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Old 4th August 2012, 21:32
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Larry Hickey
Seeking confirmation of name of Bf109D-1 pilot of 3./ZG2 during the Polish Campaign


For September 21, 1939, during the Polish Campaign, we carry the following loss entry in the EoE Luft Loss DB:

"3./ZG2 Bf109D-1 (2260). Aborted transfer flight to Bernburg when cockpit hood failed to close and wrecked in landing accident on return to Debica. (FF) Uffz [ ] Ariwaldt unhurt. Aircraft Yellow 10+ 100% write-off."

The EoE Project has attributed this as the same incident found in Dr. Jochen Prien's JFV #1, P444, as "Bruch eim start zum Verlegungsflug, Debica." 100% with Bf109D-1 with the W.Nr. 2602. Several photos of this crashed Bf109D-1 exist,indicating a loss at Debica, showing the a/c to be "Yellow 10," and carrying the W.Nr. 2260, vice 2602 in Prien's book. However, there is room to question the pilot's name, as so far no first name has been located for a pilot with this last name, and the crashed a/c clearly carried a single victory bar on the fin. There is no victory claim by a 3 Staffel pilot by that name in the records, I know it is quite possible that Uffz. Ariwalt could have been flying his own plane showing a victory claim that was later not formally recognized. However, it is quite possible that this Uffz. Ariwaldt was flying the a/c usually assigned to someone else at the time of the crash. Those members of 3./ZG2 that might have been carrying a single victory bar on the tails of their planes at this time would have been: Oblt. Josef Kellner-Steinmetz, the St.Kap., Lt. Reinhold Messner and Lt. Franz Mentzel. The StaKap can be eliminated because his "Yellow 12" with double command tail bands is known, showing a single victory tab, leaving Messner and Metzel as possibilities for the regularly assigned pilot of "Yellow 10." Photos confirm that "Yellow 10" did not have a command band indicating a Schwarm leader, a practice in use during the PC by that unit.

My questions are this:

1) Is there any record of an enlisted pilot in 3./ZG2 during Sept. 1939, with the last name of Ariwadt, and if so, is there a record of his first name? The Kracker Archive listing of Luft WW II pilots has no posting for someone with this last name.

2) This is a real long shot, but is there any way of telling which of the two likely pilots listed above might have been the normal pilot of "Yellow 10," assuming that this Uffz Ariwalt was the pilot on the day of the crash?

Can anyone help with this?

Thanks for any help with this rather obscure request.

Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
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