Me 323 lost in Romania 1944.

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Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 07 Aug 2005 21:33

TG 4 in Rumänien August 1944?

IV./TG 4
[Extracted - 1944-45 only]
Dec 43: between mid-December and February 1944, the Gruppe flew frequent transport missions between France and North Italy, and France and Greece.
Feb 44: 16. Staffel disbanded and its remaining assets incorporated into 13. – 15. Staffel.
12 Feb 44: 2 LeO 451s from 13. Staffel shot down by RAF Typhoons while in-flight from Étampes-Mondésir to Venlo/Holland.
10 Jul 44: still at Fp. Étampes-Mondésir.
Jul 44: Gruppe handed over its remaining 25 LeO 451s to Transportfliegerstaffel Hansa and then the Staffeln re-equipped individually during July and August with Ju 352s, Me 323s, Piaggio P. 108s, Savoia SM 82s, SM 95s plus a few aircraft of several other types. They also incorporated components of other units and were thus significantly transformed. From September 1944 the reorganized Staffeln began operating quasi-independently, although they retained their original numbering and administrative ties to Stab IV./TG 4. The Gruppenstab remained intact and moved to Vietskerstrand/Pomerania, 27 WNW of Stolp, where it was located at least during September and October. Not affected by the reorganization, 13. Staffel continued to operate under Stab IV./TG 4 but the type of aircraft it was using has not been determined.
30 Jan 45: IV./TG 4 was ordered disbanded by OKL this date with completion to be reported not later than 1 March 1945. In the process of disbanding, most of the Gruppenstab and 13. Staffel were reassigned and used to form Grossraumtransportgruppe at Berlin-Schönwalde during February.

14./TG 4 (Reorganized)
Formation. (Sep 44)
Re-established 10 September 1944 at Mühldorf/72 km ENE of Munich as a quasi-independent Staffel by merging Transportfliegerstaffel 5 with personnel from the original 14./TG 4. Equipped with Ju 90s, Ju 290A-1s, Ju 52s, a Ju 252 (briefly) and at least 1 Piaggio P. 108.
Germany. (Sep 44 - May 45)
Fall 44: flew regular supply flights to Rhodes and Crete in the Aegean, departing from Wien-Aspern and Wien-Schwechat.
6 Oct 44: Ju 90 (G6+AY) blew two tires and crashed on landing at Athens-Tatoi from Iraklion/Crete. Repairs were impossible and the aircraft was set on fire by the crew to prevent capture by the British, who were about to occupy Greece. Around the same time, Piaggio 108 (G6+FY) was destroyed at Salonika during a low-level attack by Allied aircraft.
Dec 44: 2 Fw 200 Condors (G6+AY and G6+FY) were reassigned to the Staffel from Norway and on 28 January 1945 these began flying supplies to Rhodes as “Sonderkommando Condor” from Wiener-Neustadt and then in April from Hörsching near Linz. Wounded and sick personnel were flown back to Austria on the return flights.
Feb 45: most of the Staffel’s remaining aircraft were moved from Mühldorf to a dispersal strip at Neufahrn near Freising/NE of Munich. To the end of the war, few missions were flown due to the fuel situation which had reached critical proportions, except for the Fw 200 flights to Rhodes. In April “Sonderkommando Condor” appears to have been removed and re-designated Lufttransportstaffel 200 (see there).
May 45: Staffel dissolved.

[Sources: G.Tessin-Verbände und Truppen der Deutschen Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS 1939-1945 - Teil 14: Die Luftstreitkräfte; K.Kössler commentary in Jet & Prop magazine, Heft (issue) 4/2000; BA-MA Freiburg: RL 2 III Meldungen über Flugzeugunfälle…..(Loss Reports – LRs); PRO London: AIR 40 Air Ministry intelligence documents based on ULTRA and “Y” Service intercepts; PRO London: DEFE 3 ULTRA signal ML5181; F.Morzik-German Air Force Airlift Operations:404; BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 2 III/66; K.Kössler/G.Ott-Die großen Dessauer: Junkers Ju 89, Ju 90, Ju 290, Ju 390 – Die Geschichte einer Flugzeugfamilie:172-74].


as you can see from the above, even the most persistent research by German experts (Kössler and Ott) has failed to come up with any evidence to connect IV./TG 4 or 14./TG 4 with Me 323 losses in Romania in August 1944.

--Larry

Michi
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Post by Michi » 07 Aug 2005 22:01

I have found only one shot down Me 323 Giant in Romania in August 1944:

Some times before noon of 26th August 1944 a Me 323 was shot by a Romanian Fighter, some 20 miles north of Bucarest, and had to make a crashlanding.
The entire crew (12 men) and 2 platoons of the FSchJgBtl "Brandenburg" (70 men) evacueted and fought their way to the Waldlager.
Quite after the evacuation the Giant explode.


MfG Michi
Last edited by Michi on 07 Aug 2005 22:18, edited 1 time in total.

Michi
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Post by Michi » 07 Aug 2005 22:06

Sorry Larry,
as you can see from the above, even the most persistent research by German experts (Kössler and Ott) has failed to come up with any evidence to connect IV./TG 4 or 14./TG 4 with Me 323 losses in Romania in August 1944
I was speaking of the 16./IV./TG 4 and not of the 14./IV./TG 4!


MfG Michi

edited
PS: The 14./IV./TG 4 had no Me 323 in their inventory, as you wrote correct.
But 15./IV./TG 4 and 16./IV./TG 4 had 27 respectively 28 Giants in their stock.

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Post by Larry D. » 07 Aug 2005 23:36

I was speaking of the 16./IV./TG 4 and not of the 14./IV./TG 4!


Feb 44: 16. Staffel disbanded and its remaining assets incorporated into 13. – 15. Staffel.

You missed this, Michi, and I even underlined it. Please see above in my post on IV./TG 4.

But 15./IV./TG 4 and 16./IV./TG 4 had 27 respectively 28 Giants in their stock.


But on what date, Michi? If 16./TG 4 was disbanded in February 1944 as the Flugbücher of its surviving pilots and the surviving records at BA-MA Freiburg say, then how could it have taken part in the August evacuation in Romania?

--Larry

Michi
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Post by Michi » 08 Aug 2005 00:23

Hello Larry,
But on what date, Michi?quote]I'm talking about August 1944.
If 16./TG 4 was disbanded in February 1944 as the Flugbücher of its surviving pilots and the surviving records at BA-MA Freiburg say, then how could it have taken part in the August evacuation in Romania?

Here comes the answer by yourself!
Larry D.

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Are there any evidence of the loses of the 323 Gigant during 1944 in Romania?



Very difficult to document. The Gen.Qu.(6.Abt.) Genst.d.Lw. Verlustmeldungen bei den fliegende Verbände reports for 1944 have never been found and were probably destroyed at the end of the war. The two units operating the Me 323 in Romania in 1944 were I. und II./TG 5 and here is some extracted information that may prove of interest:

I./TG 5
[Extract]
Poland, South Russia, Romania and Hungary. (Nov 43 - Aug 44)
12 Dec 43: Gruppe transferred from Kirovograd to Uman and still operating from there on 9 Jan 44.
1 Jan 44: all or elements now at Biała Podlaska/E Poland.
14 Jan 44: elements possibly at Nikolayev.
29 Feb 44: Me 323 (C8+DF) force landed in Poland and later blown up to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
11 Mar 44: at Warsaw.
20 Mar 44: Me 323 (C8+EE) crashed near Ottyn (Poland, but not located), 85%.
22 Mar 44: Me 323 (C8+BF) crashed on the Eastern Front - no details.
4 Apr 44: at Zilistea/15 km NE of Buzău in C Romania.
9 Apr 44: Me 323 (C8+CG) lost in operations in the East - no details.
15 Apr 44: Me 323 (C8+BE) crashed at Fp. Belgrade-Zemun - no details, 85%.
16 Apr 44: Me 323 bombed on the ground during U.S. raid on Fp. Belgrade-Zemun, 5%.
17 Apr 44: Me 323 (C8+AE) bombed on the ground at Belgrade-Zemun, 20%.
28 Apr 44: transferred from Romania to Kecskemét/78 km SE of Budapest this date.
9 May 44: Me 323 crashed at Fp. Balomir/14 km SW of Sebeš in C Romania, 85%.
14 Jun 44: 2 Me 323s (incl. C8+AF) strafed on the ground during a U.S. raid on Fp. Kecskemét.
23 Aug 44: Stab with 1. – 3. Staffel at Kecskemét.
25-28 Aug 44: took part in the air evacuation of German troops from Romania.

28-30 Aug 44: returned to Germany and disbanded. Two of the Gruppe’s Staffeln with a total of 12 Me 323s were used in the formation of the re-established 16./TG 4 while the rest of the Gruppe went to the reorganized 15./TG 4.

II./TG 5
[Extract]
Germany, Poland, Romania and Czechoslovakia. (Oct 43 - Aug 44)
1 Jan 44: Goslar with 6. Staffel detached at Gardelegen.
Jan – Mar 44: deployed from Goslar to Poland, but the exact dates and locations are not known.
16 Mar 44: all or elements now at Biała Podlaska/E Poland.
24 Mar 44: Me 323 (C8+AP) lost during operations in the East - no details.
12 Apr 44: Me 323 (C8+GP) bombed on the ground at Fp. Wiener-Neustadt, 100%.
16 Apr 44: 3 Me 323s (C8+HP and DS) bombed on the ground at Fp. Belgrade-Zemun, 60%, 40% and 20%.
20 Apr 44: Gruppe at Zilistea/15 km NE of Buzău in C Romania with 5. Staffel detached at Huşi/E Romania. Gruppe believed to be taking part in the large-scale airlift operations centered on the evacuations of Odessa and Crimea.
Jun 44: Gruppe (Stab and 5. – 8. Staffel) transferred from Ploeşti/Romania to Posen (Poznań)/NW Poland. No operations were flown from there and then at the end of July II./TG 5 moved to Brünn (Brno) in Czechoslovakia where it was still located on 22 August with some 27 Me 323s, 1 Ju 52 and 1 Fi 156.
17 Aug 44: Me 323 (C8+GR) crash landed between Riga and Insterburg/E Prussia due to engine failure, 60%.
25-28 Aug 44: believed to have taken part in the air evacuation of German troops from Romania, but confirmation is needed.

28-30 Aug 44: returned to Germany and disbanded. Remaining assets were used in the formation of the re-established 16./TG 4.

--Larry


As the time gap for disbanding an unit and giving the reformed unit a new FPNr. can be as far as 2 months, there could be, that the Me 323 were still flying with the TG 5 codes, the crews didn't know that they were now in TG 4.
So there are still some factores how it could be that either TG 5 or TG 4 flying the Giants over Romania from 23rd August till 27th August 1944.

Here once again the exact links:
I./TG 5: http://www.ww2.dk/oob/bestand/trsp/bitg5.html
II./TG5: http://www.ww2.dk/oob/bestand/trsp/biitg5.html
IV./TG 4: http://www.ww2.dk/oob/bestand/trsp/bivtg4.html

Hope this helps clarify my point of view!


MfG Michi

Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 08 Aug 2005 12:59

Michi wrote:

Hope this helps clarify my point of view!

Anything is possible, Michi. Karl Kößler and Georg Schlaug, both Ingenieure who study the history of Luftwaffe transport operations in World War II as a hobby, and Jean-Louis Roba, a Belgian Me 323 specialist, were all unable to definitively document Me 323 operations in Romania in August 1944. There just isn't enough surviving documentation. I don't think we will ever be able to say with certainty exactly how many Giganten were lost 20-31 August in Rumänien and to which units they belonged. The Luftwaffen-Transportfliegerei was in such a state of fluctuation due to the collapse of the fronts in the West, in Romania and in eastern Poland in August 1944 that is is very difficult to sort things out.

But I think we agree about one thing: it is very unlikely that a Me 323 full of Luftnachrichtenhelferinen was shot down killing all of them. There just is no reasonably conclusive evidence to support that. I might also add that the book by Willy Reschke on JG 301 and 302 is somewhat controversial. There has been some discussion and commentary about its accuracy over on the Twelve O'Clock High Luftwaffe discussion web site in the past and a number of respected individuals over there say that Reschke did not do a very good job researching the book. So I cannot accept his account of the two Giganten being shot down by Romanian Flak without additional confirmation.

--Larry

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Claus
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Post by Claus » 08 Aug 2005 20:20

Confusion....
If the plane with auxiliary personal wasn't shoot,why Cpt Scurtu and Lt.Rozariu,never talked about their kills?
It is clear that one of them shoot the 323 with the para.on board.
The fact that didn't talk about it could be a rumor.
Maybee shooting a plane with former camarades wasn't something to be chearful about.

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Post by Warlordimi » 10 Aug 2005 13:18

Larry, this is a little OT, but could you explain in a few words what is controversial in Reschke's book?

TIA,

Dimitri

Larry D.
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Post by Larry D. » 10 Aug 2005 14:07

Larry, this is a little OT, but could you explain in a few words what is controversial in Reschke's book?


http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/forumdisplay.php?f=8

Shallow research, IIRC. Not up to the standards of Jochen Prien or the new Lorant work on JG 300. Reschke's narrative is relatively brief compared to most Luftwaffe unit histories. He has quite a few passages that are based on hearsay recollections that he never corroborates. If you want specifics, you might try searching old threads on TOCH!. When Ruy Horta switched over to his new software last December, he may not have carried all of the old 2, 3, and 4-year-old threads over to the new application, but you can give it a try. As best I can recall, the discussions were more than a year ago but less that three years ago. That should help a little.

--Larry
Last edited by Larry D. on 10 Aug 2005 15:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Warlordimi
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Post by Warlordimi » 10 Aug 2005 14:36

Ok, this will be enough! I just finished this book. That's why I wanted to know!

Thanks for the head-up Larry :wink:

Cheers,

Dimitri

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Post by Avis 1 » 12 Aug 2005 22:09

Hi All

Interesting discussion. The Me 323 was a most fascinating aeroplane.
The book Messerschmitt Me 321/323 by Hans Peter Dabrowski confirm quite heavy losses by TG 5 during the evacuation of troops etc from Romania in August 1944
A war diary confirm that TG 5 should disband at the end of August 1944 and that said order came on August 13th! However as the situation was very chaotic TG 5 had to do one more operation BEFORE disbanding and that was the mentioned evacuation

Undated, but obviously on the "first day" one Me 323 landed near the city of Alba-Julia and the crew was taken prisoners
26.8.44 Two Me 323 shot down by Romanian fighters from Grupu 7
26.8.44 Two Me 323 shot down by Flak near Ploesti
26.8.44 One Me 323 damaged by mortar fire at Targsor airfield
27.8.44 Three Me 323 were attacked by Romanian Me 109 or Flak
First forcelanded at 08.00H and 66 men were captured
Second also forcelanded and 81 men were captured
Third crashlanded and was burnt out on the ground
27.8.44 Two Me 323 strafed by 15th AF Mustangs on Prossnitz airfield near Olmütz
29.8.44 Five Me 323 landed in the Bucharest area during the day
Four were captured with a total of 131 soldiers
One managed to get away with only 31 soldiers on board
31.8.44 The German bases in Hungary and Czeckoslovakia was heavily strafed by Mustang fighters and a "large number" including Me 323 were destroyed

According to this book it was only the remaining aircraft that were transferred to TG 4.
Most of the personal either went to other units or to the Infantry.
It also seems the transfer "back to Germany" was made in a rather piece meal way and I really wonder how many aircraft that ACTUALLY made it back to Germany. The feeling you get from reading the section is that TG 5 more or less was destroyed and not simply disbanded

Cheers
Stig Jarlevik
Gothenburg, Sweden

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Post by Larry D. » 12 Aug 2005 22:45

Avis 1 -

Indeed, a very valuable and decisive contribution toward clearing up many of these questions. Hans Peter Dabrowski seems to have found the key records that the others missed. I am very perplexed over how Jean-Louis Roba and Karl Kößler could have missed the TG 5 information and exactly where it came from. The absence of Gruppe identification, exact locations in many cases, aircraft Verbandskennzeichen und Werknummern leads me to believe that it came from the Luftflotte 4 entries in the handwritten "summärischen Verlustmeldungen" at BA-MA Freiburg im Breisgau. Most people avoid this list because it usually provides very little detail other than date, aircraft type, general location and cause, these being listed by Luftflotte, by date. But most importantly, the handwritten entries are in the old Sütterlin style and in pencil, which has tended to fade badly with the passage of the years. Researchers who have examined it have told me that they "gave up" because it's nearly illegible. So if this is where the information comes from, then Herr Dabrowski did us all a great service.

Thanks for posting it.

--Larry

ADDENDUM

I just checked some old notes I have from a research trip I made to BA-MA Freiburg in August 1990. In Signatur RL 10 (Verbände der Fliegertruppe - 620 folders/10 linear meters) can be found the following records for TG 5:

Kriegstagebuch 1 (Dec 42 - May 43)
Kriegstagebücher 2 und 3 mit Anlagen Bände (1943 - Aug 44)

So it may well be that this where Herr Dabrowski found his valuable information.

--Larry
Last edited by Larry D. on 13 Aug 2005 13:09, edited 1 time in total.

Michi
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Post by Michi » 13 Aug 2005 10:20

Hello Avis 1,
Indeed, well done, well done!!
This would support the loss numbers of Mr. Michael Holmes' homepage.

According to this book it was only the remaining aircraft that were transferred to TG 4. ....and I really wonder how many aircraft that ACTUALLY made it back to Germany.

The remaining aircrafts would be according
http://www.ww2.dk/oob/bestand/trsp/bivtg4.html
with 31st August 1944:
18 Me 323 Giants with the 16./IV./TG 4
and additional
16 Me 323 Giants left for other units.



MfG Michi

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Claus
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Post by Claus » 13 Aug 2005 13:26

Thanks Avis 1.
That's a little more "light"...

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Claus
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Post by Claus » 17 Oct 2005 08:54

Hi guys,
Some more questions about the Gigant....

Acording to an ARR vet. the Me 323 were suffering heavy loses ,since they could not be escorted by fighters (their speed was too low).
The Luftwaffe created sort of a" Spectra Gunship" (I thought it was an American invention during Vietnam...).
About 35 mg's in the 323's that were flyingon the sides of the formation.
Acording to the ARR vet,losses became much lower.
Any info about that?
A photo of such a heavily armed Me 323?

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