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Old 27th March 2012, 03:38
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Larry Hickey
Problem with plane codes for I./KG1 - I./KG152 during 9.39


After reading in deZeng/Stankey the histories of I./KG1 and I./KG152, I'm having a hard time understanding why I./KG152 a/c during the PC and later carried old IV./KG152 Gruppe and Staffel codes on their brand new He111Hs. According to this source, IV./KG152 became I./KG1 in May, 1939, and photos from the Polish Campaign period show that unit's old He111Es displaying standard codes for a I. Gruppe unit (ie. V4+EH, V4+AK, V4+CL for 1.-2.-3./KG1) during the PC. This makes sense to me.

However, I./KG152, which became II./KG1 during the Polish Campaign on 18.09.39, began and participated in the PC with brand new He111Hs, but using Gruppe and Staffel codes for the old IV./KG152 (ie. V4+AU, V4+KV & V4+DW--I don't have any photos for Stab I./KG152 a/c, but presumably their planes would be coded V4+_E). As II./KG1 after 18.09.39, the unit continued to carry IV. Gruppe codes well into the Battle of Britain, a year later.

So can anyone explain why these new He111s of I./KG152, soon to be II./KG1, carried IV./KG152 codes? Was it that I./KG1 already had the I Gr unit codes, and carried the Geschwader code of "V4", and they needed something different to distinguish I./KG152 aircraft from I./KG1 for the short period that they had two I Gruppe units with the same Gesch code of "V4"? Then, when the designation changed to II./KG1, they just never got around to changing the codes to what would be expected for that unit as a II Gruppe? Is that the most reasonable explanation of what happened?

Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
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