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 Post subject: Night fighter losses 15 Feb. and 22 March 1944
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:17 pm 
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I'm trying to find information about Luftwaffe night fighter losses on 15 Feb. 1944 and 22 March 1944.

My uncle, a rear gunner aboard a 429 Squadron Halifax bomber, claimed probable kills on those operations.

Here are the details:

15/16 Feb. 1944. Raid on Berlin. The Halifax was attacked by an unidentified twin-engine fighter on the outward journey at 21:07. The action took place at 20,000 feet.

Apparently 11 night fighters were lost this night.

22/23 March 1944. Raid on Frankfurt. The Halifax was attacked at 21:58 at 23,000 feet while on the return journey. The unidentified twin-ening fighter attacked from dead astern.

The Luftwaffe lost eight night fighters that night.

I am wondering if there are any details in Luftwaffe records that approximately fit these claims (time of night, loss to a bomber as opposed to loss to weather or an Allied night fighter, etc.)

Thanks in advance for any help.


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 Post subject: Re: Night fighter losses 15 Feb. and 22 March 1944
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Dan,

According to Middlebrook "The Berlin Raids" the outward journey was via Denmark. (See map on page 264 of the paperback edition).

In checking my copy of Balss "Deutsche Nachjagd - Personalverluste in Ausbildung und Eisatz" there are a couple of possible entries, for the 15/16 Feb:-

Stab IV./NJG 1 70 Km south Esbjerg (Denmark). (Unfortunately for this entry no time is noted)
Bf 110G-4 Werknr 720083 G9+GE
Lt Georg Fengler, Uffz Alfred Meißner and Uffz. Willi Hertelt all wounded.
The book records the following note - Luftkampf mit feindlichem kampfflugzeug (literal translation - Aerial combat with hostile combat aircraft or Aerial combat with hostile bomber (kampf) aircraft).

Another entry is as follows:-

10./NJG 5 - Gross-Südersen, 6 km south Lauenburg (on the Elbe NE of Berlin.) 21.55 hrs local - the raid had a predicted time over target of 21.13 to 21.35 hrs UK.
Bf 110G-4 Werk Nr 720249 C9+BU
Uffz Karl Sammer - killed
Ogefr. Helmuth Dressel - Killed.

Hope that the above helps.

Will now look and see what I can find for the other raid.

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Andy Mitchell
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 Post subject: Re: Night fighter losses 15 Feb. and 22 March 1944
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:52 pm 
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And now to the 22/23 Mar 1944 raid.

Middlebrook in "The Bomber Command War Diaries" records that the raid approached Frankfurt from the north having crossed the Dutch coast north of the Zuider Zee. However, Middlebrook does not mention the exit route....

In checking my copy of Balss "Deutsche Nachjagd - Personalverluste in Ausbildung und Eisatz" here are the entries for the 22/23 Mar 1944:-

1.NJG 2
Flugplatz Langendiebach

Ju 88C-6 WerkNr 751085
Ofw Josef Bärnhaler - injured
Uffz Franz Straßl - injured
Uffz Heinrich Kraska - unhurt
Attacked by nightfighter/intruder on landing.

10./NJG 3
Flugplatz Langendiebach

Bf 110G-4 Werknr 730032 D5+CV
Uffz Heinz Koppe - injured
Uffz Wolfgang Engel - injured
Uffz Walter Ellarius - injured
Attacked by nightfighter/intruder on landing.

7./NJG 4
Osterrad near Krefeld (close to the Dutch border)
Do 217N-1 Werknr 1461

Stfw Kurt Neugebauer - killed
Uffz Herbert Haueis - injured, parachuted from the plane.
Uffz Hans Ausel - killed

13./NJG 5
Wesendorf (to the east of Lower Saxony)

Bf 110G-4 Werk Nr 5476

Uffz Horst Mischke - killed
Uffz Herbert Brinker - Killed
Gefr Hans Scheiper - killed

Aircraft crashed without enemy involvement

13./NJG 5

Windischlaibach near Bayreuth (Northern Bavaria)

Bf 110G-4 WerkNr 5311
Gefr Bernhard Rustemeier - injured - other crew members uninjured.
Combatr with enemy aircraft

Hope that all of the above is of help.

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Andy Mitchell
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 Post subject: Re: Night fighter losses 15 Feb. and 22 March 1944
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:00 pm 
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Thanks Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Night fighter losses 15 Feb. and 22 March 1944
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:10 pm 
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Andy

Do you know if these are the total losses for those nights, or just the losses in which there were casualties? The numbers I had read elsewhere were 11 night fighters lost in one of the raids and eight in another. Perhaps there is no record of losses in cases in which the crews survived unhurt?

Thanks
Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Night fighter losses 15 Feb. and 22 March 1944
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:15 pm 
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Dan,

The losses that I listed for the first raid were the most likely ones that fitted your parameters. However, I will list the others for that date recorded in Balss' book. Will post the additional losses a little later this evening.

The losses for the March raid are the only ones recorded in Balss' book.

I believe that there may be later editions that may contain more infomation. Unfortunately, I do not have access to these.

A point to remember is that the Luftwaffe Quartermaster's Loss returns for 1944 do not exist in the archives. A lot of files were destroyed in the final days of the conflict to stop them getting into Allied hands.

Michael Balss spent a lot of time compiling his Nachjagd losses from other sources e.g. personnel losses etc.

You might try, via your local library service, attempting to get hold of the two volumes of the "Nachjagd War Diaries" a massive volume of work by Theo Boeten. These may contain more information. Unfortunately, my wallet did not contain the funds to buy these....

What were your sources quoting these figures for the losses?

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Andy Mitchell
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 Post subject: Re: Night fighter losses 15 Feb. and 22 March 1944
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:32 pm 
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High Andy

I think I read the figures on the 12 o'clock high forum. Don't worry about posting all the losses if they clearly don't meet the parameters (time and place), or if they are listed as having been destroyed by Allied nightfighters or bad weather, etc.

If there are losses that meet the parameters that don't include any names because the crews were unhurt, I'd like to know.

Thanks again. The info you have found is of great interest to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Night fighter losses 15 Feb. and 22 March 1944
PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:37 pm 
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Dan,

As promised, here are the rest of the losses for 15/16 Feb 1944 as recorded in Balss' book.

This first one may also be a suitable candidate.
22.15 Hr
7./NJG 1
West Liebenwalde (Mark) - Liebenwalde is approx. 40 km north of Berlin in the Mark Brandenburg
Bf 110G-4 Werknr 740013 G9+BR
Uffz Albert Reinhardt - killed
Gefr. Fritz Sommerfeldt - killed
Gefr. Gerhard Löffner - killed

Crashed after aerial combat with enemy bomber aircraft.

20.00 hrs
7./NJG2
Twente (Holland)
Ju 88C-6 Werknr 720321 R4+BR
Uffz. Harry Bergeest - Killed
Ogefr. Horst Böhring - Killed
Gefr. Alfred Artmann - Killed
Hit the ground.....

4./NJG 4
Lübecker Bay near Travemunde
Do 217N-1 WerkNr 1429
Uffz. Harry Hennicke - Killed
Ogefr. Helmut Scheibel - missing
Ogefr. Friendrich Mundhas - missing
Crashed following combat over Lübecker Bay.

22.28 hrs
11./NJG 5
Sernikau in Stendal
Bf 110G-4 Werknr 720009 C9+EV
Uffz. Arthur Reinhart - killed
Uffz. Johann Schüssler - killed
Gefr. Ernst Romanski - killed
Shot down.

Well thats it Dan, hope that this gives you a bit more to play with.
2./NJG 3
2km west Fliegerhorst Güstrow/Mecklenburg
Bf 110G-4 Werknr 5441 D5+BK
Ofw. Georg Tomke - killed
Uffz. Heinz Fiedler - killed
Gefr. Willi Hoppe - killed.
Crashed.

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Andy Mitchell
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 Post subject: Re: Night fighter losses 15 Feb. and 22 March 1944
PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:09 am 
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The well-known historian Theo Boiten tells me my uncle's claim for a nightfighter on Feb. 15, 1944 may have been the crew of the Bf-110 lost near Liebenwalde, north of Berlin. The time and place look fairly close but, as he cautioned, it is impossible to tell these things for certain.

I believe Andy listed them as Uffz. Albert Reinhardt, Gefr. Fritz Sommerfeldt and Gefr. Gerhard Loffner, all killed.

Does anyone know the history of this crew? Was Reinhardt the pilot? Did he have any victories that anyone knows about?
Thanks
Dan McCaffery


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