Evidence that the new 6.(F)/123. carried on as before comes from a recommendation dated 9 May 1944 that Ogefr. Alfred Hormann, a Horchfunker (radio monitor) with “6 Wireless Listening Regiment West” should get the Iron Cross Second Class. Hormann was on detachment to 6.(F)/123 and had made 23 war flights. Put forward for a medal at the same time were pilot Fw. Gerhard Schieck (29 war flights), whom we shall meet again, and observer Uffz. Arno Kohtz (28 war flights). Two days after this recommendation, a Ju 88 S-1 of 6.(F)/123 (W.Nr. 301181, CR+GG) was destroyed in the dispersals by bombs when Cormeilles was raided by B-26s of the 9th AF.
The 6.(F)/123 filed regular strength returns which mention two pilots on detachment, Feldwebel Schieck and Hauck. In addition two aircraft are repeatedly listed as “away from airfield”: Ju 88 S-1, W.Nr. 140607 and Ju 188 F-1, W.Nr. 281613, suggesting these men and machines were on the same assignment. Evidence from a pilot’s logbook indicates that the Ju 88 was Z6+DL, making the Ju 188 Z6+AL.
Poor serviceability seems to have dogged the enterprise: by 15 May the Ju 188 had damaged engines while the Ju 88 was having its fuselage repaired. The next day, Ltn. Suchy, Schieck and Kohtz were reported to have returned from detachment but these three were away again by the 18th. Four men (Ofw. Gäbler, Fw. Grosse-Ophoff, Fw. Gäbler and Uffz. Polzin) had been detached to Beauvais on 16 May for ferrying, returning next day’ all four were ex-KG 66 and may have formed a crew. On the 20th Kommando Suchy reported to Cormeilles that Schieck and Hauck’s crews were ready for operations but that Z6+AL was undergoing an engine change while Z6+DL was having its 100-hour test and its landing flaps were damaged.
Six days later the Ju 188 had a damaged hydraulic system and the ’88 an unserviceable automatic pilot. On 28 May, Fliegerdivision 2 reported among the day’s activities a test flight by a Ju 88 of “Special Detachment KG 66.” Bletchley Park’s analysts noted that 3./KG 66 had now become 6.(F)/123 and concluded therefore that the latter was meant. Serviceability was little better on 3 June with Z6+AL undergoing a 25-hour routine inspection and DL awaiting an engine change “as soon as engines available”; four days later both crews and their aircraft were reported ready for action. On the 5th meanwhile, the Staffel had reported that its machines were fitted with FuG 10 and FuG 16 radios; Peilgerät VI direction-finding gear; the FuBl. blind-landing receiver; FuG 101a radio altimeter; and FuG 25a IFF.
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PART TWO OF THREE