October 1944

Both pilots operated on 2 October: Sommer from 09.04–09.46 hrs. on a reconnaissance of Arnhem – Nijmegen – Grave – Merksplas – Antwerp – Saint Trond – Maastricht; Götz from 08.13–10.00 on a P/R of Antwerp – Turnhout – Grave – Nijmegen – Arnhem. Götz flew T9+GH while Sommer was reported as piloting “F9+NN” (a quite thorough misreporting of T9+MH). Air Operational Watch of RAF Air Intelligence Section 4(f) also noted that: also noted that:

F 123 again ordered recce of harbours from the Thames Estuary to Great Yarmouth and a/f’s in SE England (there is no evidence that this order has yet been carried out, though it has become almost a routine).

Targets assigned for the next day included harbours and airfields but these may not have been covered because the same task was given for the 4th along with Cherbourg and Le Havre, and the Ar 234 Kommando was asked to report whether these French ports could be reached either with auxiliary tanks or from a forward base. If weather precluded the above then the Arados should photograph a swathe of Belgium and Holland and approach roads behind the front around Sittard, Geilenkirchen and Eupen. Air Operational Watch observed that the last definitely identified reconnaissance of the Seine Bay had been on 15 August, noting also that success reports from German reconnaissance units had rarely been intercepted of late and:

… only one [such] report of Detachment GOETZ has been received, although it had probably operated more frequently than this … In the only success report received, “all the old airfields” reported to have been photographed.

That evening the Kommando reported its strength as two serviceable aircraft and two pilots, adding that Sommer was currently detached to Berlin (his T9+MH then seems to have become unserviceable for a month; one report says its wings were being strengthened).

Orders to reconnoitre “the remainder of South East England” were given for the 5th and 6th. At 08.30 hrs. on the latter date the Kommando was asked to “please give results of flights with auxiliary tank with approximate range Le Havre, and exact details of remaining recce of SE England.” Seven hours later Götz was asking for film to be collected immediately; flying T9+GH, he had undertaken a successful reconnaissance of South Eastern England, supplementing this with the visual observation that there was “no important shipping traffic” in the Wash or off the coast. By the evening, Götz’s Arado was reported unserviceable.

Further coverage of England the following morning was thwarted by layers of 9–10/10 cloud up to 10,000 m. so the alternative, the area around Limburg, was photographed on the way back, the flight lasting from 06.52–08.35 hrs. Fighters had been sighted but did not try to intercept. Returning to the coast, the Arado’s pilot observed “one shot from rocket Flak or special weapon” passing 100 m from his aircraft and rising almost vertically to about 11,000 m. One imagines this might have been rather alarming and indeed Götz had recently enquired about the location of the V-2 batteries, being advised that they were in the Rotterdam–Den Haag area.

Orders for the 8th were unchanged save for the additional task of photographing Allied penetrations south of Geilenkirchen — the Kommando was urged to “secure [this] reconnaissance under all circumstances” and told that the forecast weather, at least during the morning, would make flights over England inadvisable. Over the following four days the Kommando was told to get photos of Walcheren, South East England and Le Havre.

A third Ar 234 joined Sperling on 11 October: T9+HH (W.Nr. 140153), probably flown, as it would be subsequently, by Ltn. Wolfgang Ziese.

continued on next page …


Goetzplate Next Top Back sourcelink appxlink aprlink marlink feblink janlink declink novlink octlink auglink introlink homelink