WW2 German Death Card of Luftwaffe Pilot Karl Labmayer. He flew a Heinkel He 177 A-3 Greif.

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Heartfeltzero
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WW2 German Death Card of Luftwaffe Pilot Karl Labmayer. He flew a Heinkel He 177 A-3 Greif.

Post by Heartfeltzero » 03 Sep 2022 04:36

9B295268-AE33-43BA-B9CD-E6D6775E11AB.jpeg
Karl was a pilot in the Luftwaffe. His rank was Unteroffizier. He served with a weather reconnaissance unit (Wekusta 2). Their mission consisted of 10 hour flights above the Atlantic Ocean to ascertain the weather conditions and report them to Luftwaffe
Command for preparation of future air operations. Karl’s first operational mission onboard the Heinkel 177 was on July 18th 1944.

Four days later on the morning of July 22nd they were ordered to return to the seas off Ireland. Karl and 5 other crewmen took off down the runway at Mont-de-Marsan. Immediately after liftoff one of the engines burst into flames. Karl attempted to turn the plane around and head back to the runway but was slowly losing control of the aircraft. The plane, which was carrying around thirteen tons of aviation fuel, went down in a forest about 5km northwest of the runway. The crash immediately killed all 6 crewmen onboard as well as causing an intense fire that lasted until the next day. The 6 crewmen were

Pilot- Karl Labmayer
Chief Meteorologist- Walter Küspert
Radio Operator- Siegfried Mattausch
Mechanic- Heinz Lehmann
Gunner- Manfred Rehm
Gunner- Siegfried Tritschler

The He 177 was often referred to as “The flying Coffin” and “Luftwaffenfeuerzeug (Luftwaffe’s Lighter)” as the aircraft’s engines would frequently catch fire. Luftwaffe pilots famously hated the aircraft. Included in the post is a photo of an He 177.
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Larry D.
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Re: WW2 German Death Card of Luftwaffe Pilot Karl Labmayer. He flew a Heinkel He 177 A-3 Greif.

Post by Larry D. » 03 Sep 2022 14:11

It was a night mission, according to the records of Wekusta 2 Ob.d.L.

Kington/Selinger – WEKUSTA, p.62.
Kington, John A. & Franz Selinger, WEKUSTA – Luftwaffe Meteorological Reconnaissance Units & Operations 1938-1945, Ottringham/East Yorkshire (U.K.), 2006.

Heartfeltzero
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Posts: 159
Joined: 26 Nov 2021 05:24
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Re: WW2 German Death Card of Luftwaffe Pilot Karl Labmayer. He flew a Heinkel He 177 A-3 Greif.

Post by Heartfeltzero » 03 Sep 2022 14:36

Larry D. wrote:
03 Sep 2022 14:11
It was a night mission, according to the records of Wekusta 2 Ob.d.L.

Kington/Selinger – WEKUSTA, p.62.
Kington, John A. & Franz Selinger, WEKUSTA – Luftwaffe Meteorological Reconnaissance Units & Operations 1938-1945, Ottringham/East Yorkshire (U.K.), 2006.
It may have been. The documents I’ve seen stated that it was a morning mission. I’m unsure though. I also found this. Not sure of it’s accuracy.

https://aerocherche.fr/pdf/He177%20GB.DOC.pdf

Larry D.
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Re: WW2 German Death Card of Luftwaffe Pilot Karl Labmayer. He flew a Heinkel He 177 A-3 Greif.

Post by Larry D. » 03 Sep 2022 23:30

I know Pierre Babin quite well from our past e-mail correspondence.

It's the word of a crew member who was there and experienced it, whereas the mission may have changed from night to morning but this change was not entered in the Luftwaffe's records at the time. Late July 1944 was a hectic time for the Luftwaffe in France. I'll go with Labmayer's version: morning mission.

Westa 2 Ob.d.L.
10 Jul 44: Staffel listed at Mont de Marsan/SW France.
22 Jul 44: He 177 crashed while taking off from Mont de Marsan on a night mission, 100%, entire crew KIA.
25 Jul 44: now at Bordeaux-Merignac with an operational detachment (Einsatzkommando) at Mont de Marsan.
Jul 44: aside from the one flight noted above, the Staffel was never able to recommence operations due to the growing fuel problem and the constant difficulties encountered with the He 177, as well as the swarms of Allied fighters now patrolling the Bay of Biscay and over the western areas of France.
31 Jul 44: Staffel reported 19 aircraft on strength.
Aug 44: the last weather flights made by the Staffel reached a point almost half way out into the Atlantic between France and Newfoundland.
19 Aug 44: evacuated France and in transfer to Germany.
4 (7?) Sep 44: at Burg bei Magdeburg with a total of 17 He 177 A-3s on strength - Staffel ordered disbanded this date (FpN deleted 1 Nov 1944).

L.

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