He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

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He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Simon Gunson » 10 Jan 2009 02:41

Apart from an American journalist who noted that about 44 He 177 were gathered at Gardermoen on VE day I can find no other reference to this gathering and it's purpose. Please can anybody provide some detail ?

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Simon K
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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Simon K » 10 Jan 2009 04:24

Simon there were plans for a major LW effort against Scapa Flow in spring 1945, using Mistel Ju 88 combos - unsure if it was launched (dont have my source to hand) so the He 177 force may have been an adjunct.

Norway was the launching point IIRC.

40 + seems a large number for "special transport duties" :wink:

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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Simon Gunson » 11 Jan 2009 03:39

That's a pity. I had hoped someone else knew a bit more on the topic than me.

This newspaper article appeared in the Washington Post 29 June 1945.

Image

No ideas or connections stimulated ?
Anyone ever read about these bombers being dismantled ?
Were they buried at the airport by US occupation forces ?
If so perhaps they could be dug up ?

Which Luftwaffe unit in 1945 was still capable of flying the He 177 ?

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Ironmachine
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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Ironmachine » 11 Jan 2009 11:00

I have seen this topic discussed in various forums, and every time it all started and ended with the Washington Post article. No bit of further information about this matter was ever provided.
The only other reference to this issue I have seen comes from the book Reich of the Black Sun, where the article is used to support the theory of the Third Reich having atomic bombs. No more information is provided, only the newspaper article.
AFAIK, there were no units flying the He 177 in Norway in 1945. IIRC, the only unit flying the He 177 from Norway was II/KG 40 from Gardermoen for some time in 1944.
The circumstances of this story seem very strange...

PS: Has anyone verified that this article was actually published in the newspaper? Just to be sure...

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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Simon Gunson » 11 Jan 2009 14:36

PS: Has anyone verified that this article was actually published in the newspaper? Just to be sure...

That's why I am asking.

I'm not making any pre-judgements on it. Just trying to turn over every stone.

Was II/KG40 the former Condor unit from Norway then ?
Is there any unit history on these He 177 aircraft, or have any former II/KG 40 people come forward ?

Two US units deployed to Oslo. They must have unit records:
To Norway at Last
The war in Europe ended on 7 May 1945. Two days later, the 474th and the 99th Battalion finally received the mission that many hoped for. The regiment would move to Norway to assist in the disarming and demobilization of Germany’s 300,000-man army there. The regiment devoted a month to spit and polish preparation in Le Havre, France, before departing for Oslo via LSTs on 4 June. After a delightful cruise on a smooth sea, under a sunny sky, the regiment arrived in Oslo on 8 June.

The 99th was garrisoned in Camp Smestad, a beautiful former German log cabin camp just outside of Oslo. By late July preparations were completed for German demobilization and troop transportation back to Germany. Throughout August the battalion assisted in the processing and movement back to Germany of nearly 100,000 German military personnel.


Did Operation LUSTY (Watson's Whizzers) get to Oslo ?

I can't get to NARA but anybody who can might wish to look at Records Group 338, Operations Planning Files 1945-1947, Includes files on evacuation and reparation of confiscated equipment, policies, reparations, Box 575 location: B190/1/35/02
Last edited by Simon Gunson on 12 Jan 2009 02:23, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by SES » 11 Jan 2009 15:28

This is the official list of Lw aircraft in Norway at the liberation, please note the originator:
http://www.luftwaffe.no/SIG/lister/OOB/OOB45-05.html
bregds
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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Simon Gunson » 12 Jan 2009 00:10

This is the official list of Lw aircraft in Norway at the liberation, please note the originator:


I understand your point SES. I do note the originator (C-in-C Luftwaffe Norway) however Gardermoen was under SS control and not Luftwaffe control.

The Luftwaffe did not keep records of KG200 movements at European air bases either...
I note that neither the USAF nor NATO kept records of CIA rendition flights from Afghanistan.

http://www.feldgrau.com/KG40.htm

There is it appears some record that II/KG40 reformed with He 177 in Germany joining with 8/KG 40 at Fassberg in December 1943. This new unit was then posted to Trondheim Varnes by July 1944. Why does this unit not appear in the Luftwaffe Battle order which you refer to ?
I don't see II/KG 40 and it's He 177 listed in "luftwaffe.no" yet it was posted to Trondheim Varnes.

This is the official list of Lw aircraft in Norway at the liberation, please note the originator:
http://www.luftwaffe.no/SIG/lister/OOB/OOB45-05.html
bregds
SES


Two years ago in 2006 a pilot friend of mine flying over Afghanistan in an Emirates Airbus overtook a Tower Air 747 climbing out of Afghanistan. It was using Tower Air callsigns on the radio. Tower Air undertook many US military charters. Funny that Officially Tower Air went out of business in 2000, yet were still flying from Afghanistan in 2006. I challenge you to find any record of that flight.

My pilot friend is a devout christian and the most straight up guy you'd ever meet.
Last edited by Simon Gunson on 12 Jan 2009 02:30, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Simon Gunson » 12 Jan 2009 00:36

Having done some more digging, 140 troops of 1 company, 1st Parachute Div (composed of free Norwegian troops) flew in from Edinburgh to Gardemoen on 11 May 1945 aboard 7 Sterling Mark IV aircraft of 190 Sqn RAF as Operation DOOMSDAY.

Wouldn't it be interesting to track down either the surviving members of this Norwegian Para company, or RAF 190 Sqn and ask what they can recall ?

The main operation to occupy and disarm Norway was Operation APOSTLE. I have read a report of these operations which only concerns itself with operational difficulties establishing allied communications and deployments. Gardermoen became the airfield of choice as Fornebu was not even considered fit for C-47s at the time. The report does mention the salvage of material from Gardermoen which was returned to Scotland. During May the whole operation had little involvement from the RAF except liason for transport flights by 38 Group. This RAF liason was through Sqn /Ldr Squires, Flt Lt Oddie & F/O Hicks. There appears to have been no foreign aircraft technical evaluation unit there during May 1945. There were a great many complaints of deliberate petty sabotage by Germans. Gardermoen was occupied until June by "Detachment W/S 250 Light company." After this the SAS took over Gardermoen.

I also find reference to the APOSTLE sealift operation to Kristiansand 8-12 June 1945 by Liberty ship; SS JST Fields, SS USO, SS Jessie Metcalf, SS Levante, SS Samhorn the small vessel Pol (2,598 tons) and one LST carrying “ammunition” and troops. The LST was LST-519.

One interesting point I do note however, is that on 3 June 1945, the 25 Bomb Disposal Company, 226 BD section was embarked to Oslo for bomb disposal around the general area. There was remarkably little demolition work by the Germans so that much of the work centred on destruction of stored ordnance. Much of this according to unit records was railed to Oslo where it was simply loaded on LST-519. An interesting note was made that LST-519 was mainly used to "dispose of condemned ammunition and radioactive waste material in deep water."

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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Simon Gunson » 12 Jan 2009 02:57

I just looked at nuav.net where they do list II/KG 40 at Gardermoen with He 177 in July 1944 as part of Fliegerführer 4, so the story may have some real substance:

http://www.nuav.net/ooblw.html

Who was Fliegerführer 4 ?
That was a person wasn't it?

Also the first quoted Norwegian website does have an entry for He 177 at Gardermoen too.
http://www.luftwaffe.no/SIG/lister/OOB/OOB44-07.html


I have also found a reference that Fliegerführer Atlantik during WW2 replaced the FW 200 with He 177. II/KG 40 was in the north the unit most active in long range land based Atlantic reconnaissance Source: German Translation No. V11/120, “Principles Governing the Conduct of Operations by Fliegerführer Atlantik and an Appreciation of the Types of Aircraft Available,” K-512.621 V11/120, Copy 3, in the USAF Collection, AFHRA, 1.
Last edited by Dieter Zinke on 31 Oct 2012 09:38, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Fliegerführer 4 - not Fleigerfuhrer 4

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Ironmachine
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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Ironmachine » 12 Jan 2009 08:33

Simon Gunson wrote:I just looked at nuav.net where they do list II/KG 40 at Gardermoen with He 177 in July 1944 as part of Fliegerführer 4, so the story may have some real substance:

Well, I really can''t see how the fact that there were some He 177 in Norway in July 1944 adds some substance to the "hypotetical" presence of 40 He 177 in Norway in 1945...
On the other hand, why is everybody talking about He 177 as soon as this article appears? The article, which is the only piece of "evidence" that has been provided here, talks about "forty giant bombers with a 7000-mile range" of a "new type bomber developed by Heinkel". No mention of He 177 there. And what's more, the information is allegedly provided by RAF officers, which should have known the He 177, so I don't think they would have called it a "new type bomber", even if it is a new mark of the He 177. Perhaps people thinks immediately about the He 177 because it is the only German heavy bomber of which forty examples could have been available at the end of the war without resorting to Nazi conspiracies and wonder weapons?
As I have said previously, the full story is very strange. If true, there should be many people informed of it, but nothing has surfaced till now. There is not enough information to even start making assumptions.

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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by ju55dk » 12 Jan 2009 19:17

I understand your point SES. I do note the originator (C-in-C Luftwaffe Norway) however Gardermoen was under SS control and not Luftwaffe control.

Were did you get that information from. It is simply not true. Gerdermoen was a normal Luftwaffe base, operated and guarded by the Luftwaffe.

The Luftwaffe did not keep records of KG200 movements at European air bases either...

Again not true. There are ample evidence in BA/Freiburg about location of different parts of KG 200.

There is it appears some record that II./KG40 reformed with He 177 in Germany joining with 8/KG 40 at Fassberg in December 1943. This new unit was then posted to Trondheim Varnes by July 1944. Why does this unit not appear in the Luftwaffe Battle order which you refer to ?
I don't see II./KG 40 and it's He 177 listed in "luftwaffe.no" yet it was posted to Trondheim Varnes.

After the invasion II./KG 40 transfered from Bordeaux/France to Gardermoen. In autum 1944 the unit was dissolved, and the He 177 were scrapped, as they were in Denmark with II/KG 100! And that is why none were left in 1945.

Junker

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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Urmel » 12 Jan 2009 22:09

If Gardemoen was under SS control and that is supposed to be the explanation that LW units are not reported, why are some Gardemoen units on the list, e.g. KG 26? Is there any proof that Gardemoen was under SS control?

II./KG40 was in in Schwäbisch Hall and then Parchim from 10/44 to end of war, which appears to be a perfectly good explanation for it not being on a Luftflotte 5 strength return.

http://www.ww2.dk/air/kampf/kg40.htm

Oh, and as Ironmachine asks, since when is the He 177 a huge, unknown bomber with 7,000 miles range???? Huge? Not exactly, it was about the size of the B-17 or the Avro Lancaster. 7,000 miles range? Errr, not really. Unknown? For sure... I mean the He 177 was so unknown to Allied intel that there are just few articles from about 1942 onwards. :roll:

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt08/he177.html

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt0 ... imits.html

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/ttt/ ... ussia.html

http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/tme30 ... able2.html

It's getting really difficult to believe anything Mr. Gunson posts unless it is corroborated by reliable sources.
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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Simon Gunson » 13 Jan 2009 14:06

If you read back through Flight Magazine articles for March 1944 you find reference to Sweedish intelligence about a secret airbase being built north of Oslo. Unfortunately I am leaving town for a week and can't source the comment any better than this until my return...


Urmel says

It's getting really difficult to believe anything Mr. Gunson posts unless it is corroborated by reliable sources.


Well Urmel, in this instance it is you who is making up a story with no foundation. I did not write the article in the Washington Post on 25 June 1945. I was not born at the time.

Before you get carried away on your work of fiction Urmel let me ground you on some facts:

First of all I did not claim to know the answer. My opening question was:

Apart from an American journalist who noted that about 44 He 177 were gathered at Gardermoen on VE day I can find no other reference to this gathering and it's purpose. Please can anybody provide some detail ?


At the time I posted I did not have the Washington Post article and someone PM'd me with the article. I note Urmel that none of you fountains of knowledge volunteered a peep. I would really appreciate it Urmel if rather than this private fiction of yours that you might point out what claims I made other than the SS issue ?

To correct your fiction, Ironmachine said the following:

AFAIK, there were no units flying the He 177 in Norway in 1945. IIRC, the only unit flying the He 177 from Norway was II./KG 40 from Gardermoen for some time in 1944.
The circumstances of this story seem very strange...


and i replied quite openly and honestly ...

That's why I am asking.

I'm not making any pre-judgements on it. Just trying to turn over every stone.


You have made a quite fantastic and unsubstantiated leap of logic... Illogic actually since I was not claiming it. I opened the thread asking if anyone knew anything about the claim or could shed further light ?

Do you have an issue with that ?
Is one no longer able to ask questions in this place ?
Are you unable to answer a simple question without naked agression and hostility ?

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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Ironmachine » 13 Jan 2009 17:55

Simon, it could be a good idea if you can ask the guy who PM'd you with the article where did he find it, because every time I have seen it, the same scanned image is provided. It seems like it always comes from the same, single source.

And as you didn't have the Washington Post article at the time you opened this thread, where did you get the information? I am specially interested in the reference about the planes being He 177, for there is no such information in the Washington Post article.

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Re: He 177 at Gardermoen, Norway 1945

Post by Simon K » 13 Jan 2009 23:41

Were there any major airfield constructions in Norway late in the war, or anything related?

maybe Todt/ Norwegian facilities experts may have an idea.

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