Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces

Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the German Luftwaffe and the Air Forces of its Allies.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 1st January 2005, 12:52
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,104
John Manrho is on a distinguished road
Unternehmen Bodenplatte 60th Year Anniversary!

Today it is 60 years ago that hundreds of Luftwaffe fighters roared over the Low Countries to attack Allied Airfields. An attack that had my interest since the first time I heard about it and that would end in something that I never thought was possible. This morning I got a call from a stil very enthousiastic and bright Ewald Trost, former Hpmt. and Staffelkapitän of 2./JG 6 who was shot down on 1.1.45. Sixty years ago he was at this time in a Dutch hospital treated by Dutch doctors for his wounds he sustained in his crashlanding near Eindhoven. A great character and strong supporter for our Bodenplatte book. Finally I want to ask you to remember the dozens of German fighter pilots that are stil are unaccounted for after the raid of 1.1.45. May they rest in peace and let them be a reminder for the horrors of war.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 2nd January 2005, 16:55
Dennis Peschier Dennis Peschier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Breda, Netherlands
Posts: 236
Dennis Peschier is an unknown quantity at this point
Hello John,
I might have an indication as to where one of the missin luftwaffe flyers ended up.
In your book on page 35 there is a photograph of a crashed Fw190. It shows the right side of the aft fuselage with a single colour unit band and a second gruppe bar.
The only second grupe with a single colour unit band was II./JG.1, this unit lost the following Fw190s that day
171513
173813
173932
352518
733978
739230
739235
739429
960473
960547
960659
960677
960679
Note that the fuselage balkenkreutz on page 35 has a black centre whith white edges.
On page 22 you can see that 730000 series Fw190s can be excluden because it they have different balkenkreutzes. On page 24 we can see that the same goes for 960000 series Fw190s. I have never seen photographes of 352000 series Fw190s so I cant exclude those.
On page 8, a 170000 series Fw190 is displaying the right kind of balkenkreutz. This leaves:
171513, black 4
173813, yellow 16
173932, yellow 14
352518, white 8.
The second gruppe bar is neither black nor white, leaving yellow as the only remaining colour.
Since yellow 16 crashed near Almelo, hundreds of kilometers north of St. Denis-Westrem, it must be yellow 14.
Acording to the loss list this Fw190A-8 with its pilot, OFW Kurt Niedereicholz, is still unacounted for.
Doe you know if any unknown germans were buried near St. Denis-Westrem early 1945 ?

Hope this helps,

Dennis
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 2nd January 2005, 21:57
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,104
John Manrho is on a distinguished road
Unknown graves of pilots 1.1.45

Hello Dennis, interesting theory. The problem is that for Gent and also for Brussels there are several reports that a/c of MIA pilots crashed at certain location. For instance, it is known that Fw. Karl Hahn of 5./JG 1 crashed at St.Denis-Westrem airfield, but his grave is unknown. Most victims in the Gent area were buried at the cemetery Brugse Poort. I have checked all available records of buried German soldiers at Gent, but found only one possible candidate for a pilot of 1.1.45. Unfortunately the details on this grave is so limited that a possible identification is out of the question. At Brussels we have details about 3 or 4 pilots which crashed in that area, were identified by the Allies but their graves are unknown. At Brussels cemetery I couldn't find any unknown grave of 1.1.45. I have no idea where the remains of these pilots were buried....
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 3rd January 2005, 02:31
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 1,997
Franek Grabowski
Re: Unknown graves of pilots 1.1.45

I am not sure but does the disscussed photo show a rather bent and twisted fuselage section at Ghent?
If so, this can be aircraft described by Jerzy Główczewski, 308 Sqn, as crashed without wings and with a decapitated pilot still in the cockpit. Reputedly wing from the aircraft was used as a background for several portraits of Polish airmen.
Lack of graves may be explained by the lack of bodies - many German aircraft were reported to burn and I do not think anybody cared to make symbolic graves not even knowing names of the airmen in question.
Franek
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 3rd January 2005, 20:47
Dennis Peschier Dennis Peschier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Breda, Netherlands
Posts: 236
Dennis Peschier is an unknown quantity at this point
Franek you have the right photograph in mind!
The Polish pilots with the Fw190 wing are on page 39. I do not think this wing belonges to 173932. Fw190s from this serie usualy have a different type of underwing balkenkreutz than the one shown here.
There is not enough information in this photograph for me to ty this wing to a certain Fw190 series.
I agree that some of the Germans corpses must have been badly burned. However, when a Dutch forensic dentist, who was involved in the identification of victims of the El-Al crash in Amsterdam in 1992, was asked, he said that it was higly unlikely that a human body was completely burned, there is always something left. I gues that it just wasn't such a high prioryty in those day. As John wrote
"about 3 or 4 pilots which crashed in that area, were identified by the Allies but their graves are unknown"



John,
Do you know if OFW Kurt Niedereicholz was indentified by the allies? If this was not than it only strengtens the case. The wreck looks rather burned towards the cockpit area. It could wel be that the pilot was burned beyond indentification. I believe German identity disks were made of zink, it must melt at some point.
A Fw190 has two fueltanks under, and one behind the cockpit. There was fuel enough for the return journey so it must have been quite a fire.

Bu the way, on page 38 there is a photograph of a Fw190 that you think to be 730407. If you look at page 22/23 you can see that this series had a different fuselage balkenkreutz.

Thanks John and Franek
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 3rd January 2005, 21:46
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,104
John Manrho is on a distinguished road
Ofw. Niedereichholz

Ofw. Niedereichholz was never found nor any trace of his a/c was ever found. I don't think these pilots were burned beyond recognition, at least not when they were shot down at low level over the airfield. Most of them would have been catapulted out of the cockpit like horrible pictures of Eindhoven and Metz show also (not published by me as this was a step too far). It is possible however that burials were not properly recorded....and this is an understatement...!!!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 4th January 2005, 00:28
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 1,997
Franek Grabowski
Re: Ofw. Niedereichholz

Quote:
The Polish pilots with the Fw190 wing are on page 39. I do not think this wing belonges to 173932. Fw190s from this serie usualy have a different type of underwing balkenkreutz than the one shown here.
Well, that is the story written but I suppose there was plenty of wings available at the time.

Quote:
There is not enough information in this photograph for me to ty this wing to a certain Fw190 series.
I think all I can say is that it definetelly looks like a wing of a German aircraft!

Quote:
I agree that some of the Germans corpses must have been badly burned. However, when a Dutch forensic dentist, who was involved in the identification of victims of the El-Al crash in Amsterdam in 1992, was asked, he said that it was higly unlikely that a human body was completely burned, there is always something left.
The question is what we consider something. A few ounces of charred meat or ashes is not a recoverable body, especialy if they were mixed with remains of an aircraft. I know of a crash of Yak aircraft in Poland post war and the only recoverable part of a pilot was his cap left in a locker.
Another problem we must remember here, are high impact crashes. They were not very feasible to recover at the time, so many of airmen or parts of their bodies are still residing in respective crashsites.

Quote:
I gues that it just wasn't such a high prioryty in those day. As John wrote
"about 3 or 4 pilots which crashed in that area, were identified by the Allies but their graves are unknown"
Well, the question is, who was responsible for recovery and burial of enemy soldiers. Perhaps the graves exist or existed but were not of care of CWGC.

Quote:
Ofw. Niedereichholz was never found nor any trace of his a/c was ever found.
Do you suggest it sould not have been his aircraft, the one described by Jerzy? Anyone of you, can you send me a small scan of the photo, so I can send it to Jerzy for comments? I do not have either print or scan at hand! Jerzy remembers that someone took documents from the headless body, so I presume the latter must have been identified. Apparently the answer is in archives.

Quote:
I don't think these pilots were burned beyond recognition, at least not when they were shot down at low level over the airfield.
Well, it depends. At least one pilot crashed into a B-17 and judging by remains of B-24, I do not think there were any remains.

Quote:
Most of them would have been catapulted out of the cockpit like horrible pictures of Eindhoven and Metz show also (not published by me as this was a step too far).
I respectfully dissagree. Such photos are indeed not very pleasant but they show and document a real nature of war. Everyone of us can see plenty of dead bodies in TV on a daily basis, so I do not think some old B&W photos may shock anyone. Everything just epends on how the photo is described and displayed.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:16.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net