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Old 31st August 2005, 21:23
Andy F-P Andy F-P is offline
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Andy F-P
'Luftwaffe fighter CO' at Boxted Airfield, England

'I am currently reading the book 'Wolfpack Warriors' by Roger A Freeman about the USAF 56th Fighter Group. On page 222 it mentions a Colonel Schilling bringing a Luftwaffe Gruppenkommandeur to the airfield at Boxted, near Colchester, Essex in January 1945. It says that this officer was shot down during Operation Bodenplatte on New Years Day 1945. The officer was apparently 'rescued from the RAF as a POW and taken to a few briefings etc. There is also a photograph of the officer concerned in the photograph section in the middle of the book.

Does anyone have a copy of this book and tell me why they think this officer may be? The photo has him at Boxted airfield next to USAF personnel. He is still dressed in his flying jacket and boots. Any ideas?

I am going to an airshow at the sight of the airfield this weekend and have had a few people ask me if I knew who he was.

Thanks for any information,
Andy

Last edited by Andy F-P; 31st August 2005 at 21:29.
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Old 9th September 2020, 06:49
dtaylorxx dtaylorxx is offline
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Re: 'Luftwaffe fighter CO' at Boxted Airfield, England

Better late than never! I was intrigued by your 2005 post so I dug into my library to see if I could come up with something.

According to Manrho/Puetz in "Bodenplatte" there were five actual "Gruppe" Commanders lost on Jan 1st, 1945; only two of these survived to became POW's however. The text in "Wolfpack Warriors" (p.222) states the officer was a "...Gruppe Commander, shot down while leading his unit..." on that mission so this statement, if correct, narrows it down for us:

II./JG2 Gruppenkommandeur Hauptmann Georg Schröder, was leading II. Gruppe, when he was shot down by AAA near Verviers and captured by British forces. A 1943 photo of him when with JG2 as an Oberleutnant ("Am Himmel Frankreich - JG2 1943 Band 5" p. 145 shows a fair/good physical and facial resemblance. Schröder was an experienced combat leader and his record of victories and knowledge etc may have been what Schilling was interested in. Schröder is my best guess for the match.

IV./JG27 Gruppenkommandeur Hauptmann Hanns-Heinz Dudeck, POW, Baled out-AAA, NE Vernay. "A 10 year Luft. veteran, he was shot down 1 January, 1945, by AA fire over Venraij Holland and taken prisoner during Operation Bodenplatte. His plane caught fire, crashed at Smakt Holland, NNE of Venray. He bailed out and somehow, his chute was ripped and he slammed through tree branches which saved his life. He was lucky to find himself in a British hospital the following day..." from KLA. Another interesting POW for Shilling to show off (Dudeck had fought on the Channel Front in 1940). Earlier photos of Dudek with JG2 in 1940 ("Am Himmel Frankreich - JG2 1940 Band 2" p. 138) do not as well resemble the man in the "Wolfpack Warriors" photo - so he places 2nd as a candidate in my opinion.

Cheers!
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