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Old 7th August 2008, 06:00
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

Hello,

I've asked about this before, but am still trying very hard to solve this problem.

As some of you know, the records of several Zerstörer units from the 1940 period were burned up during a British bombing raid during WW II, and were unable to be replaced, since the units had already been disbanded.

Among those "lost" units were victory data for II./ZG1, and its immediate successor, which in July, 1940, became III./ZG76.

For II./ZG1 during the French Campaign, we have the pilot's names, staffel, and aircraft types claimed for 29 of its victories, but no times or locations. All of these were attributed to pilots from the Gruppenstab or 6 Staffel, except one, a Swiss 109 on 8.6.40 attributed to Oblt. Rolf Kaldrack of 4 Staffel. In addition we know the dates and aircraft types claimed, but not the pilots names, locations or times for nine more victories. German records indicate that II./ZG1 recorded a score of 46 victories by the end of the French Campaign (including one previous to the FC), so we know virtually nothing about 7 more victories. Of the known victories but without pilot info, we know that two of these were scored by Lt. Rolf Hermichen of 6 Staffel, one by Oblt. Rolf Kaldrack of 4 Staffel, and one by Fw. Johannes Lutter also of 4 Staffel. We do not know the dates for any of these victories, although some unconfirmed data has been extrapolated about these victories. This leaves us with 12 victories without any record of any kind from the French Campaign.

The problem becomes much worse beginning in July, 1940, when II./ZG1 became III./ZG76, which was heavily engaged during the Battle of Britain. From July through October, the re-designated Gruppe reported scoring 66 more victories. Dates, pilot's names, Staffel and type claimed are known for only 10 of these, but no places or times. Again, except for two victories by Hptm. Rolf Kaldrack, all are either Stab (Lt. Richard Marchfelder) or 9 Staffel (ex 6./ZG1). For the missing data we do have dates and general types for 23 of these. Among those are believed to be 7 by Rolf Kaldrack (he won the KC for 11 victories by early November, 1940) of Stab and 7 Staffel, 7 by Fw Herbert Kutscha, 5 by Oblt. Günther Tonne, 4 by Lt. Rolf Hermichen, 4 by Fw Johannes Lutter and 4 by Fw. Hans Peterburs, all of 9 Staffel. In addition, Lt. Dietrich Weyergang, Staffel unknown, scored 5 victories. Even knowing this, we have 33 victories from III./ZG76 during the BoB with no known data whatsoever. The reported victory total for II./ZG1-III./ZG76 "up to" October, 1940, is reported to have been 112 victories.

What becomes apparent is that we have good info for Lt. Richard Marchfelder of the Stab, plus info on many victories for pilots from 6./ZG1-9./ZG76. But we have virtually nothing on 5./ZG1-8./ZG76, and very incomplete data for 4./ZG1-7./ZG76.

Regarding 5./ZG1-8./ZG76, we now have four known photos of the scoreboard of Bf110C 2N+AN showing from 3 to 7 victory tabs. We don't know who this StaKap was, but it appears that all of these photos date to the BoB period, so would apply to the StaKap of 8./ZG76. The 5th Staffel lost two StaKap during the FC, Hptm. Roderick Küppers, SD and KIA 13.5.40, and his successor, Oblt. Günther Schmidt, who was SD and WIA on 11.6.40. Neither of these could have run up seven victories during the FC. It appears that Hptm. Max Graf Hoyos succeeded Oblt. Schmidt, and subsequently took command of 8./ZG76 in July. However, he was SD and killed on Aug. 12th, so he would have been unlikely to have scored enough victories to be the pilot of 2N+AN with the 7-victory scoreboard. He is, however, believed to have scored at least a couple of victories during the FC. It appears that the aircraft in question must have been flown by Hoyos' successor, who, although unknown, was a highly successful pilot during the Battle of Britain. So who was this pilot?

Also, can anyone, through any personnel records, logbooks, or any other kind of documentation, including dated scoreboard photos, provide any victory data for any of the pilots/gunners of II./ZG1 or III./ZG76 during 1940, especially any of the pilots listed above, and particularly anyone from 4/7 or 5/8 Staffel? If the research community cannot come up with this info, we are likely to be left with incomplete data on this unit forever.

Along with my fellow EOE research team members, we have pursued this about as far as it can go without input from document collectors or researchers into the personal records of these airmen. So, if you know anything that might be helpful, please contact me either on or off the message board. Perhaps someone has interviewed a survivor from these units, or acquired personal letters to relatives back home reporting some of the missing info? The holy grail would be to locate photos of the unit scoreboard(s) (if there were any) sometime during 1940. Does anyone even have any suggestions as to where and how we might locate this missing info?

Thanks
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Last edited by Larry Hickey; 8th August 2008 at 07:19. Reason: correcting errors
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Old 7th August 2008, 18:46
Andre Stewart Andre Stewart is offline
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Re: Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

Hi Larry and all,

There are 2 points which I would like to add --

The 1st concerns Herbert Kutscha -- in the Luftwaffe in Focus magazine #6 there is a photo of Kutscha's Bf-110 rudder. His initial claims are listed as: 1st & 2nd - roundels (Br), 3rd & 4th - orange triangles (Dutch), 5th - white cross (Swiss), 6th to 8th - roundels, and 9th onwards - red stars.

Kutscha's 1st 2 claims in 1939-40 while with 5./JG77 are well known. During the Western Campaign he scored a further 2 victories (before the Swiss claim in June). These are the Dutch a/c, which most likely occurred on 10 May itself. However, there are only 3 claims over British a/c. This is far less than the 7 mentioned in Larry's post. Furthermore, the text in LwiF #6 mentions a 4th that was not confirmed, but I do not know the source of this. If anyone has additional information (especially the specific dates of his claims) it would greatly help in piecing together this puzzle.

The 2nd point concerns a photo on p.166 of the book "The Luftwaffe: From Training School to the Front" by Meyer / Stipdonk. Again it is of a Bf-110 rudder taken in 1941 with the claims listed thus: 1st - roundel (Br), 2nd - roundel (Fr - see the shade difference), 3rd - no info but with a diagonal black line (unlikely to be a night victory, but could indicate an unconfirmed one), 4th - white cross (Swiss), and 5th to 11th - Br roundels. Although the text mentions Schenk as a likely pilot (not correct) I've always had a "hunch" this is Kaldrack's scoreboard, because of the initial Br claim (at Helgoland Bight, 18 Dec '39) and the total of 11. Once again, hoping someone can validate or disprove this, or add any information.

I tried to attach scans but my file size was too big...

Regards,
Andre Stewart
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Old 7th August 2008, 18:54
Dean M. Wick Dean M. Wick is offline
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Re: Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

Hi Larry: Don't know if this is useful or not. Heinz Krebs aviation painting "Struck by a Thunderbolt" has Rolf Hermichen as one of its "signatures'. In the profile of Hermichen with the painting it states he had 3 victories in the French campaign " plus a Swiss Bf109". From a previous post of yours, you had identified the claimants on June8th as Kaldrack, Matthes,Kuschka, and, I believe, Lutter. You had also stated that 4 Bf109's were claimed on June 4th, but had no pilot names, other than possibly Killermann. could Hermichen be responsible for one of those claims? Maybe Heinz Krebs could offer his source forr this Info? Disregard if you have already explored this. Cheers. Dean.
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Old 7th August 2008, 20:33
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

Hello,

All of these provide little pieces of the puzzle and will be looked into carefully. Thanks! Please keep posting ANY such info relating to the questions above.

Regards,
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Old 8th August 2008, 00:03
robert robert is offline
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Re: Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

Hi,

we should not forget that also one CR-42 (actually CR-35 of Swiss Air Force) was claimed on the 08th June and this victory will also have Swiss cross - I think it could be also claimed by Hermichen - because we have three possible claimants for 4th June and the fourth - NN - was from the 4th Staffel.

Regards

Robert
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Old 8th August 2008, 02:47
Andre Stewart Andre Stewart is offline
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Smile Re: Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

Hi all,

I managed to resize the files, and attach here scans of the 2 photos I spoke of in my earlier post.

rgds
andre
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Rud_Kutscha_1.jpg (161.1 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg Rud_Kaldrack_1.jpg (170.8 KB, 142 views)
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Old 14th August 2008, 00:03
Dean M. Wick Dean M. Wick is offline
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Re: Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

Hi Robert: I was a little slow on the draw reading the follow up to this thread. I note that you mention 3 possible claimants against the Swiss for June 4th, plus the unknown from 4th Staffel. I had thought Hermichen as likely for 4th June, as Larry had already Identified the Bf109 claims for the 8th. Of course the Recce A/C was also downed on the 8th, so could be as you state. If you don't mind my asking, Who do you have as possible claimants for 4th June? Cheers. Dean
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Old 14th August 2008, 17:57
Dean M. Wick Dean M. Wick is offline
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Re: Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

Robert: Recieved your PM, much appreciated! Cheers. Dean
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Old 14th August 2008, 22:23
John Manrho John Manrho is offline
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Re: Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

I met Herbert Kutscha back in 1992 after we had corresponded some time on the events of Feb. 10, 1944 when he was shot down. If I remember correctly at least one of his two Dutch victories was on May 11-13 during the fighting around Grebbeberg and was a C-V or something like it. Can't be more specific than that...

John.
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Old 7th July 2009, 18:16
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Evgeny Velichko Evgeny Velichko is offline
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Re: Need victory claims info for II./ZG1 later III./ZG76

Larry:

2 "missing" victoryes of might go to Hptm. Walter Poka von Pokafalva as StaKa of 7./ZG 76>4./SKG 210. I have a photo showing 2 bars on fin of 2N+AR, and that vic's must be claimed before spring 1941 as he is not listed among pilots of III./ZG 76 who get vic's (like Viedebannt, Hermichen or Tonne). I porpose he could have that claims ai a pilot of 8 Staffel during BoB.

Also, when I tryed to find out detailes of Hptm. Schaschke of (Z) Staffel of JG 77 in summer 1941, I found (but this is not confirmed) that he had 20 vic's up to his death, and 8 of them he had BEFORE Barbarossa with ZG 76. I dont know, wich Staffel did he flew with. His rudder with killbars is in museum in sity near Murmansk, and I hope in future I'll try to get a photo of it.

Last edited by Evgeny Velichko; 7th July 2009 at 19:18.
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