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  #1  
Old 8th October 2011, 18:29
Roundway Roundway is offline
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Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

This is rather a long shot as I suspect the records have probably disappeared, but I'm trying to find out if Wekusta 51 flew any sorties to the west of Ireland between 2nd and 5th June 1944.

Wekusta 2 had previously flown this track as a routine meteorological sortie, but after being withdrawn in April to re-equip with HE-177s its role passed to Wekusta 51.

I've read Kington and Selinger's book, "Wekusta, Luftwaffe Meteorological Reconnaissance Units and Operations 1938-1945", but my hope was that someone might have had another, primary, source. The book records "During the first two weeks of June the northwest track was again ordered for met reccie flights in order to monitor weather conditions over the region of the expected invasion of France. On one of these missions a J88D-1 suffered engine failure ..... .

I assume this description implies some sorties were flown by Wekusta 51, and the fact that details of one of the flights exists led me to hope some form of record survives.

It's not clear from the book where Wekusta 51, or at least the element covering Wekusta 2's operational area, was located. Two airfields are mentioned, Vannes (28/29 May) and Nantes (7 June), so I suppose that if an airfield diary for either airfield survives that might might provide a clue.
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Old 8th October 2011, 19:33
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

Westa 51

According to a document in NARA T-971 roll 18 and transfer information in an ULTRA intercept, the Staffel transferred from Vannes and Cognac to Tours on 13 June 1944. So it is quite probable that it was at Vannes and Cognac during the period you are researching.

As for sorties 2 – 5 June 1944, your best bet would be the ZENIT intercepts at PRO/TNA Kew. I’ve read many times in the Bletchley Park histories and memoirs that they intercepted all of the weather messages sent from the Westa aircraft because they were of equal value to the Allies. The aircraft and Westa Staffel were always identified because of ID letters accompanying the transmissions and their exact location was known, too. I doubt if you will find anyone with these so you will probably have to go to PRO/TNA Kew yourself. I am almost certain you will not find this information at BA-MA Freiburg. Another possibility might be a rare Flugbuch covering Westa 51 for that period.
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Old 8th October 2011, 21:12
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red-star25 red-star25 is offline
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Re: Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

In Freiburg there are some documents related to Wekusta 51.
One is the KTB number 10 of this unit dealing with the period 06.may 1944 till 12.July 1944.
Maybe this file will give you an answer.

Regards

Dirk
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Old 8th October 2011, 22:21
Roundway Roundway is offline
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Re: Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

Much obliged Larry, that's good advice. Whilst I'm familiar with TNA I'm not familiar with the HW series - I've had a quick look through the catalogue using what I thought would be good keywords (weather/meteorology/Wekusta) but have not been able to identify an obvious file sequence. Any chance you could direct me to the appropriste files please?
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Old 8th October 2011, 22:24
Roundway Roundway is offline
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Re: Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

Thank you Dirk. As with my last post to Larry I'm on unfamliar ground here. How would I go about accessing the file from the UK?

Brian
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Old 8th October 2011, 23:28
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Re: Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

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Originally Posted by Roundway View Post
Thank you Dirk. As with my last post to Larry I'm on unfamliar ground here. How would I go about accessing the file from the UK?

Brian
Keyword searches won't really help with HW5. All you can hope to do is read the whole of the file(s) for the date(s) in question and for a few days afterward (to allow for delays in deciphering the message). For more about these files see here.

The intercepted ZENIT (weather flight) traffic will be in series AIR22 "Air Ministry W/T (Wireless Telegraphy) Intelligence Service Daily Summaries". You can find the file for the dates you want in the National Archives online catalogue.
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Old 8th October 2011, 23:47
Roundway Roundway is offline
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Re: Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

I'm very grateful for the advice Nick, that will help me enormously.

Thank you.

Brian
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Old 9th October 2011, 01:49
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

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Originally Posted by Roundway View Post
I'm very grateful for the advice Nick, that will help me enormously.
Thank you.
Brian
The information provided by Dirk (red-star 25) re KTB 10/Westa 51 is a surprise (to me) and could be your Plan B in the event you do not find what you are looking for at TNA/Kew, although I would think Selinger saw this while working with Kingston on the book. Also, it may be hand-written (Staffel KTBs often were) which might prove troublesome.

Larry
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Old 9th October 2011, 11:01
Roundway Roundway is offline
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Re: Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

The same thought crossed my mind (about Selinger) when I read Dirk's post, Larry. I've since been contacted off-board by a forumite who has offered to look at the reference for me, so hopefully that will provide an answer to my query.

My real interest is in the meteorology of the period, and especially for the 4th June. German maps I have for that day suggest a flight was not made but I need definite proof rather than an assumption.

It's difficult, if not impossible, to estimate exactly how much use of Wekusta data was made by Allied forecasters. I know from talking to two war-time assistants who worked in the British Met Office that the information was received - unfortunately it was plotted on charts that were later destroyed, not on archived charts.

Brian
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Old 9th October 2011, 20:26
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Re: Wekusta 51: 2-5 June 1944

Hello Brian!

I gave Pierre the signature numbers for the Wekusta files in Freiburg, I have.
I think, that he is the one, which will look at it for you.
There are also a bunch of pilots reports for that unit, which only goes up to April 1944, but gives a good picture of the flights made.
You can order copies for the Freiburg files via Selke (www.selke-gmbh.de)
but this will be not cheap.
The KTB 10 has about 240 pages and copies will cost you about 100 Euros.
If you have a bad day, then you will find nothing useful in it.
So the best way is to visit the archive for yourself.
Dirk
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