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Old 4th May 2010, 01:11
Rob_C_1975 Rob_C_1975 is offline
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Luftwaffe bases near La Rochelle, July 1941

Hi all

I wonder if any of you could give me some pointers to find out about the location of Luftwaffe single-engined fighter bases around La Rochelle/La Pallice in July 1941.

I am interested in a particular action on 24 July 1941 when my great uncle was in a Halifax that was shot down during a raid on the Scharnhorst. He was one of only two survivors who parachuted out but he was wounded in the legs so was captured almost immediately. It's supposition to some extent, but it's likely that he was taken to one of the nearby Luftwaffe bases for treatment before being processed through the PoW system.

I have found Tony Woods' claims files for 24 July. As all of the Halifaxes that the RAF then possessed took part in the raid, it's fair to say that any Luftwaffe pilot claiming to have downed a Halifax on that day took part in this operation "from the other side" to my great uncle.

I have to admit, the abbreviations for the units don't make too much sense to me, but the units listed are:
• 1./JG 2
• 2./JG 2
• 2./JG 53
• 2. Erg./JG 53

Knowing the units and the date, are there any websites or other resources that I can use to track down where they were based at that time?

Also, can you help refresh my boyhood memories, when I was quite into military stuff and knew this sort of thing: "JG" is sort of like an RAF "Group", yes? And the figure before the oblique is like a squadron number? (Staffel?)

Any help much appreciated. As you can probably tell, I'm groping around a bit here!

With thanks in advance.
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Old 4th May 2010, 11:06
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Re: Luftwaffe bases near La Rochelle, July 1941

I have carried out quite a bit of research on this day so if you would like to PM me, I will try to help but for starters, 1/.JG 2 means 1 Staffel, I Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 2 or 1 Sqn of 1st Wing of Fighter Group 2. Erg means Ergaenzungs or training
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Old 4th May 2010, 17:14
jvmasset jvmasset is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe bases near La Rochelle, July 1941

hello!

I am nowhere near the specialist Chris is :-) but according to M Holm (which serves as a reasonably reliable source to many people including me), Erg./JG 53 was certainly involved as it was based in La Rochelle/Laleu, and the 2 Erg./53 was in Vannes/Meucon (200km from la Rochelle) in a good position to intercept the Halifax's both ways.
The 1. and 2./JG2 where both based in Brest/Landivisiau (350km) so also in a good intercepting position on the trajectory of the bombers.
Other airfields farther away from la Rochelle were also Luftwaffe fighter bases to some degree: St Jean d'Angély/Fontenet (60 km), Cognac/Chateaubernard (60 km) and Nantes/Bouguenais (110 km) but did not seem to have had significant fighter detachments at the time.

I am a bit surprised about 2./JG53 involvement: it seems at this time all JG53 constituting units were in Russia since two weeks...

Amically

JVM
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Old 8th May 2010, 21:57
Rob_C_1975 Rob_C_1975 is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe bases near La Rochelle, July 1941

Thank you both for your replies, and apologies if my delayed response might have indicated lack of interest; far from it, I've just been away for a few days.

Chris, thanks for the kind offer to private message - will do so.
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Old 19th May 2010, 07:40
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Re: Luftwaffe bases near La Rochelle, July 1941

Hello Robert,

My question for you is where exactly did your uncle's Halifax go down? If it was in the La Rochelle area (where my father Port Commander for NATO 1957-1959) he would have been taken to the French Naval Hospital (occupied by the Germans) in La Pallice. But then it really depends on where he was captured on the ground. Good luck !

Oquaig
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Old 19th May 2010, 08:38
Rob_C_1975 Rob_C_1975 is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe bases near La Rochelle, July 1941

They came down just east of Terrier du Four farm, which is located west of the village of Angles in Vendée. I think my great uncle would have been picked up very close to there: he was injured in the legs which would have made walking problematic, and the only other survivor bailed out just after him and they were so close to the ground at that stage that he landed very close to the crash site.
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Old 19th May 2010, 17:27
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Re: Luftwaffe bases near La Rochelle, July 1941

Rob: Did you get my email?

Chris
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Old 19th May 2010, 22:30
Rob_C_1975 Rob_C_1975 is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe bases near La Rochelle, July 1941

I did, Chris - very rude of me not to acknowledge right away - please accept my apologies. I will do so now.
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Old 19th May 2010, 22:45
James A Pratt III James A Pratt III is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe bases near La Rochelle, July 1941

The JG 53 history by Prien I believe has the Erg/JG 53 still in the west at this time. There is also at least one book on the Halifax that does discuss this raid in some detail. I believe I also saw some pictures taken during this raid somewhere on the net. There are also a number of books on the S&G. I hope this is of some help.
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