Serviceability little better on 3 June with AL having a 25-hour routine inspection and DL awaiting an engine change “as soon as engines [are] available”; the 7th however saw both crews and aircraft serviceable. On the 5th, the Staffel had reported that its aircraft were fitted with FuG 10 and FuG 16 radios; Peilgerät VI direction-finding gear; the FuBl. blind-landing receiver; FuG 101a radio altimeter; and FuG 25a IFF.
By now the Allies had amassed enough intelligence to deduce that Kdo. Suchy was operating with 1.(F)/33 under Fliegerdivision 2. Confirmation came on 11 June in a signal to “Kdo. Ltn. Such [sic], Saint Martin” (Saint Martin de Crau, base of 1.(F)/33). The sender wanted to know why there had been no operation even though the aircraft were serviceable and Ltn. Such[y] was at the operational base. The detachment was directed that to achieve satisfactory »Funkmeßaufklärung« (radar reconnaissance) only one or two sets should be used for locating radar. Furthermore, the operation was only useful when it was proved beyond doubt that the “apparatus” was on land or sea. It seems from the context that the Kommando was searching for radar, rather than searching with it and was perhaps engaged in mapping or interfering with Allied coverage in the Mediterranean.
The Kommando reported to Cormeilles on the 22nd that Z6+AL needed alterations to an aerial while Z6+DL was undergoing changes to its »Neptun« (fitted to a Ju 188, this was almost certainly the tail-warning version of the FuG 216 radar). On the afternoon of the 26th, more information emerged: the crews were operational, as was Z6+AL but Z6+DL was to transfer to Cormeilles — it set off at 02.00 [German Summer Time] on the 28th but not before flying another operation. A British intelligence report for the 24 hours from dawn on the 27th noted:
High altitude reconnaissance was attempted by 6.(F)/123 from St. Martin. One Ju 188 was airborne [at] 0410 but broke off in 05 East A4161 with one engine u/s.
Meanwhile Z6+AL’s port engine was being changed.
The 5th of July brought rare evidence of an operation by 6.(F)/123 when NQ+VR was to take off from Cormeilles at 20.30 GMT, make an intermediate landing at Rennes for refuelling and fly to a point about 300 km SW of Penzance before returning to base. Suchy’s detachment remained in being, reporting on 6 July that its sole machine was now having its starboard engine changed. By 10 July the decision had been taken that 4./FAGr. 5 should be disbanded, its personnel and equipment being absorbed by 6.(F)/123. Although three aircraft were reported as being handed over to their new owner, only one (Ju 188 F-1, W.Nr. 260251, 9V+EM) appeared in its strength returns, perhaps because it had been in Germany the whole time. That the Staffel was still operational at this point is borne out by a proposal on the 11th for a “supplementary deployment of a Lichtenstein aircraft on a radio-reconnaissance flight by 6.(F)/123 to the Balearics”. Approval from Funkhorch-Regiment West came next day,
One possible target of such monitoring flights over the Mediterranean was discussed in a paper of the 12th. The III./Ln.Rgt. 2 claimed to have established that a 171.5 mHz set with a 600 Hz pulse repetition frequency had been installed on fishing boats operating in Luftlotte 2’s area. There was said to be no question that this was the case because the gear had actually been seen on this type of vessel by a U-boat which had surfaced and lain alongside. This was seen as proof that small boats carrying radar were operating by day, using fishing fleets for protection (there had been similar concerns in Biscay in the last quarter of 1943). Also taken as confirmed was the presence of homing transmitters to facilitate rendezvous with agents and saboteurs. Listening stations were therefore to be alerted to this new development.
Suchy's Kommando may have been wound up soon afterward for there is no further mention of it in 6.(F)/123’s returns and nor was any Ju 88 S-1 on the Staffel’s strength by 15 July (although one appears again on 18 August).
Like so many others, Staffelkapitän, Hptm. Heinz De Wilde was quick to reassure FAGr. 123’s National Socialist Leadership Officer of his unit’s loyalty in the wake of the failed 20 July Plot against Hitler, reporting:
1) Staffel morale good, indignation at the murderous attack.
2) Personnel newly allotted from the homeland during the last few days is being watched.
3) At 100/21/7 [GMT] instruction was given by Staffelkapitän.
continued on next page …
PART TWO OF THREE