Friday 14 June 2024

Junkers 52 g8e (See) of Seetransportstaffel 2







A Junkers 52 g8e (See) in Norway in 1944. This machine probably belonged to Seetransportstaffel 2 and was likely coded 8A+FK, only the individual letter of the aircraft, the F, is repeated under the wings. The large cargo door and the small access door to the cockpit are one of the identifying characteristics of this version. The Ju 52 g8e (See) could get airborne in 53 seconds over a distance of 845 metres but took 21 minutes (!) to reach an altitude of 3,000 metres. Here ground crew personnel are seen removing the essential tarpaulins protecting the Junkers from the rigours of the Norwegian climate. The aircraft is being loaded and prepared for the next flight. The rear of the aircraft is secured to a small boat, which will probably help in maneuvering the aircraft so that it can be placed more easily in its take-off axis. On the left a man is wearing a lifejacket while on the right another man is undoing the mooring lines of the Ju 52. Seetransportstaffel 2 was formed in October 1943 at the Norwegian base of Trondheim-Hommelvik, where it remained until its surrender in May 1945. Throughout this difficult late-war period the unit's mechanics accomplished the feat of maintaining on almost permanent availability around ten of the complement of Ju 52s equipping the Seetransportstaffel 2, thus allowing it to operate right up to the very end of the war....

via Greg Almeras

Thursday 13 June 2024

Tuesday 11 June 2024

Peter Petrick repro archive sale - Nachtjagdstaffel Norwegen, JG 300 - ebay photo find #373

 


many of the repros in the on-going Peter Petrick archive sale are  previously published. Here's a few recent examples of PP auction repros that have been seen before. 


From 'Jet & Prop' issue 4/99, a nice Ju 88 G-1 with the Verbandskennung 'B4+DA' flown by an Ofw. Keilig from the Nachtjagdstaffel Finnland/Norwegen in a feature by Petrick on this unit. This small 'independent' Staffel was assigned to Luftflotte 5 before becoming 4./NJG 3 in 1945. Here the crew are carrying out a pre-flight inspection before a flight to Norway on 7 October 1944. Incorrectly labeled as a 'G-6' on p66 of the 'Jet & Prop' article. Note BMW engines, no Bola and vertical antenna aerials. Not published in the recent 'Axis Wings' feature by Carlsen reprising the 'history' of this same unit. 


 Also published by Peter Petrick in a 'reader's letter' in Jet & Prop 4/99 were these images taken by US personnel at Ainring. I've seen a number of comments online from guys not familiar with these. They show examples of 'Personenabwurfbehälter' (lit, 'people dropping containers ') produced for agent drops by KG 200 as featured in Peter Stahl's 'Geheimgeschwader 200' 


Peter Petrick photo previously published depicting a Bf 109 G-14/AS of the 'Kometen' Staffel - 10. (N)./JG 300.

A paragraph from a piece I compiled for the Eduard Saudämmerung boxing of their wilde Sau late Bf 109 kits;

 " By the late summer of 1944 'wilde Sau' operations were a distant memory for the majority of pilots in JG 300. All night-fighter actvities in the Geschwader had been concentrated in a ‘specialised’ Moskito-hunting Staffel designated 10. (N)/ JG 300. This was the so-called ‘Kometen’ or Comet Staffel, established to combat the almost nightly incursions over Berlin by DH Mosquito bombers of the RAF's LNSF (Light Night Striking Force.). Operating out of Jüterbog, south of Berlin, under Staffelkapitän Hptm. Boettcher, 10. Staffel flew a 'modified' wilde Sau system— guided by two vertical searchlight beams and a ground controller, the unit’s high performance G-14/AS fighters loitered at high altitude (10,000 meters) above the 'corridors' used by the Mosquitoes flying into Berlin.."

Saturday 8 June 2024

Stukageschwader 77 - archive photo scan #21

 


..a Kette of 1. Staffel of St.G 77 seen over northern France (Caen, Normandy) during late August 1940. New crews being trained in formation flying according to the period caption - 'Staffelausbildung mit neuen Besatzungen..'



Friday 7 June 2024

Stenographic record extract of the meeting with the Reichsmarschall on Whit Monday, 29 May 1944, subject Me 262


 Stenographic transcript excerpt of the review discussion with Reichsmarschall Göring that took place on Whit Monday, 29 May 1944 at the Obersalzberg. Subject of the discussion; the Me 262.


RM Göring; "..Ich habe die Herren trotz der Feiertage hierherbitten müssen, da in der Frage der Me 262 die letzten Klarheiten geschaffen werden müssen. Der Führer hat mit mir noch einmal die Lage durchgesprochen, die sich dadurch ergeben hat, das Sie (Petersen) die Äußerung gemacht haben, dass das Flugzeug sei nicht geeignet, Bomben mitzunehmen. Ich habe dem Führer gesagt, dass Sie es nicht so gemeint hätten.."


"I have asked you gentlemen to come here today, despite the public holiday, as the final clarifications on the issue of the Me 262 must be made. The Führer has discussed with me once again the situation that has arisen because you (Petersen - Kommandeur E-Stelle Rechlin) stated that the aircraft was not suitable for carrying bombs. I told the Führer that you would not have meant it like that..."

Petersen;  "..it was Field Marshall Milch who said that, not me! On the contrary, I pointed out that you could use balancing counterweights...."

RM Göring: "..No, that was not the case - one thing I know for sure, the Führer was the first to mention compensation weights. He immediately asked how heavy the onboard armament is and what happens when it is removed. It was the Führer who came up with the idea of making this possible by leaving out unnecessary weight. And as far as I recall - I'll have to check through the minutes once again - it was you who started saying that the aircraft could not carry bombs..."

Petersen:  " no, that's not the case. It was the Field Marshall who said that, for the time being, the Me 262 is not hauling bombs - 'es kommt ohne Bombe'. That was a mistake. I discussed it with him in the car after the meeting and he said that he had got the wrong end of the stick..."

RM Göring: "..the Führer was right to be very upset about it and said that everything he had ordered had not been followed.."

Messerschmitt:  "..  and yet all his orders have been obeyed.."

[..]

RM Göring:  "..it was precisely to avoid misunderstandings like this that I ordered, firstly,  that the aircraft not be described as a 'Jabo' but as a 'Schnellstbomber' and, secondly, that the General der Kampfflieger take charge. ..[..] of the test machines which have been fitted with armament, some of which will be developed and trialed further as fighters in accordance with the wishes of the Führer.

Bodenschatz: " ..and he has further emphasised that the testing of the fighter should continue.."

RM Göring: ".. and only the testing!  In order to avoid any mistakes and confusion for you, I have nevertheless 'deactivated' the fighter side and only 'switched on' the General der Kampfflieger, so that it cannot happen that today the General der Kampfflieger comes to you (Petersen) for testing and five days later the General der Jagdflieger does likewise. Of course this may happen but you should be clear on one thing - the General der Jagdflieger may only pursue testing for development and finalisation of the fighter with the test machines that he now has, while the main series, part of which is also coming to your trials, should be purely for the fast bomber."




Heinkel He 60 off Samos - archive photo scan #20

 

Heinkel He 60 off Samos..






Tuesday 4 June 2024

Peter Petrick archive sale - Junkers Ju 188s of KG 2 - ebay photo find #372 and archive photo scan #19

 

some nice Ju 188s from the on-going Petrick archive sale via Oliver Rogge. Many of these images were published by Ulf Balke in his German-language KG 2 history -  at FalkeEins the Luftwaffe blog we have scanned a number of them from his archive, now owned by another collector. Note the example in flight below - as posted on Oliver Rogge's current ebay auction and a copy scanned and enhanced from the damaged and dark original.. 

and from a 1962 Heinz Nowarra article;

"..whether it was a 188, a 288 or a 388, it was still an 88.."









Click on the 'archive photo scan series' link just below to see all recent images scanned in for this blog



Monday 3 June 2024

E Stelle Rechlin exhibition September 1943 - Hs 129 BK cannon -ebay photo find #372

 


Hs 129 with BK 75 cannon seen at the September 3, 1943 Rechlin test centre exhibition (Leistungsschau). Note He 219 visible in the background. (along with B-17 and B-24 tail fins..)




More on the September 1943 Rechlin exhibition on this blog here

more from the Petrick archive sale - Hs 123 - ebay photo find #371

 





according to the original owner's caption the Henschel Hs-123 A-1 (nearest camera) was flown by the StaKa of 3./Fliegergruppe 50 (1938)


More Hs 123 from the Petrick archive..




 

Sunday 2 June 2024

from the Milch papers - Besprechungsnotiz 'single-engine unguided night fighting'

 

'Top Secret'  - minutes of a meeting held on 27 June 1943 at Obersalzberg in the presence of RM Göring. Maj. Hermann (sic) presented his plan for single-engine unguided night fighting. 

He justified this by explaining that current defensive methods and installations ('..Riegel Aufstellung..') and individual guidance of night fighters ('... die einzelne Nachtjagdflugzeugführung..') held in small 'areas' controlled from the ground were only suitable for countering widely spaced and spread incursions. Where attacks were concentrated in time and space only a fixed number of 'downings' ('..Abschüsse..') were possible....any real concentration of the defensive effort ('..eine wirkliche Schwerpunktbildung der Abwehr..' ) was not possible with the current system..




Sunday 5 May 2024

Erich Hondt JG 11 - ebay photo find #370


..this 'repro' photo close-up of Erich Hondt's Fw 190 JG 11 scoreboard just sold for 106 euros. Had the buyer emailed me directly I'd have happily sold him a similar 'repro' for half that amount! While I imagine Oliver Rogge is very pleased, some people surely have more money than sense! 

Erich Hondt’s A-5/U12 was WNr 410 266 ‘schwarze 13'



Wednesday 1 May 2024

Me 163 BV 21 VA+SS - ebay photo find #369

Peenemünde-West, June 1943. Me 163 B V21 'VA+SS' with test pilot Heinrich Dittmar posing with the aircraft prior to its first 'hot' flight on June 24, 1943 with Lt. Opitz at the controls. Repros currently on offer from Oliver Rogge.



Also on this blog; 

Friday 26 April 2024

new from Werner's Wings - Galland's 'Lobster Flight' upgrade set Bf 109 F-0

 



1/48 Bf-109 F-0 'Lobster Flight'.

A Zvezda Friedrich enhanced with the Werner’s Wings 'Lobster Flight' upgrade set. The 'Lobster flight Upgrade set' is now available at Werner’s Wings website.




"..The upgrade set includes the early square intake, basket and four white metal lobsters. I added the flowers. They are not included. (Note, decals will also have to be sourced elsewhere).
Just a quick history lesson, Adolph Galland flew this airplane, along with the lobsters, to Theo Osterkamp’s birthday party. En route he took a detour with his brand new Bf-109 F to England and shot down two Spitfires for his 60th and 61st kills. His aircraft was so brand new that somehow he accidentally lowered his landing gear during the fight and still managed to shoot down two fighters. The aircraft was so brand new that the markings weren’t even completely painted on. Not my best kit but I’m okay with how it turned out. I had issues with the front canopy. I’m sure it’s my fault as this is my fourth Zvezda 109 and I didn’t have any issues on the others. It will look good in the display case..."  Floyd Werner


Werner's Wings website

Also on this blog;

Monday 15 April 2024

the latest Eduard Info 4/2024 - Gustav Dual Combo

 

Free to download and 'redistribute', the latest Eduard "INFO" magazine (4/2024) is packed with interesting features - Peter Kassak on 'Gardening the Danube', Jan Bobek on Hartmann's Gustav from the Gustav 'Dual combo' Part 2, Ukraine air war etc etc. And 'FalkeEins- the Luftwaffe blog' gets a mention too. Thanks a lot guys!



Download here

Here's Michel Wilhelme's latest Gustav 'dual combo' build from the first 'Part 1' boxing..










Saturday 6 April 2024

JG 2 Doras in action 23-25 March 1945 - death of the Kommandeur

 

Fourteen Doras from I./JG 2 were airborne from Zellhausen at 07:00 to attack the US pontoon bridge and the bridgehead across the Rhine at Oppenheim, west of Darmstadt (in the Mainz-Bingen district of Rhineland-Palatinate). Bombs  were released on the river before the Doras were intercepted by US fighters. Fw Erich Söldner (below) failed to return but had in fact landed at Gotha. Söldner had claimed his first victory on 3 March 1944, downing a 15th AF B-17 during a raid on Rome. 


The remaining pilots including three members of the Gruppenstab (Kommandeur Hrdlicka, Oblt Willi Kohlstrunk and Uffz. Horst Buttgereit) all returned to Nidda. Ogfr. Max Wojacek (below)  also managed to evade the US fighters and landed at Nidda. 

" ..a thick layer of oil started to spray over my windscreen and soon the airframe was covered."


Around ten III./JG 2 Fw 190 Doras were airborne from Babenhausen early on the morning of 23 March. They were attacked by 368th FG P-47s who claimed two, one coming down in the river Rhine and the other managing to put down in a field alongside the river. Fhr. Karl Belsen of 10./JG 2 made an emergency landing five kms north of Oppenheim. He recalled;

" ..our target was the American pontoon bridge thrown over the Rhine at Oppenheim. We over-flew the Rhine at low level south of the town before turning back on an easterly heading. Shortly before dropping our ordnance we pulled up to around 200 m to fuse the bombs. It was at that moment that my engine was hit by small arms fire from the ground. It stopped right over the river. Attempts to re-start it were in vain.I more or less 'glided' across the river and managed to put down in the first field. As the machine slid along the ground I suddenly remembered that I had failed to jettison the bomb. As the aircraft came to a stand I quickly jumped out of the cockpit out onto the wing - the bomb had been torn off its rack and lay some 200-300m away. It was at that moment that it exploded! I was still on the wing - breathing a huge sigh of relief  - when I came under rifle fire from a Volkssturm militia-man on the nearby river bank. He must have taken me for an American but heard me screaming insults at him in German because he soon lowered his weapon. I set off to return back to Babenhausen, a journey which involved several detours. It was while I was waiting for a bus in Heidelberg that I was approached by two men in black leather overcoats who asked me to follow them. After showing me their Gestapo badges they asked to see my Soldbuch - I handed them my Frontflugausweis ( a 'safe conduct' pass for front-line service pilots) which I took out of my brown leather tunic. But they were not at all interested in this. I started to explain that flying with a combat fighter unit I was expressly forbidden from carrying personal documents on sorties, except for the one that I had just shown them and that they must have known this. At that point they became a little more conciliatory. Apparently an RAF bomber had come down in the area over night and some members of the crew had not yet been caught. Their boss -who had noticed me waiting at the bus stop from his office - had assumed I must have been one of them on the run. In the end I got back to my Gruppe about five days later.." ***


At 11:00 the 'Richthofen' were in the air again - at least 18 Doras flew the sortie directed at American vehicle convoys and road traffic on the Oppenheim-Gross Gerau road south of Mainz. A number of Doras carrried bombs while the remainder of the force flew as top cover. After only some 15 minutes in the air they ran into 354th FG P-51s north-east of Hanau.  The American pilots filed some ten claims, including three for Maj. George Lamb. Almost certainly one of his victims was Oblt. Willi Kohlstrunk (left), a former KG 3 bomber pilot who had lost a leg in a bad crash in 1940. Flying a D-9 marked with the Stab 'chevron vertical bar' Kohlstrunk was hit over Kohden near Bad Salzhausen. With his D-9 in flames, he managed to jump clear but hit the airframe and sustained another serious leg injury. At least seven Fw 190 D-9s failed to return. ..[Incorrect: this figure does not correspond with 'official' Verlustmeldungen. The most likely scenario is that several of these would have put down elsewhere..] Those survivors that did arrive back in Zellhausen found that the last surviving group of I./JG 2 pilots had already evacuated the airfield and shifted to Ziegenhain, near Kassel, some 160 kms to the north.


The following day, 24 March, was notable for the launch of the Operation 'Varsity' Rhine crossings. This was the largest airborne operation (against a single objective) of the war and was supported by bombing raids on German airfields all over western and central Germany.  JG 2 put another eight Doras in the air to attack the bridgehead at Oppenheim but the Fw 190s were forced to jettison their ordnance before reaching their target. Some 113 B-17s raided Ziegenhain at around 17h00. 

On 25 March  around 15 Doras of I. and II./JG 2 were in the air from 06:00. Once again the target was the bridge at Oppenheim.  Ogfr. Max Wojacek reported difficulties with his aircraft as a jet of engine oil started to spray over his windscreen and soon covered the airframe.  Unwilling to break radio silence  he indicated to formation leader Hrdlicka his intention to turn back by waggling his wings. Hrdlicka had nodded his assent. Wojacek proceded to carry out an emergency landing on the airfield at Giessen, side-slipping down to maintain some 'forward' visibility before straightening out for a 'three-pointer' at the last moment. 


The return home proved fatal for a number of Dora pilots including the Kommandeur of I./JG 2. Hptm. Franz Hrdlicka and his wingman Uffz. Horst Buttgereit were both shot down by enemy fighters. According to the letter of condolence that was sent to Hrdlicka's brother, both pilots were attempting to reach Nidda. Buttgereit's sister - having fled her home in East Prussia ahead of the Russians and made her way to Leipzig - did not learn of her brother's death in combat until 1952. Both Hrdlicka and Buttgereit were buried in Nidda. Ofhr. Gerhard Frisch (2./JG 2) heard the warning calls from the airfield - 'Lucie Anton am eigenen Gartenzaun' - and Hrdlicka's voice over the radio but had already been hit by a burst of fire that left his cockpit filling with smoke.  [IncorrectLucie Anton is code for LAndung..the phrase heard was 'Indianer am eigenen Gartenzaun'..or 'enemy fighters over own airfield' ] Jettisoning the canopy to clear the smoke he saw that he was 'surrounded by five or six' Mustangs - it was time to jump. He made the mistake of pulling the ripcord almost immediately and during his long descent he was circled by P-51s. One American pilot even waved a greeting at him. It was Frisch's last sortie with the 'Richthofen' - he had already been posted for Me 262 jet training at Lechfeld.   

Karl Belsen's war ended on 31 March during a sortie over the front - described by one of his comrades as 'a personal initiative' - after he collided with a P-47 that he had opened fire on near Bad Hersfeld (Eisenach). He managed to jump clear, albeit injured.. Max Wojacek flew his last sortie on 7 April - he would be shot down in flames by P-51s over Querfurt. He managed to bail out and was taken to the local hospital with serious burns.

(*** Holger Nauroth's version of Belsen's account differs in areas of detail from that published in 'Dans le Ciel de France' Vol 6. Mombeeck's account contains a number of errors. Thanks to Jochen for corrections and more detail. )

Also on this blog;

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Caudron CR. 714 in the Battle for France - GC 1/145 ('Les Polonais de Varsovie')


..the following is based on Grzegorz Slizewski's book  "The Lost Hopes - Polish fighters over France " with some important corrections and additional material from Comas/Ledet 'The Caudron Fighters' published by Lela Presse and the highly recommended book "Les aviateurs polonais en France" (B. Belcarz, Artipresse).

On 17 February 1940 French Air Minister Guy La Chambre signed an agreement with Polish General Sikorsky to establish a Polish fighter Group comprising two escadrilles in the Armee de l'Air. This would naturally be established from the DIAP (Depot d'instruction de l'Aviation Polonaise - Polish air training centre) then based in Lyon. On the opening day of the German offensive in the West, 10 May, the Poles of CG 1/145 were in Lyon with just a handful of Ms 406s and CR. 714s.  'Defence flights' for the city were quickly formed and the aircraft relocated to Mions outside Lyons - from where the air raid warnings sounded from the city could just about be heard (radios were defective). Eager to fight with whatever types the French could supply, the Poles had been accumulating training time on the CR. 714 even before the 'official' establishment of the first 'French' Polish fighter squadron. The first Caudrons arrived at Lyon-Bron during March 1940. But it was not originally envisaged that they would be deployed in combat. The French knew full well that the light-weight Caudron powered by its small Renault engine would be severely outclassed by Luftwaffe types, so had used the type as a cheap 'training' machine. But in the end there were no other types available in numbers. By 21 May some 16 machines had been taken on strength and the Groupe had relocated to Villacoublay, south of Paris (part of the 23rd Groupement de chassse) and close to the Caudron factory at Guyancourt for further deliveries. The French Minister of Air, Guy La Chambre, inspected GC 1/145 ('Les Polonais de Varsovie') on 25 May. The aircraft were being delivered straight from the production line and presented a litany of defects forcing the minister to  suspend all flying on the "Cyclone". He was told about the aircraft's poor climb rate, a weak landing gear and its faulty lowering mechanism, as well as an imperfect propeller pitch-changing device, engine cowling 'ballooning' during dives and unreliable dashboard instruments. While the Minister's reaction was perhaps the proper one, it served to deprive the Polish pilots in France of the only aircraft available to them. The French Air Ministry had originally ordered the Armee de l'Air to equip the Poles with the Bloch 152, aircraft which were not available. Despite Polish pilots having more hours on the Ms 406 they were not offered these aircraft either far less the D.520 - types for which they were probably not considered 'suitable'. The very next day, they elected to continue flying the defective Caudrons. On 2 June the squadron moved to the airfield at Dreux, some 30 km west of Paris. There were no facilities on the field and it was not until the ground echelon arrived that the aircraft could be dispersed and carefully camouflaged around the airfield. Two days later, the Poles finally received the long-awaited radios. Up to that point, they scrambled at the signal of an automobile horn. To beef up GC II/10, on 5 June the squadron was ordered to patrol in the Rouen area. This was done by Flight "B". Half an hour later, Flight "A" was moved to Bretingy-sur-Orge, south of Paris, with the task of defending the French capitol. The next day, the squadron was charged with the same duties.

In the evening of June 6, the squadron was attached to the 42eme Groupement de Chasse, defending a sector of the Seine Valley between Vernon and Meulan.

Two three-aircraft reconnaissance flights on the route Meulan-Magny-en-Vexin-Fleury-sur-Andelle-Vernon and along the Seine were the squadron's only activity on 7 June. The next day found the squadron with twenty-one serviceable aircraft. The remaining thirteen required much attention from the ground crews. Some were being generally checked after forced landings, while multiple tasks were performed on others; changing a stabilizer or rudder, replacing Plexiglas in a cockpit, a carburettor, parts of an electrical installation, and so on. That day "A" Flight was assigned to GC II/10. At 15:54 a section of five aircraft, led by kpt. Wczelik, took off to patrol over the Vernon-Meulan area. South of Rouen, the Poles attacked a group of about twenty Messerschmit 110 Cs of III./ ZG 26 escorting a group of Stukas. After several months of inaction the Poles were spoiling for a fight. They landed at 17:10. Officers Wczelik and Czerwinski claimed victories, but none of the other pilots saw the enemy aircraft crash. Commander Kepinski recognized only one of them as probable but soon after, around the area of that clash, the wreck of a single Me-110 was found, all five Polish pilots receiving a victory share as was usual French practise.



 por. Tadeusz Czerwinski  kpt. Wczelik, ppor. Aleksy Zukowski, ppor. Jerzy Godlewski and kpr. Piotr Zaniewski were credited with one Bf 110 each - for one aircraft shot down.  Belcarz points out that the only Bf 110 losses were over the German-Swiss border zone while in Comas/Ledet one notable French historian argues that the German loss does not appear in most recognised sources (including Vasco and Cornwell) since it was not reported until later in the year. The squadron suffered no losses, but most of the aircraft were shot-up and temporarily unserviceable.

At Bernay, on 9 June the squadron joined up with Flight "B", to fly a sweep at full strength over the front-line area. Eighteen aircraft took off at 2:30 p.m. Led by maj. Kepinski were Commandant de Marmier, kpt. Laguna, kpt. Wczelik,por. Zdzislaw Zadrozinski, por. Jan Obuchowski, por. Julian Kowalski, ppor. Czeslaw Glowczynski, ppor. Jerzy Czerniak, ppor. Lech Lachowicki-Czechowicz,ppor. Jerzy Godlewski, ppor. Bronislaw Skibinski, sierz. Jan Palak, plut. Andrzej Niewiara, plut. Mieczyslaw Parafinski and kpr. Edward Uchto. Over Vernon, the squadron attacked an enemy formation of about 50 Dornier Do 17s escorted by about 20 Bf 109s. Due to  radio malfunction the attack was poorly coordinated.

 Czeslaw Glowczynski recalled;

 ".. My radio didn't work so I wasn't aware of any warnings. I soon noticed a group of about 30 Bf 109s, some 3,000 feet below. Since our leader didn't react. I come close to him and waggled my wings. I pointed down; he nodded to indicate that he had seen them and continued straight and level. I gave him a sign that I would attack. I thought that at least a part of our group would follow me in this attack, but I found myself alone, with the exception of my wingman, ppr. Czerniak. Our position was advantageous since we attacked from above, with the sun behind us. At top speed, I swept down on the rearmost Bf 109. The swiftness of my attack caused the whole German formation to break up. One of them went down steeply, smoking heavily. Immediately, I went after another one, which, after few bursts, crashed in a forest south of Rouen. I was then shot at from behind. Several bullets came near my head and shattered my instrument panel. I managed to force land on a front-line strip at Evreux. Czerniak got one Bf 109 as well, and he landed with me. It took the whole evening to fix my machine and I returned to the unit the next day.."

 Jerzy Czerniak recalled;

 "... The weather was beautiful and flying in the direction of our assigned zone of operation, we were climbing slowly. At 12 or 15 thousand, we started to look for game. For over thirty minutes, the flight was uneventful, and looking at Czeslaw, I could tell that he was greatly disappointed that there were no Huns around. That's when I saw aluminium flashes  glinting below us. I gave Czeslaw a sign, and we altered our course a little to put the sun directly behind us. Next, Czeslaw dived and I followed him, releasing the safety catch on my armament in case there was a scrap. And there was  one. We closed on the Messerschmitts and Czeslaw coolly positioned himself right behind one of them and opened fire. Others maneuvered themselves behind Czeslaw who continued spraying his wiggling victim. All this time, I flew behind my colleague, observing the scene. One Messerschmitt started to shoot at him and that's when I intervened. I jumped at the German and gave him a burst right in the cockpit. He must have got it since he flipped over, going down. I served him another portion and stayed with him till he crashed into a French farmer's yard.."

(p55 Comas/Ledet - The Caudron fighters)

 Ppor. Glowczynski was credited with one Bf 109 destroyed and one damaged, while ppor. Czerniak got one Bf 109 destroyed. Plut. Parafinski also scored, destroying a Bf 109, while kpt. Wczelik and sierz. Markiewicz shared one Dornier 17 destroyed. Two planes crashed south of Andelys and others near Louviers. This time, the squadron suffered a loss of three pilots. Killed in action were por. Obuchowski, ppor. Lachowicki-Czechowicz and kpr. Uchto. por. Kowalski was slighty wounded, while ppor. Godlewski force landed at Villacoblay. The rest of the pilots landed at 3:50 p.m. A few aircraft were unserviceable. Godlewski tried to join his unit on a new plane but nose-dived during the takeoff. He come out of the accident unscathed, but couldn't catch up with the squadron. The Poles clashed with the Emils of II./JG 27 (some sources state III./JG 26). The pilots from this unit claimed three Moranes shot down. Credited with victories were: Gruppenkomandeur Hauptmann Werner Andres, Feldwebel Karl Witzel and Feldwebel Karl-Heinz Bendert. In reality, the Luftwaffe lost three Bf 109s. Leutnant Hans Bosch ( Hptm. Andres wingman ) and Feldwebel Karl-Heinz Kranich become POWs. Leutnant Hermann Kugler went missing. Slightly wounded, Hptm. Andres force landed near Creil...

Below;  when CG 1/145 evacuated the airfield at Dreux they left behind some fifteen Caudrons. The reverse of the image below - an expired Ebay.de auction - is captioned, 'Dreux 22 July 1940'. Compare with the image on page 180 of  "Les aviateurs polonais en France" (B. Belcarz, Artipresse). First machine visible "1" is the aircraft assigned to plut. Markiewicz.




Above; reproduced on p55 of the Comas/Ledet title and p181 of the Belcarz ' Les aviateurs polonais en France', three 2e escadrille machines at Dreux on 22 June 'white 10 and 'white 13' with 'white 7' in the background. 'White 13' was flown by the future 56th FG ace Boleslaw Gladych. 

1/145 pilots had 12 victories 'officially' confirmed (Bf 110s, Do 17s and four Bf 109s) for the loss of 3 Caudron pilots KIA. Ppor. Jerzy Godlewski -officially MIA- reached England and joined 72 Sqd



"The Caudron fighters - the Cr. 714 and variants" authored by Matthieu Comas and Michel Ledet 



"Les aviateurs polonais en France" (B. Belcarz, Artipresse).



And a rare page-view look into the huge Belcarz book on the Cr. 714 "Cyclone" - details of the cockpit/instrument panel


Dr Belcarz founder of Stratus and Mushroom recently succumbed to cancer RIP