Several aerodromes — Caritat and Plan de Dieu included — were attacked by American aircraft during the day, as was Orange railway bridge, but there is no indication that JGr. 200 took off to defend any of these targets.
Jafü Süd passed an urgent request for pilots to be allocated to JGr. 200 as the unit was 28 short; he also complained that an official "urgently required for the setting up of the Gruppe" had not yet arrived. In addition, orders were also given for Nîmes and Caritat to be stocked up with mortar bombs from the Flughafenbereichskommando, presumably for the benefit of Bf 109s carrying the WGr. 21.
P-51s of the 332nd FG were on a strafing mission, sweeping the Toulon area from 10.00–10.20 hours. Just north of the city, at 13,000 ft., four enemy aircraft (reported as two Bf 109s and two Fw 190s) attacked, "coming in very aggressively from 5 o' clock high" on the rear flight of the 199th FS. The P-51s turned into their assailants; following one pair down, Lt. George M. Rhodes Jr. of the 100th FS opened fire on a Fw 190, blowing off its right wing and claiming his second victory. From JGr. 200, Ofw. Isken and Uffz. Kniestedt each claimed a P-51 at 10.23. The 332nd FG reported an aircraft lost and another missing: Lt. Clarence Allen bailed over Elba (friendly territory) while Lt. Robert O'Neil crash landed on the beach near Toulon — both were rescued. Meanwhile, other P-38s bombed the Jafü out his his HQ at La Nerthe.
During the day, Signals Intelligence also reported enemy aircraft patrolling between Toulon and Antibes and heard a German pilot report that 100 B-17s were bombing Flak batteries near Toulon. Further north, JG 27 signalled that four pilots had arrived from JGr. 200 to fetch Bf 109s made available on 6 August but these had already been surrendered to JG 3 in accordance with the Korps' (II. Jagdkorps?) order of the 14th.
At 19.45 hours, three of the Gruppe's aircraft were reported as being off strength: one had crashed, the other two had wireless problems. (This type of report could refer to casualties incurred the previous day however).
The 2. Fliegerdivision reported that its total effort for the day had included: nine Bf 109s scrambled; four more on an escort mission; and one on reconnaissance. At 07.10 hours, JGr. 200 scrambled a formation of perhaps a dozen Bf 109s from its 1. and 2. Staffeln. The former unit was to provide top-cover while the latter attacked the landing fleet with WGr. 21 mortars. Before they could come near their targets they ran into the Lightnings of 1st FG, just east of Oraison. Unteroffizier Walter Lang of 1./JGr. 200 took part in a morning operation which, although his interrogators dated it to the 16th, matches this action in every other respect. His Staffel was escorting mortar aircraft of 2./JGr. 200 and en route the formation had been dispersed by P-38s; the 2. Staffel pilots were forced to jettison their mortars while the Americans shed their "bombs" (probably drop tanks) and "everybody made for home as fast as he could", as Lang put it. According to the MATAF Daily Operations Summary the 1st FG met six Bf 109s, destroying two of them; these victories were credited to the ace Capt. Tom E. Maloney of the 27th FS.
The next engagement was a few minutes later and 80 km. to the south east, near St. Vallier de Thiey, when one of 11 Messerschmitts was shot down by 2/Lt. Robert A. Longworth of 71st FS on a "Grapes Patrol" (relays of 12 P-38s at 12–15,000 feet between Fréjus and the Hyères Islands). If the times and positions given are accurate then the two engagements must have involved separate German formations, since a Bf 109 could not cover 80 km. (50 miles) in 5 minutes.
Two more patrols appear to have been up during the afternoon and a German report that evening (partially intercepted) disclosed that at least one Bf 109 had been shot down during day and that its pilot was safe. Strength figures show that since the previous evening JGr. 200 had lost two aircraft, and one pilot. Uffz. Hans Ludwig (Bf 109 G-6, "yellow 1") was posted missing but in fact he was killed and is buried in the German military cemetery at Dagneux. Serviceability declined by four and at least one of these machines seems to have incurred combat damage: according to Uffz. Lang, the port landing gear of his "white 16", was hit by AA fire over the coast but he got down safely at base and the Messerschmitt was operational again by the following afternoon.
Wellingtons and Halifaxes of No. 205 Group RAF which bombed Valence/La Trésorerie that night reported sighting a Bf 109 over the French coast but there is no indication from the German side that JGr. 200 was operating after dark.
Further north, II. Jagdkorps told JG 27 that the four JGr. 200 men who had arrived with the Geschwader the day before should instead report to II./JG 2 at "Airfield 409" (this was probably Baron, 18 km. south east of Creil, where that Gruppe was based). Other reinforcements were arriving in Provence however: 28 Bf 109s of II./JG 77 had left Ghedi in Northern Italy at 10.00 for Orange-Caritat and the remainder of the unit was due to follow next day. Nine Savoia 82s of II./TG 1 transported their ground crews, spares and stores and among them was Ofw. Köhler's 1Z+GP of the 6. Staffel which had set off at 07.30 hours. The Allies were soon aware of these moves:
“...reinforcements were airborne and the callsign MITTEL was established as that of II JG 77, probably based at ORANGE CARITAT. The identities of EICHE (or EISEN) and VOGEL could not be established although the appearance of pilot's name STEINER (or HEINI) might indicate that at least a part of I JG 77 had moved to South France. Both EICHE and VOGEL carried out reconnaissance duties in addition to their normal patrol and interception work ...”
continued on next page …