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  #1  
Old 4th August 2013, 19:04
Don Caldwell's Avatar
Don Caldwell Don Caldwell is offline
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Airfield Strafing Victims

Hello all --

I’m trying to help the author of a book on 8AF "strafing aces". He's trying to identify Luftwaffe victims. I know that this is a very tough job, and have told him so. But can any of you can identify by type and unit any aircraft that were destroyed in strafing attacks on these airfields on these dates?

Giebelstadt ---------- 6 Jan 45
Giebelstadt ---------- 13 Jan 45
Hopsten -------------- 21 Mar 45
Brunnthal ------------ 9 Apr 45
Brunnthal ------------ 16 Apr 45
Bad Aibling ---------- 16 Apr 45
Riesa Canitz --------- 17 Apr 45

Any help will be appreciated.

-- Don
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Old 4th August 2013, 20:57
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Airfield Strafing Victims

Giebelstadt:
6 Jan 45: low-level attack by VIII Fighter Command P-51s – claimed 9 x Ju 88s, 2 x Do 217s and 3 x unidentified aircraft destroyed.
13 Jan 45: low-level attack by VIII Fighter Command P-51s – claimed 1 x Me 262, 1 x Ju 88 and 1 x Do 217 destroyed, plus 1 x Ju 88 damaged.

Above are Allied CLAIMS. Actual Luftwaffe figures are far and few between. What exist are in the BNA/PRO HW collections. Here's an example of a German one:

Steinamanger (Szombathely):
21 Oct 44: bombed and strafed by 15th AAF B-24s, P-38s and P-51s – 1 x Fw 190 destroyed, 3 x He 111 Bs, 2 x Bf 109s, 2 x Ju 88s and 1 x Hs 129 damaged, telephone lines and electric cables destroyed, buildings damaged, landing area cratered and airfield unserviceable, 4 KIA. (German sources)

L.
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Old 4th August 2013, 21:21
Andrew Arthy Andrew Arthy is offline
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Re: Airfield Strafing Victims

Hi Don,

For 16 April 1945 at Bad Aibling: "(14.58-15.32). 14 Mustangs made a low-level attack destroying 18 aircraft and damaging 9." (source: Luftwaffe situation reports)

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - www.airwarpublications.com
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Old 4th August 2013, 21:57
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Don Caldwell Don Caldwell is offline
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Re: Airfield Strafing Victims

Larry, Andrew --

Thanks for the good start. Details of the 8AF strafing claims are readily available. Everyone knows they are excessive. What I'm after are the actual Luftwaffe losses for these specific airfields and dates, identified by their unit if possible. Andrew, does your LW situation report for Bad Aibling give any details?

-- Don
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Old 4th August 2013, 22:05
Andrew Arthy Andrew Arthy is offline
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Re: Airfield Strafing Victims

Hi Don,

Sadly not. I checked for the other airfields and dates as well, without luck.

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - www.airwarpublications.com
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Old 5th August 2013, 01:15
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Airfield Strafing Victims

Don -

The Steinamanger one above that I used as an example IS from 3 Luftwaffe reports filed by the Fliegerhorstkommandantur, each about 8 hours apart and each updating the previous one. Each was a Fernschreiben, the first Blitz ZZZZ, the second ZZZ and the third ZZ.

I have seen perhaps 50 of these Luftwaffe-generated reports out of the thousands that must have been made over the course of the war and none included the identify of the units the destroyed and damaged aircraft belonged. Each unit was supposed to report that themselves and of course when they did they only included their own aircraft. There are a few exceptions to this, but not many. Sorting out the ownership of the burned out wrecks on the landing area and in the dispersals was apparently not the responsibility of the Horst Kommandant.

So Andrew's statement is absolutely correct and probably true for the entire wartime period.

Larry
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Old 5th August 2013, 03:06
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Re: Airfield Strafing Victims

Larry, Andrew --

OK, this all makes sense. Thanks to both of you. I'll wait a day to see if anyone has any other thoughts and then put the sad story together for the 8AF author.

-- Don
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Old 5th August 2013, 10:30
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: Airfield Strafing Victims

Hi Don,

regarding:

Hopsten -------------- 21 Mar 45


The relevant Reich Luftlagemeldung for 21 March 1945 doesn't record any strafing attack, only a bombing attack -

Hopsten: 09.30 Uhr 700 Sprb. Schwere Rollfeldschaeden. Werft und Startbahn zerstoert. 2 Me 262 und 3 Bf 109 zerstoert. 20 Gefallene, 20 Verwundete.

An amendment later in the day records -

Hopsten: Startbahn 1 unbrauchbar. Startbahn 2 zur Zeit unbrauchbar. Startbahn 3 zerstoert. Bisher 27 Gefallene, 15 Verwundete.

Regards

Rod
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Old 5th August 2013, 17:00
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Re: Airfield Strafing Victims

Hi Rod --

Interesting discrepancy. The 55th FG followed the 1st BD B-17s with 500# frag clusters and strafing. They were credited with 4 Bf 109s and 2 s/e u/i destroyed and 1 Ju 88 damaged. I can see how the Luftwaffe recorded this as one large attack, but the misidentified types can't be explained -- Me 262s were certainly distinctive targets, and P-51 pilots were eager to claim them. So it goes....

-- Don
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Old 5th August 2013, 17:43
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Airfield Strafing Victims

Here is a more complete overview of the airfield. I have incorporated the additional information kindly provided by Rod into the 21 March 1945 entry. As you can see, the Me 262s destroyed on 21 March were almost certainly from KG 51 and the Bf 109s from II./JG 27.

Hopsten (GER) (52 20 40 N – 07 32 30 E) (AFHRA, 1)
General: airfield (Fliegerhorst) 36 km WNW of Osnabrück in North Rhine – Westphalia and 10.5 km NE of Rheine; airfield 5.7 km SW of the village of Hopsten.
History: construction began in 1938 and was completed in 1939 and placed in service on 25 Oct 39. From then to early 1944, Hopsten was used only sporadically and for short periods of time by operational units. During that time the station was expanded with the construction of barrack blocks, taxiways and parking areas for aircraft. Air defense fighter units began using Hopsten in late March 1944 followed some time later by a bomber unit equipped with Me 262 jets.
Dimensions: a very large airfield of irregular shape.
Surface and Runways: grass on artificially drained sandy soil. Had 3 concrete runways built in 1938-39 measuring 1,800, 1,000 and 1,000 meters. The main 1,800 meter runway was extended to 3,000 meters during 1943-44. Entire area encircled by a perimeter track. Equipped for night landings using a visual Lorenz system aligned on the long E/W runway.
Fuel and Ammunition: refueling points at the ladder-type servicing hardstands along the N and S runway boundaries and the munitions dump was off the SE corner and was served by a branch railway.
Infrastructure: there was 1 large hangar and a number of workshop buildings hidden in a small woods off the N boundary. Station buildings and barracks were along the roadside just W of the hangar and workshops.
Dispersal: 2 areas – South dispersal with approx. 12 hardstands and a remote Southeast dispersal built in 1944 with at least 29 hardstands and blast bays that was located 5 km E of the original South dispersal.
Defenses: extraordinary antiaircraft defenses from summer 1944 – some 500 Flak guns were positioned around the airfield, according to German sources. In retrospect, this seems like far too many and may have been a typo in the German document for the number “50.”
Satellites and Decoys: none noted.
Remarks: despite bombings, Hopsten remained serviceable to the end thanks to the quick repair of cratered runways, widely dispersed aircraft parking areas and heavily camouflaged infrastructure.
8 Mar 44: low-level attack – 2 x Fw 190As from I./JG 1 destroyed or damaged.
15 Aug 44: bombed by 10 B-24 Liberators – no information regarding results.
26 Nov 44: low-level attack – 1 x Bf 109G from II./JG 27 destroyed.
21 Mar 45: bombed by 159 B-17 Fortresses and strafed by VIII Fighter Command P-51s – fighters claimed 6 x Fw 190s destroyed. According to the German report, a total of 2 x Me 262s and 3 x Bf 109s were destroyed; Runways 1 and 2 unserviceable, and Runway 3 destroyed; landing area heavily cratered; workshops destroyed; 27 KIA and 15 WIA.
24 Mar 45: bombed by 62 B-17s – no information regarding results.
6 Apr 45: taken by British troops after the retreating Luftwaffe personnel demolished and rendered unusable the runways and infrastructure.
Operational Units: I./JG 21 (Nov-Dec 39); III./JG 3 (Apr-May 40); 10./JG 2 (May-Jun 40); I./JG 1 (Mar-Apr 44); Stab, I./KG 51 (Sep 44 – Mar 45); II./KG 51 (Nov-Dec 44); II./JG 27 (Nov 44 – Mar 45); 6./KG 76 (Feb-Mar 45).
School Units: Arbeitsplatz for FFS A/B 33 (Quakenbrück) (1941-42).
Station Commands: Fl.H.Kdtr. E Hopsten (1939-40); Fl.H.Kdtr. E 4/VI (1940); Fl.H.Kdtr. E(v) 208/XI (c.Nov 44 – Apr 45).
Station Units (on various dates – not complete): E-Hafen-Ausrüstungs-Kolonne (mot) 12/VI (Dreierwalde); Flieger-Ers.Btl. V (1942).
[Sources: AFHRA A5257A pp.287-90 (9 Dec 44); chronologies; BA-MA; NARA; PRO/NA]

L.
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