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The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

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The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

Post  Rudolf Farber on Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:19 am

'In the Beginning'



Arado 65


JG27 was a war time creation, II./JG132 in the spring of 1937 through Mutter-Tochterverband created I./JG131 - The predecessor of JG27. At this point they were flying Ar65's and He50's.




Henschell 50

I./JG131 became functional on 1st of April 1937. They were then stationed at a brand new airfield 22km's South of Konigsberg. Six months later they were out fitted with new Arado Ar 68F's. Bernhard Woldenga Devised the gruppe badge based on the Teutonic knights cross and imposed 3 Bf109's on it. Unit emblems were at the discretion of the commanding officer.




Bernhard Woldenga

(Bernhard Woldenga survived the war and died on 19 January 1999 (aged 97), he was a recipient of the Knights Cross amongst other awards.)



The Emblem of JG27, later to represent only I Gruppe.

In 1938 polish AA opened fire several times upon German aircraft near the Polish corridor because they were so nervous of political events in Europe during this time. (needs further research.)

JG134 was around this time flying single engine fighters which would later become ZG26 "Horst Wessel".

In May 1938 the Gruppe was outfitted with Bf109 B's C's and D's.

Some attempt was made to restructure the messy Luftwaffe Geschwader numbering system and JG131 found its self as JG130 and after the 1st of May 1939 Geschwaderen were renumbered again. A Luftflotte contained (after the 1st of may 1939) JG's in blocks of 25. ie Luftflotte 1 contained JG1 to JG25, Luftflotte 2 contained JG26 to 50. During this restructuring Woldenga's I./JG130 for unknown reasons found itself as I./JG1.



Poland

I./JG1 found itself restricted to home defence in East Prussia during this time. Ob.d.L. at this time assumed the Polish air force would launch an aerial counter attack, however the Polish air force made very few incursions into East Prussia. I./JG1 saw very little action at this time and no victories were claimed. A pilot form 2 Staffel was injured by friendly flak. After several deployments and at least one in Poland the Gruppe was moved back to Jesau on the 5th of September 1939.



Declaration of War by Great Britain and France 3rd September 1939 - Sitzkrieg or The Phoney War

Hauptmann Woldenga's Gruppe was then re-deployed to North West Germany. With the opening of a new front another Jagdgeschwader was urgently needed and JG27 was created but then straight away renumbered Stab JG77. It was not until 10 days later on the 1st of October 1939 Stab and I Gruppe of JG27 were activated and an illustrious path in history was started.

November 1939 JG126 later to become III./ZG26 "Horst Wessel” was still awaiting its Bf110's to become a Zerstörergeschwader and was making do with Bf109D's. During this time JG126 was attached to JG27.

Oberstleutnant Max Ibel, 42 years old, became the first Kommadore of JG27. He was a veteran sapper (Engineer) of The Great War for which he had volunteered. He was trained at Lipezk, the secret Luftwaffe training facility in the Soviet Union. He had also set up Germany's pilot training school in 1934 at Schleissheim. Ibel had also previously been the Kommadore of JG3, all of which made him more than qualified for the job.




Adolf Galland with Max Ibel


(Max Ibel survived the war and died on the 19th March 1981 in Munich, Germany. One of the Grand-farthers of Third Reich Jagdgeschwaders. Recipitent of the Knights Cross. At the end of the war he was appointed inspectorate of JET fighters.)



JG27 was soon established to a full compliment of 3 Gruppen. 3rd of May 1940 5 Staffel JG27 is created in Magdeburg-Ost.

Stationed near the border of Holland, they did not have much contact with the enemy unlike those JG stationed near the French Border. They did have however Blenheim Mark IV reconnaissance aircraft of the RAF which occasionally intruded and became the Geschwader's first victories. During the Sitzkrieg 4 Blenheim were destroyed in eight months - The Geschwader only victories to date.


In February 1940 Max Ibel was appointed to the office of inspectorates of fighters and therefore was replaced by the Geschwader Adjutant Hauptmann Joachim Schlichting who was replaced by Hauptmann Adolf Galland.




Joachim Schlichting

(Schlichting was a veteran of the Spanish Civil war where he led 2. Staffel of J88 Legion Condor. He claimed 5 victories in the conflict and was awarded Spanienkreuz in Gold mit Schwertern und Brillanten (Spanish Cross in Gold with Swords and Diamonds) for his achievements and leadership. He also led 3.(J)/LG2 in Fall Weiss (Invasion of Poland) as Staffelkapitan. He was Gruppenkmmodore of I./JG1 in the Invasion of the low countries and France (Fall Gelb / Fall Rot). Later he led III./JG27 into the Battle of Britain, where with a victory tally of 8 was shot down over London on the 6th of September 1940. He suffered severe burns as he bailed out and spent the rest of the war as a Prisoner. He was awarded the Ritterkreuz (Knights Cross) on the 14th of December 1940 in his abscence.)


Adolf Galland was a leading pioneer in the low level ground attack theories, in fact he was so successful he was returned to Spain to lead II./(Schl)/LG2 of Legion Condor. equipped with Hs 123's. He disliked this so much he had himself pronounced "medically unfit" for flying in an open cockpit by a Doctor and was thus returned as Gruppe Adjutant of JG27.




Adolf Galland


(Adolf Galland survived the war and died on the 9th February 1996. Recipitent of the Knights Cross. He was one of Germany's top fighter Aces and was involved in the worlds first operational JET fighter wing during and after the war. He found work as a forestry worker iniatially in post war Germany. Later he moved to Argentina, employed by the Argentinian Government as a test pilot for JET fighters aswell as an instructor untill 1955. He wrote his biography Die Ersten und die Letzten (The First and the Last) which was published in 1954. It was a best seller in 14 languages and sold more than three million copies. He remained a "fighter pilot celebrity" long into the 1980's. He was once entertained by Prince Charles of Wales and only stopped flying in 1980.
)



The Fall of France and the Low Countries

10th of May 1940, Ju52/3 transports laden with Fallschirmjäger and others towing gliders crossed the German border at 0510Hrs included in their objectives was the Fortress Eben Emael in Belgium. After flying close escort for most of the day the Geschwader now rolled out in air superioty role West of Aachen (West German border) ahead of Von Richtofen's VIII Fliegerkorps also known as the "Flying Artillery", comprised of Junkers 87 STUKA and Donier 17's.



Wolfram von Richthofen

(Wolfram von Richthofen would later die from a well known and previously operated on brain tumour on the 12th July 1945, he was a prisoner of war at his time in the hands of American forces.)


Just before 10:00Hrs on this date Unteroffizier Heinrich Becher and Leutnant Erwin Axthelm claimed a Belgium Gloster Gladiator each in the Tirlemont area. Other victories started coming now including a 85 Sqn RAF Hurricane (claimed as a spitfire) by Adolf Galland South of Lille.

Tuesday, 14 May 1940 - Holland Capitulates. Fighting continues in Zeeland.

From the 16th of May till the end of the month 1940, JG27 (all three Gruppen) were now racing to keep pace with VIII Flieger Korps' "Flying Artillery" as they too raced to keep pace with the advancing Panzergruppe "Von Kleist" as it pushed to the channel. As many as six airbases were used during this advance, some only for a few hours!

20th of May 1940, the Geschwader receives its first casualty of the war, Leutnant Horst Braxator of 3.Staffel. Four victories, later "missing in action".

II Gruppe JG27 had spent Fall Gelb (Case Yellow) under the command of other Stabe and on operations over the most Northern Flank of the Panzer push Westward. In the opening three days of this operation II Gruppe had scored their first 14 victories over Holland with the loss of one machine to anti-aircraft fire. However during the redeployment for Fall Rot (Case Red) II Gruppe was transferred back under the command of Stab JG27 and stationed at Guise-North, France.

The entire Geschwader was now taking part in operations over the Somme to support the Wehrmacht's advance. Fierce clashes with the brave Armée de l'Air of France continued over two days of the advance with the French loosing badly and each Gruppe only loosing one machine each and their pilots being held in only brief French hands.

The 9th of June saw one of the last major engagements from the French Armée de l'Air against II Gruppe which saw the loss of six Emil's in exchange for only four Moraine 406's.

With the Armée de l'Air dispatched and the British Expeditionary Force evacuated, the last two weeks of the campaign were spent on routine air patrols and in support of ground attack sorties.

25th of June 1940: The battle of France is over. The battle of Britain was about to begin...


The Battle of Britain

In June 1940 II./JG27 were rested in for two weeks in Germany before spending the rest of the month in Holland on Coastal defence duties where the Gruppe claimed two Blenheims but lost 5 Staffel Staffelkapitän Albrecht Von Ankum-Frank who was shot down in a raid by Blenheims on II Gruppe base at Leeuwarden. He was angered by the low Blenheim flying around his base and took off with two other 109's but was shot at by the bombers gunner, dived into the ground and was killed! 72 hours later on the 5th August 1940, II Gruppe landed at Crépon in Normandy.


The costliest day for JG27 was the 8th August 1940 in heavy fighting when a 20 ship convoy sailed from Medway, through the Straits of Dover under darkness heading Westward. Ju87’s launched 3 attacks which resulted in 31 missions made up of 261 individual sorties. II./JG27 finally claimed one Hurricane in the late afternoon. However the Gruppe was intercepted later South of the Convoy by radar directed RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes. Four Bf109’s went down mid channel and another crash landed in France. Four other pilots of the Geschwader were saved by the pioneering but still infant Air Sea Rescue (ASR) including II Gruppe Kommandeur Hauptmann Werner Andres. Only 4 Ships of convoy CW19 reached reached Swanage without any damage. This day marked a victory and the denial of the English Channel to British shipping.

On the 11th of August 1940 JG27 was escorting a bombing raid on Portland which was on the return journey when two pilots went missing in action in return for eight claims.

On the 18th of August 1940 after the “lunchtime” raid on Kenley, Biggin Hill and Croydon, JG27 escorted a force of seventy eight Stuka from StG77. The Ju87’s approached the Southeast coast of England and split up into three groups 15 miles East of the Isle of Wight and 10 miles from the coast of England. The targets were the radar station at Poling, the Fleet Air Arm Aerodrome at Ford and the Coastal Command Aerodrome of Thorney Island. Why these targets were chosen is a mystery and is largely blamed on poor intelligence because they are not part of RAF Fighter Command.


Each of the targets was covered by a separate Gruppe of JG27. The Ju87 suffered greatly under the onslaught of the RAF and surely would have been decimated if it had not been for the brave Jagdflieger of JG27! II Gruppe fought fiercely between selsey bill and the Isle of Wight claiming no fewer than fourteen victories although half were later unconfirmed.

On this day the Geschwader lost six aircraft, 6./JG27 Oberleutnant Julius Neumann crash landed a burning “Yellow 6” in a field on the Isle of Wight. Leutnant Gerhard Mittsdörfer from 1 Staffel was captured just off Ventnor. One pilot was plucked from the channel by German ASR.

STUKA WITHDRAWEL

On the 22nd of August 1940 Kommodore Edu Neumann was awarded the Knight's Cross for “outstanding leadership”. With the flying artillery withdrawal JG27 was transferred East to Jagdfliegerführer 2 and so on the 28th August 1940 II./JG27 Landed at Fiennes near Guines.




JG27 remained on bomber escort duties until Adlertag-

JG27’s role in Adlertag was escorting a force of over 50 Ju87’s to enemy fighter airfields which the dive bombers failed to locate. Both forces returned without loss nor claim.


This thread is under construction...

Glossery of Terms:

Mutter-Tochterverband:
Literally, Mother-Daughter. Lower ranks take the roles of higher ranks and train those below them to do the job they previously did.

Ob.d.L.:
Oberkommando Der Luftwaffe or Luftwaffe High Command.

Staffel:
Equivalent to an RAF Squadron. 6 to 16 aircraft typically.

Gruppe:
Equivalent to an RAF wing. 20 to 120 aircraft typically.

Geschwader:
Equivalent to an RAF Group. 60 to 360 aircraft typically.

Sources and Acknowledgements:

Jagdgeschwader 27 'AFRIKA'
by John Weal

ISBN:978-1-84176-538-9

German Fighter Ace Hans-Joachim Marseille The Life Storey of the Star of Africa
by Franz Kurowski

ISBN:978-0-88740-517-4


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Re: The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

Post  =KAG=Bersrk on Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:01 am

9./ZG26 in Battle of Britain.

Staffel didnt participate much in early stages of Battle of Britain, being as some kind of "reserve", with only action on 10.07.40 when Ofw. Heinrich Hott claimed Hurricane.


On 18 August the Bf-110s of ZG 26 escorted bombers to the airfields of Biggin Hill and Kenley. ZG 26 took heavy losses from the RAF fighters, and 9 Bf-110’s were shot down, including those of I.Gruppe Adjutant, Oblt. Rudiger Proske (taken prisoner), and the 3.Staffel Staffelkapitän Oblt. Hans-Jurgen Kirchoff (killed). In late afternoon ZG 26 escorted a force of bombers to attack Hornchurch and North Weald and again, the Zerstörer suffered losses. The Staffelkapitän of 2./ZG 26 Hptm. Herbert Kaminski ditched into the North Sea and, with his Bordfunker spent four days in a dinghy before being rescued. ZG 26 had 13 Bf-110’s shot down, 6 crash landing back in France, with 2 'write-offs' while claiming 25 RAF fighters shot down. It was a miracle, but 9./ZG26 without any losses claimed 7 victories - 3 in afternoon mission (Uffz. Erhard Reinhold claimed Hurricane, and two Spitfires to Ofhr. Friedrich Lugger and Ltn. Kurt Sidow), and 4 more in the evening from 18.40 to 18.50 - two Hurricanes to Fw. Werner Opper, and Oblt. Hubert Grisslich and Ltn. Kurt Sidow claiming one Hurricane each.


On 26.08.40 9./ZG26 flew as a part of close escort of formation of Do-17 bombers of I./KG2 and II./KG3 to airfields in Themes Estuary area.
Staffel claimed 2 Spitfires shot down - 1 by Uffz. Richard Heller at 16.25 and 2nd by Uffz. Ludwig Obermeier (gunner of Oblt. Grisslich) at 16.35. In return, two zerstorer were lost to british fighters:
Bf 110C-4 (W.Nr.3299), crew - Uffz Erhart Reinhold and his gunner Obgfr Kurt Däumig were killed in crash. Latter was buried at Ysselsteyn/Niederlande, Block CL, Reihe 1, Grab 1
Bf 110C-4 3U+AT, crew - Fw Werner Opper and his gunner Uffz Paul Nick both killed. Buried at Cannock Chase/UK, Block 5, Reihe 7, Grab 165 and 167.

Next large combat of 9./ZG26 occured on 31.08.40 while escorting He111 and Do-17 to Debden airfield attack. 5 victories were filled to "Hahn-Staffel" - 3 Spitfires by Uffz. Richard Heller, Oblt. Hubert Grisslich and Ltn. Kurt Sidow, 2 Hurricanes by Ltn. Joachim Junghans and Ofw. Heinrich Hott at 09.33 - 09.45. Staffel sustained no casualties.

Even more bloody day, the first London raid, came on 3.09.40. "Hahn-Staffel" flew as a part of escort of large formation of bombers attackin targets in London area.
Over sity, formation was met by Spitfires and Hurricanes. 9./ZG26 claimed 6 abschusse at 11.40-11.50: 2 Spitfires by Obfhr. Friedrich Lugger, Spitfire and Hurricane by Ltn. Kurt Sidow, Spitfire by Oblt. Hubert Grisslich and a Spitfire by Ofw. Heinrich Hott. The only loss was heavy damaged Bf 110C-2 (W.Nr.3578) 3U+GT of Ltn. Hubert Grisslich, wich was pounded by Spitfires but made it back to France and forcelanded on beach. Crew unhurt.


On 11 september 1940, 9./ZG26 flew as a part of escort to He111 on another London attack. Over target, free hunters - Bf109- turned back with short of fuel, and all hell of british fighters rushed on Bf110, who tried to protect He111's. 10 bombers were lost, and 1 aircraft of 9./ZG26 - Bf 110C-4 (W.Nr.3231) 3U+LT - failed to return. Crew of pilot Oblt Joachim Junghans and gunner Gefr Paul Eckert were posted missing.

On 12.09.40 9./ZG 26 got one Bf 110C-4 (W.Nr.3628) damaged 15% on ferry flight over Teutoburger Wald.

On 26.09.40 9./ZG 26 participated in another "London" raid. Without losses, Staffel claimed 1 victory - by Uffz. Richard Heller - Spitfire at 17.35.

On 27.09.40 9./ZG26 flew escort mission for bombers to London. Over target area, Bf110 formation met several dosens of british fighters and bore the brunt of fight. V.(Z)/LG1 was murdered, losing 12 of 13 Bf110, including two StaffelKapitane and its Gruppenkomandeure. There were also losses in ZG76. 9./ZG26 clashed with Spitfires, and got two victories: Ltn. Kurt Sidow at 12.43, and Oblt. Hubert Grisslich at 12.44 claimed Spitfires over London. During fierce combat with Spitfires, Gefr Georg Jackstadt went on head-on attack to one of the Spitfires. Both pilots were shooting, but in last moment both pulled up and collided. English pilot - "Mick" Miller - was killed in explosion. Bf110 lost its wing and tail section and burned. Only pilot - Gefr Georg Jackstadt was able to jump out from his burning hell - Bf 110C-4 W.Nr.3297, 3U+FT over ole Ash Farm, Piddletrenthide at very low altitude and became prisoner of war. His gunner - Gefr Emil Liedtke jumped out to low and plunged to death. He was buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey/UK, Block 15, Reihe A, Grab 7.

Overall, 9./ZG26 was lucky enough to have lowest loss rate among all ZG26 (losing some 95 aircraft during the July–December 1940 period, with over 118 aircrew killed or prisoner) with only 4 aircrafts and 3 crews. But in the beginning of october british fighters revenged to III./ZG26 hard, as it was, along with II./ZG26 - the only "untouched" Zerstorer gruppe of Luftwaffe.

On 7 October III./ZG 26 provided escort for the Ju-88s of II./ KG 51 attacking the Westland aircraft works at Yeovil. Strong RAF resistance hit ZG 26 hard, with II Gruppe losing 3 aircraft shot down and III Gruppe losing 4. Severe blow for the 9./ZG26 morale was losses of two most expirienced crews of Staffel.

Over Hart Hill, Stoborough near Wareham, in combat with No.609 Sqdn. RAF Spitfires was shot down Bf 110C-4 (W.Nr.3283) 3U+BT. Crew - Lt. Kurt Sidow and his gunner Gefr. Josef Replik were killed. They were buttied at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey/UK, Block 15, Reihe A, Grab 8 and Reihe B, Grab 3. With 10 victories on his tally, Lt. Sidow was top-scorer of 9./ZG26. But he was not the only ace to be lost by Hahn-Staffel on that day, as another Bf 110C-4 (W.Nr.3640) 3U+GT was shot down and ditched in Channel after fighter attack. Crew - Oblt Hubert Grisslich and his gunner Uffz Ludwig Obermeier were rescued by british and became prisoners. One more 9./ZG26 aircraft was shot down, but it was lended by 8./ZG26 crew - Gefr Bernhard Demmig and Obgfr Josef Bachmann were show down in Bf 110C-4 (W.Nr.3564) 3U+JT. Obgfr. Bachmann didnt survive in crashland, Gefr. Demmig - prisoned.

This was the last combat mission of III./ZG26 over Britain.

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Re: The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

Post  =KAG=Bersrk on Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:04 am

Interested in continue of story?

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Re: The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

Post  Niklas Klein on Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:31 am

Absolutely.

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Re: The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

Post  Hans Jaeger on Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:20 am

yes indeed , please continue

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Re: The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

Post  Gustav Eicken on Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:12 am

Indeed, would love to know more.

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Re: The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

Post  Merkin on Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:56 am

Hallo Kameraden,
while doing a little research for our new "home"-page
I found this.
JG 27
ZG 26

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Re: The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

Post  Paul Zorner on Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:27 am

Prima! Hochinteressant!

Thanks for sharing, Merkin

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Re: The History of the Real 5./JG27 & 9./ZG26

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