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Old 19th January 2006, 16:15
Jochen Prien Jochen Prien is offline
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Re: JG 54 near Leningrad in August, 1942

Dear Andrey Dikov,

thanks for your kind comments. Our claims lists are based on the original sources - as far as available to us - and made up from them; we do not lean on Tony Wood's lists and we have so far made no synopsis to find out which one of ours may be in his lists and which not. Therefore I cannot answer your questions. I can only and strongly recommend that you refrain from working with the old claims lists altogether until the publication of the current list in JFV Vol 9 / III.

As far as the claims lists of JG 77 are concerned they on the basis of the recent findings needed a complete work over as compared with the old lists of the JG 77 unit history. This of course also applies to the part of the operations around Leningrad that you are interested in. When the unit history was written some 15 years ago much of the data now availabe had yet to be unearthed, hence the many claims marked as "*", meaning that they were provisionally only, lacking documentary proof. A very similar situation exists around the old claims list of JG 53 in the East in Vol. 2 and 3 of the JG 53 history.

Hope this helps.

Jochen Prien
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Old 26th January 2006, 21:21
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Juha Juha is offline
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Re: JG 54 near Leningrad in August, 1942

Hello Andrey
I checked the SPK (KTB) of LeLv 26 from 1.8. to 31.10.42 from microfilm F39/120. There was no answer to your question. LW (other than the Siebel ferry detachment) was mentioned only twice.

On 1.8. “German pilotofficers/officers with flying status visited the base. Visitors’ base is Petäjärvi.”

19?.11. I’m not sure on date, but in Nov. 42. I was running out of time when I noticed this entry. But anyway, Col.Gen. Keller had sent a letter-of-thanks in which he thanked LeLv 26 for the good co-operation with the German pilots that had operated from Petäjärvi.

So no mention on from which unit German pilots were.

A quick look on archive index cards indicated that for later half of 42 of the lentue SPKs (Staffel KTBs) only that of 1./LeLv 26 have survived. In it (microfilm F 124/911) there was nothing on Germans, again except on the Siebel ferry det., up to 19.9.42. I had not time to read it further. 1. Staffel operated from the Carelia Isthmus as did the 3rd. 2. Staffel operated from Malmi at that time.

There is much more documents in the archive of LeLv 26 but I don’t have now time to go through them. And the answer might also be in the archive of LeR 3 or in that of IlmavE. I have understood that Kari has promised to help you later on so this is all this time. But if you like to have some details on the actions of LeLv 26 or 1./LeLv 26, I’ll gladly check them from SPKs.

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Old 28th January 2006, 01:37
Christer Bergström Christer Bergström is offline
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Re: JG 54 near Leningrad in August, 1942


Jagdfliegerverbände Vol. 9 / III, which will be out - hopefully ( I'm a little bit cautious after the latest experience with 9/II ) - end of March / early April '06 will deal amongst others with the operations of JG 54 in the Leningrad area in 1942. I trust that you will be able to find at least some of the answers to yor questions there. Sorry that it will take a couple of weeks until then.

Surely you can’t regard this as such a very unique piece of information that you have to save it until your next book is published? I have sometimes told people that ”you’ll find out in my forthcoming…” when there has been something very unique and new (like in the case when Vlad Antipov and I investigated the allegation that Hermann Graf was identical with the pilot ”von Graff” which appeared in Clostermann’s book, or when we disclosed the truth which was to be found in Hermann Graf’s papers which were found in a Russian PoW archive). But
when we have got the time to post to 12 O’Clock High, and it’s a case of such ”not unique” material as the one requested here, I think that we should give the information as far as our time permits. But that’s only what I think.

Regarding the photos of planes of a Rotte from 7./JG 54 at Utti a/f on 23 June 42, this is the background:

In June 1942, 7./JG 54 was assigned with the task of providing German minesweepers in the Gulf of Finland with fighter cover. For this reason, the Staffel was shifted to Kotly on 18 June 1942. It is quite possible that one of the aircraft on that photo was the one which Oblt. Friedrich Rupp used to fly. However, he did not pilot it on 23 June 1942, because by that time he was (since 7 June 1942) treated for appendicitis and returned to combat service only on 12 August 1942.

Juha, your quess that the Rotte was only ”visiting” Utti is quite good. On this particular day, 23 June 1942, 7./JG 54 performed fighter-bomber attacks against the island of Lavansaari near Kotka and Utti.

This due to ”Staffel-Chronik der III. Jagdgeschwader 54, 7. Staffel” and documents from ”JG 54 Archiv Günther Rosipal”.

However, the guess that this could be connected with ”Hitler's mission” is not correct (if you mean Hitler’s visit in Finland). Hitler flew to Finland on 4 June 1942 (to congratulate Marshal Mannerheim’s 75th birthday). (Although JG 54 escorted Hitler’s aircraft, it is interesting to note that the Geschwaderkommodore did not mention anything of it in his personal diary.) However, Hitler arrived in Berlin (from Munich) on 22 June 1942, and remained in Berlin until 24 June, when he left for the ”Wolfsschanze”. (Due to ”Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandoes der Wehrmacht”.)

Andrey, regarding the combat on 18 August 1942 over the Gulf of Finland, no aircraft from JG 54 are known to have participated in that combat. JG 54 reported only one aerial victory that day - a Pe-2 claimed by the Petäjärvi detachment’s Uffz. Mayer near the island of Yalamo in the northern part of Lake Ladoga – far from the Gulf of Finland. (See below.) 7./JG 54 was transferring from Relbitsy to Siverskaya on 18 August 1942, and reported no victories.

The background to the Petäjärvi detachment is the following:

On 30 July 1942, the Germans initiated Operation ”Klabautermann” – the ”Siebelfähren” operations against Soviet supply shipping in Lake Ladoga. Initially led by Hptm Hans Philipp, 15 Bf 109s of 1. and 2. Staffeln of JG 54 were assigned with the task of providing these ”Siebel ferries” with fighter cover, and these were shifted to Petäjärvi.

Hptm. Philipp’s personal participation in the operations from Petäjärvi was quite limited. The only air victories which he scored during the whole period when I./JG 54 had a detachment at Petäjärvi were attained on 2 August 1942, over Leningrad, farther to the south, and in connection with another operation and not with Operation ”Klabautermann”.

The first victory attained by the Petäjärvi detachment was achieved by 1. Staffel’s Uffz Heinrich Bruhn against a Pe-2 near the island of Yalamo in the northern part of Lake Ladoga on 3 August 1942. Next victory attained by the Petäjärvi detachment also was achieved by Uffz Bruhn, against a Curtiss P-40 over Lake Ladoga on 11 August. On 13 August, Gefr. Karl Schnörrer of 1./JG 54 claimed a Pe-2 between Yalamo and Lake Ladoga’s northwestern shore. The next day, Uffz. Otto Dürkop (1./JG 54) claimed a Pe-2 in the same area.

In mid-August 1942, Hptm Philipp was instructed to transfer his I./JG 54 to Vyazma-North, but a couple of I./JG 54’s aircraft and pilots remained at Petäjärvi. Five Bf 109s of 3./JG 54 were tasked to perform fighter-bomber missions against Soviet naval vessels in Lake Ladoga. (The Geschwaderkommodore, Trautloft, did not appreciate this, and commented in his diary: ” Nun müssen die Jagdflieger wieder einmal mit einer Aufgabe helfen, die auf den Jagdfliegerschulen den jungen Flugzeugführern sicher nicht gelehrt worden ist.”)

On 18 August, Uffz. Mayer claimed a Pe-2 as the detachment’s next victory (again, as previously mentioned, near the island of Yalamo), and Uffz. Dürkop reportedly shot down another Pe-2 on the 22nd.

On 23 August 1942, a III./JG 54 detachment commanded by 7./JG 54’s Oblt. ”Hein” Wübke (with three Bf 109 G-2s of 7./JG 54 and three Bf 109 F-4 fighter-bombers) also was shifted to Petäjärvi.

On 24 August, 7./JG 54’s Uffz Raimann and Uffz Würtz each claimed one I-180 during an escort mission for fighter-bombers against Ladoskoye.

A new Soviet offensive to the east of Leningrad forced 7./JG 54 to return to Siverskaya on 26-28 August 1942. In total, 7./JG 54 performed 104 sorties from Petäjärvi, including 42 fighter-bomber sorties, during which 52 x 250 kg bombs and 40 x 50 kg bombs were dropped.

A Bf 109 G-2 of 3./JG 54 crashed at Petäjärvi on 31 August 1942, and another on 1 October, but there was not much to report from the Petäjärvi detachment during the late summer and autumn of 1942. Regarding Hptm. Philipp, it should be noted that he had very little to do with the Petäjärvi detachment during the next weeks. In mid-August 1942, Philipp was transferred to Vyazma-North, but shortly afterward he got sick and was sent to hospital in Königsberg. He would return to combat service only in early October 1942 (reporting to Major Trautloft in Siverskaya on 30 September 1942).

The battle flared up temporarily on 22 October 1942. On the night of 21-22 October, the Germans attempted to occupy the small Lake Ladoga island of Sukho. Twelve Siebel ferries were dispatched on this operation. If it had succeeded, it would have posed a major threat against the Soviet sea-line to Leningrad across Lake Ladoga. But the German attack was beaten back by the island’s garrison, and early next day, the retreating ferries came under repeated attacks from Soviet aircraft. Throughout 22 October, the ferries were harassed by Soviet aircraft and torpedo and gunboats, who pursued them back to their own base. I./JG 54 largely failed to provide the German vessels with air cover. Although the Jagdgruppe claimed seven Soviet aircraft shot down (actual Soviet losses were three Il-2s and two I-15s), four ferries were sunk and one was captured by the Soviets. Soviet 3 GIAP/VVS KBF’s Kapitan Georgiy Kostylev, who commanded the Soviet fighters that participated during this operation, was appointed Hero of the Soviet Union on 23 October.

Sources to the information about the Petäjärvi detachment: ”Staffel-Chronik der III. Jagdgeschwader 54, 7. Staffel”, Hannes Trautloft’s personal diary, and documents from ”JG 54 Archiv Günther Rosipal”.

Jim, you are right. Oblt Werner Pichon vom Kalau und Hofe was the Staffelkapitän of 7./JG 54 during this period. However, from late July 1942 until 27 September 1942, Oblt Pichon was on furlough in Germany. While Pichon was absent, Oblt. ”Hein” Wübke was acting commander of the Staffel. On 24 November 1942, Trautloft sent Pichon to the Luftwaffenmission Rumänien, because Pichon was considered too psychologically exhausted. Instead, Oblt Franz Eisenach took charge as Staffelführer.

Jochen, you say that ”our claims lists are based on the original sources”. Since some of the data for victories in your books appear to be erroneous (due to first-hand sources) – maybe as the result of misreadings? – it would be interesting if you could specify exactly which ”original sources” you have used. Unfortunately, you specify your sources for Abschüsse in only few cases in your Jagdfliegerverbände books. Just one example: Which source have you used for the claim that Oblt Sattig and Lt Hünerfeld of 4./JG 54 recorded one victory each at 1050 and 1650 hours respectively on 6 August 1941? As far as I can judge, this seems to be incorrect, but unfortunately I am unable to check your source and compare it with another ”original source” at my disposal.

All the best,

Christer Bergström
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Old 28th January 2006, 18:14
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Juha Juha is offline
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Re: JG 54 near Leningrad in August, 1942

thanks for the info on Petäjärvi det. and on the Rotte at Utti.
I can add that 1. and 3./LeLv 26 claimed 4 Soviet a/c on 22.10.42 (c. 11.10 – 14.45) during the defence of retreating Oberstlt Siebel’s ferries. And because the ferries themselves had rather powerful AA armament, it would be nice to know if they also made claims.

3 of the lost ferries were lost because they ran aground near Suho/Sukho island during the German attack. IIRC Germans lost 4 ferries and one infantry boat altogether. Personal losses were 18KIA, 57WIA and 4 MIA.


Last edited by Juha; 30th January 2006 at 08:10.
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Old 6th March 2007, 19:31
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Juha Juha is offline
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Re: JG 54 near Leningrad in August, 1942

I pushed this tread up because today I accidentally came across copies of some pages of the German combat report of the Suho/Sukho operation, ie Einsatz "Brasil". It seems that the Siebel ferries claimed 8 a/c: 3 I-15s, 4 Il-2s and one LaGG-3.


Last edited by Juha; 6th March 2007 at 20:40.
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Old 9th March 2007, 20:54
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: JG 54 near Leningrad in August, 1942

Juha, Christer and Prien,
I have learned a lot from this thread from you all.
Firstly that as human beings, we are all supposed to make mistakes and should be given the opportunity to correct them, researching and learning from others sources.
Secondly, when we deal with memory on ORAL HISTORY there is always some problems that arise. For example: I got the information from a RAF Navigator who flew Mosquitos that he has shot down a Ju 88 in May 1943. Thanks Chris Goss, who has access to the files of the Squadron in question, he corrected me on the month: it was JULY ( the date was correct ). So, it is always difficult to deal with memory, old archives, files that were SECURED or CLOSED for researches.
I do believe that thanks men like you and the pioneers ( Middlebrook, Aders, Baker, Nesbit, Bolitho and others ), Aviation and Military History is what it is today. You specially, Prien and Christer have contributed with your different styles to preserve the tradition of those first writers. We owe a lot to you, to John Vasco, to Chris Goss and so many others.
Please continue each of you, in your way - sharing or for security reasons hidding some information, but keep writing those fabulous histories you write. I am just a small "fish", but felt a bit disappointed the way the discussion took, although I learned a lot from this small piece of history in the great calleydoscope that is WW2.
With great admiration and my most sincere wishes of a good week to both of you I remain.
A. Baumgartner
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