Compared to the other Ar 234 articles on this site, the units here are the ones best covered in published sources. A number of the principal pilots survived the war and recounted their stories to researchers, notably Dr. Alfred Price, J. Richard Smith and Eddie J. Creek. Arado 234 pioneers such as Werner Muffey, Horst Götz and Erich Sommer had vivid (and very accurate) memories of the introduction of the type in the reconnaissance role.
If my usual mixture of sources adds anything, it has been to tie down dates more firmly than in existing accounts and to give a clearer picture of the missions being flown at various junctures. The Allies were usually much better informed about the orders given to German reconnaissance units than they were about operations actually flown. Orders were issued issued daily but during Winter 1944/45 the weather grounded the Ar 234 units for days on end, so signals giving orders outnumbered reports of results obtained.
There is a little more here about aircraft lost or damaged and a great deal about the individual aircraft on strength and serviceable through to early April 1945. Details of 1.(F)/123’s activity in the last four weeks of the war are still lacking and the transformation of Kommando Sperling into 1.(F)/123 is not much clearer — which pilots stayed on, were aircraft replaced or was their T9+ code just changed to 4U+?
For more details on the origins and inter-relationships of the Ar 234 reconnaissance units see this page.
Times in this article are GMT unless otherwise stated.
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