gaps

Up to 10 March 1944

On 10 March 1944, I./JG 2 reported that in 12 operational days of its three pilots had been killed in action, one was missing, two had been wounded and three had baled out safely. Eleven aircraft had been lost, seven of them through enemy action.

The Gruppe had flown 11 missions entailing 110 sorties by Fw 190s as well as 24 by Bf 109s. Average strength up to 10 March had been 30 aircraft and serviceability 60%.

Analysis of this report raises a number of interesting points.

The month of March

The Gruppe’s returns for March showed:

Nine Bf 109

lost to enemy action

six identified.

Nine Fw 190

lost to enemy action

seven identified.

Two Fw 190

lost to other causes

none identified.

Three Bf 109

sent to overhaul

one possibly identified.

Two Fw 190

sent to overhaul

no information.

Surviving Luftwaffe records for 1944 are not always helpful when it comes to giving details of aircraft lost in circumstances where there was no injury to personnel. Losses to enemy action could occur on the ground as well as in the air and German bases were often targets for attack by Allied aircraft.

Sadly, from the historian's perspective, no I./JG 2 pilots were taken prisoner in Italy or we might have learned a great deal more from the resulting interrogation report. The only I./JG 2 interrogation that even mentions their Italian interlude is that of a pilot shot down over Belgium in January 1945 and that has almost nothing to say on the subject.

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