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Old 26th November 2007, 05:14
Leo Etgen Leo Etgen is offline
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Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

Hi guys

Would anyone have the loss list information for when Oberleutnant Anton "Toni" Hackl (192 victories, RK-S) of 5./JG 77 was wounded in aerial combat with USAAF B-17 four-engined bombers and P-38 twin-engined fighters over Tunisia on 4 February 1943? Any help would be greatly appreciated if this information exists.

Horrido!

Leo
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Old 26th November 2007, 15:03
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
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Re: Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

Bf 109G-2, 10787, HACKL, Hptm. Anton, 5./JG 77, schwarze, 5 + - (?), NF+XW*, 04-Feb-43, WIA due to Luftkampf with B-17. Notlandung., Tunisien, Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (mfm #8)-Vol.14; Prien, JG 77, III, p.1434, Matmata.
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Old 26th November 2007, 16:00
Leo Etgen Leo Etgen is offline
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Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

Hello John

Many thanks for your reply to my question. If this is the same place where Hackl made his emergency landing then he choose a rather interesting location to do so assuming he had a choice in the matter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matmata

Horrido!

Leo
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Old 26th November 2007, 16:18
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Nefiakoff Nefiakoff is offline
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Re: Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

Hello Leo,

My polish sources state there were two formations of american a/c attacking Fatnassa airfield, base of JG 77:
18 B-17s from 97 BG with 10 P-38s from 1 FG and just after 24 B-17s from 301 BG with 10 P-38s.
Bf 109s from JG 77 and II./JG 51 scrambled on time and attacked these formations.
Lt. Wiseman from 71 FS claimed 1 Fw 190 and Capt. Rimke from 94 FS – 1 Bf 109.

German claims were: Hpt. Bär – 1 B-17 (no. 153, at 14.20 hours), Lt. Berres – 2 P-38 (14.42 hrs – not confirmed in Tonny Wood’s list),
Hpt. Ubben – 1 P-38 (no. 103, 15.10 hrs) and Lt. Deicke – 1 P-38 (no. 14, 14.47 hrs).
There’s also mention that Hpt. Rammelt from II./JG 51 claimed 1 B-17 probably destroyed.

As the matter of Hackl, I’ve got information that he and Hpt. Heinz Bär each shot down 1 B-17 (Hackl also another unconfirmed), however there’s no confirmation of his claims at all on Tony Wood’s list, as well as Rammelt’s claim.
Hackl landed at Matmata in his Bf 109 G-2 W.Nr. 10787 badly wounded, my sources state he was a victim of Capt. Rimke.

Best regards

Nef
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Old 26th November 2007, 16:48
Leo Etgen Leo Etgen is offline
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Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

Hello Nef

Many thanks for your post which includes much information. Looking through Wood's claims list, I see that Hauptmann Heinz Bär claimed two Fortress II bombers (153-154), Oberfeldwebel Wilhelm Baumgartner a P-38 fighter (30) and Oberfeldwebel Heinrich Hackler a P-38 fighter (46). I get the impression that the two P-38 fighters claimed by Leutnant Heinz-Edgar Berres were indeed confirmed as his 28th and 29th victories and that these simply are not listed in the previous JG 77 lists. According to Wood's lists, therefore, we get a total of two Fortress II bombers and seven P-38 fighters claimed. It would be interesting to know how many of these losses can be confirmed in American loss lists. I also would like to know more about Rammelt's claim as unfortunately I have a gap in his victory list at around that time. Nef, many thanks for the possible identification of who shot Hackl down, it is very appreciated!

Horrido!

Leo
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Old 26th November 2007, 22:21
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

Nef

Your "Polish" sources seems almost word by word to have been lifted from Fighters over Tunisia by Shores, Ring and Hess
This book is pretty old by now and not 100% reliable since more data has become available later, BUT it is still an excellent start and a trend setter how books should be written.
I think however Shores is wrong when saying that Hackl claimed one B-17 shot down and a probable. IF he did, it is not mentioned in Prien's JG 77 volume III. Instead Prien states that Heinz Bär claimed TWO B-17s. This then makes the total claims of shot down Fortresses the same.

Leo
According to Hess (the American in the trio) the Yanks lost one B-17 and six P-38s that day. Two of these were lost from a "straggling" mission flown by the 82nd FG, who very well could have been dragged into this fight. As usual nothing much is known about their damaged aeroplanes...

As a aside, the number of claims made by the US bomber gunners were in all 24 destroyed, 12 probables and 9 damaged which gives a good indication that this was a tough fight indeed. Many has mocked the gunners of these bombers for their inaccurate claims, but I would like to see anyone on this list crawl into position and have some 50 fighters charging in firing REAL shells and bullets right on YOU and not being scared to h..l ! These overclaims were a clear reaction of the intensity of the fighting, and those guys deserved every claim they could get, true or not.
To go out in a bomber and especially having just to sit there and just take it took real guts and I think every one of us would have chosen fighters instead of bombers (IF we had had any choise that is... )!!

Cheers
Stig
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Old 26th November 2007, 23:27
robert robert is offline
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Re: Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

Hi,

the American lost B-17 42-5076 from the 301 BG, four P-38 from the 1 FG and two from 82 FG.
BTW I have two B-17 of Baer and one of Olt.Puschmann from the 6/JG51 (at 14.27)!

Regards

Robert
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Old 27th November 2007, 02:08
Leo Etgen Leo Etgen is offline
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Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

Hello guys

Many thanks to all who have posted here. I originally posted about Hackl being shot down and received a bevy of information about this particular air battle! Robert is correct, there are two additional claims by Oberleutnant Herbert Puschmann (B-17) and Unteroffizier Hans-Günther Koch (P-38) of 6./JG 51 listed in Wood's claims file. Thus, at least a total of three B-17 bombers and eight P-38 fighters were claimed that day. If one bomber and six fighters were lost then excellent accuracy on the part of the Luftwaffe pilots with the exception of the bomber claims. Many thanks to Stig and Robert for this clarification and their input. Stig, very good and thoughtful observation regarding what the bomber gunners had to go through.

Horrido!

Leo
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Old 27th November 2007, 02:23
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Nefiakoff Nefiakoff is offline
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Re: Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

Stig,

I do have a big dictance to my sources, which very often – like in this situation – even don’t contain any indication of the bibliography.
That’s why I try to clearly point out which data should be verified.
However, I’m always glad to be somehow helpful.
Thank You for observation.

Best regards

Nef
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Old 21st February 2011, 03:45
Mark R. Mark R. is offline
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Re: Anton Hackl - 4 February 1943

From my sources - 1st Fighter Group operations Journal entry for 4 Feb 43 which clarifies the events described in FOT...........

1st ENTRY - "Seventeen P-38s, nine of the 94th Sq, Capt Rimke and Roberts and Lts Reese, Starbuck, Crane, Petersen, Mathews, Boose, and Froehling and eight of the 27th Sq, Lts Stemen, Mendenall, Szaflarski, Dowd, Sullivan, Slater, Wolford, and Linn up base 1320 hours to escort B-17s of the 97th and 301st Bomb Groups on a mission to the Gabes airdrome. Five P-38s turned back early due to mechanical troubles, down by 1505 hours. Formation over target 1430 hours, bombers at 20,000 feet and P-38s at 22,000 feet. Bombers scattered making it difficult for fighters to provide protection. Results of bombing unobserved. Heavy flak of medium intensity encountered over target. South and West of target observed slight overcast, CAVU at target. Ten enemy fighters were in the vicinity of the bombers over the target but only one made an attack. One B-17 was observed to crash and burn at approximately 34 degrees, 10 minutes north and 9 degrees, 50 minutes east. Five chutes were seen to open. Several enemy planes were observed near the descending chutes but were driven away by P-38s. 12 P-38s down base 1600 hours.

2d ENTRY - [A Second formation from a second airbase also provided escort for the B-17s mentioned above]

"Ten P-38s, Major Ruddel and Lts Hoyer, Morhous, Beeson, Morefield, Rivers, Rethman, Melbraaten, Wiseman and Brittin up from air base at 1235 hours to escort 21 B-17s to target, airdrome and landing ground at Gabes. Eight P-38s down 1500 - 1700 at base, one of which crashlanded. This aircraft had been damaged by machinegun fire and cannon fire, combat taking place about 20 miles southwest of Gabes in an encounter with Me-109G's. One P-38 down Biskra 1630 hours, crashlanding. This aircraft damaged by machinegun and cannon fire. One P-38 missing 1800 hours. Route, Biskra to Gabes. Altitude at target 23,500 feet. Time over target 1430 hours. Thin layer of clouds 25,000 feet, good visibility. Heavy flak, light intensity, not accurate as to height encountered in the target area. Saw about 10 enemy aircraft, large ships, probably Ju-52s, at airdrome 5 miles southwest of Gabes. This drome bombed by B-17s, results unobserved. At 1426 hours, 8 to 10 Me-109Gs and Fw-190s observed taking off from landing ground at Bjid Toul [Borj Toual?] about 10 miles south of Gabes. No buildings or runways on this field. Combat - Major Rudell fired four bursts at Me-109G's, results unobserved. On leaving target, 97th Bomb Group headed 15 to 20 miles south of Gabes before making slow turn to right. 301st Bomb Group turned right shortly after leaving target. This placed two bomb formations about 20 miles apart. Major Rudell kept fighter formation between the bomber formation to cover. Led flight to cover one B-17 of the 301st Bomb Group which turned left from main formation and spiraled down. Saw six parachutes open near El Ksar and El Hamma. Bomber and fighter formation attacked by 8 to 10 Me-109G's and FW-190's, altitude 1,000 to 23,000 feet from target area to 50 miles west of Gabes. Lt. Morefield fired three bursts, results unobserved. Saw large column of smoke in Djebel Tabaga. Lt Rivers fired two bursts at Me-109G. Saw black smoke pour from the engine of the a/c. Claim one Me-109 damaged. Lt Wiseman fired two bursts, 200 to 100 yards at Fw-190 in head on attack. Observed hits in engine and bottom of fuselage in wing area below cockpit and the Fw-190 burst into flames. Lt. Brittin, flying his wing, observed FW-190 dive in flames. Time 1440 hours. Altitude 22,000 feet. Another B-17 observed spiralling down in vicinity of El Ksar. One P-38 missing, last seen at 1505 hours about 30 miles northwest of Gabes by Lt Rethman on whose wing he was flying. No enemy ground of naval forces observed. Claim one FW-190 destroyed by 2d Lt Lee V. Wiseman, age 21, of Rural Route #4, Grand Rapids, Michigan and 1 Me-109G damaged by 2nd Lt Walter J. Rivers, of 1123 Broadway, Paducah, Kentucky.

Addendum: Lt Melbraaten reported missing 4 Feb has been reported safe at Biskra. Crash landed 75 miles of Biskra and was uninjured.

Note Captain Rimke did not mention engaging an enemy aircraft. And none of the 1st Fighter Group aircraft were shot down. Two B-17s were indeed downed in the vicinity of the target.

The 82d FG aircraft lost that day were not part of the escort. They were escorting B-26s to bomb Borj Toual [Bjid Toul] landing ground 17 miles SW of Gabes. Two 97th Squadron aircraft (Lts Grady and Doddridge) were lost to FW-190s. Steve Blake, author of Adorimini: A History of the 82d Fighter Group, surmises they were both downed by Kurt Buhligen.

Last edited by Mark R.; 21st February 2011 at 23:22.
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