continued…

A message five days later reiterated that 4./FAGr. 5 was disbanding and handing over its equipment to 6.(F)/123 but the transfer of at least one aircraft seems to have been held up, for on 23 July 4./FAGr. 5 asked 6.(F)/123 for the earliest possible confirmation that Do 217, 9V+AM had landed. The remaining elements were planning to transfer by road at about 1700 GMT next day but the Staffel’s disbandment was not reported complete until 23 August. Its successor, 6.(F)/123, was wound up in early September in Deelen, Holland.

Airborne monitoring and plotting of Allied radar emissions continued over the North Sea during the summer of 1944, apparently by attaching the Köthen signals trials establishment’s own aircraft to 3.(F)/122 in Holland. The Generalnachrichtenführer III. Abteilung (Signals Intelligence Division) reported to the Luftwaffe Command Staff on 14 June that:

1.)

Reconnaissance has been carried out from about 4000 m, especially through flying east of 5º longitude between midnight and 0400. In that way the waveband of enemy shipborne search sets between 1.4 and 1.5 m, as well as the 9 cm waveband, can be observed with the corresponding receivers.

2.)

From the first missions it has been possible to build up a picture of the land-based radar sets in permanent operation on the east coast of England, so that on subsequent flights newly-arrived sets can be identified. Increased appearance of land-based radars and observation of mobile sets in these wavebands suggests special features.

 

Radar sets deployed on ships east of the English coast can be distinguished from sets on land by reducing flying altitude. Land-based sets will no longer be picked up at low level.

On 15 June, 3.(F)/122 had reported a strength of 3 (2) Ju 88, 7 (3) Ju 188 and 3 (2) Ju 88. It is not clear why there were two sets of Ju 88 figures unless, as sometimes happened, different models were counted separately. In the first set of figures W.Nr. 1751 is stated to be unserviceable, in the second set the u/s machine is W.Nr. 430259 (a D-7 which had been ready for collection from Buc on 20 May). The unserviceable Ju 188s were all F-1 models: 280194, 280217, 2219 and 281620. From this it appears that whilst Köthen’s radar monitors may have received support from 3.(F)/122 they were not accounted part of the Staffel. Nor is there any hint of eletronic reconnaissance in 3.(F)/122’s orders for the night of 16/17 June which seem more directed toward identifying any second Allied landing operation:

1.

Night P/R of harbours on the east coast of England with main effort over the Wash.

2.

Patrol north of the Channel Straits as far as the line Margate – Ostend in the early morning light.

3.

Patrol Dutch coast as far as the Dogger Bank at first light

Flying Mosquito Mk. XIX “VY•C” of No. 85 Squadron, F/O P.S. Kendall and F/L C.R. Hill took off from Swannington, Norfolk at 2205 GMT on an intruder patrol to Soesterberg and Deelen in Holland. They arrived in their patrol area within the hour, finding both airfields unlit. At 2326 however, Soesterberg was illuminated and an aircraft was seen to be landing with its navigation lights on. As the Mosquito moved to intercept, a red Verey light was fired and a second aircraft was seen to put on its navigation lights and begin to go round again.

Kendall gave chase, lowering flaps and landing gear to reduce speed, coming down to 140 IAS (225 km/h) at an altitude of 700 feet (213 m) as their target was turning into the flarepath for another landing attempt. Bursts of one and two seconds were fired as they closed in from 150 to 100 yards (137–91 m) with a ½-ring’s deflection, securing strikes on the enemy’s wing and fuselage. Now on fire, the hostile climbed to 2,000 ft (900 m), its navigation lights still on, before diving vertically to explode about 180 m short of the runway at 2330 GMT. Breaking away to take cine film of the burning wreck, Kendall and Hill resumed their patrol for another 20 minutes before returning to base, landing at 0043.

Although they had claimed an Me 110, the Mosquito’s crew had in fact destroyed a Ju 188 E-1, W.Nr. 260347 (GJ+SU). On the morning of the 17th, an Obltn. Sokowski (“currently 3.(F)/122") called Gen. Nafü III. Abt. and his account closely matched that of Kendall and Hill. The Ju 188 which was:

… returning from a radar-monitoring flight over the North Sea, at 0132 [GMT+2] on the approach to Soesterberg aerodrome was shot down by an enemy night fighter at 200 m altitude. The aircraft had made two circuits with its navigation lights switched on. The airfield was aware of the presence of 4–5 enemy night fighters in the vicinity. Aircraft totally destroyed by fire on impact. Crew dead.

Sokowski identified the crew but these are the ranks, forenames and spellings as recorded by the German War Graves Association, which differ somewhat in their spelling from his versions:

 

Pilot

Ofw. Egidius Hagen

 

Observer

Obltn. Heinrich Müller

 

Wireless Operator

Fw. Karl Greim

 

Flight Mechanic

Ofw. Willi Starke

 

Radar-monitoring Operator

Uffz. Rudolf Heilemann

Appended to the file note of Sokowski’s call was a note that his Ju 188 was currently undergoing its 25-hour checks, after which it would be flown over to Köthen for an overhaul of its electronics. In addition, Obltn. Merker had proposed exchanging Obltn. Kaiser of I./KG 3 for Sokowski. The former, with 180 war flights, very good technical knowledge and “extremely interested in the radar-monitoring service” was thought better suited to fly the Ju 188. On the 18th, the Technical Officer of II.(Flugfunk)/Ln. Vers. Regt. Köthen requested the Gen. Nafü to arrange for the urgent replacement of the destroyed aircraft.

NOTE: II.(Flugfunk)/Ln. Vers. Regt. Köthen = II. Battalion (Air Electronics) of Air Signals Trials Regiment Köthen.

Work was already in hand to fit out Ju 388 L-0, W.Nr. 3000006 (PG+YF) for the monitoring role. A telegram of 24 June set out the equipment allocated for the role:

 

1 Fanö receiver

[for the 38–75 cm waveband]

 

1 Samos receiver

[for the 0.64–3.3 m waveband]

 

2 GW 9 transformers

 

 

1 Philips oscillograph

 

 

1 BC buzzer

(from the firm of Kimmel, 100 Hz – 100 kHz, without valves)

The radar-monitoring sets still outstanding from the original requirement would be allocated as they arrived and were to be fetched from Ob.d.L. signals control centre at Potsdam-Eiche. Three days after this the II./Ln. Vers. Regt. was notified that it had been allocated a Viktor receiver and a Korfu 812 (centimetric radar warning set) for installation in a radar-monitoring Ju 188, GF+SZ.

NOTE: It is not known whether Ju 388 W.Nr. 300006 ever operated in the monitoring role. It was flown from Merseburg (a Junkers factory field) to Köthen on 31 March 1945 and appears to have been destroyed by the Germans before US troops took the aerodrome on 15 April.

continued on next page …

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