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Old 21st December 2005, 23:11
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Horst Kube Horst Kube is offline
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Horst Kube
Ar 234, F1 + AS Friedrich Bruchlos, KG 76

Hello friends, I have an original, bigger metal part of the underwing with the Balkenkreuz insignia from the over the bridge of Remagen shot down Ar 234. Now I look for photos from the pilot, Oberfeldwebel Friedrich Bruchlos and/or photos from this plane F1 + AS.

Can anyone help me, in which edition I can find photos from the plane and/or nearer informations about the pilot Friedrich Bruchlos?

Thanks in advance,
Horst
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Old 7th January 2006, 21:22
Heuser Heuser is offline
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Re: Ar 234, F1 + AS Friedrich Bruchlos, KG 76

Hello Horst!
You´ll find some informations in Manfred Griehl´s Arado 234 Book, including a coloured side view drawing. Further I have a page from the "Rhein-Zeitung" (a local newspaper), dated from january 10./11. 1976. It contains the story of the recovery of the F1+AS in october 1975, memories of eyewitnesses and an article about Werner Girbig. The informations about F. Bruchlos:
born 19/02/1919 in Berlin, died 09/03/1945 about 3 p.m. in Niederbreitbach (Neuwied Area).
Heuser
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Old 8th January 2006, 13:47
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Re: Ar 234, F1 + AS Friedrich Bruchlos, KG 76

Thank you very much for your help! I have a copy of Girbig's article, but not the Griehl book. This is a good idea and I will look where I can buy it.

All the best,
Horst
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Old 11th April 2006, 23:59
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Horst Kube Horst Kube is offline
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Ar 234 Friedrich Bruchlos

Hi,
can anyone tell me more about the former Luftwaffe carreer of OFw. Bruchlos, shot down over Remagen with his Ar 234, F 1 + AS.

I only know, that it was W. Girbig, who found his remainings in the late 60'tees and that he must have been shot down by American ground fire over the bridge.

Questions: Which AA unit brought him down (name, shell sizes) and in which unit/s was he serving before? Which were the former Luftwaffe units of Friedrich Bruchlos?

This would be of most interest.

All the best,
Horst
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Old 10th October 2008, 20:06
modenbach modenbach is offline
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Re: Ar 234 Friedrich Bruchlos

Mr. Kube:
My Grandfather, Rolland Steiner, was on the Bofor Antiaircraft gun, 40mm I believe, on top of Erpler Ley. His crew, with him on the firing position on the gun, was the first ground crew to shoot down an AR 234. We have pieces of that jet. I'm not sure if this is the same jet Bruchlos piloted since I believe there were two shot down that first day. We have a video of my grandfather telling the story of the shooting to my children. The "Stars & Stripes" did an article on the shooting and I have a scan of it if you would like it. I don't have the details of his unit's name right now.

Frank Steiner
modenbach@verizon.net
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Old 10th October 2008, 23:47
Heuser Heuser is offline
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Re: Ar 234 Friedrich Bruchlos

Gentlemen,

the Arado of Fw. Bruchlos was most propably damaged by AAA, but finally shot down from USAAF-Fighters near Niederbreitbach, about 20 km SE from Remagen. This is verified by various local eyewitness reports from the surrounding villages, dating from 1975/76.

By the way, this is the only loss of an Arado in the vicinity of Remagen in which AAA was involved.

According to W. Dierichs KG 51-book, an Uffz. Alfred Benninger was killed on the same day (09.03.45), the location is gives with Remagen. I don't have any further information about this man, but his unit (KG 51) was equipped with Me 262...

Best regards

Heuser
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Old 11th October 2008, 10:59
Brian Bines Brian Bines is offline
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Re: Ar 234 Friedrich Bruchlos

'Flugzeug' magazine issue3 of 1993 had an article on Remagen featuring the recovery of Ofw Bruchlos' aircraft (b. 17-2-19 in Berlin, married to Margarete Bruchlos)
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Old 11th October 2008, 22:54
modenbach modenbach is offline
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Re: Ar 234 Friedrich Bruchlos

Gentlemen: I quote the article from the Battalion newspaper my grandfather saved from his army days.

The Shield 634th AAA AW Battalion
Volume No. 1 Forchheim, Germany July 7, 1945

“At the Remagen Bridgehead With Baker 2”

"The 634th AAA AW Bn claims the first ARADO 234 to be shot down by antiaircraft fire and perhaps the first one shot down by any means. The plane was shot down by Number 2 Gun of the First Platoon of Battery B on the 9th of March 1945 at Erpel, Germany. The 634th, the first ack-ack battalion across the Rhine, had been fighting Hun planes all that day. Suddenly, out of the clouds, dove a German twin-jet plane trying to make a run on the Remagen Bridge. It was immediately spotted by Sergeant Edward Szewczek, who ordered rapid fire. The men on the gun opened up at once and the experience gained from previous encounters with jet-propelled aircraft on the Ruhr took effect instantly. The initial speed estimates of 450 miles per hour resulted in a good lead on the plane on the very first round. The sixth shot from the Bofor scored a direct hit on the fast moving aircraft. It burst into flames and was seen crashing several miles away in territory then held by the Germans.
After the firing had ceased, a discussion developed among the men as to the make of the plane just destroyed. All agreed that it was a German jet job. These men are all proud of their ability to spot and identify any plane that flys. But for once they could come to no agreement. There were two camps. One group said that the plane was probably a Messerschmitt 262 with new modifications in silhouette. The others were convinced that the plane was something entirely new.
Several days after this engagement, Battery B changed its position and moved into territory which had been held by the Boche. Immediately areconnaissance [sp] party led by Lt. Martens was sent out to the place where the plane was reported to have crashed. They found the remains of the plane and the pilot within 100 yards of the co-ordinates they had originally estimated. Investigation of the plane by Captain Richard L. Horton, the battalion intelligence officer, revealed that the plane was a new secret German jet-propelled aircraft which they had designated as the ARADO 234."

My grandfather said some of the story was inaccurate. The third shell was the round that brought it down. The Bofor was set for manual fire because the gun shook too much to readjust the gun for firing on auto. The Ar 234 was hit near the tail and it shot up into the clouds and came straight down to crash, making a hole big enough to drive a tank into. My grandfather loaded the rounds and stepped on the trigger as position #7 man on the gun. Other men on the gun were; Sgt. Szewczek, Cpl. Grabowski, Cpl. Sorensen T/5, Messrs. Pfc's Scannon, Lemirez, Bochosian, Richardson, Hearn and Lemerond, Pvt's Merkley, Chavez, and Steiner.
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Old 13th October 2008, 00:39
Heuser Heuser is offline
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Re: Ar 234 Friedrich Bruchlos

Gentlemen,

as Brian Baines mentioned, there are several reports about the crash and recovery of Fw. Bruchlos' Arado. There's an interesting report in a local Newspaper (dating from 10.01.1976) about the circumstances of the loss and the recovery of this a/c. Three eyewitnesses of the crash mentioned, that this aircraft (already smoking = damaged by AAA, as mentioned in German sources), was finally shot down by "...three or four US fighters...", and crashed immediately thereafter. There was a big crater in a valley called "Fockenbachtal", and parts of a/c and pilot were found. Mentioned crater was planished soon, until Werner Girbig was able to locate the crashplace and identify the pilot, who was still listed as MIA, in 1975.

U.S. ground-troops arrived the area of Niederbreitbach only a few days later after ther crash in March 1945, so the crashplace was recognizable.

Hope this helps, best Regards

Heuser

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Old 20th October 2008, 05:18
modenbach modenbach is offline
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Re: Ar 234 Friedrich Bruchlos

I have researched extant records that speak of the Remagen Bridgehead from March 7-17, 1945. One particular record is entitled The Establishment and Build-up of the REMAGEN BRIDGEHEAD, Prepared by the Research and Evaluation Division, The Armored School. The transcript I found was taken from a copy of the original document (D 756.5.R4.U58) at the Military History Institute in Carlisle, PA.

Page 12, in part, says “The 109th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion became operational on the west bank of the RHINE, and the 634th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion crossed and went into position on the east bank.
The corps command post opened at RHEINBACH (F4425) at 1220.
At the close of the day, the forces in the bridgehead had been strengthened by the arrival of the 309th Infantry Regiment, the remainder of the 310th Infantry Regiment, the 60th Infantry Regiment, and additional antiaircraft protection. The antitank defense of the bridgehead had been bolstered by the tank destroyers accompanying the regimental combat teams.
Although no artillery – or at best an occasional battery – had as yet moved east of the RHINE, the artillery of the divisions, as well as corps artillery, supported the operation from positions on the west side.
The day was cold, with visibility restricted by a low overcast which continued throughout the day. No fighter-bombers flew in support of the bridgehead, but medium bombers flew several missions.”

A quote from page 8, earlier on March 8, 1945 states: “Because of poor weather conditions – the day was cold with rain and low overcast – fighter-bombers were grounded and were unable to furnish cover protection for the bridge. However, the enemy attempted ten raids over the bridge with ten aircraft, eight of which were Stukas. By afternoon, however, the 482d Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion had three batteries at the bridge site with three platoons on the east and three platoons on the west bank of the river, while the 413th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion (90-mm) went into positions on the west bank; and of the ten attacking aircraft, eight were shot down.”

As quoted for March 9, 1945, no allied fighter-bombers flew in support of the bridgehead, probably because visibility was restricted by the “low overcast” as was the case the day before. The above cited record is extensively footnoted, and I plan to visit the Carlisle War College to verify the contents since I live only 1.5 hours away from it. Any comments?
Frank Steiner
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