View Full Version : Uffz. Herbert Koch, III./JG76

20th February 2009, 05:14
I am seeking any and all information on the subject German pilot. I decided to make a separate post in hopes of discovering additional details on Koch. I found in another thread that Koch was shot down and killed in a dogfight with P-47s (anyone know which group?) on 17 Oct 44 by Effringen-Kirchen near Wintersweiler. He was shot down in III./JG76 Bf109G-14, werknummer 462967, with the markings of "White 3". The loss listing also showed FSA or Fallschirmabgesprung meaning he was able to bail out. The end of the loss listing also states "RLV, Trendle, Brennendes land, , Raum Mappach in den Berg, 100%, F". I know 100% indicates complete destruction of the aircraft, but can someone decipher what the rest means?

III./JG76 was in a large dogfight with the 474th FG on 25 Aug 44. My father, Don Koch, was a fighter pilot assigned to the 428thFS/474th FG. He was shot down on the 25 August mission and held as a POW in a local French farmhouse. While waiting to be interrogated, my father remembered a tall, lanky German fighter pilot walk into the farmhouse after being shot down in the very same fight. He saw my father's name on his Mae West and asked him "Koch, ist das deine Name?" or "Is that your name?" My father understood what he said and nodded. The German replied "Ah, das is meine Name auch!" or "That is my name too!". A 429th FS pilot shot down in the same fight also remembers a tall enlisted German pilot with a good sense of humor with the name of Koch.

Fw190s from I./JG26 and II./JG26 participated in this same fight against the 474th FG, but my sources indicate there was no JG26 pilot by the name of Koch that flew on that mission. This, along with the severe Bf109G losses, led me to deduce that this German pilot had to be a Bf109 pilot with III./JG76. Odds are this may be the same "Koch" that I am seeking. It makes sense that Koch (if the same person) would be returned back to his same unit shortly after the 25 August fight because he was not wounded during his shootdown. Any information or leads would be gratefully appreciated. III./JG76 is a difficult group to research since they weren't around very long.

Cheers, Gary Koch (474th FG Historian)

Tomislav Haramincic
20th February 2009, 10:57
Hello Gary,

Perhaps it helps a bit to know, that a Uffz. Herbert Koch born on the 19.04.1922, unfortunatly did lost his life on the 17.10.1944. According to the volksbund.de site he is burried at the war cemetary in Kehl-Oberrhein, Germany - Block A row 15 grave 63.

best regards,

20th February 2009, 11:04
Dear Gary,
i'll try to translate/explain ...
"F" means "Feindflug" (combat mission). The alternative would be "H" for "Heimat" (Home), the latter was used for "routine flights" (technical, transfer, practise flights ... etc.).
"in den Berg" can be translated as: "into the hill".
The dogfight happened over a hill called "Idsteiner Klotz", which is close to Wintersweiler, Freiburg area. Koch managed to jump off his ship, but the parachute didn't open, so he fell to his death. His Bf 109 chrashed into the hill.
"RLV" stands for "Reichsluftverteidigung" - defence of the Reich,
and "Trendle, Brennendes Land" is the reference to the source of the information. Fritz Trendle wrote a book upen the air war in south-west Germany called "Brennendes Land" (burning country).
It's always a difficult decision what is better:
- either to write the original text in German, as given in the loss report. This includes the "full historical correctness"
- or to translate into English - which means some sort of "interpretation"

Good luck with your research, and
best regards,
Uwe (Karlsruhe, Germany)

20th February 2009, 21:54
Hello Gary,

Uffz. Herbert Koch was killed on 17 October of 1944 in combat of P47s of the 371 FG.
That day 12 P47s of the 406 FS (371 FG) took off at 10:45 for a bombing mission. They were bombing some trucks about 15 miles north-west of Basel ("Basle" in USAF documents), when, while regaining altitude after a dive, they were attached by more than 20 Me-109s. The Amarican pilots claimed 4 Me-109s destroyed (2 by Capt. Eric Doorly and 2 by 1/Lt. Francis E. Madore) and 3 Me-109s damaged for the loss of a P47 piloted by Lt. George Springer: he was seen the last time in combat near Sierentz. He obviously was the victim of Ltn. Hartmann of 9./JG 76 who claimed one P47 at 12:08 in the same area.
These are the only American claims that day in Germany.

(sources: 371 FG Combat Reports; USAF ET Credits by Frank Olynyk; Claims List by Tony Wood)

Best Regards

21st February 2009, 02:19
Tomislav, Uwe, and Marco,

Thank you all so very, very much for your quick, detailed and most informative responses. They have been extremely helpful. Uwe, I understood your translation perfectly. Vielen dank!

I just have a couple other questions. Are there any sources that show Uffz. Koch being shot down on 25 August 1944 north of Paris? Are there any photos of Uffz. Koch?

Cheers, Gary

Adriano Baumgartner
21st February 2009, 14:36
Hello Gary,
Although not related to the Uffz Koch you are looking for, I found this other German pilot named Koch. Maybe you will like and start to find out the many Koch(s) that have flown with LW and USAAF:
20.04.1940LA CHAPELLE SOUS CHAUX (90)BF 109 E-3http://www.histavia21.net/HISTAV2/nordBelfort1.jpg Bf 109 E-3 du 2./JG54Victoire confirmée du Sgt Boillot du GC II/7 de Luxeuil, Il tirera 27 obus de 20 mm et 210 balles de 7.5 mmTombe à proximité d'un étang à I km Ouest de La Chapelle sous Chaux Le Lieutenant Helmut Koch sera tué
Adriano Baumgartner
the information came from: www.histavia21.net