28 JuneDommasch

The IV. Gruppe at Châteauroux ordered the 10. Staffel at Aix to send it the available weapons truck and the motor transport which was due to be given up, since the equipment was urgently needed for operations.

A Ju 88 was posted missing from operations south east of Valence and with it the Kommandeur of the IV. Gruppe, Maj. Dr. Ferdinand Zandt. He had been flying as observer in the machine piloted by Uffz. Hans Masorsky (or Maszoski); the other crew members (both from 11./Fl.ZG 2) being wireless operator Ofw. Kurt Dommasch and flight mechanic Uffz. Edmund Fey. This aircraft was claimed shot down by Compagnie Morin of the South Vercors Maquis, while flying in support of the German advance on Beaufort-sur-Gervanne. The Ju 88 A-5 (W.Nr. 880504, PB+GB) crashed into the cliff above La Rivière, Gigors-et-Lozeron and the whole crew died. They are buried in the German war cemetery at Dagneux, north east of Lyon.

NOTES: French sources refer to a fifth body recovered from the wreck, his name given as “Festine”. No such name is to be found either in German war graves records or cards recording the deaths of servicemen. There has likely been confusion with Stabsgefreiter Wilhelm Festing of 1. Batterie/Flak Regiment 14 (mot.) who was shot in the head on 1 July in La Voulte-sur-Rhône, about 45 km by road from Gigiors-et-Lozeron. Festing was buried in Valence but later reinterred in the German military cemetery at Dagneux.

The same sources say that a second Ju 88 came down that day, at Ourches on the opposite side of the ridge to Giors-et Lozeron but this seems to be a mistaken inference from the deaths the following Luftwaffe personnel, none of whom were aircrew:

3./leichte Flak Abteilung 741 (mot.)

Obltn. Stefan Ulrich, in La Rochette, 2 km S Ourches, (no time or cause stated).

Uffz. Aloysius Hennecke, at 10.00 hrs. in La Rochette, multiple injuries from an “adhesive charge” (a Gammon Grenade?).

Ogefr. Werner Gaudigs, in La Rochette (no time or cause stated).

That three men of a motorised unit were killed and that a “sticky bomb” was involved suggests an attack on a vehicle or vehicles and Resistance historian Joseph La Picirella has written that a convoy of 10 trucks from Valence, each carrying a dozen men, was attacked by the Maquis en route to La Rochette-sur-Crest. He says that the vehicle carrying the detachment commander was destroyed and the bodies of the occupants were taken to the house of the mayor. This account seems to fit what is known of the deaths of Gaudigs, Hennecke and Ulrich (whose rank may mark him as the commander of the operation). The mayor of La Rochette, Paul Baude, later certified, “that on the 28th of last June the old village of the commune was burned by the Germans by means of incendiary bombs without the inhabitants being to remove their furniture”.

The 3. Batterie, based in Valence would soon seek approval from Abteilung 741's HQ in Avignon to take part in other anti-partisan operations. On 2 July it proposed to attach two Züge (troops) to an operation due to start on the evening of the nex evening and involving Kampgruppe Zabel of 9. Pz.Div. and a Caucasian battalion; on the 5th it again asked permission from Avignon. The operation in question was the sweep against the Privas - Le Cheylard area (see below).

1. Kompanie/Luftnachrichten Abteilung (mot.) 72

Ogefr. Ewald Henker, Ourches, electrocution injuries resulting from effects of enemy weapons.

3. Batterie/leichte Flakabteilung 14 (mot.)

Ogefr. Edmund Klein, at 14.30 hrs. in Valence, diphtheria and sepsis.

It was probably the crashed Ju 88 that was shown to Capt. John Houseman of the Inter-Allied “Eucalyptus” mission, parachuted in to work with the Maquis on the night of 26/27 June:

[In the hills above Aouste-sur-Sye] Commandant B revelled in showing us … the remains of a German plane, littering the side of one of the hills, which had been shot down by a lucky shot from a single rifle … "Here's the plane", he said, "and there's the engine over there", pointing to a tangled lump of machinery lodged against a rock …

On the road leading up from the Rhône Valley to the Vercors Plateau, the villages of Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans and Pont-en-Royans were bombed (by II./KG 26, according to Thomas and Ketley). Seven aircraft from III./SG 4 took off at 07.15 hrs. against Beaufort-sur-Gervanne and Plan-de-Baix. According to historian of the region, Robert Serre, Corbonne and Gigors were also hit during the day. In all, over 50 bombs fell, without causing any casualties.

29 June

Plans to move III./SG 4 seem to have been mooted, since Oberst Bongart urgently requested that he be allowed to retain one Staffel of 12 aircraft if it was planned to deploy the Gruppe elsewhere. Meanwhile the Fw 190s flew two operations (totalling 24 sorties) against Saint-Jean-en-Royans and Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans, landing at La Trésorerie after the second mission, owing to bad weather. In Saint-Jean, 10 died and seven were injured; in Saint-Nazaire, two were killed and six hurt.

The resistance fighters of the 11e Régiment de Cuirassiers learned:

… that at St. Nazaire and Pont-en-Royans there were a dozen victims and very great damage. When will the Allies decide to bomb the Boche aerodromes at Chabeuil [Valence], Lyon and the others in the area? After the Royans region the Boche planes attack the Crest area where they know the Resistance is everywhere and there, once again, the civilian casualties are heavy. There are 20 fatalities.

Les Ollières-sur-Eyrieux, in the Ardèche about 30 km south west of Valence aerodrome, was bombed on the 29th. German ground troops, said to be from Valence, were attacking FFI positions between La Voulte-sur-Rhône and Privas. According to the underground newspaper La Liberté, the bombing was directed against the bridge at Les Ollières and left one civilian dead plus around 10 houses destroyed.

At 17.00 hrs. Bongart’s Operations Officer gave orders for a Schwarm to be at 60 minutes’ readiness from 04.00 next morning.

continued on next page …

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