Monday 18 April 2016

He 177 I./ KG 1 Hindenburg, Kommodore Horst v. Riesen - daily Ebay photo find #173

Original Konvolut von 20 x Fotos, KG 1 Hindenburg

".. Kommodore Horst v. Riesen mit Stab in der Fliegerkaserne in Brandis, viele Offiziere und RK+DKIG Träger dabei..."

 According to the seller these photos were taken from a KG 1 album and show officers and Kommandeure of KG 1 awaiting a visit from Kommodore Horst von Riesen in Brandis, presumably April 1944. Two lower images show RK holder Hptm. Otto von Ballasko (cf. Alfred Price He 177 Profile) followed in the last image by von Riesen's departure. Only two of the twenty images on offer here (see link below) show any of the unit's He 177s. Note the elaborate spinner decoration in the image below.

Below; Major von Cossart (also third left above) in discussion with Oblt Sickert. Hptm Manfred von Cossart was Kdr. of IV./KG 1 from late 1942 until February 1944. With promotion to  the rank of Major, von Cossart assumed command of I./ KG 1. On the dissolution of KG 1 this officer was posted to IV./ JG 301, prior to a posting to Erg.JGr. Ost and a transfer to JG 7. (via the de Zeng/Stankey officer career summaries here)

Hptm. Otto von Ballasko

von Riesen departs Brandis

According to Flugbuch entries listed in Ransom's  brief history of Flugplatz Brandis "Zwischen Leipzig und der Mulde" the first He 177 arrivals for I. Gruppe KG 1 flew into Brandis, some 18 km east of Leipzig, during February 1944; He 177 A-1 WNr. 15184 arrived in Brandis on 18 February 1944. By April I./KG 1 still had only sixteen He 177 bombers on strength and it was not until March 1944 that the newer A-3 model arrived.  II./ KG 1 in Burg and IV./ KG 1 in Neuburg also had claim on some of these newer machines. Of  I./KG 1's 22 He 177 A-3s on strength on 25 April 1944 only six were einsatzbereit (combat-ready) the Gruppe having already lost three He 177s in crashes. By 10 June 1944 the Gruppe had lost a further 16 machines ! ( cf. Ransom p.46)  At least one He 177 was lost in the 28 May 1944 US 8th AF air raid on Brandis. Heinkel He 177 A-3 V4+HK departed Brandis for Neuruppin on 14 July 1944 as the He 177s were moved to various bases in central Germany. Gruppen of KG 1 had taken part in raids on targets in Russia and been deployed against Soviet tank columns that had broken through German defensive positions before fuel shortages grounded KG 1's He 177 bomber fleet in late July 1944.

He 177 A-3 V4+AK  seen in May/June 1944, Flugplatz Brandis (via ebay auction)

IV./KG 1 He 177 with black lower surfaces, summer 1944