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  #11  
Old 18th November 2018, 21:07
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

Thank you Antun. Grass surface + poor drainage + September rains = slippery surface = aborted take-offs and accidents.


Gruda (YUGO) (42 32 00 N – 18 20 10 E) (AFHRA)
General: landing ground (Landeplatz) in wartime Croatia near the coast of Dalmatia 24 km SE of Dubrovnik and 5 km NW of the town of Gruda. History: used prewar by the Royal Yugoslav Air Force. No record found of any Luftwaffe air units being based here. Surface and Dimensions: grass surface with poor drainage measuring approx. 915 x 155 meters (1000 x 170 yards) and rectangular in shape. No paved runway. Infrastructure: none. The nearest rail connection was in Gruda. Dispersal: no organized dispersal facilities.
Remarks:
29 Nov 43: ordered evacuated and destroyed by Lw.-Kdo. Südost.
Operational Units: none identified.
Station Commands: unnumbered Flugplatzkdo. (1943).
Station Units (on various dates – not complete): elements of Flugmelde-Funk-Kp. z.b.V. 28 (Spilja, Jan 44).
[Sources: AFHRA A5264 p.133 (9 Jul 43); chronologies; BA-MA; NARA; PRO/NA; web site ww2.dk]

The book, Frka, Danijel, Josip Novak and Siniša Pogačić. La Force Aérienne Croate 1941 – 1945. Collection Histoire de L’Aviation Nº 10. Outreau (France): Editions Lela Presse, 2000. ISBN: 953-97564-0-4. Oversize Hb (heavy card cover). 303p. Profusely illus. Maps. Dwgs. Color profiles. Bibliography. Appendices, covers the Staffel from p.124 to p.139. All that is said is that the Staffel flew reconnaissance missions over the Adriatic during September 1943. At that time, according to the authors, Joachim was just the Luftwaffe Verbindungsoffizier (liaison officer) to the Croatian Kampfgruppe.

L.
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  #12  
Old 18th November 2018, 21:49
drifter206 drifter206 is offline
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

Dear Larry, your work is astonishing, I read some of it regarding airfields. Hat off to you sir.
Maj Joachim Gerhard was in few places mentioned as staffelkapiten, not only liaison officer. one source http://www.ww2.dk/air/kampf/kg53.htm


in attachment is airfield Gruda in 2018.
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File Type: jpg WP_20181017_13_32_52_Pro.jpg (202.7 KB, 25 views)
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  #13  
Old 18th November 2018, 22:31
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

Antun -

Thank you very much for the compliments!

Pilots taking off and landing at Gruda would have to be sharp and on their toes with those mountains in the background...………..no hangovers allowed! Thanks for posting the photos.

L.
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  #14  
Old 19th November 2018, 14:23
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is online now
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

Interesting that the III./KG 3 NVMs have Graovac as the Gr Kdr at the time of his death albeit by then, many of the 3 other Staffel had started converting to the Ju 88
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Old 23rd November 2018, 00:33
Rittmeister Rittmeister is offline
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter206 View Post
Also in the same book is:
Major Gerhard Joachim became Staffelkapitan in "December" 1942 and he remained at this post until disbandment of this unit.
Oddly enough they kept Major Nikola Mikec as his counterpart...

and the thing about Gruda airfield in that period is also very complicated story, surrender of Italian forces, fight with German forces, recce flight of 15(kroat)/53KG in that period...
Thanks everybody for the continued messages, I knew this forum with all its potential would not dissapoint but I got a lot more than I bargained for.

Antun, I was always under the impression that he replaced Mikec? So they served together as the same function?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 00:57
Rittmeister Rittmeister is offline
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry deZeng View Post
The book, Frka, Danijel, Josip Novak and Siniša Pogačić. La Force Aérienne Croate 1941 – 1945. Collection Histoire de L’Aviation Nº 10. Outreau (France): Editions Lela Presse, 2000. ISBN: 953-97564-0-4. Oversize Hb (heavy card cover). 303p. Profusely illus. Maps. Dwgs. Color profiles. Bibliography. Appendices, covers the Staffel from p.124 to p.139. All that is said is that the Staffel flew reconnaissance missions over the Adriatic during September 1943. At that time, according to the authors, Joachim was just the Luftwaffe Verbindungsoffizier (liaison officer) to the Croatian Kampfgruppe.

L.
Hi Larry, thanks again for this contrubution! Lots of the pictures of Joachim have "Sarajewo" and "Agram" written on the backside. So only Aufklärung of 15.(kroat.)Staffel in this time frame, when Joachim crashed?
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Old 23rd November 2018, 02:04
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

Quote:
So only Aufklärung of 15.(kroat.)Staffel in this time frame, when Joachim crashed?
They were sent down to Gruda to fly recce missions and that's what they were doing at the time he crashed. Did they also fly bombing missions from Gruda in fall 1943? Probably, but I don't have any examples.

L.
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Old 23rd November 2018, 10:35
drifter206 drifter206 is offline
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

Hi all

This case is complicated and to me still partially unknown. But what I was able to find out by now is only form locals who were in here. I found two persons who were 11 at the time and one was living nearby and other was working in the field near Gruda airfield. So this is based on their statements.
Konavle county was divided between Independent state of Croatia and Italy (province of Cattaro) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Province_of_Cattaro

-On 03.rd of September 1943. (released on 08.09.1943.) Italian forces surrendered.
- on 11. 09. 1934. Italian troops marching towards Dubrovnik form Kotor, German forces in Gruda requested that they lay down their arms which Italians refused, and the first skirmish started.
- from 11. 09. untill 15. there were fights between Germans and Italians in Konavle (statements form locals).
- On unknown date Italians with artillery attacked airfield Gruda and destroyed it. (statement from locals)
- on September 1943. 15 kroat/ 53 KG started flying recce missions over Adriatic (most probably to overview Italian retreat - my assumption)
- Do 17 is reported lost 14.09.1943. on airfield Gruda with 5 persons (loss during movement) (my assumption is that 5th person was someone from airfield)

Also airfield Gruda was grass surface airfield with some infrastructure (Italian border house and some unknown buildings), there was small fuel depot in there (some man Filipović was in charge) and was never used for normal operations only some occasional landings (statement from locals)

part I
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Old 23rd November 2018, 11:05
drifter206 drifter206 is offline
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

part II


In all books of Croatian air forces during ww2 there is very few information about Gerhard Joachim or no information at all, only Ciglić in his Do 17 Yugoslav story is stating his command plus mentioning the loss of Do 17 at Gruda with Joachim on board. What is also interesting that maj. Mikec was in charge as well ???



Airfield Gruda is also complicated story as well.
First landing ground was near Klaić houses near Gruda during Kingdom of Yugoslavia and later on it was placed westward towards Dubrovnik due to flooding of the field. I still don't know more about it.

Locals, I was able to find by now are all saying the same, it was never used as permanent airfield but occasionally they saw some aircraft landing in there. Some of infrastructure made by Italians still exist to this day in close proximity of airfield. After the war airfield was used in short span for civil use until 1968 when Airport Dubrovnik with modern infrastructure was built.
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  #20  
Old 23rd November 2018, 15:20
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Major Gerhard Joachim - KG 53

Quote:
on September 1943. 15 kroat/ 53 KG started flying recce missions over Adriatic (most probably to overview Italian retreat - my assumption)

The Italian surrender 8-9 September 1943 left the entire Dalmatian coastal area unprotected and this caused the Germans to immediately rush reinforcements into the coastal area, including 15.(kroat.)/KG 53. In addition to occupying Albania and attacking Italian strong points and resistance strongholds between Tirana and Rijeka, the Germans feared the possibility of Allied landings along the coast; hence, the need to step up reconnaissance patrols over the Adriatic as well as over the islands off the Dalmatian coast. Italian resistance in Dalmatia was finally subdued a month later after heavy fighting supported by Ju 87s brought in from Greece.

L.
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