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The Allies were deciphering signals from Luftwaffe units in Southern France, including those of Jafü Südfrankreich (Fighter Controller South France):


(File HW 5/547).

The pilot who crashed can be identified from the records of the Deutsche Dienststelle in Berlin: he was Leutnant Arndt-Richard Hupfeld, the leader of Rippert's Staffel, who was badly injured. The casualty report identifies his machine as a Bf 109 G-6, Werk Nummer 163231, marked "yellow 1."

Another intercept (CX/MSS/R.262(C), paragraph 7) states that aircraft 163231 had crash landed owing to lack of fuel and was being sent to the factory for repair. It never got that far, it was later found dismantled in a hangar at Avignon-Chateau Blanc by the Allies. (AIR51/281, MAAF Field Intelligence Unit – Report No. 11).

The 1./JGr. 200 also had to consign an aircraft for factory repair, Bf 109 G-6/U4 W.Nr. 441665 which suffered a breakdown on take-off. (The same Staffel had received two Bf 109 G-6/U4 from Wiesbaden the previous day: 441752, and 441754 which was fitted with FuG 16 and FuG 25A).

The deciphered report of the day's reconnaissance missions does not include any flights by 2./NAG 13's Fw 190s. (File DEFE 3/64, item XL 4202).

The USAAF did lose a Lightning over Southern France that day, an F-5B reconnaissance version. This is confirmed by Missing Air Crew Report 7339 which records that Second Lieutenant Gene C. Meredith (23rd Photographic Squadron) went missing in F-5B No. 42-68294 on 30 July 1944 on a mapping mission over the South of France:

"At about 301315B hours, Borgo [Corsica] Sector Control notified Squadron Operations that the pilot had called "Mayday" due to the fact that an enemy aircraft was attacking.

At 301310B hours [= 13.10 hrs. local time, 30 July] Lt. Meredith called Sector Control and requested a homing. No evidence of difficulty was displayed at this time. At 3031313B hours, the pilot called "Mayday" stating than [sic] an enemy aircraft was behind and gaining. At that time his position was estimated to be 4324N 0712E. At 301314½B hours, the pilot called again with the message that the enemy was still gaining. This was the last word from Lt. Meredith. At that time. his position was estimated to be 4322N 0724E.

Radar reported a fix at 4307N 0756E at 301315B hours. This is regarded to be a more accurate position. Radar also reported one (1) hostile aircraft turning Northwest from this point. Other information reported that one (1) German aircraft claimed a victory over an American aircraft at this time."

Further evidence came from Georg Pemler who at that time had been a Leutnant with 2./NAG 13 (his rank and service with NAG 13 are corroborated by a deciphered signal):

"We carefully reviewed the reported and confirmed shootdowns scored by Jagdfliegerrführer 3 (Südfrankreich) and thus JGr. 200:

… Fw. Guth two P-38s confirmed shot down (29 April and 30 July 1944)."

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All file references are from the National Archives, Kew London and the Bundesarchov-Militärarchiv, Freiburg-im-Breisgau.

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