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View Full Version : LW Ace PoW from BoB ‘Exchanged’ in 1943 –becomes a Bomber Killer!!!


Rob Romero
13th December 2007, 08:35
Lt. Walter Blume (14) was a JG26 ace of 6 victories when he became a POW during the Battle of Britain on 18 Aug 40 after crash-landing severly WIA in Canterbury (2 BoB Claims). However, he recovered and was exchanged/repatriated in Oct 43, where he flew further ops with JG27 to be further credited with 8 Viermots! Does anyone know the motivation behind this exchange and were any other pilots/notables involved in this or other arrangements?

Thanks,

Rob Romero

Andy Saunders
13th December 2007, 09:50
Blume had been at the Woolwich Military Hospital in the "Luftwaffe Ward" and was, presumably, seriously injured. There were frequent repatriations of POW's where their wounds were sufficient to render them incapabable of further military service. An example was Heinz Mollenbrok of KG2 (POW 16 Aug 40) who was repatriated because of his injuries. The conditions were that the repatriated prisoners were not supposed to participate in further active military service. I think that was generally observed, although Blume apparently did.

Peter Spoden
13th December 2007, 10:02
This exchanges happened several times in the war.
In my booklet "Enemy In The Dark" I report about Wim Johnen who landed 28.April 1944 in Switzerland with the Me 110 C9+EN (Schraegbewaffnung), was exchanged a few weeks later, came to our Staffel again, shot down another 16 RAF bombers.
By the way, Switzerland got 12 Me 109 G in exchange.
regards Peter Spoden

Rob Romero
13th December 2007, 10:10
Thanks, Andy and Peter. A notable difference however was that Wilhelm Johnen (34) landed in NEUTRAL Switzerland, wheras Blume (14) crash-landed in ENEMY territory.

Anyhow, always great to get a reply from a genuine Luftwaffe Ace!!! Thank you ever so much Peter Spoden (24)

Rob Romero (353 Claimed / 0 Verified) :D

Chris Goss
13th December 2007, 10:41
There was also a pilot with II/SKG 10 taken POW in April 1943 who was then killed in 1944 in an accident flying with JG 6 (from what I remember)

JägerMartin
13th December 2007, 11:46
Lt. Walter Blume (14) was a JG26 ace of 6 victories when he became a POW during the Battle of Britain on 18 Aug 40 after crash-landing severly WIA in Canterbury (2 BoB Claims). However, he recovered and was exchanged/repatriated in Oct 43, where he flew further ops with JG27 to be further credited with 8 Viermots! Does anyone know the motivation behind this exchange and were any other pilots/notables involved in this or other arrangements?

Thanks,

Rob Romero

Interesting info Rob, did he survive the war? Where was he at wars end?

kalender1973
13th December 2007, 15:06
IIRC somebody from the JG4 has the same biography. Intresting point for me, what were happened, if these guys became POW again. They broken clear the war rules. It is death penalty issue ?

kaki3152
13th December 2007, 16:05
It may have been a death penalty but most of these pilots were flying over Reich territory.

Another pilot who flew operations after being repatriated was Lt. Ewald Kraas who was shot down and taken POW in North Africa while flying for JG-77. He was repatriated as it was thought his injuries were too severe for him to fly combat. He then flew for JG-4 and was wounded again very severely.

Due to the scarcity of expereinced Jadgfliegers, even LW pilots with limbs missing were flying combat in 1944-1945.

Carlos

Dénes Bernád
13th December 2007, 16:29
Could it happen the other way around, too? Namely, RAF airmen, who had been exchanged as POWs, and later on returned to flying combat missions during the war?

George Hopp
13th December 2007, 19:43
I vaguely recall that Americans who had been shot down over Europe, and escaped, were sent to the Pacific. So, were others also sent to other theatres? It's not quite the same conditions as above.

I cannot see that a returned person, captured again, had broken any laws. If he healed faster and more completely that his captors had imagined, that was not his fault. And, as Kaki mentioned, by the end of the war, they were using anyone who could fly -- look at a captured Rudel at war's end with part of his right leg gone.

Tom Semenza
13th December 2007, 19:56
According to Prien et al. in their history of I./JG 27 Blume was with I./JG 300 in August 1943 before being posted to I./JG 27 at the beginning of 1944. He was appointed Staffelkapitän of 3./JG 27 on 22 Feb. 44. On 3 Apr. 44 he was made acting Kommandeur of I./JG 27. Sometime toward the end of April Blume was transferred to the Verbandsführerschule (VFS)which operated with I./JG 27. On 29 May 44 he was appointed Kommandeur of I./JG 27 but on 12 June 44 was again transferred to the VFS (or Stab/JG 26, contradictory info here.) This is the last mention I can find of him.

Although in their history of JG 27 Ring & Girbig list Blume with 14 victories, including 5 with JG 27 and a total of 8 4-mots, Prien lists only 4 claims for 4-mots in April 44, two of which were "engültige Vernichtungen" (final destruction.) So that would give him a total 8 or 10 depending on whether or not you count the e.V. claims; unless someone has better info.

Tom

VtwinVince
13th December 2007, 23:59
My uncle's successor as Kapitaen of 9. JG 3 was Oblt. Egon Troha. He was shot down over England late in the Battle, losing an eye in the process. He was repatriated later in the war and, as a Hauptmann, flew more ops. Also don't forget my uncle's old comrade, Hasso von Wedel, captured during the Battle as Oberstlt. and official Luftwaffe historian, later repatriated and lost in ground fighting in 1945. Walter Kienzle of JG 26 was captured seriously wounded over England during the Battle, was repatriated, but I'm not sure if he continued flying later.

Alex Smart
14th December 2007, 07:28
Hi,
From the UK or North Africa, how were they repatriated ? By air or by ship ? How was this done and how did the oposite side know not to attack the transport involved ?
Alex

Rob Romero
14th December 2007, 07:32
I assume they were flown or shipped to Neutral Portugal or Spain where they travelled over land back to Germany. I assume (but do not know for sure) that neutral shipping had flags & lights prominently displayed, and were not attacked by U-Boats. Thanks to all for fleshing out this issue.

Rob Romero

Chris Goss
14th December 2007, 09:16
Kienzle told me he did not fly operational sorties after being repatriated

Boomerang
14th December 2007, 14:40
Gentlemen:

The following passage appears in Caldwell's JG 26 War Diary Volume Two. It relates to a prisoner exchange involving Fw Heuser of 2/JG 26, shot down by light flak over Normandy in August 1944, captured and taken to a military hospital in Tennessee. It is an account from Heuser:

On 24 November a mixed medical commission, comprising an American and two Swiss military doctors, visited the camp. They decided to exchange me for a wounded American in German captivity.

In late December the wounded prisoners to be exchanged were taken to Brooklyn and loaded on an American hospital ship, which took us to Marseille, France...After the arrival of further exchange ships, we were put on a train of The International Red Cross, which took us to the German border in Constance. The exchange between German and American wounded prisoners of war took place in Constance on 18 January 1945. I saw no further employment in the war.

I'm glad this thread got going, I'm intrigued about what seems a most unlikely exchange program. Hope more imformation comes to light.

Cheers

Don W

christian
14th December 2007, 21:20
Hi

Feldwebel Fritz Schweser from the 7.Staffel of the III./JG 54 was captured on the 09. Oktober 1940. He came back 1943, but never flew another mission.

Greetings Christian

Nokose
1st February 2008, 22:07
I saw in a German March 1944 newsreel some returning exchanged soldiers getting off a ship at a French port but can't seem to find the old VHS tape it was on now.

RT
2nd February 2008, 09:47
Someone ask about his fate , I mean the one of Walter Blume, he died in 19.juli 1965, maybe up-above they grant him some plane to hv some more fun, seems non-uncommon to die in the age of 40/50 among the pilots, gen of car accident

remi

hanshauprich
4th February 2008, 11:03
Hptm. Kurt-Heinz Weigel, a Bomberpilot became PoW in England 1940 and was sent to an PoW Camp in Canada. He played his roll of an mentally ill madness men so perfect, that he was exchanged in 1944 to Germany. He goes to Nightfightertraining and become Staffelkapitän 11./NJG 6. In the morning of 5. March 1945 he crashed his Ju 88G-6 2Z+BV during the landing of the Fliegerhorst Gerolzhofen. He and his other 3 Crewmembers are killed on impact. Weigel has 3 Abschüsse against Bomber Command.

drgondog
5th February 2008, 18:35
I vaguely recall that Americans who had been shot down over Europe, and escaped, were sent to the Pacific. So, were others also sent to other theatres? It's not quite the same conditions as above.

I cannot see that a returned person, captured again, had broken any laws. If he healed faster and more completely that his captors had imagined, that was not his fault. And, as Kaki mentioned, by the end of the war, they were using anyone who could fly -- look at a captured Rudel at war's end with part of his right leg gone.

USAAF situation different. If passed through Underground, the returned pilot was taken off ETO ops - some stayed in ETO, some went to PTO where they returned to active combat duties. Yeager was an exception that went to Eisenhower for final approval.

None of the evadees that escaped alone had any barriers to returning for duty.

The 355th FG had 10 pilots shot down by flak return to England w/o Underground help and RTD.. One of them escaped (Roland Dufresne) from Germany (Koln area) after going down in Feb, 1944.

RT
6th February 2008, 13:40
One think not to forget is that the allies exchange prisoners, not great heart toward germans prisoners, but because they are keen to recover their own ill-prisoners, so even in the one per one basis you need "stuff" to exchange, 1943 1944 the number of allies prisoners was vastly superior to the german ones


remi

Brian Bines
6th February 2008, 14:38
Was Oblt. Faber who landed his Fw190 of 7/JG2 in the UK on 26-6-42 repatriated to Germany with health problems. I read somewhere he flew again on Home-Defence but have not seen any other reference to this, and cant find the original story,

regards

Brian Bines

RT
12th February 2008, 14:13
Was Oblt. Faber who landed his Fw190 of 7/JG2 in the UK on 26-6-42 repatriated to Germany with health problems..

The better for Faber was to not come back to Germany, of the German view the case may hv been seen "troubling",
Was Faber not already took prisoner in the Balkans in 41 nd fried ??

Remi