Herbert Fietz’s flying career started off at Flugschule A/B 1 in Görlitz, his training continuing at Flugschule C 21, Bialystok and Blindflugschule 4, Belgrade.
... operations with KG 400 z.b.V. (subsequently TG 4) to Skopje followed straightaway. After transport flights to Albania ended we had to give up our machines (Ju 52) in Köleda. Subsequently we made courier flights in the East with the He 111.
As always in life, when things are going too well for the donkey, he goes out to dance on the ice. So I volunteered for the night fighters. After that I flew with NJG 11(?) in Ingolstadt-Manching. With the conversion from instrument flying to the Wilde Sau — in the meantime the superiority had become too great so that no successes worth mentioning were to be registered with instrument flying on the Me 110 — in my case, they established on the basis of an eye examination that I only had Night Flying Fitness 2. On account of that, I was transferred to Nachtschlacht flying.
Initially, I was retrained in Göttingen on an Italian machine (similar to the Me 110) Caproni 113/114 [almost certainly the Ca.313 and 314]. In operations from Udine, this type showed itself unfit for combat. The mixed wood/steel construction was too weak. After that, to Caselle. Here, conversion to the Fiat C.R.42. But this type proved itself unfit in action, likewise. So, back to Germany again.
Conversion to the Ju 87 took place in Groß-Stein near Oppeln [now Opole, Poland]. After that, in the Spring of 1944, I came to the 1. Staffel of NSG 9. My first operational base was Viterbo near Rome, then Caselle and after that Ravenna.
The Germans had considered using the CR.42 as early as October 1942, as a night fighter, following the example of their Italian allies. This was in North Africa at the time of the Second Battle of El Alamein when they were anxious to improve the defence of their advanced landing grounds in view of the heavy losses in aircraft suffered at the hands of RAF night raiders. Bf 109 night flights were also planned for the night of 23/24 October, controlled from Fuka in Egypt with “maximum use to be made of Freya and Würzburg” radars.