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Old 10th February 2019, 02:02
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Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 Reason for loss?

Hello,

Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 was lost on 24 Dec 1944. This aircraft was flown by Oblt Sommer (not on 24 Dec). Griehl mentions that it was shot down by own Flak. Is there a wartime source that confirms this? Was there another Ar 234 lost to aaa on that day?

Regards,

Roger
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Old 10th February 2019, 04:15
Karoband Karoband is offline
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Re: Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 Reason for loss?

Hello Roger,

Indeed, Erich Sommer in Luftwaffe Eagle: A WWII German Airman's Story, (2018), pp. 164-167 recounts how "on Christmas Eve 1944" while on final approach and "with little fuel left" his Ar 234 was set on fire by German flak at Wiesbaden/Erbenheim. Unawares he taxied the aircraft into a hangar where the fire brigade eventually doused the fire. "Ground witnesses told me that my Arado trailed a 150-metre-long flame on approach and while landing and taxiing." In this account he does not identify the aircraft.

However, in Smith & Creek, Arado 234 Blitz, (1992), p. 171 giving a similar account, he identified the Ar 234 as "my faithful T9+IH was burning fiercely". On p. 253, Smith & Creek give 140154 as "T9+IH", flown by Oblt. Sommer...destroyed on December 24, 1944.

I too would like a wartime source to confirm this.

best regards,

Jim

Last edited by Karoband; 10th February 2019 at 05:38.
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Old 10th February 2019, 09:45
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Re: Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 Reason for loss?

Hello Jim,

Thank you. So there is a high likelihood that it was actually hit by German flak if the information came directly from the pilot.

Was there no Ar 234 hit by American AAA on that day? I have some indications that an Ar 234 was hit on that day by American AAA. It may be, however, that it was on a different date, but most likely around winter 44/45 over Belgium.

Best regards,

Roger
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Old 10th February 2019, 10:23
Karoband Karoband is offline
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Re: Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 Reason for loss?

Hi Roger,

I have two notations of Ar 234s being hit by enemy flak:

25 Dec 44 Ltn. Alfred Frank Ar 234 B 9./KG 76 F1+DT combat damage by AA - force landed near Teuge, Neth.

27 Dec 44 Ltn. Erich Dick (killed) Ar 234 B 9./KG 76 F1+LT 140161 hit by AA at Neufchateau - crashed on landing

Both would have to be verified.

Jim
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Old 10th February 2019, 11:12
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Re: Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 Reason for loss?

Smith and Creek were giving T9+IH as W.Nr. 140154 back when they wrote "Jet Planes of the Third Reich" (Mongoram, 1982).

As for Roger's question:
Quote:
Griehl mentions that it was shot down by own Flak. Is there a wartime source that confirms this?
CX/MSS/R.409 (A)
26.12.44
4. Dated 24/12:

At 1425 hours Obltn. SOMMER landed at WIESBADEN-ERBENHEIM. A/C shot up in flames by Flak when landing. Crew unhurt.
NOTE: Believed to be from Det. SPERLING

CX/MSS/R.409 (C)
4. … ((iii)) Stamped 2045/24/12:

To Oblt. SOMMER : can IH still be repaired? What is the percentage of damage?

CX/MSS/R.410 (C)
18. Two docs on 24/12:

((1)) Signed Oberltn. SOMMER.
On morning of 25/12 send one lorry to WIESBADEN-ERBENHEIM for stripping of T9+IH (smudge).

((2)) Late on 24/12, to Obltn. SOMMER:
What specialists and how many of them and what tool [sic] will be needed for stripping ZINN ((Ar. 234))? Because of work of clearing up, lorry can be despatched by Station Command at earliest about mid-day.

NOTE: 1) See MSS/T/408/97 for damage to SOMMER’s aircraft.
2) Source thinks ((2)) above from GAF Command WEST to Detachment HECHT.
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Old 10th February 2019, 22:33
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Re: Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 Reason for loss?

Hi Jim, many thanks for the information about the two losses. I have just ordered a copy of the unit history of the AAA unit that shot down the Ar 234 and will check if they were near Teuge, Netherlands, or Neufchateau. A document mentioned that the AAA unit shot down an aircraft on 24 Dec 1944, but it may well have been another aircraft as the type was not mentioned. But they did shoot down an Ar 234. Maybe the unit history will have some more information about this incident.

Hi Nick, many thanks for this valuable information about Obltn. Sommer's Ar 234 that confirms that he was hit by German Flak. It's incredible what kind of information can be found in the intercepted messages.
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Old 11th February 2019, 12:27
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Re: Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 Reason for loss?

Jim/Roger,

The Ar 234B F1+DT, flown by Lt. A.Frank was intercepted on his return flight from Liege(B) at December 25th 1944.
He was attacked by two Tempests of No. 80 Sqn (see NA Air 27/671 ORB 80 Sqn.) over South Netherlands.
His plane was damaged and crashed just outside Teuge airfield. The pilot rescued himself by parachute.
Sources:
P.Grimm, 'Vliegvelden in oorlogstijd'. Amsterdam 2009.
J.J.Speelziek, 'Van op den Toega naar Teuge'. Teuge 1990.

Jaap
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Old 11th February 2019, 12:52
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Re: Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 Reason for loss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaap Woortman View Post
Jim/Roger,

The Ar 234B F1+DT, flown by Lt. A.Frank was intercepted on his return flight from Liege(B) at December 25th 1944.
He was attacked by two Tempests of No. 80 Sqn (see NA Air 27/671 ORB 80 Sqn.) over South Netherlands.
His plane was damaged and crashed just outside Teuge airfield. The pilot rescued himself by parachute.
Sources:
P.Grimm, 'Vliegvelden in oorlogstijd'. Amsterdam 2009.
J.J.Speelziek, 'Van op den Toega naar Teuge'. Teuge 1990.

Jaap
On the other hand …

CX/MSS/T409/53

From KABEK ((KG)) 51 ((IA)), No. 1297 stamped 1230/24/12.

Battle report 25/12:

Formation: (C% KADOP) ((III./KG)) 76.

Operated: 9 Ar 234. Take off 09.14 to 09.26 hrs. Landing 10.22 to 10.48 hrs.
Task as for ops order (+).

Result: Gliding from 4000 to 2000 metres with 9 SC 500 Trialen. Time of attack 09.50 to 10.00 hrs. Flak defence badly aimed. Up to 6 Spitfires and Thunderbolts. No attack.

Losses: None.

Successes: 8 a/c on Liège, 1 a/c on Namur, direct hits on railway installations (smudge).

Special observations: Railway stations Liège and Namur (B% completely) occupied. Airfield north Liège occupied by fighters and 3 4-engined a/c.

NOTE:

(1) (+) Not seen.

(2) First reports of ops by III./KG 76 since reequipped with Ar 234 a/c.

For recent information on III./KG 76 see comments below (T365/31, 369/75, 403/19)
… Comment … On 18th 3 JD entrusted with protection of airfields of K 51, 3rd Gruppe K 76 and 3rd Gruppe J 7 … Strength of 3rd Gruppe K 76 unknown but on 14th November the bringing up of an Operations Staffel mentioned … K 76 on 10 November stated Ar 234 aircraft owing technical reasons could only be loaded with bombs and dropping containers weighing 500 kilos.
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Old 11th February 2019, 13:06
Karoband Karoband is offline
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Re: Ar 234 W.Nr. 140154 Reason for loss?

Hi Jaap,

From the War Diary, III./KG 76:

… Shallow dive attack on the city of Liege …

Defences: Strong medium flak was observed coming from the ground. Thunderbolts [sic] operated in 4-6 aircraft patrols in the target area. On one occasion an unsuccessful [my emphasis] gun attack was observed …

Losses: Lieutenant Frank in F1+DT crash-landed near Teuge in Holland. Pilot uninjured.

Hi Nick,

According to the War Diary, the take-off times of 10:14 -10:25 hrs. and landing 11:22 -11:48 hrs are those of the morning of 24 Dec. 44.

Those given for the morning of 25 Dec. 44 are 08:25-08:48 and 09.17-09:48. The translator must have added an hour?


best regards,

Jim

Last edited by Karoband; 11th February 2019 at 23:34.
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