by Allies for the first time.


Bulgaria: First Bulgarian combat with D.520s vs 15th AF raid on Sofia (50-60
B-24s + 60 P-38s as escort). 3/6 sent 16 Bf109G-6; 2/6 sent 24 D.520s, but
they were late & only claimed 1 bomber probably, losing 1 D.520.
Bulgaria: 2nd Bulgarian combat with D.520s vs 15th AF raid on Sofia (50 B-24s
+ 50-60 P-38s as escort). 3/6 sent 17 Bf109G-6; 2/6 sent 24 D.520s, 2/6
claimed 1 B-24 downed,1 heavily damaged; 3 P-38s downed; 1x D.520
damaged; 3/6 claimed 3 p-38s & 2 B-24s downed, losing 2 Bf109Gs (1 by
ramming) plus others damaged.
Bulgaria: 3rd major Bulgarian combat with D.520s vs 15th AF raid on Sofia
(180 B-17s & B-24s + 100 P-38s as escort). 3/6 sent 17 Bf109G-6; 2/6 sent 23
D.520s, Luftwaffe sent 30 Bg109s plus some additional D.250 from 1/6. & 4/6.
2/6 claimed 6 bombers & lost 2 D.520. 4/6 traded 1 D.520 for a bomber claim;
3/6 claimed 3 P-38s. Luftwaffe lost 4 Bf109s (claims unknown).
All Bulgarian fighter units begin to transfer to Bf109G
Romania: StG2 pulls back to Jasgy (Iasi), Romania
Romania: StG2 at Husi in northern Romania. Sorties go north between Targul
Frumos and Tiraspol, the Castle at Stanca, Kischnitza, and Grigoriopol.
Romania: Grupul 8 redeploys to Tecuci, Romania.
Hungary: Due to 15th AF raids on Hungary, Hungarian military command
recalls several veteran pilots to spark up home defense, including Debrdy.
Debrdy assigned to 101st Group
Few remaining Jea & Heja-M in home defense units
Romania: the first raid of the US 15th Air Force over Romania. 24 IAR-80Cs
of Grupul 1 took off to intercept. The group claimed 10 B-24s shot down (8
were confirmed). The group lost 1 a/c; 2 crash landed. Three pilots were
wounded. One made a safe landing.
Romania: 15th AF B-24s return and Grupul 1 scrambled 23 fighters. The 63rd
and 64th Sqdns encountered only a lone B-24, which escaped in the clouds. The
43rd found a formation of about 30 B-24 and attacked them, downing 3.
American fighters put in an appearance, 4 P-38s attacking Adj. av. Raghiga
Dumitrescu. He managed to fire on one of them and smoke started to come out
of the Lightning. He was attacked by the others and went down in flames. 2
other a/c crash landed, with pilots wounded.
The 51st Squadron scrambled 4 Bf-109Es and 8 IAR-80s, which intercepted the
last waves of Liberators and claimed one confirmed and one probable victory.
The 52nd sent 7 Emils that scored 4 kills. The squadron commander, cpt. av.
Iliescu, was hit in the engine and wings and had to crash land his aircraft.
Romania: Grupul 1 scrambled IAR-80Cs against the next raid, but only a

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Axis History
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Axis History
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Stuka Pilot by
Hans Ulrich Rudel
Stuka Pilot by
Hans Ulrich Rudel
Grupul 8 Asalt
Gyrgy Debrdy
The Survivor
Hungarian Hawks
Grupul 1
Vntoare

Grupul 1
Vntoare

Grupul 5
Vntoare

Grupul 1

Page 44

Historical Notes

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary

celul (Romanian for Rotte) from the 63rd Squadron stumbled upon an enemy
formation. One B-24 shot down and one IAR-80 damaged.

Vntoare

16-Apr-44

Romania: Another raid, but the 25 of the group's fighters, which were
scrambled, didn't encounter the enemy.

Grupul 1
Vntoare

17-Apr-44

Bulgaria: Last combat loss of D.520s for Bulgarian AF. D.520s still unsed for
training.

Axis History
Forum

Romania: The bombers of the 15th Air Force returned with a powerful fighter
escort. Grupul 1 scrambles 26 IAR 80Cs at 11:20. A patrul (Romanian for
Schwarm) from the 43rd Sqdn encountered about 30 unescorted B-24s, attacked
and shot down 2. Another patrul, was surprised by Mustangs from the US 31st
FG as they were coming out of the clouds; all four were shot down. A third
patrul attacked a separated B-24 and probably shot it down. The 63rd
Squadron attacked also a bomber formation, but lost it in the clouds. The
airplanes got separated during their attempt to follow the B-24s and were
attacked by P-38s. The day was a regular carnage for Grupul 1: 5 pilots killed, 2
wounded and 6 airplanes destroyed and 4 damaged.

Grupul 1
Vntoare

Romania: Another raid. 16 IARs from Grupul 1 were sent to meet the bombers.
A patrul from the 43rd Sqdn encountered about 150 B-24s and attempted to
attack them, but were attacked by P-51Ds and had to flee. Adj. av. Constantin
Popescu remained behind his comrades and stumbled upon a formation 40 B24s. He surprised them and downed three. A formation from the 63rd Sqdn
spotted a lone P-38, which they probably shot down. Only one of the group's
IAR-80C was damaged.
Romania: Combat between 5 Grupul Bf109G-6s and 8 Soviet La-5s escorting 4
P-39s. At least 1 P-39 shot down.
Romania: Grupul 8 executes 40 sorties, mostly without fighter cover. Two
missions (one with 5 a/c and the other with 11) deal severe damage to Soviet
troops near the village Bals. Large explosions were seen. Ten Hs129s then
struck targets west of Biceni and another nine attacked east of Biceni. The last
mission was against the village of Hrmnesti, just as a Ju-88 formation was
approaching the area.
Romania: In the face of a continued Soviet offensive, Grupul 8 attacked in the
Ruginoasa area, bombing the tanks that had reached the Dmbrovicioara Hill
and strafing the support infantry. A second mission was flown against Soviet
light artillery on the same hill (approx 1 km S of Ruginoasa). A third formation
returned in the area later and attacked tanks, but VVS P-39s forced half of them
to break formation.
Romania: Grupul 8 flew two missions (33 sorties). The first against a Soviet
column N of Helesteni. Two tanks were destroyed. The second formation struck
Soviet infantry 3km S of Ruginoasa and destroyed a section AT guns. They
were shortly engaged by VVS fighters and even Il-2s, but the Romanian and
German fighters intervened and they got away.
Romania: Grupul 1 scrambled 19 airplanes to meet a raid. They encountered a
large formation of B-24s, escorted by 80-90 fighters, and engaged them. 9 B24s claimed (8 confirmed) w/no losses.
Romania: Grupul 1 sends 15 IAR-80Cs to intercept the American formations,
claimed 7 aircraft, 5 bombers and two P-38s. One Romanian pilot was
wounded. Only one B-24 was shot down by adj. av. Dumitru Chera. Grupul 1
Romania:
had one wounded pilot and 3 damaged aircraft.
Romania: During a Grupul 8 attack against a Soviet infantry and tank column,

Grupul 1
Vntoare

17-Apr-44
21-Apr-44

24-Apr-44

25-Apr-44
1-May-44

3-May-44

4-May-44

5-May-44

6-May-44
7-May-44
12-May-44

26-Feb-07

Teodor Greceanu
Grupul 8 Asalt

Grupul 8 Asalt

Grupul 8 Asalt

Grupul 1
Vntoare
Grupul 1
Vntoare
Grupul 1
Vntoare
Grupul 8 Asalt

Page 45

Historical Notes

18-May-44

30-May-44

31-May-44
Jun-44

2-Jun-44

6-Jun-44

10-Jun-44

26-Feb-07

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary

adj. maj. av. Stefan Pucas saw several Il-2s heading towards Romanian lines.
After dropping his bombs he attacked the lead enemy aircraft. The 20 mm shells
hit the Soviet's ammunition and the Sturmovik exploded in midair.
Romania: The next US 15th AF raid was met by 19 IARs from Grupul 1. The
entire group attacked a formation of B-17s and shot down two of them. The
patrul under the command of lt. av. Ioan Micu (one of the aces of the 1941
campaign) was attacked by 12 Lightnings; the Romanian ace downed one P-38.
1 a/c and pilot lost.
Grupul 5 scrambled its airplanes and attacked the bomber formations. The 51st
Squadron didn't achieve anything and returned to base with one aircraft
damaged. The 52nd engaged the B-24s and managed to scatter one American
formation and damage several, before the P-38s intervened and forced them to
disengage. They had to RTB due to lack of fuel. 2 spotted 3 Lightnings,
attacked them and shot down one. They landed at the airfield with the last drop
of fuel. The same day, lt. av. Horia Pop, who was on a patrol mission over the
Danube Delta, encountered a lone P-38 and also shot it down.
1st FG flying out of Foggia escorted 700 bombers to Ploesti. However, most
turned back due to bad weather. 1st FGs 48 P-38Js find 140 B-17s under attack
by 80 Axis fighters. They claim 20 of them in exchange for 1 P-38J
Romania: Busy day for Grupul 9: On the first mission of the day, cpt
Serbanescu led a Bf-109G patrul (Vet/Ace/Hero, Reg, Vet/Ace, Reg) in a
fighter sweep north of Iasi (Jassy). They encountered 9 Soviet P-39s and
attacked them. Serbanescu missed his 41st kill due to a malfunction that filled
his windscreen with oil. Barely seeing, he left the fight and returned to base.
Cpt. Gheorghe Popescu-Ciocanel also missed and soon was trying to evade a
Soviet fighter, but his wingman, adj. Miron shot down the pursuer. Soon some
Yak-9s and Il-2s joined the battle. Finally, cpt. Popescu managed to shoot down
one of the Soviet fighters.
Later that day, Serbanescu (Vet/Ace/Hero) took off together with two others
(Vet/Ace, Reg) to escort Ju88s. These were attacked by 6 P-39s. The Romanian
fighters engaged them; Ion Milu scored his 31st victory. Another one was
downed by Ion Mucenica. The other two victories belonged to lt. Ion Dobran
and adj. Cristea Chirvasauta and were scored during the numerous Hs-129
escort missions of the day.
Romania: Grupul 1 scrambles its 18 available a/c to engage the incoming
bombers. Two were shot down, but two pilots were killed in action.
Romania: I/SG2 arms with FW190s. III.stab/SG2 gets one; Rudel prefers
Stuka.
Bulgaria: 1/6 & 4/6 Orliaks more or les destroyed by USAAF strikes vs
Karlovo air base. 4/6 disbanded, pilots transferred to 1/6 & rearmed with 62
D.520s. 97th Bomb Group fly their B-17s from Foggia to bomb the
Hungary:
marshalling yards in Debreczen, Hungary, and then fly on to Poltava, Ukraine.
They are escorted by the P51s of 325th FG.
Romania: 97th Bomb Group fly from Poltava, Ukraine to hit the airfield in
Galati.
Grupul 1 scrambled 16 IARs and intercepted an American formation and shot
one B-24 and one B-17 (unconfirmed). Two Romanian fighters were damaged,
but repairable.
Romania: 82nd FG (46 P-38Js of 95th, 96th, and 97th Sqdns) with 1st FG (45 P38Js of 27th, 71st, and 94th Sqdn) raid Ploesti flying out of Foggia. The 82nd was
loaded with 1000-lbrs & DTs. They went on the deck all the way in, about 12
turning back with mechanical difficulty on the way. Just as the 82nd began to
climb to attack altitude, they were hit by I/JG53s Bf109G-6s. The Luftwaffe
pulled off as the Lightnings went into the high flak area around their target.

Grupul 1
Vntoare

Grupul 5
Vntoare

1st Fighter Group


(US)
Grupul 9
Vntoare

Grupul 1
Vntoare
Stuka Pilot by
Hans Ulrich Rudel
Axis History
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Poltava, Russia

Poltava, Russia
Grupul 1
Vntoare
Last Glory Day of
Grupul 6

Page 46

Historical Notes

11-Jun-44

14-Jun-44
19-Jun-44

23-Jun-44

24-Jun-44

26-Jun-44

28-Jun-44

26-Feb-07

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary

Then the 1st FGs lead sqdn (71st) was set upon by Grupul 6s 28 IAR-81Cs
(Eskadrilles No: 58, 59, 61 and 62) in a shallow valley. Grupul had a field day,
downing 10 aircraft. Meanwhile, the 82nd FG dropped on target, but lost some
more aircraft (9 total on the raid). On the way out, they ran into some Bf110G-4
nightfighters from NJG100.
The 15 IARs of Grupul 1 didn't encounter the enemy.
USAAF view: At dawn, 45 aircraft from all 3 sqdns of 1st FG met 48 P-38s of
the 82nd FG who led the attack. Air aborts took out 9 _38s from 1st FG, 12 from
82nd. A segment of the 71st, Blue flight, was cut off by the 82nd through nav
corrections. En route to the target the 71st spotted half-a dozen Dornier bombers
and attacked, underestimating the number of IAR 80s (often mistaken for the
FW190s) escorting the bombers. Although six were credited as shot down, the
71st lost 9 aircraft within minutes. While the 71st was fighting its desperate
battle, the 94th literally busted through an unexpected covey of enemy aircraft at
low altitude to claim more Do-217 bombers, an FW-190 aircraft, and trainer
type bi-planes. At this time, the 82nd FG, along with the remaining aircraft from
27th and 71st Blue Flight still escorting them, climbed to prepare for the dive
bomb run. They were welcomed by fierce AAA, downing 7 P-38s as the 82nd
rained down 36 x 1,000 pound bombs on the cracking plant, storage tanks, and
refinery units. Two more were lost in strafing attacks on the return to Italy.
After the attack, targets of opportunity presented themselves. The 27th engaged
30-40 Bf109s resulting in four destroyed, four more damaged and two probable
victories against the enemy, costing 4 P-38s. Overall, the 1st FG lost 14 of its
own but claimed 18 aircraft shot down. This mission resulted in the heaviest
loss ever experienced by the 1st FG in a single day during the entire war.
Romania: 97th Bomb Group bombs Foscani airfield near Bucharest, and then
flies back to Italy.
Grupul 1 only scored one victory (a B-17), but suffered no losses.
Hungary: Debrdys 101st Group engages US 94th FSs (14th FG) Lightnings. 5
Lightnings, 2 Bf109Gs downed.
Romania: Luftwaffe first tries Sternflug tactics against US 15th AF bomber
raids: 6 Luftwaffe JG + Grupul 7 & 9 (in Bf109G-6s) all form up and mass
intercept.
Romania: The next American raid of B-17s met by 19 Grupul 1 fighters (got to
restock slightly). Two shot down, but P-51D escort took a heavy toll of
Romanian pilots. Two were killed; 3 more crash landed, including the group's
commander, cpt. cdor. av. Ioan Sandu.
Romania: 15th Air Force fighters attack Romania with a vengeance, taking out
23 fighters (half by 52nd FGs P-51s). Targets include FW190F-8s of 4./SG2
and II/SG10.
The 17 IAR-80Cs of Grupul 1 attacked the B-17s again without results.
Slovakia: Stung by German accusations of cowardice during a previous raid
(SVZ figured that the Allies would win and avoided action to not anger the US),
8 Bf 109G-6s of 13th Letka intercepted US heavy bombers approaching Vienna,
but only managed to shoot down a B-24 and damage two others as well as
damaging a B-17 before the P-51 and P-38 escorts intervened. Only one Bf 109
survived undamaged - 5 shot down, 2 damaged; 3 pilots killed, including the
intemperate acting commander. This destroys 13th Letka asa fighting force.
Romania: Grupul 1 scrambled its 17 IARs and intercepted a bomber formation
and attacked it, while trying to avoid the Mustangs. Three B-17s were shot
down. Also, adj. av. Zisu Sava claimed a probable P-51D. This is the only case
of an IAR-80 pilot claimed a Mustang. The group lost cpt. av. Stefanescu and

Grupul 1
Vntoare
1st Fighter Group

Poltava, Russia
Grupul 1
Vntoare
Gyrgy Debrdy
The Survivor
Traian Drjan the last to fall
Grupul 1
Vntoare

Last Glory Day of


Grupul 6
Grupul 1
Vntoare
Eagles of the
Tatras

Grupul 1
Vntoare

Page 47

Historical Notes

2-Jul-44

9-Jul-44

26-Jul-44

Aug-44
3-Aug-44

4-Aug-44

8-Aug-44

20-Aug-44

21-Aug-44

23-Aug-44

25-Aug-44

29-Aug-44

26-Feb-07

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary

adj. av. Prasinopol was wounded.


Hungary: 18 Hungarian and approx. 80 German fighters attacked US planes
over Budapest. Debrdy shot down a P-51D over Pilisvrsvr flown by 1Lt
George Stanford, Asst Sqdn Ops Officer of the 335th FS (4th FG) with 4 air
victories. Stanford made POW
Romania: Grupul 9 used both at the front vs. Soviets (now advancing into
Romania) and vs. US bomber raids. 2 Bf109G-6s (Vet/Ace, Vet) were
protecting a Romanian Stuka formation, when they were attacked by 4 Yak-9s.
These were soon joined by 2 La-5s. The Romanian pilots shot down a Yak each
during that dogfight.
Romania: Grupul 9s Black Sunday: 18 Gustavs from the Grupul 9 took off
to engage a formation of 20 unescorted bombers, as the radar station reported.
There were more bombers, escorted by over 100 P-38s and P-51Ds. The
Romanian pilots scored 11 victories, but the price was very high: 7 airplanes,
four dead pilots and two wounded.
Romania: Late Aug: After its stint in Poland, SG2 brought back in the face of
Russian invasion and Romanian collapse. Based in Klausenberg near Ploesti.
Slovakia: 13th Letka added to an air group defending the Carpathian passes,
consisting of all the aircraft that could be scraped together, but excluded the Bf
109s of 13 Letka and the last two Emils: twelve S-328s of 2 Letka and the five
B-534s and one Bk-534 of 12 Letka. The four surviving Bf 109Gs were quickly
reduced to two through accidents within days of their transfer to Tri Duby field.
Romania: 16 Bf-109Gs of Grupul 9 in combat against USAAF bomber raid.
During this dogfight Serbanescu claimed a P-51, while the other ace, cpt.
Constantin Cantacuzino, claimed two P-38s.
Romania: cpt. Cantacuzino's time to lead 18 airplanes in Grupul 9s last
successful combat with the 15th Air Force. One P-38 downed at the cost of the
shooter, pilot wounded. Two Mustangs were claimed, but the group lost another
pilot
Romania: The Red Army launched the Iasi-Chisinau (Jassy-Kishinev)
Operation and the air activity on the Moldavian front boomed.
Grupul 8 Asalt was relocated to the Gheraiesti airfield, near Bacu. The
Romanian Henshels started immediately to attack the Soviet mechanized
spearheads.
Romania: Free hunting Romania Schwarm (4 bf109G-6s, Vet, Reg, Vet/Ace,
Reg) encountered a formation of 24 Il-7s escorted by 6 Yaks. They engaged the
fighters and shot down three of them.
Romania: 23 August, Romania sued for peace and all military actions against
the Allies ceased. Germans attempt to reinstate a Pro-German government by
force. Grupul 9 moved to field near capital.
Grupul 8 loses 3 aircraft to heavy Soviet AAA. Moves to Ianca airfield. The
next day, the Germans mount sentries over the aircraft. The pilots flee to the
Romanian 3rd Army (and its CO), who sends troops to recapture Ianca airfield
and the aircraft
Romania: Cpt. Cantacuzino with other 6 Bf-109Gs intercepted 11 He-111s
which were going to bomb Bucharest. Three were shot down and another three
damaged. Later, they attacked a Stuka formation and shot down one of them.
Grupul 8 flies its 17 Hs128Bs to Croiva for reorganization.
Slovakia: The Slovak high command intended to open the passes to the Soviets,
but the Germans caught wind of this and preemptively occupied Slovakia and
began to disarm the Slovak military. Unlike the other German attempts to
occupy its Allies, the Slovaks resisted and the so-called Slovak National
Uprising began. The Germans had an advantage over the Slovaks in that they

Gyrgy Debrdy
The Survivor
Traian Drjan the last to fall

Traian Drjan the last to fall

Stuka Pilot by
Hans Ulrich Rudel
Eagles of the
Tatras

Grupul 9
Vntoare
Grupul 9
Vntoare

Traian Drjan the last to fall


Grupul 8 Asalt

Traian Drjan the last to fall


Grupul 9
Vntoare
Grupul 8 Asalt

Grupul 9
Vntoare
Grupul 8 Asalt
Eagles of the
Tatras

Page 48

Historical Notes

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary

were semi-prepared for resistance while the Slovaks had to move prematurely.
30-Aug-44
31-Aug-44

Bulgaria: Last German air units pull out of Bulgaria.


Slovakia: Much of the Air Force Group defected to the Soviets: two Gustavs,
the two surviving Bf 109Es, four B-534s, one Bk-534, and seven S-328s, but a
few remained behind.

1-Sep-44

Romania: Grupul 9 (reinforced by pilots from the disbanded Grupul 7) move to


Turnisor in Transylvania, preparing for offensive action against the Germans.
Slovakia: While on a test flight of a B-534 at the Tri Duby airfield during the
Slovak Nationalist Uprising, Stbni rotmistr (Master Sergeant) Frantisek
Cyprich followed and shot down a Hungarian Ju52 making a run from Budapest
to Krakow, carrying 7 passengers 2 were high ranking staff officers - and
mail. This was the last (recorded) biplane kill of WW2.
Romania: the 41st and 42nd Squadrons of Grupul 8 moved to Balomir airfield,
on the front in Transylvania, from were it had to fly against the German and
Hungarian forces. But the Soviets occupying the base arrested the pilots and
confiscated the aircraft. At the intervention of gen. de escadr av. Emanoil
Ionescu they were set free.
Slovakia: A number of the aircraft that left on 8/31 returned to Tri Duby when
it became clear that the Germans weren't going to overrun it in the near future,
but the lack of ammunition, fuel and spares severely hampered operations. The
Bf 109Gs flew only sparingly and claimed three victories, namely a Ju 88
bomber and two Fw 189s. The Emils flew even less and made no claims at all.

Grupul 9
Vntoare
Slovak National
Uprising and the
last biplane kill

Romania: Grupul 8s the first 5 Hs-129s made an armed reconnaissance in the


Ocna Muresului - Trnava Mic area and bombed Hungarian troops. Another
five aircraft struck an enemy column, destroying 25 trucks. The following day,
they made 21 sorties.
Bulgaria: On 9-Sep-44, there was an anti-Nazi, Pro-Soviet coup in Bulgaria. By
this time, the B-534 was a ground attack aircraft in the Bulgarian Air Force.
At 06.40 six German Bf109G-6s intercepted six Bulgarian B-534s over the
railway-stop at Verinsko. The Bf109s attacked and the B-534s tried to answer
this but it was a short affair since the Messerschmitts didnt want to get involved
in a dogfight with the much more maneuverable Avias at low height so they left
after the first bounce. They shot down one Avia B-534 (pilot survived).
Romania: 8 Grupul8 Hs129Bs surprised a German column south of Cluj,
knocking out 18 tanks. Another 12 attacked a truck and cart column with good
results. Three aircraft were shot down, one by Soviet AAA because of a
questionable error of identification.
Romania: Grupul 9 performs a low-level attack on the Someseni airfield near
Cluj. They came in from the north and achieved complete surprise. They
destroyed a Re-2000, a Fw-58 and three transport gliders. The same day they
had to move to the Balomir airfield.
Romania: Grupul 8 supported the Pulis Detachment, which was struggling
with its feeble forces to hold back the 1st Hungarian Armored Division. 8
vehicles were destroyed by the five Hs-129s. During the following days the
Romanian assault aircraft returned many times to Pulis. The next day, 8 Hs129s dive-bombed the Axis armored attacked, destroying 8 tanks. After
releasing the load, they emptied their guns and machine-guns in the enemy
infantry positions.
Slovakia:
1st Czechoslovak Fighter Regiment w/ La-5FNs arrives at Tri Duby.
The ex-SVZ aircraft were only used occasionally after that.
Romania: Grupul 9 has first clash with the Luftwaffe Bf-109Gs; 1 Romanian
shot down and another crash landed.
Grupul 8 also provided support to the 4th Army fighting in the Turda area. Four

Grupul 8 Asalt

2-Sep-44

6-Sep-44

8-Sep-44

10-Sep-44

14-Sep-44

15-Sep-44

16-Sep-44

17-Sep-44
18-Sep-44

26-Feb-07

Eagles of the
Tatras

Grupul 8 Asalt

Eagles of the
Tatras

Bulgarian Air
Force Use of the
Avia B-534

Grupul 8 Asalt

Grupul 9
Vntoare

Grupul 8 Asalt

Eagles of the
Tatras
Grupul 9
Vntoare
Grupul 8 Asalt

Page 49

Historical Notes

25-Sep-44
Oct-44

25-Oct-44
9-Nov-44

16-Nov-44

14-Dec-44
22-Feb-45
25-Feb-45

11-May-45
2-Jun-45

26-Feb-07

Eastern Europe: Czechoslovakia, Romania & Hungary

Hsc129Bs attacked a 25 truck column west of the town causing a lot of damage.
They dived from 1,200 m and launched the bombs very precisely. They turned
after pulling out of the dive, lined up and passed at low altitude over the burning
column, firing the on-board artillery at the remains and then they flew away,
without a loss.
Romania: cpt. Lucian Toma shot down a Ju-188, but was himself hit by the
gunners and went down with it. The command was again assumed by cpt.
Constantin Cantacuzino.
Hungary: SG2 moves to Farmos, W of Szolnok. Russians take Szeged and
probe the Theiss river. At the end of the month, Soviets thrust from Kecskemet
to push toward Budapest.
Slovakia: All surviving Slovak aircraft were burned when the insurgents
evacuated Tri Duby as the German forces approached.
Bulgaria: 1/6 Orliak of Royal Bulgarian Air Force, now (forcibly) allied to the
Soviet Union, undertakes recon and battleifed CAP vs the Germans in Serbia
and Macedonia.
Hungary: Debrdys last mission. The 101/3. Squadron attacked SE of
Jszberny some La-5s of the 5th Vozdushnaja Armija (5th Soviet Air Army)
and Debrdy downed one Lavochkin. Later he made a frontal attack against a
Soviet Yak-9, north of Nagykta. In an exchange of hits, he shot down the Yak
but was wounded near the spine. He made a successful emergency landing and
went to the hospital and out of the war.
Hungary: Grupul 9 settled for the winter at Miskolc.
Romania: Romanian AF in action in support of Soviet ground troops.
Slovakia: Grupul 9s 2 sqdns supporting ground forces attacking Zvolen
(Hungary). On his fifth mission that day, cpt. Cantacuzino took off with adj.
Traian Drjan. They encountered 8 Fw-190Fs attacking Soviet troops. and
engaged. The captain, ARR's top scoring ace of the war, shot down one of them
and the others fled. To validate the kill, the two Romanian pilots got careless
looking for the wreck. They failed to see an approaching Rotte of German Bf109Gs, lead by Helmut Lipfert. Adj. Traian Drjan fell victim to the Luftwaffe
ace, his former instructor at Tiraspol. He crashed near the Romanian lines. Cpt.
Cantacuzino didn't even notice that his wingman was in trouble; he was also
surprised by Lipfert's wingman and shot down.
adj. Constantin Nicoara shot down a Bf-109K in an engagement with four
Luftwaffe Bf109Ks. In the same dogfight, two Romanian Bf-109s were
damaged. This was the last kill for the Romanian AF in WW2.
Slovakia: Four Bf-109Gs escorted Romanian bombers against remnants of the
Vlasov Army, which were refusing to capitulate.
Hungary: After the war, several Romanian pilots took part in a large Alliedorganized air show at Wiener-Neustadt on 1 June 1945, representing the
German techniques and equipment, including the Bf-109G6. On the way back to
Miskolc, two pilots from Grupul 1, met several P-51Ds over Hungary and
waggled their wings as a recognition sign. The Mustangs waved back when the
aircraft passed each other. A Soviet Il-2 formation, escorted by Yak-3s, came
along a few minutes later. The Romanians again waggled their wings, but the
Soviets did not wave back and flew on in the opposite direction. The last two
Yaks suddenly broke formation and jumped on the Bf109s. Milu had enough of
the war (five years and 45 confirmed victories) and decided not to engage the
aggressors, so he dived to safety. Lt. av. Baciu apparently managed to shoot
down one Soviet and returned home with 16 holes in his aircraft. This is
probably the last victory achieved by a Romanian fighter pilot.

Grupul 9
Vntoare
Stuka Pilot by
Hans Ulrich Rudel
Eagles of the
Tatras
Axis History
Forum
Gyrgy Debrdy
The Survivor

Grupul 9
Vntoare
Traian Drjan the last to fall

Grupul 9
Vntoare
Grupul 9
Vntoare
Grupul 1
Vntoare

Page 50

Historical Notes

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

Eastern Europe: Russian Front


14-Jun-40
Jun/Jul-41

21-Jun-41

22-Jun-41

23-Jun-41

Estonia: An Estonian Ju52 airliner is shot down by 2 Soviet SB-2


bombers on patrol, crash-landing 2-3 km from Prangli Island.
Rudel joins SG2 at Razai (.5 hr SE of Insterburg). Attacks between
Grodno and Wolkwysk, bombing tanks, flak, ammo dumps. Advances
through Ulla, Lepel, Janowici. See only I-15(3)s, I-16s, Martin bombers.
Operation Barbarossa: German invasion of Soviet Union begins, starting
with a devastating series of attacks against Soviet airbases within 200
miles if the Soviet border. Most (ready) Soviet air power destroyed on the
ground. Most of what does get in the air does so in dribs and drabs, and is
heavily damaged.
Ukraine: Flying out of Foscani North, Grupul 5 conducted its first
mission. 12 He-112Bs took off to escort several Potez 633 B2 bombers
that were supposed to attack the Soviet airfields at Bolgrad and Bulgarica.
When they reached their second target, there were about 30 I-16s in the
air. Slt. av. Teodor Moscu surprised two Ratas just taking off and downed
one. He saw another I-16 coming directly at him, and fired again. The
Soviet went down in the Danube, but he had several Soviets on his tail and
was hit himself. He manged to maneuver and fire on one of the attackers,
before he and his wingman headed home. He put his damaged Heinkel
down on the first friendly airfield.

Plane crash Info: 1940

Near Kamenki, Major Schellman, CO of JG.27, a 24-kill ace (12 in Spain


2nd highest total), was downed when an I-16 made a taran attack on his
Bf109E-7. He baled out, but was not recovered or made POW.
Ukraine: The first loss in combat of an ARR fighter. Twelve He-112Bs of

Aces of the Luftwaffe

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel

Grupul 5

Grupul 5

the Grupul 5 made a low-level attack on the Bolgrad airfield. They were
intercepted by 7 I-153s. The leader of the interceptors kap. Piotr
Kozachenko (a 15 victory ace of the wars with Japan and Finland). He shot
down a He-112B (pilot killed). The same day, another 4 He-112s engaged
10 Soviet fighters, but without success.
27-Jun-41

5-Jul-41

Ukraine: rmester (Sergeant) Arpd Kertsz when nine CR.42s of the


2/3. "Richie" vadszszzads (sqdn) of the 2./II Osztly escorted 36
Junkers Ju86s and one squadron of Caproni Ca135s against targets in
Stanislaw. On the return, he shot down a Soviet recon aircraft. The sqdn
lost a CR.42 to AAA. The pilot returned through enemy lines after sixteen
days.
The other unit of the 2./II Osztly, Szzados (Captain) Guldens 2./4
vadszszzad, lost of a whole section when three Fiats crashed in bad
weather. (3 of 9 a/c in sqdn)
Ukraine: Grupul 5 He-112Bs attacked again Bulgarica airfield. After

Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service

Grupul 5

bombing, the pilots strafed the lines of camouflaged airplanes. One Soviet
I-153 was also shot down, climbing to meet the attackers. The same day,
another patrul (Romanian for Schwarm) provided fighter cover for a
bomber formation. They were engaged by 12 Soviet fighters; 4 VVS aircraft
and one He-112B were shot down.
8-Jul-41

26-Feb-07

Ukraine: 2/3. vadszszzad (sqdn) moved from their Hungarian advanced


base at Bustyahza to a captured Russian airfield some five miles outside
of Kolomea.

Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service

Page 51

Historical Notes

10-Jul-41

12-Jul-41

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

Ukraine: During the day Hadnagy Vmos section provided air cover for
advancing units of the Hungarian Fast Corps. There were no enemy
aircraft in the air but, not wishing to return without firing their guns, the
three Fiats attacked and dispersed a retreating Soviet column in the
Smotricz area. Almost immediately, five Soviet I-16s appeared and, in the
ensuing dogfight, Vmos shot down one of them. The section severely
damaged another and sent the other three fleeing eastward.
Ukraine: Soviet forces were attacking the Romanian 5th Corps in the

Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service

Grupul 5

Tiganca area. Romanian bombers repeatedly struck the Soviet positions.


Grupul 5 attacked artillery bateries and troop concentrations. One He-112B
lost (pilot killed) and one damaged during an attack against Soviet tanks
and artillery in the Hrtoapelor Valley. During an escort mission, slt. av. Ion
Zaharia shot down a I-16, saving a P.37B from Grupul 4 (Bombers)

21-Jul-41

22-Jul-41
24-Jul-41

26-Jul-41

Hungarian 2/3. vadszszzad escorted two short-range recon sqdns, which


bombing an enemy transport assembly point west of Zwanczyk.
Szobrnczy, Fhadnagy (Lieutenant) Pottyondy, Hadnagy Vmos,
Szakaszvezet (Lance-Sergeant) Pter Sos and Szakaszvezet Balogh
took off at 10:00 hrs and joined the formation of WM 21 Slyom. On the
way to the target, Szobrnczy saw three twin-engined Soviet bombers. As
the Fiats dived on them, 7 Soviet I-16s appeared suddenly and engaged the
Hungarian biplanes. Szobrnczy and Pottyondy each claimed an I-16; a
third was rammed by Vmos, who parachuted to safety. Later on the same
mission Sos and Balogh also claimed one fighter each. The Slyoms
returned after finishing their mission.
Moscow: First Air Raid by 195 Luftwaffe bombers (unescorted, at night):
Promise was to destroy Moscow as done to London.
Ju88As from KG3 & KG54
He111Hs from KG53, KG55, KG28, III/KG26, KGr100
Do17Zs from KG2 & KG3
170 fighters came up for defense. Heavy fighting near searchlight
concentrations. See Moscow Air Defense Zone.
Moscow: 2nd Air Raid:
115 bombers attack. Soviets claim 15; Luftwaffe admits to 5.
Moscow: 3rd Air Raid:
100 bombers.
Later raids in July and August had 50, then 30, then smaller raids of 15.
Romania: A raid by the 2nd Special Sqdn of 32 IAP of the Black Sea Fleet
AF: 2x TB-3s, each carrying two I-16 Type 24 fighters under each wing
armed with a pair of 250 kg bombs, commanded by Capt Shubikov,
released the fighters to attack a petrol factory in Konstanta, Romania.

Aug-41

Rudel transferred to .3/StG2. Attacks on Smolensk/Moscow road. Based


in Duchowtichina near Jarzevo.
Attacks by Soviets at Romanians were costly

7-Aug-41

Group of 6 Re.2000s sent to Hungarian Air Group for combat evaluation.


Between Aug & Dec-41, they claim 6x I-16s for 1 loss.
Ukraine: the unit moved to Pervomaysk.

Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service

Black Cross/Red Star


by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Zvenno: Soviet WW2


LR Bomber System

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel
Black Cross/Red Star
by Bergstrm & Mikhailovich

8-Aug-41
11-Aug-41

26-Feb-07

Ukraine: two sections of the squadron and the Reggiane Re2000 flight,
which was attached for combat testing, escorted Fhadnagy Szakonyis
Caproni Ca135 detachment to destroy the important bridge over the river
Bug at Nikolayev. This bridge was the last remaining escape route of the
encircled Soviet army. The bridge was strongly defended by AA batteries

Hungarian Hawks
Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service
Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service

Page 52

Historical Notes

12-Aug-41

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

and fighters. On the way to the target, AAA fire was heavy; most bombers
were hit. They destroyed the bridge and severely damaged the railway
station. On the return flight, Soviet I-16s attacked the Hungarian aircraft.
During the ensuing combat Tomor, Szakaszvezet Gcsei, Zszls Kun,
Zszls Mrton Sznyi and Zszls Baranyai each claimed victories. This
was the 1/3. "Kr sz" vadszszzad first five claims during WW2. All
CR.42s were hit but none were lost. The Re2000s claimed 2 more Soviet
fighters, but had lost a pilot. One crippled Caproni claimed 3 and another
Caproni claimed 1 additional Soviet fighter.
Oberfeldwebel Eugen Wintergest vs 9 SB-2s; shoots down 7 of 9.

Black Cross/Red Star


by Bergstrm & Mikhailovich

13-Aug-41

Romania: three "Zveno" (6 fighters) destroy the Chernavodsky Bridge


over the Danube, on which passed a Ploesti-Konstanta oil pipeline.
Leningrad: Patrolling the air above the railroad station Veimarn at 8 am,
two flights of I-16s were jumped by a Staffel of Bf 109s. The Soviets
evaded the first attack without loss, but the Bf 109s came back. A whirling
dogfight followed. Lt Knyazev's Ishak was shot in flames and the pilot
bailed out. Fighting alone, Leytenant Golubev was eventually defeated. A
Bf 109 sneaked up on his tail. A violent strike told him that his aircraft
was hit. Turning away, he felt another strike - from below. His flight
altitude was too low by now, the ground came rushing against him. Hot oil
splashed into his face and covered his goggles; he threw them off and saw
a small shrubbery in front of him. Having slowed down the speed by
turning off the engine, Golubev managed to pull the stick by using all his
strength and both hands. Then followed the crash. Vasiliy Golubev came
to conciousness only on the following day.

Zvenno: Soviet WW2


LR Bomber System
Black Cross/Red Star
by Bergstrm & Mikhailovich

German pilot (same date): The Russian flight leader had noticed us and
turned around. My wingman made another attack. Once again, the Russian
turned and met him head-on. Damn, this was a tough fellow!
The rest of my flight intervened and made wild attacks on him from all
positions. This Russian pilot definately was one of their top aces. He
avoided each attack exactly in the right moment, pulled up and then went
down steeply over his wing. He even had the nerves to pull up behind our
flight and fire some very accurate bursts. We lay above him, dove on him
at high speed and then pulled up steeply.
So far, I hadn't intervened in the combat, since I wanted my Katschmarek
(wingman) to have this kill. But suddenly the Russian tried to get away,
heading for two Russian naval ships anchoring in the bay. The AAA on
the ships was already firing at us. It was now or never! I went down after
him, but he turned to the right. I had aimed slightly to the left and he
noticed this immediately. As I pulled up again, he had already banked to
the left. Then he came around and started shooting at me from behind!
Suddenly, light AAA fire opened up at me from the ships. I turned left as
hard as I could, went down over the left wing and then pulled left again. I
made this very fast, and the Russian was in front of me. Slightly above
him, I finally managed to get a burst at him. I could see hits! The plane left
a trail of dark smoke.
23-Aug-41

26-Feb-07

Ukraine: During the third mission, 10 of Grupul 8 (V)s IAR-80s


intercepted 5 Soviet DB-3s escorted by 12 I-16s. The DB-3s immediately
dropped their bombs and turned back. While the other IARs engaged the
fighters, adj. av. Dumitru Ilie attacked the bombers and shot down one.
The others bagged 4 Ratas. 2 I-16s bagged later in the day.

Grupul 8 Vntoare

Page 53

Historical Notes

Late Aug41?
26-Aug-42

27-Aug-41

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

SG2 based at Rehilbitzy (90 Miles west of Lake Ilmen), attacking


Novgorod at the north end of the Lake.
Ukraine: During the next days the vadszszzad flew several sorties over
the industrial centre of Dniepropetrovsk. Hadnagy Albert Seres section
flew a sortie over the city and engaged in combat with Soviet I-16s. Seres
and Zszls Sznyi claimed two I-16s each while Zszls Baranyai
claimed a fifth I-16.
Ukraine: During a patrol mission, an IAR-80 patrul from the 42/52nd

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel
Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service

Grupul 5

Sqdn (Grupul 5) encountered 9 Soviet bombers and their escorts. They


attacked and shot down 4 of the bombers. The fighters intevened and serg.
TR Nicolae Sculi Logotheti shot down one of them.

Fhadnagy Ujszszys section (of Hungarian Cr.42 Falcos) was first over
Dniepropetrovsk. They surprised Soviet fighters taking off. During the
combat Ujszszy and Trzsrmester (Staff Sergeant) Szobrnci claimed
two I-17s each while Zszls Sznsi claimed a fifth. The section claimed
5 victories in this combat and in the evening the German intelligence
confirmed the destruction of at least 5, possibly 6 aircraft.

Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service

During a second patrol over Dniepropetrovsk Hadnagy Seres and Zszls


Baranyai claimed two more fighters.

Sep-41

Also during the day Zszls Sznyi claimed an additional Soviet aircraft
but he was himself shot down and taken POW.
II/JG77 withdrawn form Odessa area after kicking major Soviet butt.
GAL left to its own, but failed to hold air superiority.
SG2 moves to Tyrkovo, south of Luga near Leningrad.

2-Sep-41

Ukraine: GAL loses air superiority over Odessa

5-Sep-41

Ukraine: One free-hunting patrul near Odessa found several I-16s

28-Aug-41

Black Cross/Red Star


by Bergstrm & Mikhailovich

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel
Black Cross/Red Star
by Bergstrm & Mikhailovich

Grupul 5

attacking ground troops and the IAR-80s intervened. 3 Ratas claimed.


7-Sep-41
8-Sep-41
13-Sep-41

Ukraine: 12 Letka (sqdn) scrambled from Gubin airfield, intercepted 9


Soviet I-16s with 10 B-534s, claiming 2 (1 actual)..
Ukraine: 3 12th Letka B.534 patrolling over the Gornostaypol bridge over
the Dneipr north of Kiev, vs 2 I-16s shoots down 1.
Ukraine: 8 IAR-80s from Grupul 5 and 4 Bf-109Es from Grupul 7 attacked

15-Sep-41

a bomber formation escorted by 14 I-16s. They downed 3 DB-3s; probable


on a I-16.
Ukraine: 8 IAR-80s from Grupul 5 and 4 Bf-109Es from Grupul 7 engaged
12 Ratas. Of. echip. cls. III Ioan Maga shot down two of them, thus
obtaining the ace status with five kills.

16-Sep-41

SG2 ordered to attack Soviet Fleet at Kronstadt

19/20-Sep41

In poor weather (cloud base 2400 ft, broken clouds 5-700 ft above 6000
ft), SG2 (~30 Stukas) attacks Kronstadt with 1000 lb (500 kg) bombs.
Rudel gets a hit. Then weather clears. 100 AAA guns in 6 sq. miles of
target zone all open up.
Ukraine: III/StG77 brought in and attacks Soviet Fleet. DB-3s raiding
Romania proper at the same time, but these mostly have a nuisance value.
Soviet amphibious landing at Grigorevka (behind Rumanian lines) carried
in major fleet elements.
StG2 goes back with 1000 kg bombs. Sink BB Marat & CA Kirov. Rudel's
friend (and commander) Stan dies.
III/StG77 damages 2 Soviet DDs; GB Krasnaya Armenia sunk.
I/SG2 moves to Staritza. Helps defend Kalinin from Soviet counterattack.

21-Sep-41

23-Sep-41
24-Sep-41
Oct-41

26-Feb-07

Black Cross/Red Star


by Bergstrm & Mikhailovich

Grupul 5
Grupul 5
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel

Black Cross/Red Star


by Bergstrm & Mikhailovich

(Book on German DBs)


Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
(Book on German DBs)
Stuka Pilot by Hans

Page 54

Historical Notes

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

First Tomahawks (P-40Bs) in Russia go into action on Leningrad and


Moscow Fronts.
Early in month, Germans attack Odessa.
By end of the month, Slovakian fighter units both leave to requip.
1-Oct-41

2-Oct-41

4-Oct-41

7-Oct-41

10-Oct-41

14-Oct-41

A "strong formation" (sounds like a sqdn; maybe Gruppe) of JG-77


Bf109s intercepted a ground-attack formation consisting of I-15bis and I16 I-16s from 3 Eskadrilya/32 IAP, led by Kapitan Konstantin Denisov,
and the Il-2 Shturmoviks of Kapitan Aleksey Gubriy's 46 OShAE. Ten
Yak-1s of 5./32 IAP, providing fighter cover, Bf109s. An uneven combat
followed. The Yaks escaped without loss - Starshiy Lt Mikhail Avdeyev
even managed to shoot down a Bf 109 F. But they could not prevent the
JG 77 pilots from tearing up the formation of the ground-attackers. 3
Eskadrilya/32 IAP lost three I-16s. All three I-16s were credited to fighter
aces of III/JG 77 - Oberlt Kurt Lasse scoring his 38th, Oberlt Kurt Ubben
his 39th and Feldwebel Robert Helmer his 17th victory. II/JG 77 claimed
two of 46 OShAE's Shturmoviks.
The 1o.Escuadrilla Azul (Spanish volunteers) with 12 BF-109E-4 and -7s
were assigned to JG27/VIII FliegerKorps/LuftFlotte 2 as the 15
Spanische Staffel. They flew their first combat op and lost its first pilot
in that same day. Escorting German bombers and reconnaissance aircraft,
they operated from 12 different airfields
The 1o.Escuadrilla Azul score its first aerial victories, when Cmdte. Salas
opens the score board with the destruction of one I-16 fighter and a Pe-2
as he described in his after combat report:
I saw coming 6 Pe-2 and I went after them, cutting the distance between us
I found myself below I opened fire from 150 meters with my small machine
and much closer with my canons, I saw pieces jump from the aircraft after
the second burst, it occupant taking to his parachute. Later I continue
towards Cholm to join up with the group and see a Rata I attack him in
a turn while trying to flee in a fast dive that rips his left wing and he
crashes near the confluence between Dnieper and Wjasna. Later I attack
twice another Rata with no effects.
The Escuadrilla Azul flies 42 sorties. Salas shoots down an I-18, his
third personal and third unit victory (what does this say about the
effectiveness of the unit?)
Ukraine: Hungarian Falcos continue to fly recon, escort and patrol
missions. The vadszszzad moved to Dniepropetrovsk. One section was
transferred to Golubovka and the other to Losovaya. However, the front
moved so rapidly eastward that it was not possible to fly sorties from these
bases.
Odessa falls. GAL down to 1/5 its original strength is withdrawn

Ulrich Rudel
Americas 100,000 by
Francis Dean
Aircraft of the Aces:
Slovakian Aces
Black Cross/Red Star
excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

WWII Ace Stories:


Salas - A Fighter Ace in
Two Wars
WWII Ace Stories:
Salas - A Fighter Ace in
Two Wars

WWII Ace Stories:


Salas - A Fighter Ace in
Two Wars
Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service

Black Cross/Red Star


by Bergstrm & Mikhailovich

27-Oct-41

26-Feb-07

Salas in the company with three other pilots in a free hunt near Kalinin
surprise three DB-3 bombers in the resulting combat Salas downs two,
while Capt. Carlos Bayo Alessandri destroys the third DB-3, but during
the heat of the combat Salas and Bayo collide resulting in Salas BF-109s
rudder being partially destroyed but he made back to base. But during this
combat Cmdte. Salas became the first Spanish pilot to become an Ace in
the skies of Russia.
Salas during an combat between five Spanish pilot and reportedly 10 I18 fighters shot-down another DB-3 bomber for his sixth personal and
the 10th victory for the Spanish squadron.

WWII Ace Stories:


Salas - A Fighter Ace in
Two Wars

WWII Ace Stories:


Salas - A Fighter Ace in
Two Wars

Page 55

Historical Notes

Nov/Dec-41
3-Nov-41
19-Nov-41

26-Nov-41

Late Dec-41
3-Jan-42

6-Jan-42

24-Feb-42

6-Mar-42
May-42

Jun-42

1-Jul-42

2-Jul-42

26-Feb-07

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

Moved to Grstovo near Rusa. 50 miles north of Moscow, On Moscova


River. Then the Spanish Blues are pushed out of Klin.
Ukraine: The Hungarian fighter, bomber and recon vadszszzads and the
mobile workshop were ordered to assemble at Dnieprodshershinsk
Ukraine: The Magyar Kirlyi Lgier units head back to Hungary. Their
aircraft - Fiat CR.42s, Junkers Ju86s and Heinkel He46s - were not
considered suitable for the Russian winter. No combat aircraft of the
Magyar Kirlyi Lgier saw service in Russia between December 1941
and May 1942.
Kalinin: German formations were on their last legs after their summer
offensive toward Moscow, faced with bitter cold and incessant counterattacks. Hans Ulrich Rudel in a Stuka was sent to Kalinin. As he landed,
tank shells started to fall on the runway. The Soviets were attacking the
thin screen of infantry covering the airfield. In a flash, Rudel was back in
the air, accompanied by Hs-123s; they held the Soviets back.
Pushed back to Dugina, 12 mi south of Sytchevka. (1o.Escuadrilla Azul is
there, too.)
Moscow: First of 14,000 Soviet paratroops of the IV Airborne Corps are
dropped near Vyazma west of Moscow to disrupt German activities. The
jumps are spread out over 6 days due to a lack of transport aircraft.
Coordination is poor (both at jump an dafter jump on the ground),
However, simply due to numbers of troops annoying German supply lines,
they caused a problem for the Germans. Not fully cleared up until March
(see info on second jump). Of the 14,000 paratroops, 4,000 survived.
The 1/o.Escuadrilla Azul receive the orders to return to Spain on January
6th, 1942. During their time in Russia the unit flew a total of 460 missions,
engaged in 94 aerial combats and destroyed 10 enemy aircraft plus four on
the ground, for the lost of 5 pilots (one KIFA, three WIA and one KIA)
plus one wounded in action. As for Comandate Salas he received the
German Iron Cross .
Ukraine: six Macchis from 362a (Vet/Ace Torresi and wingie), 369a (1
Vet) and 359a Sqde (Vet/Ace & 2 others) (sqds of 22 gruppo CT Aut) go
on a patrol mission over the front. Over Alexandrowka they encountered a
group of Soviet fighters(probably LaGGs or MiGs). The Italians claimed
jointly two fighters destroyed for no losses.
Elenya: 2nd Soviet airborne jump attacks German supply center in Elenya.
Kharkov: Soviet Air Force (V-VS) deploys 2 Air Armies (3000 a/c; +
1500 more in the Kuban to the South) face off vs. 1500 Luftwaffe aircraft
(including StG 2)
Rudel rejoins StG2, bringing newly trained sqdn, at Sinferopol in Crimea.
Later moves (with sqdn) to Kerch.
Rudel transferred to Beleretschenskaya (near Maikop) and helps with
advance toward Tuapse, attacking port of Tuapse and Goitsch Pass.
Hungarian Re.2000s (Hejas) return to Russia w/ Hungarian Air Army.
Did well for a while as escorts for Hungarian bombers.
Crimea: Sevastopol falls. FleigerKorps VIII ha dcontriubuted no fewer
than 23,751 sorties and dropped 20,528 tons of bombs. Despite working
ceaselessly every day, mainly in bombing missions against Soviet
positions in front of the advancing infantry, but also in a wide variety of
other tasks, it lost only31 aircraft to flak and none to enemy fighters.
The single most successful German bomber attack in 1942 was I./KG 76's
and I./KG 100's attacks against the Black Sea ports of Taman, Anapa, and
Novorossiysk - leading to the destruction of the flotilla leader Tashkent
and a destroyer, plus three transport ships, a salvage vessel, a schooner,

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel
Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service
Fiat CR.42 in
Hungarian Service

2 Long Bars

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel
Airborne Chronology

WWII Ace Stories:


Salas - A Fighter Ace in
Two Wars

Biplane Aces Guilio


Torresi

Airborne Chronology
The Soviet Air Force by
Asher Lee
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
Hungarian Hawks
Stopped at Stalingrad
by Joel Hayward

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Page 56

Historical Notes

23-Aug-42

10/11-Aug42
12-Aug-42

13-Aug-42

17-Aug-42
19-Aug-42

26-Feb-07

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

two torpedo boats, and a patrol boat. In addition, a minelayer, two


destroyers, and seven other vessels were damaged.
Byelorussia: Starishey Leitenant Aleksey Smirnov (Vet/Ace) led six P39Ds of 153 IAP to tear into a formation of 6 Ju87s and 6 escort fighters
near Zemlyansk. Before the escort could intervene, Smirnov destroyed 1
Stuka and then pulled in behind a Bf109 and started to fire into him. The
German pilot knew how to protect his skin and gave a good fight. By
continually turning, side-slipping and fish-tailing he managed to work his
way back into German territory forcing Smirnov to break off and turn for
home when fuel was getting low.
Some sources state that Smirnov was shot down over German-held
territory but the wind then brought him safely into Soviet territory.
Ukraine: Massive german bomber raid against Stalingrad.
Single most effective Soviet air attack of 1942: a raid on Dugino Airdrome
when 25 German aircraft - including 16 fighters from JG 51 and II./JG 54
were put out of commission.
The German summer offensive had come to a standstill along the River
Don, with a heavy battle raging over Voronezh. A futile Soviet attempt to
throw the Germans back across the river in this sector resulted in heavy air
battles.
II./JG 77, the only German fighter unit available in this area, claimed 36
Soviet aircraft shot down during the air battles. II./JG 77 also lost 5
Bf109s. Among the Soviet adversaries was 153 IAP, the first VVS unit
equipped with the Bell P-39 Airacobra.
Near Privalovka, a Bf109F-4 piloted by Feldwebel Franz Schulte, (46
victories) went missing. Schulte's last words, cried in a desperate tone over
the R/T, were: "Why should this happen to me?" In the same dogfight, 153
IAP's Kapitan Aleksandr Avdeyev, (11 kills) met his final destiny.
Avdeyev's first attack against one of the enemy fighters failed. The pilot of
the BF109 evaded him with an Immelmann turn and dove beneath
Avdeyev's Airacobra. Turning after him, Avdeyev suddenly found
himself on heading toward another Messerschmitt. Neither pilot turned
away.
(Among Avdeyev's 11 victories probably was a Bf 109 piloted by the
upcoming top ace in JG 54, Walter Nowotny.)
On August 13, the Soviets continued to launch everything they had into
the air above Voronezh. Another 27 aircraft were claimed by II./JG 77
(including five LaGG-3s by Leutnant Badum), but this time without any
losses.
The bloodletting of the VVS, making an all-out effort all along the front,
had reached a terrible level. On August 12 and 13, 1942, alone, the
Luftwaffe reported 159 Soviet aircraft shot down. To the airmen of the
Soviet first-line aviation units, this meant an average combat life
expectancy of no more than two months. In August 1942, the 4 fighter
aviation regiments in 268 IAD lost 99 out of 140 aircraft. The LaGG-3equipped units, 9 and 440 IAP, took the harshest punishment, losing 58 of
69 aircraft, while the 273 and 515 IAP, equipped with Yak-1s, fared only a
little better.
86 BAP moves into a Kirov front airfield, after 8 months refit and re-arm
in Astrakhan.
86 BAP launched 2 9-plane sqdns + the staff aircraft (20 Pe-2s) led by our
CO, Mayor Belyy. Only 3 aircraft returned from this first operation.

Biplane Aces Aleksey


Smirnov

Stopped at Stalingrad
by Joel Hayward
Black Cross/Red Star
excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &

Page 57

Historical Notes

20-Aug-42

21-Aug-42

22-Aug-42

Sep?-42

Oct-42

10-Oct-42

Nov-42

26-Feb-07

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

Damaged planes had gone down 'anywhere. One pilot had crashed his
burning Pe-2 into a congestion of German tanks. Antiaircraft artillery and
enemy fighters had ripped the entire formation apart. One of our damaged
aircraft made an extremely hazardous landing - one bomb had been stuck
and hung in its shackles in the bomb bay. The safety pin of the windmill
had been torn off, and it was a miracle that it didnt explode during the
landing
86 BAP sent 9 Pe-2 led by the Polk commander Mayor F. Belyy against
the river crossing near Kalach (Duboviy Ovrag). [Mladshiy Leytenant]
Nikolay Mamatchenkos Pe-2 was attacked by fighters and went down in
the river. 2 were lost to German fighters and one to AAA.
20 Pe-2s of 270 BAD fared even worse. As they arrived to rendezvous
with their fighter escort, they found no fighters to escort them--just a large
formation of Bf 109s. The pilots of III./JG 3 and I./JG 53 attacked the
Soviet bombers. Soviet sources confirm that none of the twenty 270 BAD
bombers survived. III./JG 3's adjutant, Lt Heinrich Graf von Einsiedel,
downed 4 Pe-2s in six minutes.
86 BAP flight of 8 Pe-2 led by Mayor F. Belyy attacked German tanks in
the region around Lake Tsatsa. 25 tanks were claimed damaged. During
approach, German fighters attacked their fighter escort, leaving the
bombers without any escort during the return flight. They were then
attacked by 10 Bf109Fs, which shot down five of Pe-2s.
I./KG100 diary: Mission No 311, 1159 - 1600 hrs. 1 SC 500 dropped in
Beketovka. No resistance.
6 Pe-2s of 86 BAP, led by Starshiy Leytenant Zuyev, attacked the river
crossing in the area north of Akatov. Our fighter escort, 5 Yak-1s, were
attacked by 10 Bf109Fs. The German fighters shot down the two
wingmen of [Zuyev's] leading Zveno. Bombers claim 2 109s shot down.
I./KG100 diary:
Mission No 312, 0400 - 0734 hrs. Attack in Karpovka valley, 2 SC
500 dropped. No resistance.
Mission No 313, 1051 - 1423 hrs. Attack vs Karpovka valley. 2 SC
500 dropped, two buildings destroyed. No resistance.
Rudel transferred east to a field near Tenek? to support the drive on
Grozny. Naltschik captured.

Mikhailovich

Stalingrad: 1000 Luftwaffe aircraft

The Soviet Air Force by


Asher Lee
Hungarian Hawks

The Piaggio engines in Hungarian Hejas begin to suffer severely in the


intense cold. Availability plummets with temperature.
1 Letka (SVZ) was
Ukraine: Richthofen hurled Luftflotte IVs entire bomber fleet against the
Grozny refineries. That fleet, like other aircraft types, was now in poor
shape. Operation Blau started with an impressive force of 480 bombers, of
which 323 (a reasonable 67 percent) were serviceable. Now he had only
232 bombers, of which a mere 129 (55 percent) were serviceable. They
could still deliver heavy blows to single targets. The damage inflicted on
Grozny reminded the air chief of attacks on Sevastopol: huge flames leapt
from shattered fuel tanks and burst pipes, and dense clouds of smoke rose
high into the air. The following evening smoke clouds were still 5,500
meters high. He repeated the attacks two days later, with equally pleasing
results. These raids on oil refineries, though, marked the sum total of
Luftflotte 4's "strategic" attacks on enemy industry in the Caucasus.
Ukraine: Slovakian 13th Letka joins JG53 (13(Sl)./JG53) over the Kuban

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel

Stopped at Stalingrad
by Joel Hayward

Slovak Air Force

Page 58

Historical Notes

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

20-Dec-42

flying beaten up Bf109Es


Caucusus: Luftflotte IV no longer can muster the bomber strength of a
month earlier to hit Bakus oil refineries in force.
Stalingrad: The beginning of Operation Uranus, the Soviet counter
offensive in Stalingrad. Against 1300-1400 enemy combat aircraft,
Luftflotte IV could muster 732 combat aircraft of which only 402 were
operational.
Byelorussia: 153rd IAP, which had fought in I-153s, I-16s and now P39Ds, was redesignated the 28th GIAP.
Stalingrad:: 11 Ju52 Gruppe plus two Ju86 Gruppe (old bombers outfitted
as transports) 320 a/c in all - begin flying from Tatsinskaya, flying
supplies into Pitomnik (Stalingrad).
Stalingrad: 6+2 gruppe (190 a/c) of He111 bombers used as transports
flying supplies from Morosovskaya into Pitomnik.
Stalingrad: Rudel leaves the hospital and joins .1/StG2 at Karpovo, 10
miles from Stalingrad. Still working on removing the last of the Russians
from Stalingrad, when Russians break through the Rumanians at
Kletskaya. Soviets retake Kalatsch. Air units (except 1 sqdn still flying
from Stalingrad) are pulled back 100 miles out of the pocket to
Oblinskaya. Pocket very free-form; Oblinskaya is attacked by Soviet
Cavalry division for a couple of days, beaten off mostly the Stukas close
air support.
Stalingrad: I/StG2 moved further west to Morosovskaya.

23-Dec-42

Stalingrad: Tatsinskaya abandoned w/ 60 transports left on the ground.

Jan/Feb-43

Stalingrad: I/StG2 moved to Schacty for use in Donetz area. Reduced


availability - Gruppe puts up 10-12 a/c.
Stalingrad: Morosovskaya abandoned. Units moved 60 miles west to
Gumrack.
First Slovak loss: 1 Bf109F escorting 1 FW189 meets a flight (4-6)
MiG3.
Stalingrad: Pitomnik air field falls to the Russians.

19-Nov-42

22-Nov-42
23-Nov-42

30-Nov-42
mid-Dec-42

I-Jan-43
2-Jan-43
16-Jan-43
17-Jan-43

22-Jan-43
31-Jan-43

2-Feb-43
19-Feb-43

Feb/Mar-43

26-Feb-07

2 Slovaks in Bf109Fs on their way back to base were jumped by 6 I-16s.


1 Bf109 wing collapsed on landing (pilot killed in crash).
Two Hungarian fighter squadrons that arrived in Dec-42 consolidated.
Their last 6 aircraft are destroyed to keep them from falling into Soviet
hands as their airfield at Ilovskoye. Survivors join 2nd Army.
Stalingrad: Gumrack falls.
One pilot of 13th Letka spotted a group of circling Soviet fighters over
Kropotkin airfield in what appeared to be a landing pattern. He tried to
sneak into the pattern and shoot one down but a trailing fighter shot him
down instead.
Stalingrad: Paulus surrenders. Stalingrad costs the Luftwaffe: 490 a/c
(many bombers and transports).
Green Hearts Over Ukraine:
JG54 spent most of 41-45 near Leningrad. But
Intercepts with 10 FW190A-3s @ 8000 ft. (head-on) vs.
281st ShAP: 17 Il-2m3 escorted by
278th IAD: 12 MiG-3s, 8 P-39Ns (Russian fighters in 4s)
I/StG2 moved to Gorlowka near Stalino. Rudel reaches 1000 sorties.

Stopped at Stalingrad
by Joel Hayward
Stopped at Stalingrad
by Joel Hayward
Biplane Aces Aleksey
Smirnov
Air Forces of WWI and
WWII
Air Forces of WWI and
WWII
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel
Air Forces of WWI and
WWII
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
Air Forces of WWI and
WWII
Slovak Air Force
Air Forces of WWI and
WWII
Slovak Air Force
Hungarian Hawks

Air Forces of WWI and


WWII
Slovak Air Force

Air Forces of WWI and


WWII
Blue Sky/Red Star

Stuka Pilot by Hans

Page 59

Historical Notes

22-Mar-43

II Apr-43
Apr/May-43

17-Apr-43

3-May-43

10-May-43
May/Jun-43

Jul-43
5-Jul-43

Aug-43

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

3rd Air Group Normandie a fighter group made of Free- French Fighter
pilots, flying Yak-1Bs (later LaGGs, then Yak-3s, which were made gifts
to them personally at the end of the war) begins operations near Smolensk.
Eventually expands to full regiment, renamed Normandie-Niemen Regt
(for fighting near Niemen river).
II/JG52 - Based at Anapa covering Kuban bridgehead area.
III/JG52 Based at Taman air base (from Nikolayev).
Experimental sqdn (of Ju87G-0s) xferred to Kerch. First use is against the
Krymskaya bridgehead, in high-flak environment supported by "old series
Spitfires." (see Ju87G notes). Work toward Team of Ju87Ds, Ju87Gs plus
fighter escort. Move to Kuban, and work against small boat traffic
crossing the marshes. Hs129s are here.
Operation Neptun: Luftwaffe attempted to neutralize the Soviet
bridgehead at Myshako. The attack was preceded by a massive operations
by 450 Stukas, bombers and ground-attack planes against the Soviet
landing grounds. Throughout the day, German Fliegerkorps I carried out
1,560 sorties over the Kuban Bridgehead, mainly against Myshako. The
Soviets, who by this time were inferior in numbers, could only mount 538
sorties that day. However, the concentration of antiaircraft batteries that
the Soviets had shipped in to Myshako since February 1943 met the
assaulting German aircraft with a wall of steel and fire. Seven Stukas were
shot down or returned to base with severe damage.
Fire Over Kuban:
2nd Bomber Corps: 10 Pe2 @ 4500 ft
298th IAP: 4 Yak3 @ 4500, 4 LA5FN @ 9000 ft
vs JG52: 8 Bf109G-6 @ 4500 ft
Goal: exit the PE2s across the board.
Rudel earns Oak leaves. Goes to Berlin, gets transfer back to III/StG2
based near Kerch.
Working on the Krymskaya bridgehead and the Black Sea beachhead east
and SW of Novorossisk. Facing lots of AAA. Il-4s & Pe-2s raid at night
against AAA & sometimes Luftwaffe NJs. Not very effective.
Moved to Kharkov. Front stabilizes. Few weeks spent flying over
Byelgorod and Orel. Then, the Battle of Kursk.
Kursk:
FleigerKorps VIII vs 2nd & 17th Air Armies ~1700 a/c each.
Starts with JG52 & JG53 in Bf109Gs vs 500 Il-2m3 sans escort.
Radar allows them to destroy 120 in the first attack of 500. 432 claimed
for the first day; 200 for the second.
13th Letka reinforced, but new pilots have low morale. Luftwaffe
considers them unreliable and cowardly, purposely avoiding combat.
Ukraine: 11th Letka in B.534s withdrawn, after a B-534 deserted to the
Soviets.

Ulrich Rudel
Normandie-Niemen

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel

Black Cross/Red Star


excerpt by Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Blue Sky/Red Star

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel

Air Forces of World


War I & II
Slovak Air Force
Eagles of the Tatras

15-Aug-43

Ukraine: Grupul 8 Asalt goes into action in Hs129Bs. It consisted of three


squadrons: 41st, 42nd and 60th. The first mission was flown by 12 Hs129Bs, with good results. As a consequence, Il-2s attacked the airfield
later that day, destroying one aircraft.

Grupul 8 Asalt

17-Aug-43

Ukraine: Grupul 8 executed 46 sorties against Soviet troop


concentrations. The German intelligence intercepted a Soviet transmission
saying that it is impossible to advance because of the attacks of Romanian
assault aircraft. The airfield was attacked again.

Grupul 8 Asalt

26-Feb-07

Page 60

Historical Notes

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

23-Aug-43

Ukraine: Adj. av. Dumitru Marinescu of Grupul 8 earned an Iron Cross


2nd class for destroying a Soviet mobile AA gun during his fourth mission
that day, when 8 Hs-129Bs struck Soviet infantry with grenades. He was
severely hit and barely managed to get back to Kramatorskaya, where he
crash-landed his airplane.

Grupul 8 Asalt

30-Aug-43

Ukraine: Grupul 8 performed a special recon mission in an area on the


river Mius. The Luftwaffe had already lost Fw-189s to the objective's
powerful AA defense. Four Hs129s took off before dawn. They flew at
wave-top over the Azov Sea and passed Taganrog undetected, then they
went left on the Donetsk Valley at the same altitude. As the sun rose, they
headed west and passed over the target area at 60-70 m, filming. The
surprise was total, Soviet AA gunners did not expect to have Axis aircraft
coming from the east. After they landed back at the airfield, Grupul 8
prepared a massed strike on the fuel and munitions depots uncovered. The
41st Squadron was supposed to go on the route used for the recon flight,
the 42nd was supposed to fly at high altitude and attack in a dive, while
the 60th Squadron was going to attack from the west and draw most of the
Soviet fire towards it. The objective was destroyed, without much loss.
Ukraine: StG2 back to Khakov in face of Soviet offensive. They bounce
from refueling fields in Barvenko (toward Donets Front) or Stalino
(toward Mius front).
Ukraine: The 16 Hs-129s of Grupul 8 were flying very low, as usual, at
10-15 m. From a cornfield, a camouflaged T-34 fired one shot, which cut
off a part of the wing of the aircraft of Oblt. Dieter Orth, the German
liaison officer. The plane hit the ground and exploded instantly. The rest
of the aircraft quickly gained altitude and discovered 8 hidden T-34s,
which had infiltrated behind Axis lines. They returned to the airfield,
reloaded and went back to the cornfield. Within 10 minutes all had been
destroyed.
Debrdy shot down by Soviet AAA 15 km behind enemy lines, but
manages to escape.
Ukraine: 3 Soviet airborne brigadges (1st, 3rd, 5th) land on the western
bank of the Dnepr River in the Bukrin bend area to seize the ground so
Soviet troops 0f 40th Army and 3rd Guards Tank Army could cross easily
when they arrive, causing a breakthrough on the Voronezh Front. Used
180 Li-2s (Soviet built DC-3s) +35 gliders to move the troops, supported
by 150 Il-4s and B-25s. Flew out of Bogodukhov and the Lebedin airfield
complexes (5 airfields in all). Fuel shortages kept 30% of troops and all of
3rd ABs 45mm guns on the ground. 4575 troops dropped. 1st Bgd was
late in forming up, and so was kept in reserve.
The poor navigation support, inadequate crew training, and poor weather
scattered the assault force over an area 25 x 70 km. Only 5% of the crews
hit the designated area; 23% dropped the force within 10 kilometers of its
borders; 58%, 15 kilometers; and the remaining 14% even farther afield.
About 400 paratroopers landed in the Cherkassy woods (70 kilometers
from the target area), and 230 in the friendly territory.
By the end of the day, about half had formed up into sizable bodies. They
were also unfortunately right in the path of a panzer division.
StG2 moves west to field NW of Kragnoarmaiskoje (Dneipr front). Hit
often by Soviet A-20s with almost no effect.
Move to Pavlograd and then Dnejepropetrovsk on E bank of Dneipr,
flying missions both NE and S. Then moved 80 miles W to Bolschaya
Costromska, which was very muddy.
Fighting to preserve the Nikopol bridgehead; Dnejepropetrovsk falls, and

Grupul 8 Asalt

Sep-43

10-Sep-43

25-Sep-43

Oct-43

26-Feb-07

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel
Grupul 8 Asalt

Gyrgy Debrdy The


Survivor
Military Thought: 1943
Dnepr Airborne Ops

Stuka Pilot by Hans


Ulrich Rudel

Page 61

Historical Notes

26-Oct-43

Nov-43

3-Nov-43
13-Nov-44

5-Dec-44

15-Dec-44
Jan-44
7-Jan-44
8-Jan-44
14 Jan-44

Feb-44

1-Feb-44

26-Feb-07

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

StG2 attacks the Dneipr bridges.


The Soviet airborne forces help to hold the west bank of the Dneipr for the
40th Army and 3rd Guards Tank Army. They are, unfortunately, illsupplied, uncorrdinated, and nearly destroyed as a force. This is the last
large Soviet paradrop of the war; after this operation, the paratroops are
used as infantry.
13th Letka (13(Sl)./JG53) pulled from Russia as unreliable.
Ukraine: 20 Hs-129s of Grupul 8 (flying out of Kherson) stopped a
Soviet assault on Nikolaev in its tracks. First they took out several Soviet
batteries, which were trying to neutralize the few German guns in the
sector. On the return trip they surprised Soviet infantry in a village close to
the front and fired all the remaining ammo at it, leaving few survivors on
the narrow streets. The German command in the sector thanked them later
for their support.
Ukraine: On 29 October Grupul 8 moved to the Chaplinka airfield.
During the first days of November, the Romanian Henschel pilots
practically saved the 24th Infantry Division, which was retreating followed
closely by Soviet forces. They managed to fly about 15-16 missions per
day each! There was always a patrul (Romanian for Schwarm) in the air
covering the infantrymen. Thus they managed to rescue the lives of more
than 10,000 men. Five assault aircraft were lost, as were two pilots.
Ukraine: Erich Lang of I/JG54 claims 18 enemy aircraft this day.
Ukraine: Grupul 8 had to be relocated to the Nikolaev airfield. Despite
the difficult weather conditions, the troops on the front needed their help
and they had to intervene.
Ukraine: 16 Hs-129Bs of Grupul 8 surprised 12-15 T-34s hidden in a
small valley and quickly took them out. Then they went on and discovered
Soviet infantry infiltrating behind Axis lines and attacked it, causing lots
of casualties.
Ukraine: Grupul 8 lost two aircraft; only one pilot returned; the other was
captured.
StG2 Moved to Kirovograd.
Ukraine: Grupul 8 moved to Lepetika.
Ukraine: Grupul 9 moved to Lepetika, near Nikopol, and immediately
begins flying missions.
Ukraine: Lepetika is attacked several times during the day by the Soviets.
Cpt. Serbanescu was returning from an escort mission and engaged the
Yaks over Lepetika airbase and shot down one of them.
Ukraine: StG2 moved to Slynka, NW of Novo Ukraina. A village 20
miles away is overrun, but StG2 attacks, killing 20 tanks and making the
rest retreat.
Later moved to Pervomaisk North, aiding the Cherkassy pocket. Rudel
attacks an Il-2 with a Ju-87G-1. Nikopol bridgehead abandoned.
2Lt Gyrgy Debrdy (26-kill leading ace of the Hungarian AF) led his
swarm into a fierce dogfight against 5 GvIAPs La-5s, led by Witalii
Popkov over the Korssun pocket. One La-5 hit his plane, and the
Bf109Gs engine failed. Debrdy made his second belly-landing behind
the enemy lines! His best friend, 2nd Lt. Mikls Kenyeres with 19 air
victories, downed Debrdys attacker, and landed near the dead 109 on the
snowy and icy. Some Soviet soldiers advanced towards the aircraft, but
Kenyeres managed to take off with some PPS machine-pistol hits in his
plane.

Military Thought: 1943


Dnepr Airborne Ops

Slovak Air Force


Grupul 8 Asalt

Grupul 8 Asalt

Aces of the Luftwaffe


Grupul 8 Asalt
Grupul 8 Asalt

Grupul 8 Asalt
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
Grupul 8 Asalt
Grupul 9 Vntoare
Grupul 9 Vntoare
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel

Gyrgy Debrdy The


Survivor

Grupul 9 Vntoare

Page 62

Historical Notes

Eastern Europe: Russian Front

10 Grupul 9 Bf109G0-6s scrambled against a Soviet raid (probably sqdn


strength) and shot down 2 Il-2s and 2 Yaks.

Grupul 8 Asalt

2 squadrons of Grupul 8 moved to Nikolaev.


3-Feb-44
9-Feb-44
Mar-44

13-Mar-44

20-Mar-44

28-Mar-44

Soviet AA fire downed Kenyeres plane behind the enemy lines.


Kenyeres taken POW.
Ukraine: Grupul 9 moved to Nikolaev.
StG2 patrolling the Dneistr. Russians break through near Jampol. StG2
used in Nikolayev area, using a field south of Balta against Russian
bridging efforts.
Ukraine: Soviet ace Lev Shestakov killed when his La-5FN crashes.
There is a controversy as to whether he was shot down by Rudels gunner
(his claim) or whether he was caught in the explosion after destroying a
Ju87 expert. Except that there wasnt one in the area other than Rudel,
who was alive
Rudel down 30 miles behind Russian lines while landing to try to rescue a
green crew downed in a field. Swims Dneistr; gunner killed; other crew
captured. Takes 4 days to march back.
Romania: StG2 pulls back to Jasgy (Iasi), Romania

2-Apr-44
3-Apr-44

Romania: Grupul 8 resploys to Tecuci, Romania.


Due to 15th AF raids on Hungary, Hungarian military command recalls
several veteran pilots to spark up home defense, including Debrdy.

2-Jun-44

Ukraine: 97th Bomb Group fly their B-17s from Foggia to bomb the
marshalling yards in Debreczen, Hungary, and then fly on to Poltava,
Ukraine. They are escorted by the P51s of 325th FG.
Romania: 97th Bomb Group fly from Poltava, Ukraine to hit the airfield in
Galati.
Romania: 97th Bomb group flies from Poltava to again hit target near
Bucharest, then flies home to Italy.
Ukraine: 123 8th AF B-17s bomb synthetic oil plant at Ruhland, 21 bomb
Elsterwerda, escorted by 1 P-51 group. After the attack, the supporting P51 group is relieved 50 mi SE of Poznan by 65 other P-51s (325th FG?)
accompany the heavy bombers to USSR. 50 mi SE of Brest Litovsk 20 to
30 fighters attack the force;. 1 US and 6 German fighters are destroyed.
One B-17 is lost to unknown causes on the flight. 144 Heavy bombers
land in USSR, 73 at Poltava, and the rest (95th BG) at Mirgorod. The P51s land at Piryatin. 90 Soviet aircraft (IL-2s and Yaks) were based at
Poltava, too.
That night, Poltava is hit by 60-75 bombers (mostly He111s (KG4, KG27,
KG53 and KG55), but include Ju88 & He177s from Luftflotte 4
(IV.FleigerKorps?). First a/c dropped flares. 43 (non-US sources say 69)
B-17s and 15 P-51s (as well as Soviet aircraft), most other B-17s severely
damaged and 450,000 gallons of fuel destroyed. Poltava had no radar (but
did have SLs & AAA). B-17s at Mirgorod and P-51s at Piryatin moved
further east to Kharkov. Additional attacks the next night on these bases.
Soviets refuse to allow US nightfighters. Effectively ends shuttle bombing.
Bagration: Soviet effort to push Germans out of Byelorussia. Half of
Soviet Aircraft involved are Il-2s.
Bagration: German attempt to break out of Bobruisk spoiled by V-VS
night attack of 500 assault planes
Black Sea: A Catalina (PBY-6A) picked up a downed Pe-2 crew and shot
down a Bv.138.

6-Jun-44
11-Jun-44
21-Jun-44

22-Jun-44
26-Jun-44
19-Aug-44

26-Feb-07

Gyrgy Debrdy The


Survivor
Grupul 9 Vntoare
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
WW2 Ace Stories:
Shestakov vs Rudel
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
Stuka Pilot by Hans
Ulrich Rudel
Grupul 8 Asalt
WW2 Ace Stories:
Gyrgy Debrdy The
Survivor
Poltava, Russia
Poltava, Russia
Poltava, Russia

Wings of the Red Star


TV: The Flying Tank
Soviet Night Ops in
WW2
Cat Chronicles Vol 2

Page 63

Historical Notes

Apr-45

Eastern Europe: Northern Front

Black Sea: A lone Soviet Navy Catalina attacked a submarine with depth
charges and sank it. Unknown to them at that time, a second submarine,
which must have been very close to the first one, was damaged as well.
Survivors of both submarines were picked up, including the two captains.

Cat Chronicles Vol 2

Eastern Europe: Northern Front


2-Feb-40

13-Feb-40

29-Feb-40

24-Jun-41
6-Sep-41
12-Sep-41

15-Sep-41

26-Feb-07

Finland: First Gladiator kill for the Finns. LLv26s Lt Berg took off to patrol
from Utti. Bounced by 6 I-153s of 38 IAP, which made one pass, some hitting
him. One vic stayed to play; Glad got behind 1 and shot it down; other two fled.
Finland: all 9 Gladiators of Kivinen's LLv 24 detachment met and engaged nine
I-15bis fighters. Six Russians tried to form a "Spanish ring"-defensive circle.
Kalmberg attacked these Russians, but as he started shooting, three other
Russians attacked him and hit his Gladiator. He tried to disengage by diving, but
his plane went into a spin and dove into the ground. Meanwhile, Kivinens
Gladiator was hit in the engine. He disengaged with a steep dive and landed at
Vrtsil. The rest of the Gladiators were now dogfighting with the Russians.
Jrn Ulrich was wounded. He made a forced landing with the last of his strength
between Kuhilasvaara and Havuvaara. His Gladiator was badly damaged and
not repaired. Ilmari Joensuu claimed one I-15bis while Ulrich was credited for
two. Other Finnish pilots in this engagement were Pentti Tev and lentomestari
Niilo Arpinaama Artola. Artola was not a pilot of LLv 26 but was on a
familiarization flight with a Gladiator when the Soviet fighters appeared. He
joined the battle although he was not sure how to operate the guns! However he
managed to fire a bust on an I-15 chasing a Gladiator. 49 IAP, lost 1 pilot KIA.
As Lautamki and Tuominen were returning from their uneventful flight, they
met nine enemy bombers from 39 SBAP, 8 VA, which had taken off from
Lotinanpelto (at River Svir) at 13.00 to bomb fortifications north of Pyhjrvi
(hill 108,8) and to drop leaflets. In the ensuing dogfight Tuominen claimed 3
and 1 shared SBs in seven minutes and 1 R-5 while Lautamki claimed the
second half in the shared SB. 39 SBAP lost three SBs, all of them from the 5th
eskadrilya. This was the second operational mission by the 5th eskadrilya; the
first one was made the day before.
Finland: At 12.00 hours Ruokolahti base received a message that 21 enemy
bombers were heading towards Antrea from the south at an altitude of 16,500
feet. However, the control centre passed the wrong information or was referring
to an entirely different formation: while the fifteen Fokkers and Gladiators of
LLv 24 and LLv 26 were climbing out of Ruokolahti field, they were trapped in
a most unfavourable position and attacked by thirteen I-16s and six I-153s from
68 OIAP. 3 Gladiators were shot down immediately on take-off. The Russians
destroyed two more Gladiators and one Fokker in 15 minutes before the
Russians withdrew. Kersantti S. Suikkanen shot down one I-16 (pilot killed). A
second I-16 hit the trees and crashed, seven more enemy fighters were damaged.
Finns lost 3 pilots killed. This combat was the biggest single aerial defeat
suffered by the Finns during the whole Second World War.
Safanov in a I-16 w/ rockets attacks an He111, climbing to 18.0 to meet it
unseen. He111 tries diving away.
72nd IAP's base attacked in the Far North by Stukas with Bf109 escort. Boris
Safanov & 4 others attack, claiming 2 Ju87s, 3 Bf109s (none verified by JG5)
151 Wing, RAF flies in (from carrier Argus) to Murmansk (No. 81 Sqdn, 24
Hurricane II) and Arkhangelsk (No. 143 sqdn, 15 Hurricane II). The No. 81
Sqdn went into combat that day vs 5 Bf109s escorting an Hs126 on recon. 1
Hurri down; claimed 3 109s (1 actual) & Hs126.
Safanov shows his British guests how it is done in I-16s:

Gloster Gladiator
in Finnish Service
Gloster Gladiator
in Finnish Service

Gloster Gladiator
in Finnish Service

Black Cross/Red
Star excerpt by
Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Black Cross/Red

Page 64

Historical Notes

Oct-41
17-Dec-41
31-Dec-41

8-Apr-42

Eastern Europe: Northern Front

A Schwarm of Bf110s from 1.(Z)/JG 77 was an escorting the Stukas of


Hauptmann Arnulf Blasigs IV.(St.)/LG 1, which were attacking Soviet ground
troops in the Zapadnaya Litsa region. Lt Heinz-Horst Hoffmann, piloting one of
the Bf 110s, spotted a lone I-16 below. Hoffmann was one of the veterans of the
Zerstrerstaffel, with three victories. Without hesitating, he put the nose of his
twin-engine fighter down to make an attack.
Hoffmann didnt see the trap until it was too late. A dark green I-16 with the
bold inscription "Smert fashistam!" ("Death to the fascists!") painted in twofeet-high red letters on the side of the fuselage came arrowing down from
above. It was Boris Safonovs "White 11." Hoffmanns Bf110 was hit in an
engine. The plane made a roll and went down from low altitude, exploding on
impact three miles west of Zapadnaya Litsa. Having scored his 12th victory,
Safonov turned against the Stukas. One of them went down in flames, Safonovs
13th victory. Shortly afterwards, the Russian ace caught a third German plane,
an Hs 126, and shot it down as well. On the following day, Boris Safonov
received the Golden Star--the token of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
Mid Oct: 151st Wing RAF leaves the far north, leaving their Hurris
Boris Safonov, flying a Hurricane, claimed one Bf109.
Boris Safonov, flying a Hurricane, claimed one He 111H-5 (piloted by
Unteroffizier Engelbert Roithmayr of 1./KG 26).

Star excerpt by
Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich

Murmansk: 4 Hurricane IIs and 2 Tomahawks of the 20 GIAP rose to intercept


15 Ju87s of I/StG5 that were returning after an unsuccessful mission against
Murmansk. The Stukas was escorted by a Bf110 Schwarm of 10.(Z)/JG5.

Biplane Aces
Alexei
Khlobystov

Black Cross/Red
Star excerpt by
Bergstrm &
Mikhailovich)

The Soviet fighters caught up with the Germans near Restikent, sw of


Murmansk. One Bf110 was badly shot up before eight Bf109s intervened.
Kapitan Aleksey Pozdnyakov and Lt I. D. Fateyev claimed a shared Bf110.
Starshiy Lt Khlobystov singled out a Bf110, which was under attack from Sgt
M. Ye. Bychkov and Lt V. R. Semenkov, and chased it down to the deck but
the German aircraft simply refused to go down. He flew closer through the
Bf110s propwash and rammed the tailplane with one of his wings whereupon
the Bf110 fell out of control and crashed.
Khlobystov maintained effective control over his fighter and rejoined formation
with Kapitan Pozdnyakov and Lt Fateyev to bounce the Stukas. One Ju87 blew
up and plunged earthward after their first attack while the others broke
formation and dove away.
Pozdnyakov then engaged a Bf109 head-on with both planes exploding in a
mid-air collision.. Khlobystov got two more Bf109s on his tail but racked his P40 around and struck the tailplane of one of these with his damaged wing. While
breaking away he observed his victim go down and explode, giving the pilot no
chance of survival. To make the whole thing even more remarkable he managed
to return with his damaged aircraft and landing it with part of one wing missing!
In all 20 GIAP claimed 5 enemy aircraft including three by ramming, with only
one loss (Kapitan Pozdnyakov).

18-Aug-42

15-Feb-43

26-Feb-07

Oberfeldwebel Theodor Weissenberger of 10.(Z)/JG5 claimed one Soviet


fighter in this combat (Totally 208 victories). According to German records only
one Bf110 was lost and the Stukas managed to slip away without loss.
Buffaloes of the North
10 Pe2s, 12 I-16s, 4 I-53s (originally 60) vs
8 Finn F2A-1 (originally 10)
Murmansk: In the evening, LLv 16 2 Gladiators led by Lt Strmberg flew on a
routine recon to Murmansk railway. At Krkijrvi air base, one R-5 took off.

Blue Sky/Red Star


Gloster Gladiator
in Finnish Service

Page 65

Historical Notes

7-Mar-43
3-Mar-44

Eastern Europe: Northern Front

Strmberg sent it down into the forest with his second burst between 19.00 and
20.00. This was the only Finnish Gladiator victory in the Continuation War.
Finalnd: Lt Strmberg killed in Gladiator crash (structural failure).

15-Oct-44

Finland: 3 Bf109Gs of 1/HleLv 34 and 6 B-239 (F2A-1) of 3/HleLv 34 vs 16


Pe-2 of 12 GBAP escorted by 12 Yak-7s. Finns spot Soviets first from a klick
out, come in from converging sides at twilight. Jutta claims 3, including a Yak7.
White
Sea: On the 12th of August 1944, two Catalinas attacked a submarine on
the surface near White Island. One plane, commanded by S. M. Ruban opened
fire with its machine guns, which the submarine answered with its own guns.
Two Catalinas that came to help, threw 8 depth charges on the submarine which,
by that time, had submerged. Debris and oil were spotted.
Kara Sea: U-362 was sunk near South Kirov Island by joint effort of a
Catalina, sweeper T-116 and hunter Bo-206.
Soviet 36th Air Division uses torpedo armed A-20Cs vs. convoy off Norway.

24-Oct-44

A Catalina helped sink another uboat while escorting convoy DB-9.

12-Aug-44

5-Sep-44

26-Feb-07

Gloster Gladiator
in Finnish Service

Red Star Catalinas

Red Star Catalinas


US Combat
Aircraft of WW2
Cat Chronicles
Vol 2

Page 66