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  #1  
Old 22nd September 2017, 19:22
askropp askropp is offline
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Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

Thomas was the commander of 999. leichte Division. Most sources say that his plane disappeared on its way from Sardinia to Tunisia during the night of 5 / 6 May 1943 (the NARA divisional guide gives 7 May). Does anybody know in which plane he was travelling, or any other details about the case?
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Old 23rd September 2017, 02:20
kaki3152 kaki3152 is offline
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Re: Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

According to a Wikipedia source (yes, not the best but sometimes accurate)

"Flugzeug in der Nacht vom 5. auf 6. Mai 1943 über dem Mittelmeer vermutlich von Nachtjägern abgeschossen."

According to MAWIII, a Beaufighter VIf of 255 Sq shot down a Ju-52/3m on May 5/6,1943 at 0030 hrs. The Luftwaffe lost a Ju52/3m of III/TG1, wk No 7489 was shot down by fighters, shot down by fighters at Tunis, pilot WIA.

It would seem that General Kurt Thomas was on this A/c.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 09:53
Matti Salonen Matti Salonen is offline
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Re: Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

Probably ths, because it is the only one, which was misssing 5/6 May 1943:
1943-05-05, 9./TG 1, Ju 52/3m, 7733, 1Z+BT, (Sardinien - Tunis)
Flugzeugführer Uffz Baldus, Johann, vermißt
Bordfunker Ogfr Dreßen, Cöllestin, vermißt
Bordmechaniker Uffz Berg, Kurt, vermißt
Bordschütze Gefr Pulß, Hans-Heinrich, vermißt
15 Fluggäste vermißt
Unbekannt. Bruch 100 %.

Matti
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Old 23rd September 2017, 11:41
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

Since Matti usually is almost 100% correct, from where does the info come from regarding the WNr 7489 published in MAW Vol 3?

I notice in MAW that the British also claimed a probable that night. Could it be that 7489 was the second one but managed to land, only somewhat damaged and the pilot wounded?

Do you Matti (or anyone else) have anything on WNr 7489 at all?

Cheers
Stig
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Old 23rd September 2017, 12:10
Matti Salonen Matti Salonen is offline
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Re: Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

1943-05-06, 9./TG 1, Ju 52/3m, 7489, 1Z+KT, Menzel Temime
Flugzeugführer Uffz Feuerherm, Hans, verletzt
Jägerbeschuß. Bruch 100 %.

Matti
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Old 23rd September 2017, 12:24
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

Matti

A goldmine is nothing compared to you!

Stretching my neck a bit (ready for the chop! ) I would say this is the second claim made by the same Beaufighter crew that night but only claimed as a probable. This Ju 52/3m obviously reached the coast and crash landed at Manzil Tamim.

Thanks again Matti!!

Cheers
Stig
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Old 23rd September 2017, 18:36
Rottler Rottler is offline
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Re: Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

In Christopher Shores and others „A History Of The Mediterranean Air War 1940-1945“ Vol. 3 is noted:

5 May 1943
German Casualties
III./TG 1 Ju 52/3m WNr. 7733 1Z+BT lost Sardinia-Tunis; Uffz Johann Baldus, three crewmen and 15 Wehrmacht troops MiA.

5/6 May 1943
At 2145 Flg Off Kendall of 255 Squadron with Plt Off D.M. Nedahl as radar operator, took off to patrol over the Cap Serrat area …At 2320 they were vectored onto several ‚bandits‘ and saw shells being fired in the Cap Zebib area. At this point Kendall spotted an aircraft flicking its landing lights on and off. This was immediately followed by lights from an airfield which he believed to be El Aouina, being switched on, allowing the aircraft to land. Within a few minutes he saw another aircraft approaching, and at 0030 turned onto the tail of this which he identified as a Ju 52/3m just as the main runway lights came on. He opened fire at 150 yards, closing to 25 yards, firing two and three-second bursts. On the second of these only one cannon continued to fire but the transport reared up, dipping one wing vertically as the navigation lights went out and it hit the gound.
Kendall now had to pull up abruptly to avoid hitting the ground and at once saw another Ju 52/3m. With only his machine guns now working, he attacked this from close range, many strikes being observed all over the fuselage; he was credited in this case with a probable.

British Claims
255 Sqn Flg Off P.S.Kendall/Plt Off D.M.Nedahl Beaufighter VIF Ju 52/3m El Aouina a/f 0030
255 Sqn Flg Off P.S.Kendall/Plt Off D.M.Nedahl Beaufighter VIF Ju 52/3m Probable El Aouina a/f 0040

German Casualties
III./TG 1 Ju 52/3m WNr. 7489 shot down by fighters at Tunis; pilot WiA.

Regards
Leo
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Old 23rd September 2017, 20:23
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

Aha

So one loss is listed in MAW on the 5th.
Well, I still think both losses occured during the night in question and that
Kendall/Nedahl scored against both these two Ju 52/3m.

Cheers
Stig
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Old 24th September 2017, 11:45
Brian Bines Brian Bines is offline
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Re: Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

What I understand is that F/O Kendall shot down a Ju 52 on its approach to El Aouina a/f (Tunis) which hit the ground , and then shot up a second with M.G. fire allowed as a probable. The first victim being likely to be 1Z+BT Uffz Baldus with crew and 15 Army passengers missing , as Kendall's report says his victim hit the ground near Aouina would those on board not be listed as dead . The missing status seems to suggest a loss at sea, I believe there is no known grave for the Baldus crew or Kurt Thomas . Regarding the second claim of 1Z+KT Ff Uffz Feuerherm wounded crashlanding? at Menzel Temime , if this location is actually Manzil Tamim this is many miles to the east of Aouina across the bay.
Perhaps I am missing something here so does anybody have a better knowledge of the circumstances of these two losses on this very interesting thread,

Regards
Brian Bines
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Old 24th September 2017, 12:55
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Loss of GM Kurt Thomas in 1943

Brian

Good points, but I also think it is easy to read too much into a combat report.
First of all we don't know which direction the Ju 52s used on their approach. It is likely they know about lurking night fighters or at least suspected they could be around, otherwise the crews would have been, well, plain stupid if you ask me. Bottom line here is that we don't know the exact approach of the two aircraft, but if I had been piloting one of them I would certainly not have taken the 'easy' way in.

Neither do we know the exact spot where Kendall/Nedahl opened fire. How far away were they from El Aouina? We don't know. In darkness light can be seen from very far away. From own experiences I know it is difficult to exact pinpoint such distances. I also doubt that was on either Kendall or Nedahl's mind.

We don't know the exact place where the two aircraft went down, but since one must have ended up in the water and the other on land we can then take either Kendall/Nedahl's statement at face value and/or follow the Luftwaffe loss reports. Manzil Tamim is what comes up when I google Menzil Temime. If anyone has something better than that I stand corrected, but if that is the place one aircraft came down, we have to accept that, at least so far.

We have no idea what the crews did or did not do when shot at. Did they take evasive action or not? It seems at least the first one did.

Finally it is not the first time that German crash/loss reports differ quite a bit from British/US claim reports. We have to remember that real combat back then was not something performed in the sofa or behind a computer, and both reality and memories did play tricks with a large number of individuals.

Because what else is there? Kendall/Nedahl shooting at two ghost aircraft and Luftwaffe loosing two Ju 52s to something completely different? Four separate incidents without any connection? A bit unlikely I would say....

Cheers
Stig
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