Monday, 14 April 2014
Aufklärungsstaffel See/88 - AS./88 Legion Condor - Nationalist Ju 52 3m (W) - Totenkopf emblem - daily Ebay photo find
Along with the first variants of the Stuka to fly combat sorties, one of the rarest Luftwaffe types to see service during the Spanish Civil War was this Nationalist Ju 52 3m (W). It is not known if there was more than a single example of the Ju-52 floatplane in service with the Aufklärungsstaffel See/88 (AS./88 or the Maritime Reconnaissance Squadron), of the Legion Condor in Spain. This particular aircraft - probably red '527' - complete with Totenkopf emblem on the nose, was used by the AS./88 for liaison and transport duties. During a flight from Cadiz to Pollensa on 21 March 1938 it came under attack from two Republican Fiat CR. 32 fighters, one of which was shot down by the Ju 52's gunner. Republican Coastal Defence reported ;
" ..at 15:10 two fighters were airborne to intercept an enemy seaplane spotted eight miles from the coast, north-east of Cabo Palos. The fighters engaged the seaplane but the rebel aircraft managed to shoot down one of our aircraft which came down in the sea thirty five kilometres from the coast, exploding on impact .."