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Old 16th May 2008, 04:39
blythsco blythsco is offline
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Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

This is a heavily cropped photo of the Halberstadt Airfield taken on July 7, 1944 by Lt. John S Blyth. He was flying an unarmed Spitfire Mk XI (MB 955). He was with the 14th Squadron of the 7th Photo Group based at Mt Farm, England. This was sortie #2258 and the mission was flown at about 30,000 feet. There are several aircraft visible in the photo including one which is apparently extremely rare. Can anyone (I am sure you can) identify the other aircraft?

Thanks
Scott
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  #2  
Old 16th May 2008, 08:42
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Fairlop Fairlop is offline
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Re: Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

Heinkel He 111Z "Zwilling" in the upper left corner ?

Michal
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Old 16th May 2008, 15:16
blythsco blythsco is offline
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Re: Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

Yes Michal that is a Heinkel 111Z and apparently one of only 12 built. As you know it was a glider tug. I am still trying to identify the other aircraft in the photo.
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Old 20th May 2008, 15:28
Chris Going Chris Going is offline
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Re: Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

You might like to know that Lt John Blyth is still with us. Google Spitfire 944 and see what comes up. You will be surprised.


Chris
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Old 21st May 2008, 10:34
yogybär yogybär is offline
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Re: Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

If you mean the AF near to the 111Z, just a bit lower left of it: May that be a Gotha-glider?
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Old 22nd May 2008, 02:12
blythsco blythsco is offline
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Re: Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

Thanks Yogy

I am no expert but the Gotha gliders found on the internet seem to all have twin tails which are connected somewhat like a P-38. This one seems to have a single tail. Was there such a glider?
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Old 22nd May 2008, 11:42
richardb richardb is offline
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Re: Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

It could be one of the 12 Gotha Ka 430 built in 1944. It was a single tail glider.

(comparison of span /length with the He 111 Z is OK)
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Old 22nd May 2008, 16:50
digedag1 digedag1 is offline
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Re: Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

Scott,
-your photo shows the south part of the Halberstadt airfield with the
two big, one smaller hangar and the big servicing hangar.
-Because of the shadows of the buildings, the photo was taken short
after noon-time.
-Most of the craters left by the bombs are making an impression as
they were "new" and many are not filled up.
-The roofs of the big hangars are in for repair.

Halberstadt airfield was a target for the 8th AF and was bombed on:
-11 April 1944 (29 paratroopers died)
-30 May 1944 (heavy attack; a direct bomb hit in an air-raid shelter
caused the life of the complete staff of "2.Inspektion/
Luftkriegsschule III" - 7 Luftwaffe soldiers and officers
and the wife of one of the high-ranking officers)
-16 August 1944 (9 Luftwaffe soldiers and 3 female members of the
Luftwaffe died)

Was the reconnaissance photo taken on 7th of July '44?
Halberstadt was not a target that day!
Assuming that the date is correct, there is an high probability that the 3 parked planes on the concrete strip in front of the hangars are german fighters.
On the 7th of July '44 a great aerial battle took place in the triangle between Bernburg-Oschersleben-Halberstadt with high losses on both sides.
The german propaganda called it the "Blitzluftschlacht von
Oschersleben".
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/neilpage/sturmgruppenactions.html

Quiet possible that the planes we see took part in this fights and afterwards landed at Halberstadt airfield.
There is an eyewitness-report by Oblt. Strothmann, member of the airfield staff, that at 9:55 hours 4 Fw190 and 1 Me109 landed in short intervals.
Oblt. Gabler, JG300, writes:
"Four pilotes of my Stabsschwarm had exhausted their munitions by then and broke off, so that Knoll and myself were on our own.....
We dived headlong towards Halberstadt where we landed to refuel
and rearm at 10:10."

With regards
digedag1
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Old 22nd May 2008, 17:55
blythsco blythsco is offline
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Re: Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

Thanks digedag1

That is some great detail along with yogy and richardb id of the Gotha ka 430 glider (1 of 12 supposedly). I am probably going to visit my father in a few days and will ask him about his recollection of the mission and whether he was bounced by any fighters. That along with heavy flak was a frequent occurence. In the Spit Mk XI he could outrun or evade an ME 262 if he got a head start. He and his fellow pilots flew alone and unarmed so they were at a distinct disadvantage against the German fighters.

Regards
Scott
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Old 22nd May 2008, 18:40
blythsco blythsco is offline
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Re: Aerial Photo Halberstadt Airfield

Thanks Richard

I guess that is very possible and likely given the presence of the Zwilling. Any ideas on their typical missions at that time (July 7, 1944)?

Regards
Scott
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