19 September 1944

Jagdgruppe 200 told «Aufklärungsstaffel K» in Freiburg that Hauptfw. Huppenkothen and Uffz. Ordon were urgently needed in Bierstadt since JGr. 200 was being disbanded and they had to wind up the Staffel’s affairs.

21–24 September 1944

On the 21st, Luftflotte 3 set out its intention that after restoring serviceability, 2./NAG 13 would transfer to Freiburg. Once it arrived, FAG 123 was to withdraw Staffel Kaatsch from operations and disband it.

Next day, Jagdgruppe 200 told Ltn. Moschke in Freiburg that the Gruppe’s Fw. Pofer should be dispatched immediately to JG 2 in Nidda (about 50 km. north east of Frankfurt). Hoping to get back a vehicle it had loaned, the Gruppe also inquired as to the whereabouts of Transport Column 153/XII, formerly working under Flughafenbereich Salon in Southern France.

On the 23rd, a Ltn. Viemann of JGr. 200 asked Kaatsch as a matter of urgency when the Staffel would be replaced by 2./NAG 13 and when remaining elements of the Jagdgruppe could be withdrawn and disbanded.

On the 21st Moschke had flown a mission in "7" from 13.30–13.40 hrs. The brief duration of this flight and the fact that he flew an even shorter test flight in the same machine on the 23rd, suggests that he had encountered a technical problem. On the 24th he took off from Freiburg in "2" but was shot down after 30 minutes. He may well have been wounded because on 18 October he died of a "heart weakness" in hospital at Marienbad (Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic), just short of his 21st birthday. His service had won him the EK I, awarded by Genlt. Alexander Holle who had taken over Luftwaffenkommando West on 28 September.

25–26 September 1944

Jagdgruppe 200 notified Kaatsch that it (i.e. JGr. 200) was being disbanded in accordance OKL General Quartiermeister’s order Nr. 13012. For the Staffel this would mean that “released personnel” were to stay in Freiburg and await transfer orders. Vehicles were to be handed over to other units.

The same day, 1./NAG 13 sent a message to say it was not carrying out reconnaissance westward of Belfort “owing to the great distance” [about 215 km. from its base at Lachen-Speyerdorf to Belfort]. The 2./NAG 13 had not yet been brought up so the unidentified addressee was advised to approach Staffel Kaatsch instead.

On the 25th, Luftwaffenkommando West issued an appreciation of the reconnaissance situation in its area, noting that:

Carrying out of operations greatly hindered by the bad aircraft position, due to losses in the last few days. the 6 Me 109 allocated on 23 September have not yet arrived. Four of these aircraft could in any case only be employed for auxiliary purposes, as the vertically-mounted [Rb 12.5/] 7 x 9 are only suitable to a limited extent for the present continual photo-reconnaissances. Allocation of Me 109 [with] MW 50 and [Rb] 20/30 and or /50 urgently necessary.

On the 26 Freiburg reported on the miscellany of aircraft currently stationed there. Among these were 11 "Bf 109 - H" which must have included Staffel Kaatsch's aircraft. The meaning of the H is obscure (the unit never reported having any of the extremely rare H sub-type) unless someone was using the old term for tactical reconnaissance machines (Heeresaufklärer).

28 September 1944

A Rotte from Sonderstaffel Kaatsch (so-called in the report) was forced to break off a reconnaissance of roads in the Belfort–Lure area of Eastern France, 10 km. east of Vesoul, following mechanical failure in the leader's Messerschmitt. The mission lasted from 15.10–15.56 hrs.and (according to a British Intelligence report) an Auster had been fired on and forced to land. (The day before, a Bf 109 of 1./NAG 13 had engaged an Auster without result near Nomeny, 12.5 km east of Pont-à-Mousson).

That evening ULTRA revealed that an “unidentified unit subordinated to FAG 123” — almost certainly the Kaatsch Staffel — had 9 machines (4 serviceable) and 10 pilots (9 ready). The report added that all the unserviceable machines were Bf 109 G-6 models:

W.Nr. 163876

shot up

W.Nr. 781210

wiring out of action

W.Nr. 441019

change of engine

W.Nr. 441506

engine damage

W.Nr. 15862

petrol pump

29 September 1944

The disbandment saga took another turn when Luftflotte 3 again directed FAG 123 to withdraw Kaatsch from operations and disband it when 2./NAG 13 arrived in Freiburg (the previous day, Luftflotte 3 had advised subordinate units that Donaueschingen was available as a base for this Staffel).

30 September 1944

Late in the day, Staffel Kaatsch reported a strength of 9 (4) aircraft and 10 (8) pilots. Among the unserviceable aircraft were:

W.Nr. 163876

change of wings

W.Nr. 441019

change of engine

W.Nr. 15862

fuel injection pump

A Hptm. Mathis at Langendiebach notified a Flak unit in Kassel that among units due to be disbanded were Jafü Südfrankreich (in Metz) and JGr. 200 (at Boeblingen near Stuttgart). Reading this, British Intelligence commented: “No surprise can be occasioned by the disbanding of Jafue South France …”

continued on next page …

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Kaatschplate

TIMELINE

 

19 September

US troops liberate Nancy.

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