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  #1  
Old 6th January 2015, 06:04
pdame141 pdame141 is offline
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Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

All:

I found an interesting newspaper clipping in a scrapbook on my Great Uncle's WWII service in which he gave an interview describing an attack on the airfield at Eger, Czechoslovakia during his second combat tour. He and his comrades shot up seven silver Do217s that appeared to be preparing some sort of special attack with missiles/flying bombs.

I think this field was Eger-Oberschon (Cheb) based on my Great Uncle's statement that the Do217s "were the only planes on the airdrome standing on wheels--more than a hundred burning planes of all kinds were around the field." This seems to fit given the description of prior aerial attacks on Eger-Oberschon in Henry deZeng's Luftwaffe Airfields 1935-45 Czechoslovakia (bombed by B-24s on 25 Mar 45, strafed by 8th AF fighters on 16 and 17 Apr 45) and Tim Grace's book on the 368th Fighter Group (see below).

I believe this attack happened on 21 April 1945 as my Great Uncle mentioned attacking the same field a few days prior to the mission in question and the 397th and 396th Fighter Squadrons claimed 22 a/c destroyed and 35 damaged on Czech airfields on 16 April 1945.

Given the proximity to the end of the war, are there any Luftwaffe records surviving regarding the loss of the Do217s?

Thanks as always for any help.

Paul Dame
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Old 7th January 2015, 03:48
pdame141 pdame141 is offline
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Re: Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

A little more Internet research may have yielded a partial answer. I stumbled across a Czech website with photos of Eger/Cheb in 1945 (see http://www.fronta.cz/fotogalerie/che...te-kveten-1945).

A number of the photos show He-219 Uhus on hardstands surrounded by ME-262 fuselages. The He-219s appear to be silver, which matches my Great Uncle's account and the overall shape of the He-219 and Do-217 are similar.

Some of the He-219s have been shot up and are burned out. Seems plausible to me that the flying bombs observed that day may have been the ME-262 fuselages.

Also, since Eger Flugzeugwerke GmbH produced He-219s under license, it may be that the planes attacked in April 1945 were new production that hadn't been assigned to an operational unit.

One of the photos shows an He-219 with a partial marking of "DO" or "DQ" (http://www.fronta.cz/foto/he-219-a-t...-262-2#fotobox). Any thoughts on further leads I could run down?

Thanks,
Paul Dame

Last edited by pdame141; 8th January 2015 at 03:17. Reason: typo
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  #3  
Old 7th January 2015, 14:40
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is online now
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Re: Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

Hi Paul,

A complete, or nearly complete, detailed inventory report on what was found at Eger/Cheb just days or weeks after the Allies captured it would be found in the Air Technical Intelligence "A" and "B" Airfield Reports for this airfield. Copies of the reports should be at NARA College Park, AFHRA Maxwell AFB and the British National Archives London. NASM in suburban WashDC may also have copies. Hopefully, someone here who is familiar with these reports can help you locate the ones for Eger/Cheb.

Best of luck,

Larry deZeng
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Old 7th January 2015, 17:49
ChristianK ChristianK is offline
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Re: Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

Hi Paul,

some more photos of Cheb/Eger from ground level you can find in "Luftwaffe over Czech Territory 1945" by JaPo publications.

The He 219 with the partial marking you mention is either DV+DO or DV+DQ. It carries the marking V23 on its nose.

Cheers,
Christian

BTW: Nice derivation from the "silver Do 217s on special mission"! This seems absolutely plausible.
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Old 7th January 2015, 22:14
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

Dear Larry and Paul,

I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope that the "A" and "B" reports will have covered Eger/Cheb. Initially, the "A" reports inventoried what was on airfields as they were captured. But, as the war neared its end, the need for this essentially disappeared and thus the reports began covering other subject areas.

While it is possible that somewhere at the AFHRA and NARA II a more or less complete set exists, I have never found it, but rather, incomplete sets of reports. The AFHRA has the early reports and NARA II the later reports.

One of my great disappointments has been the lack of write-ups on Me 262 assembly facilities. That doesn't mean they don't exist, but rather that I've never found them. There are a couple of very short reports on Kahla, but no where near the detail that one would want to find.

What I think was eventually settled upon was to do a USSBS survey report on Messerschmitt, using a reasonably decent report on the forest assembly facilities using Horgau as the prime example. Nor were the writers especially worried about having everything properly identified in the photo section, as some photos actually were taken at the facility at Burgau (Kuno I).

Fortunately, the folks at JaPo have tried to fill in the gap regarding Me 262 production in Czechoslovakia.

If anyone does have leads on post capture intel reports on Me 262 airfields and production facilities, please share this information with us.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 8th January 2015, 03:58
pdame141 pdame141 is offline
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Re: Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

Larry, Christian and Richard:

Thanks as always for the replies! I've been trying to track down whether the "DV+" marking was for an operational unit or a developmental testbed.

I've found numerous online references to DV+DI as a testbed, but have also found references to other machines with different markings listed as prototypes/testbeds.

I'll keeping plugging away on locating any inventory/intel reports on the aircraft/wrecks at Eger/Cheb and will share any information I find.

Best regards,
Paul
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Old 8th January 2015, 14:18
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is online now
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Re: Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

Paul -

It seems to me that there should be numerous intelligence reports on the Eger Flugzeugwerke GmbH and the airfield. If not Air Technical Intelligence A" or "B" reports, then a USSBS report. The Brits and Americans relentlessly investigated the German aviation industry both during and right after the war and it would be inconceivable that they would ignore this firm and the engineers who worked for it. But there is a wrench in the gear box. The expulsion of the ethnic Germans from the Sudetenland began almost immediately after the war ended and then intensified with a vengence as soon as the Potsdam Conference concluded on 26 July 1945. This and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Eger area means that access to the airfield would have been limited to perhaps a 3 month time frame, which might not have been enough for the USSBS investigative team to go to Eger and do their job.

Nevertheless, I believe there is a lot of wartime and postwar intelligence material on both the firm and the airfield. Unfortunately, finding it will be time-consuming and costly. Searching for archival documents usually is.

L.
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Old 8th January 2015, 15:23
Tony Kambic Tony Kambic is offline
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Re: Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

I thought all of this was discussed fairly extensively on LEMB over 7 years ago:

David Brown at that time posted this listing:

-- Photos 1 & 2: The aircraft pictured here is not an He177 but in fact the extremely rare four-engined He277. Only 11 were built. This aircraft is either the He219V-1 or He219V-2 with the single large fin.

-- Photos 3, 16 &17: Another He277. This one has remnants of the twin tail and indicates either the He219V-3, or one of the eight He219A-1 production aircraft.

-- Photos 10 &18: From left to right: He219V-23, DV+BQ, WNr.190??? - He219, WNr.unknown - He219, WNr.190223 - He219, WNr.190188. I assume that these are from the Fw190 werknummersies based on comparison of similarly coded and camouflaged He219s.

-- Photo 11: He219, WNr. unknown.

-- Photo 12: He219, WNr.190223.

-- Photo 13: He219, WNr.190188.

-- Photo 14: Me262A, WNr. unknown.

-- Photos 19 & 20: He219V-23, DV+BQ, WNr.190???. The two Me262 fuselages are unmarked (no Werknummern) and are definitely Me262A-1/U3s.

-- Photo 21: He219, WNr. unknown. The Me262 fuselages is unmarked (no Werknummern) and is definitely a Me262A-1/U3. No information on the Fw190A.

-- Photo 22: He219, WNr.190223. The two Me262 fuselages are unmarked (no Werknummern) and are definitely Me262A-1/U3s.

-- Photos 23, 24 & 25: Look like the wings from Si204s?

-- Photo 26 & 27: Fuselages are from He177A-0s.

And Marcel added this:

Photos 10 &18: From left to right:

He219V23, DV+BQ, WNr.190??? According to my incomplete He219 Wnr. database, the 3rd font of all He219's with Stammkennzeichen DV+.. started with a D, rather than a B. I do have He219's ranging from DV+DB up to DV+DL (some Stkz. missing).

He219, WNr.190223 This one was new for me, I stored this one in my database

He219, WNr.190188. This He219 went down on 5/6 June 1944 over Holland [source: Namentliche Verlustmeldung - which could be wrong] so it here remains a question mark.
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Old 8th January 2015, 16:58
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

Dear Larry,

While NARA II holds the USSBS files, including support material, the files are not as meticulous as one would hope for. There appeared to be both summaries of a general nature as well as focused company reports. But, from what I can tell, not every facility was written up, but rather far from it. The closest one can come to a specific facility report for those not covered in detail are the target folders, although these tended to be mainly collections of wartime intel on each target.

I made a copy of the various European USSBS indexes, as well as delved into what appeared to be the most fertile areas regarding the Me 262, and came away disappointed. For instance, I could find no postwar coverage of the Me 262 forest assembly facilities at Leipheim nor Schwäbisch Hall. It seems inconceivable to me that no one went into these facilities, camera in hand, to photograph and provide an overview, but I never found such reports, save for the Messerschmitt survey report I have already mentioned.

USSBS stands for United States Strategic Bombing Survey, with emphasis on the word "survey". I believe its purpose was to document the impact of strategic bombing on defeating Germany, rather than to serve as a detailed history on each and every place bombed. Perhaps one reason that the Me 262 forest facilities weren't covered in detail was that, for all its prowess, with the exception of a lucky hit on Neuburg because the forest assembly facility was too close to the airfield, the assembly facilities were never bombed. So, if they weren't targeted, then their usefulness in pushing the survey's intended purpose would have been muted.

Clearly, Eger/Cheb took a pounding. And, yes, there is a target folder on Cheb and another on Eger. They are in Section 4. European Target Intelligence:

3. a. Damage assessment photo intelligence reports of European targets filed alphabetically by target area and contain all available information on the area.

(562) Cheb, Czechoslovakia
(795) Eger, Czechoslovakia

Regards,
Richard
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Old 8th January 2015, 17:19
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is online now
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Re: Attack on Eger/Cheb April 1945

Richard -

You have undoubtedly provided some useful leads for Paul to pursue. He might also consider the indexes to the JICA (Joint Intelligence Collection Agency) library in RG 165 and RG 319. The card indexes to the RG 226 OSS documents would also be worth a look. There are also the numerous POW and refugee interrogation report series, especially ADI(K) and CSDIC. It is truly a shame the intelligence material is so scattered, but I have confidence that there is a lot of it. However, this may all be for nought because Paul may only be interested in the markings on some of the abandoned aircraft found there.

L.
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