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 Post subject: Wekusta 51
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:37 pm 
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This is probably a very long shot in the dark, but I'm trying to find out what sorties Wekusta 51 (based at Rennes?) flew between 25 May and 5 June 1944. I know it was operating in a maritime meteorological reconnaissance role, a task it normally shared with Wekusta 2 at Nantes, but the latter unit had been withdrawn in March to re-equip with the He 111, and had yet to return to Nantes (not sure that it ever did) .

I'm curious to know if Wekusta 51 took on Wekusta 2's role during its absence.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Wekusta 51
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:16 pm 
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Brian,

Do you have access to Selinger and Kington's "Wekusta" published by Flight Recorder?

Westa 2 Ob.d.L. (later OKL) withdrew from France to Germany in Mar 1944 for re-equipment with the He 177 - conversion taking place at Burg bei Magdeburg. Westa 2 Ob d L did not return to Nantes but did conduct operations, for a limited period, from Mont-de-Marsan (Gascony) from July 1944.

The book also notes that FAGr 5 in conjunction with KG 40 and Westa 51 filled the gap when Westa 2 Ob.d.L. left France. There is also reference to Met observers fromWesta 51 and MWD joined FAGr 5 for this purpose.

Westa 51 - "in April, besides its own operational sector Wekusta 51 was ordered to take over that of Wekusta 2 Ob.d.L. as the later had been transfered to Germany for re-equipment with He 177s. However, in May Wekusta 51 missions were again concentrated on the northwest track, in view of the expected Allied invasion."

There is reference to a fighter bomber attack on the units base at Rennes on 6 May.

7 May - three waves of heavy bomber attacks that destroyed facilities and made runways 1 and 2 unserviceable.

As a result further operations from Rennes were canceled.

Two aircraft were relocated to an airfield near Lorient

Further aircraft started to use Vannes as an emergency base from 12 May. Two aircraft lost here in a raid on 20 May.

Raids on Vannes on 28 and 29 May restricted operations for the next few days.

During the first two weeks in June the Northwest track was again ordered for the Met Recce flights in order to monitor conditions over the region of the expected invasion of France.

7 June Nantes again attacked, this time by 200+ bombers.

Hope that the above is of help.

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Andy Mitchell
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 Post subject: Re: Wekusta 51
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:24 pm 
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That's very helpful Andy - thank you. I've actually ordered the book from the Met Office library (should arrive tomorrow), but your reference to the anticipated invasion ties in nicely with what I've discovered about the U-boats as well. I believe that many were recalled to their bases in France and Norway during May, also in anticipation of an invasion.

Very much appreciated.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Wekusta 51
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:31 pm 
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Brian,

I don't know how much further help it may be, but you can find the KTB for BdU throughout the war at http://www.uboatarchive.net/BDUKTB.htm

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Adam


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 Post subject: Re: Wekusta 51
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:11 am 
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Much obliged Adam. I've this reference amongst others that I've been using in respect of the U-boat part of my project (met observations from the North Atlantic). As you indicate it is an excellent source of information.

Likewise Wekusta, I have the Wekusta book now and am finding it very useful.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Wekusta 51
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:28 pm 
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Brian,

Glad to be of help - no doubt now you will find the bits that I got wrong.....!

You are probably aware of this site http://www.warcovers.dk/greenland/wbs.htm

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Andy Mitchell
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 Post subject: Re: Wekusta 51
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:16 pm 
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Andy,

Thank you for your latest and, yup, I was aware of it. However, much better to be told than tp overlook it.

Brian


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