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Old 6th April 2008, 23:13
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Larry Hickey
I./ZG26 Victory List for 1940


For those of us working on an accurate and complete victory claims list for ZG units for the 1939-40 period, one of our big problems has always been Stab, I. and II./ZG 26. Having acquired last August the Weiss collection that contained some information on this subject, I've been continuing to work on the missing ZG26 data with other researchers. I now feel like we have pretty close to a state-of-the art data base on the subject of ZG victory claims during 1939-1940. Not complete, but far advanced over anything published to date on the subject. Further work needs to be done, but at this point I thought that I'd share with the board readers what I believe to be accurate information on the top scorers for I. and II./ZG26 during 1940.

I./ZG26 (9 "aces"): 1) Hptm. Wilhelm Makrocki Stab I. 9 vict. RK 6.10.40; 2) Oblt. Wilhelm Spies, 1 Staffel 9 vict. RK 14.6.41; 3) Lt. Walter Manhart 3 Staffel 7 vict No RK (see note below); 4) Oblt. Hans-Jürgen Kirchoff 3 Staffel 7 vict No RK; 5) Oblt. Günther Specht Stab I. 6 vict RK 8.4.44; 6) Oblt. Johannes Kogler 1 Staffel 5 vict No RK; 7) Lt. Werner Thierfelder, Stab I. 5 vict RK 10.10.41; 8) Oblt. Johannes Kiel 3 Staffel 5 vict RK 18.3.42; 9) Oblt. Edward Meyer 1 Staffel 5 vict RK 20.12.41.

II./ZG26 (6 "aces"): 1) Lt. Walter Manhart 6 Staffel 13 vict NO RK (see note below); 2) Oblt. Theodor Rossiwall 5 Staffel 7 vict RK 6.8.41; 3) Obfw. Karl Herzog 6 Staffel 6 vict. No RK; 4) Oblt. Walter Henken Stab II. 5 vict. No RK; 5) Obfw. Kurt Rochel 5 Staffel 5 vict No RK; 6) Oblt. Arthur Niebuhr 4 Staffel 5 vict No RK.

Notes. 1) Only one member of I. or II./ZG26 received the RK during 1940, Makrocki, the I. Gr. Kdr.
2) Manhart served in both 3 and 6 Staffels of ZG26 during 1940, so he appears on both lists.

This kind of data points out the huge disparity between the scores of the day fighters (Bf109s) and the Zerstörer units which struggled mightily during the BoB.

It should be noted that the victory list for III./ZG26 has long been available on a related website, so I'm not reiterating that information.

After considerable research on this subject, fair to good data now exists for the "difficult" ZG units in 1940, whose records were destroyed during the war, and for which no official victory lists are known. These units, which include 14.(Z)/LG1, II./ZG1, Stab, I.& II./ZG2, Stab, I. & II. ZG26, I./ZG52 and III./ZG76, have had to be reconstructed from other data, such as FB, personal diaries and records, aircraft scoreboards and other fragmentary sources. If anyone has information about any surviving victory data from these units, I would very much appreciate hearing from you. I hope that by publishing this info, it stimulates some people perhaps holding additional pieces of this puzzle, however small, to come forward and contribute.

Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
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