continued …

29th of January brought a report from Sperling that T9+EH had “crashed” on take-off at 08.55 hrs. but its Oberleutnant pilot (Sommer, presumably) was unhurt. The “crash” was more likely damage — the German »Bruch« would cover both — since according to a later message Sommer was taking off in the same aircraft at 13.04 hrs. In addition, T5+HH was unserviceable owing to 10% damage from enemy action and next day T9+EH was reported unserviceable. Despite earlier requests, Hecht still lacked spares including a cockpit cover, hydraulic filter and camera drive.

From a message sent on the morning of 30 January it was learned that because of the weather Ofw. Windhövel and T5+GH had been stood down. On the 31st, Luftwaffenkommando West gave orders to “Sonderkommando 1.(F)/100 (Biblis)” for photographic cover the following day of the roads:

Diekirch – St. Vith – Bütgenbach – Monschau; and

Arlon – Bastogne – Aywaille – Liege – Maastricht – Sittard – Roermond.

NOTE: A combination of different messages suggests that Erich Sommer may have been recalled to Oranienburg at this juncture to receive new orders:

Kdo. Sperling reported the take-off mishap on the 29th, suggesting Sommer was in Rheine at the time.

He took off later that day but his T9+EH was reported unserviceable on the 30th by both Hecht and Sperling.

On 30 January, Sommer was given his posting to Italy, and Oranienburg (home of the Versuchsverband) asked about the weather for Biblis next morning.

On the evening of the 2nd Sommer, then in Oranienburg, was advised that landing (apparently in Biblis) would not be possible until the following afternoon because an 80 m. landing strip was being prepared but he was later warned off until the 4th as the airfield was soft and very slippery.


February 1945

Kommando Hecht was formally disbanded on 1 February, its tasks, much of its equipment being taken over by 1.(F)/100. However, two of that Staffel’s aircraft — T5+DH and T5+IH — appear in a strength return for that day thought to have emanated from Kdo. Sperling. The new Staffel’s orders for the 1st were for photographic strips covering roads:

Diekirch – St. Vith – Bütgenbach – Monschau; and

Arlon – Bastogne – Aywaille – Liège – Maastricht – Sittard – Roermond.

At 17.00 hrs. on the 1st, Oranienburg asked about the forecast weather at Biblis for 07.00 the next morning, suggesting that the Versuchsverband was planning to fly down an aircraft.

Still with Sperling, T5+IH was taken up by Ltn. Viergutz at 11.44 hrs. on the 3rd to cover the Nijmegen – Venlo – Roermond area. This coverage correlates in part with the second of two missions which Lw.Kdo. West had ordered for the day taking in the roads:

Luxembourg – Diekirch – St. Vith – Bütgenbach – Monschau; and

Longwy – Arlon – Bastogne – Verbeaumont – Liège – Maastricht – Roermond.

NOTE: On 2 March, Viergutz flew an abortive sortie in 4U+IH, as a member of 1.(F)/123. This pilot may have favoured the +IH code or his new unit may have taken over and re-marked the aircraft.

On the 4th, 1.(F)/100 was ordered to carry out the same reconnaissance as had been ordered for the previous day bad weather precluded any flying.

A number of developments took place on 7 February. First the designations Sperling and Hecht were cancelled with immediate effect in favour of 1.(F)/123 and 1.(F)/100 and the latter was asked if it was possible for its new Staffelkapitän, Hptm. Hermann Holert (DKiG), to land at Biblis. The reply was in the affirmative: a strip of 1100 x 60 m. was available but one must keep to the white markings. (Despite this exchange, the Gen.d.A. War Diary does not record Holert’s appointment until the 26th).

With Sommer’s Arado (W.Nr. 140344) now officially off its strength, 1.(F)/100 was told that day that the Versuchsverband had a replacement ready in Oranienburg; meanwhile it had 5 (2) aircraft. Late in the evening a complaint was made to 1.(F)/123 about a lack of lorries (presumably for Sommer’s move) and that two vehicles carrying spares had not arrived.

Orders for the 8th again called for the Staffel to photograph roads:

Monschau – St. Vith – Luxembourg – Metz – Saarburg – Saverne – Strasbourg; and

Metz – Nancy – Luneville – Baccarat – St. Die – Sélestat.

An attempted photo-reconnaissance of the roads between Luxembourg, Metz and Saverne next day was atributed to Kdo. Hecht in the daily situation reports but it was abandoned in the face of bad weather.

The 1.(F)/100 gained one aircraft between 8 and 13 February, adding a second to its strength on the latter date for a total of 7 (4). This second Ar 234 was in all probability W.Nr. 140464 which left the strength of 1.(F)/123 as of the 13th and would appear as T5+EH with 1.(F)/100.

continued on next page …



Question: Holert or Hollert?

Both spellings appear in contemporary sources; Holert is the more common in present-day German telephone directories.

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