Heinz Migeod: Stuka group background

Heinz showing the emblem of his 2nd staffel of the I/St.G 3 wing (picture taken  July 2010).  The red is the distinctive part that belongs to the 2nd staffel. Propeller spinner tips of aircraft belonging to the 2nd staffel were also painted this colour. 

 

Background and activities of the Luftwaffe groups where Heinz was stationed

(extracted from Dive-Bomber and Ground-Attack Units of the Luftwaffe by H.L. deZeng and D.G. Stankey, thanks Doug for permission)

09.03.40 Heinz was transferred to I./St.G. 76 (to 04.07.40).  

 ·         April 1940: Gruppe engaged in training and maneuvers, probably in (Herzogenaurach north of Nuremburg))the Köln-Düsseldorf area where most Stuka units were assembled under VIII. Fliegerkorps.

 Campaign in the West:

  • 10-11 May 1940: Gruppe at Köln-Ostheim attached to Geschwaderstab/St.G. 2 with 39(34) Ju 87 Bs.  On the first two days of the attack, the Gruppe supported the initial breakthrough around Maastricht, hit enemy defenses along the Albert Canal and assisted the subjugation of the Belgian fort at Eben-Emael by impeccably trained German glider troops, but at the cost of 7 Ju 87s shot down by intense AA fire on 10 May. (more south)

  •  Moved forward from Köln-Ostheim to Dockendorf to the north-west of Trier around 12 or 13 May. 

  •  12-14 May: supported the rapid advance by Reichenau’s 6. Armee across eastern and central Belgium that was accompanied by heavy fighting around Liège and Namur, but managed to reach a north-south line along the River Dyle between Antwerpen and Namur by 14 May. 

  •  12 May: attacked targets in the vicinity of Sedan in late morning.  

  •  12 May: Ju 87 shot down by a Hurricane over St-Trond/33 km north-west of Liège. 

  •  14 May: attacked French armor south of Sedan in late morning. 

  •  15-18 May: attacked enemy positions, troop concentrations and columns along the line of advance south of Brussels (taken 17 May by A.O.K. 6) toward the River Scheldt and Lille.  Moved forward to Guise/25 km east-north-east of St-Quentin around 17 May.

  •  19-24 May: shifted support to the 9 German Panzer divisions assembled in the St-Quentin – Péronne – Cambrai area that over the next several days advanced rapidly via Amiens for the Channel coast at Abbeville and then Boulogne.

24.05.1940 Heinz awarded EK2

  •  25 May – 2 June: attacked British and French troops assembled in the Dunkirk bridgehead and evacuation shipping sent across the Channel to take them off the beaches and transport them to England (Operation Dynamo). 

  •  26 May: attacked shipping off Calais.

  •  26-28 May: 2 Ju 87 shot down and another shot up, probably over the Dunkirk area.

  •  28 May: in action against targets observed between Bailleul and Hazebrouck. 

  •  5 June: supported the main battle of France that began this date and drove southwest across the rivers Somme, Aisne, Marne, Seine and on into the Loire Valley, clearing the way for A.O.K. 6 and Panzergruppe von Kleist. 

  •  7-8 June: moved forward from Guise to Soissons/90 km north-east of Paris. 

  •  10 June: 2 Ju 87s lost in crashes at Zuss (not located, but may be Zussen near Maastricht/Belgium). 

  •  14 June: encountered enemy in the vicinity of La Chapelle, north of Romilly. 

  •  15-16 June: Gruppe moved forward again, now from Soissons to Villenauxe/95 km east-south-east of Paris. 

  •  22 June: the campaign concluded with the signing of an armistice between Germany and France. 

  •  25-30 June: Gruppe transferred to Barly/17 km west-south-west of Arras. 

  •  9 July: Gruppe disbanded at Barly, with the main element going to form III./St.G. 77 and the lesser element going to form I./St.G. 3.

05.07.40 Heinz was transferred to I./St.G. 3 (to 08.01.42).

  • I./St.G. 3 formed on 9 July 1940 at Barly (17 km west-south-west of Arras in north-east France) with Ju 87 Bs using elements of I./St.G. 76.

  •  July – August 1940: attacked convoys in the English Channel and targets along the south coast of England using Cherbourg-Théville and Picauville/33 km south-south-east of Cherbourg as forward staging fields.

  •  August: from Théville, took part in a major attack on Convoy Peewit off the Isle of Wight that cost the British 4 ships sunk and 7 damaged, but the Gruppe lost 3 Ju 87 Bs to fighters plus 2 more shot up. 

  •  13 August: not listed in Luftwaffe order of battle for this date, so possibly on stand down or resting and refitting.      
  • 18 August: due to unexpected high losses (mostly by St.G. 77), all Stuka units were withdrawn from daylight cross-Channel operations. 

  20.08.1940 Heinz awarded  EK1

 01.10.40 Heinz promoted to Oblt.

  • 19 October: Ju 87 B-1 slightly damaged in a taxiing accident at Barly airfield.   
  • 7 November: Gruppe attacked shipping in the Thames Estuary, sinking one and damaging another - 1 Ju 87 was damaged.
  •  
  • 8 November: flew a second raid on shipping in the same location, damaging several - 2 Ju 87 Bs were shot down.     
  •  7 December: temporarily assigned to VIII. Fliegerkorps for Operation Felix, the planned attack on Gibraltar through Spain that was aborted a short time later.  
  •     December 1940 – January 1941: not mentioned in the surviving documents, but believed to have returned to Germany (Echterdingen near Stuttgart?) for rest, refit and the granting of home leave.     

Balkan Campaign and Operations in the Eastern Mediterranean (February 1941 - November 1941) 

·         17 February: Ju 87 crashed on take-off from Balomir airfield in Bulgaria, 2 KIA. 

  •     5 April: at Belica (Belitsa)/Bulgaria with 30 Ju 87 Bs and 9 Ju 87 Rs for the Balkan Campaign under VIII. Fliegerkorps. 

·         April – May: supported armored and motorized spearheads advancing into Greece, moving forward via Sirbani (Sirbanovo)/Bulgaria, Larissa (Larisa), Corinth and then to Argos by around 10 May. 

  •   14 April: Gruppe attacked British troops around Servia in north Greece, losing one Stuka, with another lost on 19 April while dive-bombing retreating enemy columns in the same area.  Operations had reached the Athens area by 24 April. 

·         20-31 May: took part in Operation Merkur (Mercury), the airborne and air landing assault on Crete. 

·         22 May: at Argos - 10 of the Gruppe’s ground servicing personnel WIA when a 500 kg bomb exploded during the collision of two Stukas that were attempting to take off. 

·         29 May: took part in attacks on Royal Navy forces evacuating personnel from Crete, losing a Ju 87 from 2. Staffel, which may have put a bomb into the forward gun positions of the cruiser Dido before crashing into the sea. 

·         June: transferred to Maritza on Rhodes during the first half of June to attack Royal Navy surface units in the eastern Mediterranean as opportunities arose. 

·         30 July: finding few targets, transferred from Maritza to Máleme on Crete. 

·         13 September: 2 Ju 87 R-4 (Trop) from 2. Staffel damaged on the ground at Máleme during a raid on the airfield by RAF bombers. 

·         November: began transferring from Máleme to Derna in North Africa around mid-November.

North African Campaign – Retreat and Advance (November 1941 - May 1942) 

  • November 1941 – November 1942: supported Rommel’s Afrikakorps during its advances and retreats across the deserts of Cyrenaica and western Egypt, taking part in the major actions at Bir Hacheim, Tobruk, El Alamein and El Ruweisat, with stations at Agedabia, Maraua and Tmimi.

  • 25 November: Ju 87 shot down by AA fire near Tobruk.  December: reportedly based at Arco Philanorum (Marble Arch)/195 km south-south-west of Benghazi during December. 

  • January 1942: moved forward and now at Agedabia/150 km south of Benghazi. 

  • 24 January: 2 Ju 87s shot down by fighters near Msus to the south-east of Benghazi - 1 KIA and 1 captured.  However, the Gruppe reported it lost 3 Ju 87 R-2s in the Agedabia area to enemy fighters and AA fire this date with 4 crew members MIA. 

  • 28 January: Ju 87 lost to AA fire south of Magrun during operations in the Benghazi area. 

09.0.40, Heinz was transferred to Erg.St./St.G. 3 in Piacenza/N Italy as a dive-bomber tactics and gunnery instructor. (to 16.06.42). 

09.02.40, Heinz awarded the Ehrenpokal.  

  • 9-10 February 1942: Erg.St./St.G. 3 transferred from Salonika-Sedes to Piacenza/north Italy with a brief stop over at Foggia in central Italy. Trainees were only with the Staffel for 6 weeks before being sent to one of the operational Gruppen.

17.06.42, Heinz was transferred back  to 1./St.G. 3 (to 11.11.42).

·         20 May: I./St.G. 3 based at Tmimi.

 

North African Campaign final phase

  • 4 June 1942: 2 or 3 Ju 87s claimed shot down by fighters over Bir Hacheim during attacks on that fortress; one of the casualties was Gruppenkommandeur Hptm. Heinrich Eppen, who was KIA. 

  • 20 June: 3 Ju 87 Rs shot down by AA fire during an attack on Tobruk and El Adem, 4 KIA and 2 MIA. 

  • July – August: advanced toward Egypt with bases at Fuka and Bir el Abd/72 km south-east of Fuka. 

  • 3 July: 3 Ju 87s shot down by Hurricanes between Fuka and El Alamein along the Egyptian coast. 

  • 15 July: Ju 87 shot down by AA fire near El Alamein. 

  • 12 August: temporarily transferred from Libya to Trapani/Sicily to take part in II. Fliegerkorps attacks on the Pedestal relief force and convoy moving across the Mediterranean from Gibraltar toward Malta.  Scored hits on the aircraft carrier Indomitable on 12 August with two heavy bombs and three near misses, thereby forcing her out of action.  Two Ju 87 Ds were shot down by carrier fighters during the attack. 

  • Further missions were flown on 13 and 14 August with hits on two more ships, including the cruiser Dorset, and another Ju 87 was shot down. 

21.08.42 Heinz awarded DKG

  • Returned to North Africa during the second half of August and based at Quasaba/30 km south-east of Mersa Matruh.

  • 6 September: Ju 87 D-3 (Trop) shot down by AA fire south of El Alamein, 2 MIA. 

  • 12 September: moved to Quasaba landing ground/30 km south-east of Mersa Matruh in northwest Egypt on or about this date.

  • 31 October: Ju 87 shot down by AA fire over the El Alamein front area.

  • 1 November: 2 Ju 87s shot down by P-40 Kittyhawks and U.S. P-40Fs. 

  • 11 November: Gruppe virtually wiped out this date - 15 Ju 87s were sent out to attack advancing British armor in the Gambut area to the east of Tobruk where they were jumped by SAAF Kittyhawks and later by U.S. P-40Fs.  Only one of the 15 is believed escaped.  The Gruppenkommandeur Hptm. Martin Mossdorf was captured along with several others. 

11 November 1942: Heinz was  shot down over Capuzzo near Sollum in Ju 87 D-3trop (S7+KL), WNr. 2674 and captured. 

 

 

Make a Free Website with Yola.