Friday, 18 September 2020

Fw. Hans Schuster 4.(F)/123 (Eins) - air combat 'kill' over the 'Invasionsraum'


On June 8, 1944, B-24J 42-109830 'Daisy Mae Scraggs' was shot down by 109s just off the coast of the Cherbourg Peninsula near Granville. The aircraft exploded in mid-air and the debris came down on and around the Isle de Chausey. Five of the crew survived to become POWs and 5 were KIA. During the combat (as recorded in the MACR) the engineer/top-turret gunner, T/Sgt. Leedy claimed to have destroyed one of the attacking Bf 109s. The destruction of the B-24 was claimed by Fw. Hans Schuster of 4.(F)/123 (Eins) 05 Ost S/00/5 600m 8.00. 4.(F)/123 (Eins) reported no losses that day and their next loss was that of Willy Kammann described in the previous post.

Schuster claimed a Spitfire two days later on 10 June and in the photo below is seen describing a combat. Just visible on his flight jacket (bottom left) Ofw Schuster had been awarded the DKiG (German Cross in Gold). He received the award ( the usual precursor to the RK) for more than 100 "erfolgreiche Bild-Flüge" ('successful photo flights') and at least five confirmed kills. 

Schuster's Staffelkapitän Hptm. Heinz Feilmayer was lost on 17 August 1944 in the vicinity of Dreux and was replaced by Oblt. Werner Kohla. Heinz Feilmayer seen in the cockpit of his G-5 below.

In September F 123 returned to Gemany (Flugplätze Trier-Euren, Niedermendig). Ofw. Schuster was shot down on 24 December 1944 over Trier (close to the border with Luxembourg). He bailed out and become PoW as a pilot of NAGr. 1 (former F. 123 Eins.). Details of Schuster's loss via Hans Hauprich;

".. Ofw. Schuster's Bf 109 was either an G-6 or G-14 and fully armed. At two of the unit's crash sites (Uffz. Klems Dec. 44 and Uffz. Windsberger Febr. 45) I found 13 and 20mm rounds. Windsberger's 109 G-6 has two Typenschilder, one with G-6 and the other one an small "Baureihenänderung" for G-8 inside the left "Motorhaubenverkleidung". This small metal card could be removed for "Wartungsarbeiten".

Ofw. Schuster's wingman returned to Niedermendig and reported that "Schuster attacked the Thunderbolts and was shot down". The 109 crashed in an large wooden area and the pilot came down over US-held Luxembourg. I found no Interrogation Report for him. The "Namentliche Verlustmeldung" from NAGr. 1 gives no details of the aircraft.."