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 Post subject: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Hi Guys,
I have a small number of combat records for 255 sqn flying from Bo-Rizzo Sicily 1943 before, during and after Operation Avalanche the Invasion of Italy that I would happily share with the forum.
I am trying to match up 3 in particular 255 sqn victories with the Luftwaffe loss records, so far without much luck, the 3 destroyed Luftwaffe aircraft in question are,

1) 8/9 Sept 1943, Ju88, 21:45 hours Naples area, 3 miles south of Capri.
2) 9/10 Sept 1943, Me210, 02:30 hours Naples area, Lago Paola.
3) 23/24 Oct 1943, Ju88, 18:55 hours Naples area just south of the river Volturno.

Briefly, these are the dates, times and crash locations of the Luftwaffe aircraft, I may also add that the combat reports state in all 3, no one was seen to bale out of the destroyed aircraft.
I would also like to clear up a couple of other questions in connection with this enquiry,

1) which airfields in Italy could these a/c have been flying from,
2) what were the names of the crew, etc
3) was the Me210 really flying in these areas at that time, or could they have been mistaken for an Me410, or even Ju88's?

Just for interest 255 Sqn recorded the destruction of these aircraft in Sept 1943,

1 x He111
2 x M2 210
2 x Ju88 + 1 Damaged
1 x D0217

I am a newby to forums and Luftwaffe terminology so please be gently with me, my main interest and research is the V1, Flying Bomb Campaign of England, Summer 1944.

Kindest Regards,
Graham.


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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:45 pm 
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Graham,

Will have a look and see what I can find.

Have you read Peter Smith's "Air Launched Doodlebugs"?

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Andy Mitchell
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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:22 am 
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Hi Andy,

Thank you for your reply, any information would be very welcome.
Yes, I have a copy of Peter J.C. Smith's book (both of them) and I would think evey book detailing the Flying Bomb, my family member
was Sqn Ldr Joe Berry the top RAF pilot with 60 V1 kills to his credit and also 3 Luftwaffe victories.

Regards,
Graham.


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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:43 am 
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Hi Graham,

Here are some extracts from my research into the air fighting over Italy. Each paragraph is an entry from a different source.

Night 8/9 September 1943
At 21:12 there was Axis air action against the Northern Attack Force.

Between 21:20 and 21:40 eight aircraft of K.G. 76 attacked ships in the Naples area.

From 20:15 to 22:05 all convoys in the Northern Attack Force were well illuminated by enemy flares, and were subjected to repeat attacks by torpedo bombers. The bombers flew high enough to be invisible to the ships. In the Northern Area the torpedo aircraft made repeated low level attacks in small groups from the down-moon side of convoys. Smoke was used to harass the approach of the German aircraft. Five or six Ju 88s were claimed shot down, with the Ledbury claiming one Ju 88. A torpedo passed astern of Prince Charles. USS LST 375 was hit by a bomb, which passed through the ship without exploding, and LST 375 also suffered two near misses. Biscayne, HMS Mendip, and several landing ships and craft reported near misses. Friendly aircraft appeared at 22:05 over the convoys and the attack ceased. HMS Mendip was damaged.

At 21:00 Convoy TSF-1, which was HMS Hilary and an LSI, was attacked by Axis aircraft. The convoy was well illuminated by flares, and a few bombs were dropped.

From 21:09 to 22:30 Prince Charles reported that FSS-2 was attacked by aircraft.

At 21:12 convoy FSS-2(Y) was attacked by enemy aircraft, and the convoy was screened by smoke laid by escorts.

From 21:30 to 22:00 Princess Astrid reported bombing attacks on convoy TSF-1.

Captain H.A. ‘Bertie’ Packer, commander of the Warspite, reported on this raid:

“At 21:30 it started. We were relentlessly attacked by German aircraft with bombs and torpedoes – intensively until midnight and then sporadically. The moonlight is a gift for determined aircraft. They attack up moon. They can see us and we can’t see them ... I had one moment as bad as any this war. I heard, above the sound of our pom-poms, Oerlikons, 4-inch and 6-inch guns, an aircraft roaring in. It skimmed down the safe edge of our barrage about 40 degrees on the port bow ... I saw this Ju 88 drop his torpedo and I saw it splash, and down the voice pipe to the Quartermaster I roared ‘Port 35!’ I didn’t think we had a hope of it missing us and it seemed about a thousand years before I saw the electric repeat from the rudder-head showing that the rudder was 35 degrees to port. The torpedo – they travel 40 knots or so – had been dropped about 600 yards away and we were steaming eighteen knots ... I can honestly say that I was holding on to things waiting for the bump and so was everyone else on the bridge. I steadied up with my course parallel to the track of the [p.121 now] torpedo and it literally missed the stern by feet. The parallel track was so close that I had to climb up on the side of the bridge and look over the edge to see it. Just then Admiral Bisset roared up the voice pipe, ‘Good God! What are you doing? Can’t you see you are broadside on to the moon?’ ‘Look over the port side!’ I sang out. ‘You will see a torpedo track parallel to us. Can you see it?’ ‘Yes I can’, he said. ‘Well done!’ So that was okay.”

HMS Mauritius, which had been escorting Convoy TSF-1 until 17:10, reported enemy aircraft overhead at 21:40, with the sea lit up by numerous flares. Bombs were dropped at 21:40 close on the front bow. The enemy aircraft were engaged with heavy barrage fire. At 22:30 the bombers were driven off.

At 22:03 convoy FSS-2(Y) was attacked by enemy aircraft, and British LST 417 was hit by a bomb or torpedo.

At 22:50 three Ju 88s were destroyed, one Ju 88 was probably destroyed, and one He 111 was probably destroyed.

Sources
Goldman, Attack Transport, p.125
K.G. 76 KTB
NA ADM 53/117902
NA AIR 23/7606, Action Report Western Naval Task Force
Tarrant, Battleship Warspite, pp.119, 121

Night 9/10 September 1943
No information on German air activities around 02:30.

Night 23/24 October 1943
A raid was carried out on Naples by German bombers, beginning at 18:30. Around 30 bombers were involved, according to the Allies, and they tried to avoid the barrage put up. A harbour barrage was put up for an hour and fifteen minutes. 24 Battery of the 9th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment claimed one probable victory, after firing 213 and 320 rounds from A and B [now p.146] Troops. 25 Battery put up 201 and 193 rounds from A and B Troops, and 26 Battery put up 308 and 328 rounds from A and B Troops. The raid ended at 19:40, and one ship was set on fire in the harbour, but no other major damage was caused.

At dusk Naples was attacked by German bombers from northern Italy. Heavy fog meant that Ju 88s were directed to land as far afield as Munich.

A Ju 88 A-4 of I./K.G. 30 was shot down by a nightfighter at Naples, with the pilot killed and the three other members of the crew wounded.

A I./K.G. 30 Ju 88 was lost at Naples, cause unknown, with the crew all posted missing.

A second Ju 88 of I./K.G. 30 was lost at Naples on a mission with the crew missing, cause unknown.

A II./K.G. 54 Ju 88 A-4 Trop was lost at Naples harbour, cause unknown, with three of the crew missing and one wounded.

A crew from II./K.G. 54 was posted missing at Naples harbour, cause unknown.

A Ju 88 A-4 of II./K.G. 76 was lost at Naples, with the crew all killed.

Sources
Doherty, Wall of Steel, p.146
NA AIR 40/2253, No. 329 Wing Monthly Report No. 14, October 1943
Genst.Gen.Qu.6.Abt. Luftwaffe loss list


Sorry I can't be more specific at the moment - there are still lots of sources I have to include in my research.

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - http://www.facebook.com/airwarpublications

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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:37 pm 
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Hi Andrew,
A big thank you for your interesting information, after a first look, other than the date and time of 9-10/9/43 the times are very close, would the Germans have been using a sightly different time to the RAF i.e. 1 hour difference?

Kindest Regards,

Graham.


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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:15 am 
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Hi Graham,

Glad it was of interest, even though I didn't provide any exact answers. As far as I'm aware the Allies and Axis were using the same times at this stage of the Italian campaign.

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - http://www.airwarpublications.com

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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:29 pm 
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Hi Andrew,
Some info for your records,
255 Sqn claimed in May 1943, Destroyed:- 1 x Ju 52, 6 x Ju 88, 2 x He 111.
And Damaged:- 2 x Ju 88, two of which were damaged on their own airfield.

I was originally trying to identify the crews of the 2 x Ju 88 and the 1 x Me 210 claimed by Joe Berry while serving with 255 sqn, this, I now realise
is a much bigger task than I thought... and my enquiries have thrown up more questions than answers (I suppose such is the case).
So my thoughts have stepped to one side to try and answer the question of the 10/9/43 Me 210 first.

In your opinion was the Me 210 in these skies over Italy at that time or could the pilot have mistaken this a/c for a recce Me 410, Ju88, or maybe a Ju88A-15 which had no ventral gondola.
Although the Ju88 is quite a bit bigger than the Me 210/410 from the rear at night could it look the same enough to be miss identified?

Regards,
Graham.


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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:28 am 
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Hi Graham,

Thanks for the information about No. 255 Squadron in May 1943.

Having studied the Italian campaign pretty thoroughly from the German side, I have found no evidence that the Me 210 was in use between 3 September 1943 and 21 January 1944. The only times it is mentioned in my manuscript is when Allied pilots or anti-aircraft gunners claimed an "Me 210" shot down or damaged.

The Me 410 was certainly in use, with 3.(F)/Aufklärungsgruppe 122. I can only find mentions of them operating by day, but they may well have flown night missions. If I had to guess, I'd say it was a case of misidentification on the night of 9/10 September 1943, and the Me 210 was actually a Ju 88.

Sorry I can't be more precise at this time, but as I previously mentioned, I have a lot of documents and books to dig through before my research is complete!

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - http://www.facebook.com/airwarpublications

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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:30 pm 
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Andy,

Are you sure you mean 3(F)./122?

During late 1942 and into 1943 2(F)./122 operated both the 210 and 410 as part of its establishment. See http://www.ww2.dk/oob/bestand/aufkl/b2ag122.html for a web reference other than the 122 history.

210 vs 410, I would think that in a combat situation it would be very difficult to differentiate between the two. And yes probably very easy (if not wishful) to think that combat took place at night with a 410 or 210 rather than the more common Ju 88.

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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:00 am 
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Hi Andy,

Sorry, that was a typo, and of course it should have been 2.(F)/122. Thanks for picking it up!

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - http://www.airwarpublications.com

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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:24 pm 
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Hi Guys,
I am reading your posts with greater interest, and I can fully understand your thoughts on the case of misidentification but 255 sqn claimed 2 x Me 210's that night
not only Joe Berry at 02:30 hours but earlier in the evening at 22:05 by Wg/Co Eliot DFC, read his combat report and then see what you both think...

Patroled west of Capri at 10,000ft. Adlux control could not see the fighter. At 21:55 a white light was seen going accross the sky in a north west direction. Still at 10,000ft the fighter followed in an orbit and obtained contact at 8,000ft range. Opened up to full throttle at 290 IAS closing very slowly. The white light disappeared when chase commenced. Unable to get closer than 200 yards owing to high speed of target. Identified by silhouette against clear sky as a Me 210. At 22:00 a short burst was given at 250 yards range from behind and strikes seen on starboard engine. The e/a throttled back and stall turned and the fighter overshot. A long dog fight then commenced. Both aircraft were making steep turns. Gave two deflection bursts at 200 yards range but no strikes seen. Eventually came down to 5,000 ft full deflection shot was given at 150 yards. The e/a burst into flames and broke in half and crashed near Sorrento. Time 22:05. The Beaufighter found great difficulty in keeping up with the target and was full throttle the whole time doing 350 mph IAS at times. Adlux control saw the a/c fall in flames. Return fire from the two dorsals each side of the fuselage was very inaccurate. The Beaufighter could hold the e/a in a normal turn but could not hold it when it stalled or flick turned. It was almost half rolling.

The description sounds more like a Me 210/410 than a Ju88?????

255 sqn claims for the month of Oct/43 = 1 x Ju 88.

Andy, couldn't get the V1 e-mail like to work, I could only get to the Log-In page and no further what have I done wrong.
Kindest Regards,
Graham.


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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Graham,

I think that you have to be a member - sorry about that, I will download the item and e-mail it to you.

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Andy Mitchell
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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:57 pm 
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Graham,

Just been through the listings of Me 210/410s in Petrick and Stocker's "Me 210/410 Hornisse" published by Midland - I was not able to see any reference to a loss on 8/9 Sep 1943 for either a 210 or 410.

Had on a previous evening had a glance through the Luftwaffe Loss Returns as well and on that occasion could not see a reference either - however, my copy is unreadable in places and some of the images need processing to make them readable.....

Night recce was a specialist task and in 122 it was in the main carried out by crews from 1(F)./122 (Ju 88Ts) or Westa 26 (Ju 88s).

Noticed that III/ZG 1 also operated 210/410s in Italy but had pulled back or were in the throws of pulling back towards the end of Aug 1943. Again not a unit that you would expect to be operating at night.

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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:49 pm 
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Hi guys,

I just checked for Me 210 losses between 1 August and 1 October 1943, and there was only one, but it was in France, and was not combat-related. So it was not an Me 210 shot down that night.

There were only two Me 410 losses in the Mediterranean theatre of operations in September 1943, on 24 September 1943 (shot down by Spitfires, from memory), and the second on 28 September 1943 off Corsica.

Cheers,
Andrew A.
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 Post subject: Re: RAF v Luftwaffe Combat Records.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:56 pm 
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Hi Guys,
Sorry to have dropped the ball but I have been away for a couple of days..

Hmmmm, there seems to be a brick wall in all directions regarding this issue, 210 or not 210 that is the question (please forgive the theatricals).

I am still very reluctant to regard these 2 incidents on the 9-10/ 9/43 as misidentification but evidence is stacking up as you both have shown I know that
very little can be assumed as 100% in this historical research game so is it possible that these two Me 210/410 casualties may not yet be in the loss records?

Kindest Regars,
Graham.


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