Thursday, 23 March 2017
Kommandeur I./ZG 76 Hptm. Günter Reinecke - Jever, German Bight, Marienkäfer ladybird emblem 2./ZG 76
Established in Pardubitz in May 1939 I./ZG 76 was re-named as II./NJG 1 in September 1940. Kommandeur I./ZG 76 until his death in combat on 30 April 1940 was Hptm. Günter Reinecke (below, middle) who flew Bf 110 C 'Doppelwinkel M8+AB'. Reinecke was brought down off the coast of Norway by the defensive fire of the Blenheim he was attacking. He was replaced by Hptm. Werner Restemeyer (lost in Bf 110 D "M8+AB" over the North Sea off Newcastle on 15 August 1940) (via the Luftwaffe officer career summaries resource here)
Based in Jever in late 1939 the crews of I./ZG 76 - including Helmut Lent, Gordon Gollob and the Staka 2./ZG 76 Wolfgang Falck - were successful over the German Bight on 18 December 1939 against RAF medium bombers.
Below; a pre-sortie briefing in front of the Bf 110 C assigned to the Gruppenadjutant Oblt. Hans Jäger in Stavanger-Sola, April 1940. This aircraft, on the strength of the Stab I./ZG 76, wore the code (Kennung) chevron M8+CB
via Michael Meyer's Ebay sales here
Below; a 2./ZG 76 Bf 110 C displaying the unit’s Marienkäfer ladybird emblem seen in Jever in December 1939. In the cockpit is Lt. Maximilian Gräff, who returned his second victory during the German Bight raid of 18 December 1939, claiming a Wellington 25 km. NW. of Borkum. Gräff was KIA that same month.