Sunday 24 March 2019

Aces of JG 53, funeral ceremony Kommodore NJG 6 Mjr. Heinrich Wohlers - ebay photo find #312

A line-up of notable aces of JG 53 in front of a Stab JG 53 Emil in Etaples, France, November 1940.

Second left, Oblt. Kurt Brändle (Kapitän 4./JG 53) and alongside him moving to the right,  Hptm. Wolf-Dietrich Wilcke (Kommandeur III./JG 53)  Maj. Günther von Maltzahn (Kommodore from 9 October 1940) and Hptm. Heinz Bretnütz (Kdr. II./JG 53). Third from the right is Obfw. Stefan Litjens and alongside him to the right is Lt. Erich Schmidt and Oblt. Franz Götz (Kapitän 9./JG 53).

Flugzeug Me 110 Nachtjäger , NJG 6 , Beerdigung Mj. Wohlers in Echterdingen

Funeral ceremony Kommodore NJG 6 Mjr. Heinrich Wohlers in Echterdingen during March 1944. Note the three coffins  - as well as BF Ofw. Kleilein, Wohlers was carrying a passenger on what was a transfer flight..

Heinrich Wohlers was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of IV./NJG 6 on 13 January 1943. By the end of May, he had nine victories to his credit. In June and July, Wohlers was detached to 3./NJG 1. During his period with the unit he recorded seven victories, including his 10th victory, a RAF Lancaster four-engine bomber shot down near Broich on the night of 16/17 June, two RAF four-engine bombers shot down over Holland on the night of 22/23 June (12-13) and a further two RAF four-engine bombers shot down on the night of 29 June (15-16). On 1 August 1943, IV./NJG 4 was redesignated I./NJG 6. Wohlers retained command of the newly redesignated unit. By the end of 1943, Wohlers had increased his victory total to 28, including three RAF four-engine bombers shot down on the night of 10/11 August (18-20) and a further three on the night of 27/28 August (22-24).

On 11 November 1943 Wohlers was promoted to the rank of Major and awarded the Ritterkreuz on 31 December for 28 victories. Major Wohlers was appointed Kommodore of NJG 6 on 2 February 1944. His final 'tally' was 29..

 According to the now long-inactive site Wohlers was killed on 15 March 1944 during a transfer flight from Schleissheim to Echterdingen. He crashed in fog while attempting to land on one engine in Echterdingen in his Bf 110 G-4 (W.Nr. 5353). According to the handwritten remark on the reverse of the image offered on ebay (below) the funeral took place on 14 March 1944.....