Jagdgeschwader 26 'Schlageter'

'The Abbeville Boys' or 'The Abbeville Kids'

Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) Schlageter was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. It operated mainly in Western Europe against Great Britain, France the United States but also saw service against Russia. It was named after Albert Leo Schlageter, a World War I veteran and Freikorps member arrested and executed by the French for sabotage in 1923.

Formation of the unit

The I. and II. Gruppe of JG 26 was formed 1 May 1939 in Odendorf and Bönninghardt from I. and II./Jagdgeschwader 132 (JG 132). Initially they had a strength of three squadrons per Gruppe, but in 1943 they had their strength increased to four. The III. Gruppe was formed 23 September 1939 in Werl from parts of I. and II./JG 26. It too saw its strength increased from three to four squadrons in 1943. The IV. Gruppe was formed 25 February 1945 in Varrelbusch from III./Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG 54).

Service in World War Two

Campaign in the West

JG 26 took part in the Battle of France from 10 May 1940 onwards, flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter. To help with identification the unit had the undernoses of their aircraft painted yellow. Some aircraft had their entire cowling thus painted. JG 26 claimed 160 French and British aircraft shot down, for relatively light losses of 17 pilots killed. After the fall of France JG 26 took part in the Battle of Britain, based in the Pas de Calais region. In late August it was becoming apparent to the German High Command that the Battle of Britain was not going as planned. A frustrated Göring relieved several Geschwaderkommodoren of their commands, and appointed younger, more aggressive men in their place. Thus Major Adolf Galland was given command of JG 26 on 22 August. During the Battle of Britain, the Geschwader claimed 285 fighters shot down, for losses of 76 aircraft and 45 pilots killed, and 29 prisoners of war.

In 1941 most of the fighter units of the Luftwaffe were sent east to the Eastern Front, or south to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, thus leaving JG 26 and Jagdgeschwader 2 Richthofen as the sole single-engine fighter Geschwadern in France. For the next two years these two Geschwadern were the main adversaries to the Royal Air Force's (RAF) day offensives over Occupied Europe. The two Jagdgeschwader maintained around 120 serviceable Bf 109 E and F's to face the increasing number of aggressive RAF Fighter Command sweeps conducted to wear down the Luftwaffe in a war of attrition and so relieve pressure on the Eastern Front.

Galland's careful husbanding of his resources and astute tactical awareness meant JG 26 kept their losses to a minimum while inflicting maximum damage on the RAF's Spitfires through 1941. This became even more evident with the arrival of the potent Focke-Wulf Fw 190A to units in late 1941 - early 1942, which, in most cases, outclassed the current Spitfire Mark Vb in service with the RAF. In late 1941 JG 26 started converting to the Fw 190A fighter. I. and II. Gruppe were soon fully equipped with this aircraft, and although the III Gruppe started converting, the process was stopped and it continued using various versions of the Bf 109 for the remainder of the war. By the end of 1941 JG 26 had claimed more than 900 victories since September 1939 (some 400 since May 1941), and had lost some 95 pilots killed (34 POW) in return. The highest scoring pilots at this time were Galland (97), Hptm Muncheberg (62) and Hptm Josef Priller (58).

JG 26 and Jagdgeschwader 2 (JG 2) had to defend the entire Atlantic Wall from the Spanish border through Belgium, until late 1942 when more units were directed West after the Allied bombing campaigns increased in ferocity.

The Abbeville boys

Although JG 26 was not known by specific name to their opponents, JG 26 built a fearsome reputation among Allied aircrews. The skill and determination of the Luftwaffe fighter units when attacking United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) bomber formations led the Allied bomber crews to become wary whenever any yellow-nosed Bf 109 or Fw 190 aircraft attacked them. Because some elements of the unit was based in Abbeville-Drucat the Allies dubbed any yellow-nosed Bf 109 or Fw 190 aircraft who aggressively and effectively attacked them the nickname The Abbeville Boys and perceived them as the Luftwaffe's special hand-picked elite group of aces, although from the Luftwaffe's perspective they were just another'albeit highly experienced and effective'fighter Geschwader.

Mediterranenan (1941)

In February 1941, 7./JG 26 under Hpt Joachim Muncheberg operated in the Mediterranean theatre against Malta from bases in Sicily. The unit was to achieve success out of all proportion to its moderate size, claiming 52 victories over the island's defenders without losing a single Bf-109E. Muncheberg claimed almost half of the victories. In addition to flying missions over Malta, 7. JG 26 also flew over Yugoslavia in support of the German invasion of the Balkans. On 7 May 1941, Muncheberg was awarded the Eichenlaub to his Ritterkreuz and the Italian Medaglia d'Oro, with 43 victories to his credit. After a spell in Libya during June-July 1941 to support Rommels Afrika Korps, 7./JG 26 was transferred back to France.

Dieppe (1942)

The ill-fated Allied landing at Dieppe on 19 August 1942 was intended as a reconnaissance in force to learn the techniques required to breach the Atlantic Wall along the French coast. The air operations in conjunction with Operation Jubilee resulted in some of the fiercest and intensive air battles since 1940. The RAF's objectives were to throw a protective umbrella over the Naval and Army forces involved and to force the Luftwaffe fighters into an attritional conflict on the Allies' own terms. 51 fighter squadrons of Spitfires and Typhoons were committed, with 8 squadrons of Hurricane fighter-bombers, 4 squadrons of reconnaissance Mustang Mk I's and 7 squadrons of light bombers. Opposing were the 115 operational fighters of Jagdgeschwader JG 2 and JG 26. The German fighters were therefore outnumbered by about three to one. Although initially slow to respond to the raid, the German fighters soon made their presence felt over the port as the day wore on. While the Allied fighters were moderately successful in protecting the ground and sea forces from aerial bombing, the RAF came off second best versus the experienced and well-equipped Jagdgeschwaders.

While Fighter Command claimed to have inflicted heavy casualties on the Luftwaffe the balance sheet showed the reverse; Allied aircraft losses amounted to 106, including 88 RAF fighters (of which 70 Spitfires were lost to all causes) and 18 bombers, against 48 Luftwaffe aircraft lost. Included in that total were 28 bombers, half of them Dornier Do 217s from KG 2. One of the two Jagdgeschwader's, JG 2, lost 14 Fw 190s and eight pilots killed. JG 26 lost six Fw 190s with their pilots. The Spitfire Squadrons (42 with Mark Vs, and four with Mark IXs) were tasked with ground attack, escort and air-superiority missions, so the exact number of Spitfire losses to the Fw 190 is unknown. The Luftwaffe claimed 61 of the 106 RAF machines lost, which included all types (JG 2 claimed 40 and JG 26 claimed 21 kills).

Jabos

At the end of March 1942, a specialist fighter bomber Staffel was created; 10.(Jabo)/JG 26. Equipped with the Fw 190 A-3/U3 along with sister unit 10.(Jabo)/JG 2 the staffel operated from June onwards against channel shipping and port towns on the south-eastern coasts of England. Often operating in small numbers at high speed and low altitude, these pin-prick raids were almost impossible for the RAF fighters to defend against. On 31 October 1942 Canterbury was attacked in the largest daylight raid mounted by the Luftwaffe since the Battle of Britain, with some 60 Fw 190s attacking the city, killing 32 and injuring 116 (one Fw 190 was lost). The most effective counter to these attacks were wasteful standing patrols by the Hawker Typhoon and the Griffon engined Spitfire Mk XII, which were both fast enough at low level to catch the Fw 190. As 1943 progressed however the Jabo units were suffering ever higher losses. For example, in the London raid of 20 January 1943, JG 26 jabos and their escorts (some 90 fighters in all) lost eight aircraft and pilots to the RAF.

In February 1943, 10.(Jabo)/JG 26 became 10.(Jabo)/JG 54, but continued to operate under the control of JG 26. In April these Jabo units were amalgamated into IV gruppe, Schnellkampfgeschwader 10 (SKG 10) and switched to night operations over southern England.

A New Enemy and service in Russia (1943)

The dawn of 1943 saw the period of the RAF's massive circus operations pass, with the 'Schlageter' Geschwader increasingly involved in operations against a new enemy, in the form of the increasingly intensive daylight heavy bomber operations of the USAAF Eighth Air Force.

The bomber formations were initially the bait with which to lure the Luftwaffe fighters into combat, although the bombers also now had the capability to destroy or severely damage their ground targets. No longer would JG 26 have the luxury of picking and choosing the time and place of combat. The unit's FW 190's performance fell off rapidly above 25,000 feet, and thus massed head-on attacks were developed to maximise the fighter's fire-power and to exploit both the B-17E and F model Flying Fortresses', and B-24D Liberators' weaknesses in forward-facing armament, a defeciency partly corrected in late-model production versions of both heavy bombers.

Meanwhile JG 26 were notified that they were to be posted to the Eastern Front, replacing JG 54 Grünherz who were to transfer west. The changeover was to be by Gruppe strength, and I./JG 26 (under Major Johannes Seifert) and 7./JG 26 (Hpt. Klaus Mietusch) moved into Northern Russia in late January 1943. However, during the spring of 1943 the planned phased transfer was postponed, and by early June I./JG 26 was back in France, as was 7./JG 26 in July. Some 199 Soviet Air Force aircraft had been claimed shot down, for just 11 pilots killed.

D-Day and beyond (1944)

Jagdgeschwader 26's first operations during the Normandy invasion on 6 June 1944 was conducted by Geschwaderkommodore Obstlt. Josef Priller, flying an Fw 190A-8 W.Nr.170346 Black 13, and his wingman from his base at Lille-Nord; an event that would be portrayed graphically in the book by Cornelius Ryan and the resultant film The Longest Day. Priller and his wingman, Uffz. Heinz Wodarczyk, took off in their Focke-Wulfs and headed west at low altitude, dodging several formations of Spitfires in the process. Crossing the coast at Le Havre the duo spotted the ships of the assault force. The pair made a high speed strafing pass over what was the British Sword Beach. Anti-aircraft fire forced the unscathed Focke-Wulfs to seek cloud cover. JG 26 (with JG 2) flew the bulk of the 172 sorties by the Luftwaffe Fighter arm on D-Day. By contrast the Allies Air Forces flew 14,000 sorties the same day.

The Luftwaffe's fighters were mobilised as part of a long-standing plan in the event of an invasion to reinforce the French based units of JG 2 and JG 26 with home-based Reich Defence gruppen. Alongside these some 20 gruppen from the newly arrived Jagdgeschwaders under the command of Jagd Division 5 , JG 26 would fly intensively over the invasion battlefield during the summer of 1944, flying sweeps against the ever present hordes of Allied fighter-bombers. Inevitably the overwhelming Allied air superiority inflicted heavy losses on pilots and planes. By late summer few of the battle-hardened JG 26 experten of earlier years remained with the Geschwader, with novice recruits of less than 180 hours flying experience drafted in. JG 26 claimed just 30 kills in July, and suffered 20 pilots killed and 16 injured.

By late August the Geschwader was stationed in Belgium, mustering just 56 aircraft. JG 26 claimed 76 kills for the month, with 40 pilots killed in action (their highest monthly loss of the war), 6 killed in accidents, and 20 injured.

The Geschwader, based close to the Dutch border, was heavily involved in operations against Operation Market Garden, the airborne offensive around the Rhine bridges. Efforts to disrupt the transport aircraft were thwarted by the numerous Allied fighter patrols. Major Klaus Mietusch, the 72-kill ace commander of III/JG 26, and the longest serving member of the Geschwader (since 1938), was killed in combat at this time.

In November 1944 II Gruppe withdrew to re-equip with the improved FW 190 D-9 the 'Dora'.

1945

JG 26 took part in Operation Bodenplatte, the low-level massed fighter attacks on the Allied air bases in the Low Countries. Led by Oberst Priller. over 60 FW 190D's of I/JG 26 and the subordinated III/JG 54 attacked the RAF base at Grimbergen, destroying 5 bombers and a Mustang, along with various trucks and equipment. However, 24 aircraft failed to return, over half falling to German friendly fire. II. and III./JG 26 meantime attacked Brussels - Evere the home of the RCAF's crack 127 Wing, flying Spitfires. Just 11 Spitfires were destroyed, the attackers losing 17 aircraft. JG 26's losses were indicative of the Luftwaffe's casualties that day, with some 300 of the 900 fighters involved failing to return safely. The operation marked the end of the Luftwaffe's hopes for effective and concerted operations against the Allies in the future.

JG 26's task for the rest of the war was to provide what support it could for the German Armies defending the Northern sector of the Western Front against the thrusts of the Canadian and British Armies. Despite chronic shortages of fuel and equipment, the unit flew intercept sorties against Allied reconnaissance aircraft and 'freie Jagd' against the ground-attack and tactical formations.

JG 26 Statistics

Although many Luftwaffe records were lost at the end of the war, research suggests that JG 26 claimed around 2,700 aircraft shot down, with 763 pilots killed (631 in action, 132 in accidents). Some 67 were shot down and became prisoners.

Geschwaderkommodoren:

  • Oberst Eduard Ritter von Schleich, 1 May 1939 - 9 Dec 1939
  • Maj Hans-Hugo Witt, 14 Dec 1939 - 23 Jun 1940
  • Maj Gotthardt Handrick, 24 Jun 1940 - 21 Aug 1940


  • Jagdgeschwader 26 Adolf Galland EmblemJagdgeschwader 26 Adolf Galland Emblem

  • Maj Gerhard Schöpfel, 6 Dec 1941 - 10 Jan 1943


  • Stab JG26 Josef Priller Emblem

  • Oberst Josef Priller, 11 Jan 1943 - 27 Jan 1945
  • Maj Franz Gotz, 28 Jan 1945 - 7 May 1945

JG26

Stab:

Formed 1 May 1939 in Düsseldorf from

Airfields and Air Base Locations
Date Location Gruppe Aircraft Used
1 May 1939 - 26 Aug 1939 Düsseldorf   Bf 109E
26 Aug 1939 - 1 Nov 1939 Odendorf   Bf 109E
1 Nov 1939 - 13 May 1940 Dortmund   Bf 109E
13 May 1940 - 18 May 1940 München-Gladbach   Bf 109E
18 May 1940 - 25 May 1940 Neerhespen/Landen   Bf 109E
25 May 1940 - 4 Jun 1940 Quevaucamps   Bf 109E
4 Jun 1940 - 5 Jun 1940 Le Touquet   Bf 109E
5 Jun 1940 - 13 Jun 1940 Bois Jean/Ecuires   Bf 109E
13 Jun 1940 - 17 Jun 1940 Morgny Bezue la Foret   Bf 109E
17 Jun 1940 - 23 Jun 1940 Villacoublay   Bf 109E
23 Jun 1940 - 30 Jul 1940 Dortmund   Bf 109E
30 Jul 1940 - 7 Dec 1940 Audembert   Bf 109E
7 Dec 1940 - 9 Feb 1941 Abbeville-Drucat   Bf 109E
9 Feb 1941 - 4 Apr 1941 Düsseldorf   Bf 109F
4 Apr 1941 - 1 Jun 1941 Brest-Guipavas   Bf 109F
1 Jun 1941 - 1 Jun 1942 Audembert Jafu 2 Bf 109F, Fw 190A
1 Jun 1942 - Jan 1943 St. Omer-Wizernes Jafu 2 Fw 190A
Jan 1943 - 2 Aug 1943 Vendeville   Fw 190A
2 Aug 1943 - 8 Sep 1943 Amsterdam-Schiphol   Fw 190A
8 Sep 1943 - 6 Jun 1944 Lille-Nord   Fw 190A
6 Jun 1944 - 20 Jun 1944 Poix-Nord   Fw 190A
20 Jun 1944 - 29 Jul 1944 Chaumont-en-Vexin   Fw 190A
29 Jul 1944 - 16 Aug 1944 Rambouillet   Fw 190A
16 Aug 1944 - 22 Aug 1944 Chaumont-en-Vexin   Fw 190A
22 Aug 1944 - 29 Aug 1944 Valenciennes   Fw 190A
29 Aug 1944 - 3 Sep 1944 Brüssels-Nord   Fw 190A
3 Sep 1944 - 29 Oct 1944 Krefeld   Fw 190A
29 Oct 1944 - 24 Nov 1944 Greven   Fw 190A/D
24 Nov 1944 - 25 Mar 1945 Furstenau   Fw 190A/D
25 Mar 1945 - 3 Apr 1945 Drope   Fw 190D
3 Apr 1945 - 5 Apr 1945 Delmenhorst   Fw 190D
5 Apr 1945 - 7 Apr 1945 Hustedt   Fw 190D
7 Apr 1945 - 28 Apr 1945 Uetersen   Fw 190D
28 Apr 1945 - 3 May 1945 Klein-Kummersfeld   Fw 190D
3 May 1945 - 8 May 1945 Flensburg   Fw 190D

2./JG 26

I. Gruppe:

Gruppenkommandeure:

  • Maj Gotthardt Handrick, 1 May 1939 - 24 Jun 1940
  • Hptm Kurt Fischer, 24 Jun 1940 - 21 Aug 1940
  • Hptm Rolf Pingel, 22 Aug 1940 - 10 Jul 1941
  • Maj Johannes Seifert, 11 Jul 1941 - 31 May 1943
  • Hptm Fritz Losigkeit, 1 Jun 1943 - 22 Jun 1943
  • Hptm Karl Borris, 23 Jun 1943 - 14 May 1944
  • Hptm Hermann Staiger, 15 May 1944 - 31 Jul 1944
  • Maj Karl Borris, 1 Aug 1944 - 7 May 1945

Formed 1 May 1939 in Odendorf from with:

Stab I./JG26 from Stab I./JG132
1./JG26 from 1./JG132
2./JG26 from 2./JG132
3./JG26 from 3./JG132

On 21 Sep 1943 increased to four staffeln:



1./JG26 unchanged



2./JG26 unchanged



3./JG26 unchanged



4./JG26 from 8./JG26

4./JG26 was disbanded 15 Feb 1945.

Airfields and Air Base Locations
Date Location Gruppe Aircraft Used
1 May 1939 - 2 Nov 1939 Köln-Ostheim   Bf 109E
26 Aug 1939 - 1 Nov 1939 Odendorf   Bf 109E
1 Nov 1939 - 10 Feb 1940 Dortmund   Bf 109E
10 Feb 1940 - 15 May 1940 Bönninghardt   Bf 109E
15 May 1940 - 23 May 1940 Eindhoven   Bf 109E
23 May 1940 - 2 Jun 1940 Antwerpen   Bf 109E
2 Jun 1940 - 4 Jun 1940 Chievres   Bf 109E
4 Jun 1940 - 5 Jun 1940 Etaples   Bf 109E
5 Jun 1940 - 11 Jun 1940 Hesdin/Haravesnes   Bf 109E
11 Jun 1940 - 16 Jun 1940 Samoussy-Laon   Bf 109E
16 Jun 1940 - 20 Jun 1940 St. Remy   Bf 109E
20 Jun 1940 - 23 Jun 1940 Nevers   Bf 109E
23 Jun 1940 - 26 Jun 1940 Lyon   Bf 109E
26 Jun 1940 - 15 Jul 1940 Bönninghardt   Bf 109E
15 Jul 1940 - 7 Dec 1940 Audembert   Bf 109E
7 Dec 1940 - 9 Feb 1941 Abbeville-Drucat   Bf 109E
9 Feb 1941 - 1 Apr 1941 Dortmund   Bf 109E
1 Apr 1941 - 1 Jun 1941 Brest-Guipavas   Bf 109E
1 Jun 1941 - 17 Nov 1941 St. Omer-Clairmarais   Bf 109E/Bf 109F
17 Nov 1941 - 20 Sep 1942 St. Omer-Arques   Bf 109F, Fw 190A
20 Sep 1942 - 22 Jan 1943 St. Omer-Wizernes*   Fw 190A
22 Jan 1943 - 15 Feb 1943 Heiligenbeil   Fw 190A
15 Feb 1943 - Feb 1943 Rielbitzi   Fw 190A
Feb 1943 - Mar 1943 Dno   Fw 190A
Mar 1943 - May 1943 Schatalowka   Fw 190A
May 1943 - May 1943 Ossinowka   Fw 190A
May 1943 - 6 Jun 1943 Orel-West, Smolensk   Fw 190A
7 Jun 1943 - 10 Jun 1943 Rheine   Fw 190A
10 Jun 1943 - 23 Jun 1943 Poix-Nord   Fw 190A
23 Jun 1943 - 12 Jul 1943 Rheine   Fw 190A
12 Jul 1943 - 25 Nov 1943 Grimberghen   Fw 190A
25 Nov 1943 - 6 Apr 1944 Florennes   Fw 190A
6 Apr 1944 - 6 Jun 1944 Vendeville   Fw 190A
6 Jun 1944 - 29 Jul 1944 Chaumont-en-Vexin   Fw 190A
29 Jul 1944 - 16 Aug 1944 Les Mesnuls (St. Legeren Y.)   Fw 190A
16 Aug 1944 - 21 Aug 1944 Chaumont-en-Vexin   Fw 190A
21 Aug 1944 - 29 Aug 1944 Vitry-en-Artois   Fw 190A
29 Aug 1944 - 3 Sep 1944 Grimberghen   Fw 190A
3 Sep 1944 - 29 Oct 1944 Krefeld-Linn   Fw 190A/D
29 Oct 1944 - 24 Nov 1944 Greven   Fw 190A/D
24 Nov 1944 - 25 Mar 1945 Furstenau   Fw 190A/D
25 Mar 1945 - 2 Apr 1945 Drope   Fw 190D
2 Apr 1945 - 5 Apr 1945 Delmenhorst   Fw 190D
5 Apr 1945 - 7 Apr 1945 Hustedt   Fw 190D
7 Apr 1945 - 13 Apr 1945 Stade, Uetersen   Fw 190D
13 Apr 1945 - 22 Apr 1945 Sülte   Fw 190D
22 Apr 1945 - 2 May 1945 Haidmühle   Fw 190D
2 May 1945 - 8 May 1945 Flensburg   Fw 190D

* 1./JG26 at Clairmarais, 5.10 - 20 Oct 1942

II./JG26 EmblemII./JG26 Emblem

II. Gruppe:

Gruppenkommandeure:

  • Hptm. Werner Palm, 1 May 1939 - 27 Jun 1939
  • Hptm Herwig Knoppel, 28 Jun 1939 - 19 May 1940
  • Hptm Karl Ebbighausen (acting), 29 May 1940 - 31 May 1940
  • Hptm. Erich Noack, 1 Jun 1940 - 24 Jul 1940
  • Hptm Karl Ebbighausen, 25 Jul 1940 - 16 Aug 1940
  • Hptm Erich Bode, 17 Aug 1940 - 3 Oct 1940
  • Hptm Walter Adolph, 3 Oct 1940 - 18 Sep 1941
  • Hptm Jochen Muncheberg, 19 Sep 1941 - 21 Jul 1942
  • Hptm Karl-Heinz Meyer, 22 Jul 1942 - 2 Jan 1943
  • Maj Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland, 3 Jan 1943 - 17 Aug 1943
  • Hptm Hans Naumann, 18 Aug 1943 - 8 Sep 1943
  • Obstlt Johannes Seifert, 9 Sep 1943 - 25 Nov 1943
  • Maj Wilhelm Gäth, 26 Nov 1943 - 1 Mar 1944
  • Hptm Hans Naumann, 2 Mar 1944 - 28 Jun 1944
  • Hptm Emil Lang, 29 Jun 1944 - 3 Sep 1944
  • Hptm Georg Peter Eder, 4 Sep 1944 - 8 Oct 1944
  • Maj Anton Hackl, 9 Oct 1944 - 29 Jan 1945
  • Obstlt Waldemar Radener, 30 Jan 1945 - 22 Feb 1945
  • Hptm Paul Schauder, 23 Feb 1945 - 1 May 1945

Formed 1 May 1939 in Bönninghardt from with:

Stab II./JG26 from Stab II./JG132
4./JG26 from 4./JG132
5./JG26 from 5./JG132
6./JG26 from 6./JG132

On 1 Oct 1943 increased to 4 staffeln:

5.JG26 Emblem

5./JG26 from the old 4./JG26

6.JG26 Emblem

6./JG26 from the old 5./JG26

7.JG26 Emblem

7./JG26 from the old 6./JG26

8.JG26 Emblem

8./JG26 from the old 10./JG26

6.JG26 Emblem
Personal emblem of Alfred 'Pickus' Pomaska

8./JG26 was disbanded 15 Feb 1945.

Airfields and Air Base Locations
Date Location Gruppe Aircraft Used
1 May 1939 - 25 Aug 1939 Düsseldorf   Bf 109E
25 Aug 1939 - 1 Nov 1939 Bönninghardt   Bf 109E
1 Nov 1939 - 27 Jan 1940 Werl   Bf 109E
27 Jan 1940 - 13 May 1940 Dortmund   Bf 109E
13 May 1940 - 18 May 1940 Uerdingen   Bf 109E
18 May 1940 - 29 May 1940 Neerhespen/Landen   Bf 109E
29 May 1940 - 4 Jun 1940 Chievres   Bf 109E
4 Jun 1940 - 5 Jun 1940 Le Touquet   Bf 109E
5 Jun 1940 - 13 Jun 1940 Bois Jean/Ecuires   Bf 109E
13 Jun 1940 - 17 Jun 1940 Morgny Bezue la Foret   Bf 109E
17 Jun 1940 - 23 Jun 1940 Villacoublay   Bf 109E
23 Jun 1940 - 21 Jul 1940 Dortmund   Bf 109E
21 Jul 1940 - 7 Dec 1940 Marquise-Ost   Bf 109E
7 Dec 1940 - 9 Feb 1941 Abbeville-Drucat   Bf 109E
9 Feb 1941 - 3 Apr 1941 Düsseldorf   Bf 109E
3 Apr 1941 - 1 Jun 1941 Morlaix   Bf 109E
1 Jun 1941 - 1 Jul 1941 Maldegem   Bf 109E
1 Jul 1941 - 15 Oct 1941 Moorseele   Bf 109E, Fw 190A
15 Oct 1941 - 22 Dec 1941 Wewelghem   Fw 190A
22 Dec 1941 - 8 Jan 1943 Abbeville-Drucat   Fw 190A, Bf 109G
8 Jan 1943 - 28 Jul 1943 Vitry-en-Artois   Fw 190A, Bf 109G
28 Jul 1943 - 6 Aug 1943 Deelen   Fw 190A
6 Aug 1943 - 15 Aug 1943 Volkel   Fw 190A
15 Aug 1943 - 3 Oct 1943 Beauvais-Tille   Fw 190A
3 Oct 1943 - 17 Mar 1944 Cambrai-Epinoy   Fw 190A
17 Mar 1944 - 17 Apr 1944 Cambrai-Süd   Fw 190A
17 Apr 1944 - 25 Apr 1944 Cazaux   Fw 190A
25 Apr 1944 - 17 May 1944 Cambrai-Süd   Fw 190A
17 May 1944 - 6 Jun 1944 Mont-de-Marsan   Fw 190A
6 Jun 1944 - 20 Jul 1944 Guyancourt   Fw 190A
20 Jul 1944 - 12 Aug 1944 Reinsehlen   Fw 190A
12 Aug 1944 - 13 Aug 1944 Guyancourt   Fw 190A
13 Aug 1944 - 29 Aug 1944 Mons-en-Chaussee   Fw 190A
29 Aug 1944 - 3 Sep 1944 Melsbroek   Fw 190A
3 Sep 1944 - 22 Nov 1944 Kirchhellen   Fw 190A
22 Nov 1944 - 25 Mar 1945 Nordhorn   Fw 190A/D
25 Mar 1945 - 6 Apr 1945 Celle   Fw 190D
6 Apr 1945 - 1 May 1945 Uetersen   Fw 190D
1 May 1945 - 2 May 1945 Neumünster   Fw 190D
2 May 1945 - 8 May 1945 Husum   Fw 190D

III./JG 26 emblem

III. Gruppe:

Gruppenkommandeure:

  • Maj Ernst Freiherr von Berg, 1 Nov 1939 - 10 Jun 1940
  • Maj Adolf Galland, 11 Jun 1940 - 20 Aug 1940
  • Maj Gerhard Schöpfel, 21 Aug 1940 - 5 Dec 1941
  • Hptm Josef Priller, 6 Dec 1941 - 10 Jan 1943
  • Hptm Fritz Geisshardt, 11 Jan 1943 - 6 Apr 1943
  • Hptm Kurt Ruppert, 7 Apr 1943 - 13 Jun 1943
  • Hptm Rolf Hermichen, 15 Jun 1943 - 4 Jul 1943
  • Maj Klaus Mietusch, 5 Jul 1943 - 17 Sep 1944
  • Hptm Paul Schauder, 18 Sep 1944 - 26 Sep 1944
  • Hptm Walter Krupinski, 27 Sep 1944 - 25 Mar 1945

Formed 23 Sep 1939 in Werl from parts of I. and II./JG26 with:

Stab III./JG26 new (1 Nov 1939)
7./JG26 new
8./JG26 new
9./JG26 new (1 Nov 1939)

In 1 Oct 1943 increased to 4 staffeln (the old 8./JG26 had been renamed 4./JG26 on 21 Sep 1943):



9./JG26 from the old 7./JG26
10./JG26 from the old 9./JG26
11./JG26
12./JG26

III./JG26 was disbanded on 25 Mar 1945.

Airfields and Air Base Locations
Date Location Gruppe Aircraft Used
23 Sep 1939 - 1 Nov 1939 Werl   Bf 109E
1 Nov 1939 - 13 May 1940 Essen-Mühlheim   Bf 109E
13 May 1940 - 17 May 1940 München-Gladbach   Bf 109E
17 May 1940 - 19 May 1940 Peer   Bf 109E
19 May 1940 - 26 May 1940 Beauvechain   Bf 109E
26 May 1940 - 4 Jun 1940 Chievres   Bf 109E
4 Jun 1940 - 13 Jun 1940 La Capelle   Bf 109E
13 Jun 1940 - 17 Jun 1940 Les Thilliers   Bf 109E
17 Jun 1940 - 22 Jun 1940 Villacoublay   Bf 109E
22 Jun 1940 - 1 Jul 1940 München-Gladbach   Bf 109E
1 Jul 1940 - 21 Jul 1940 Döberitz   Bf 109E
21 Jul 1940 - 10 Nov 1940 Caffiers   Bf 109E
10 Nov 1940 - 9 Feb 1941 Abbeville-Drucat*   Bf 109E
9 Feb 1941 - 1 Apr 1941 Bonn-Hangelar*   Bf 109E/F
1 Apr 1941 - 1 Jun 1941 St. Brieuc*   Bf 109F
1 Jun 1941 - 19 Oct 1941 Liegescourt*   Bf 109F
19 Oct 1941 - 7 Apr 1942 Coquelles   Bf 109F, Fw 190A
7 Apr 1942 - 14 May 1943 Wewelghem**   Fw 190A, Bf 109G
14 May 1943 - Jun 1943 Lille-Nord**   Bf 109G
Jun 1943 - Aug 1943 Nordholz**   Bf 109G
Aug 1943 - Sep 1943 Amsterdam-Schiphol   Bf 109G
Sep 1943 - Nov 1943 Vendeville***   Bf 109G
Nov 1943 - Nov 1943 Bönninghardt   Bf 109G
Nov 1943 - 8 Jan 1944 München-Gladbach   Bf 109G
8 Jan 1944 - 16 Mar 1944 Dinant   Bf 109G
16 Mar 1944 - 18 Apr 1944 Etain   Bf 109G
18 Apr 1944 - 26 Apr 1944 Neubiberg   Bf 109G
26 Apr 1944 - 7 Jun 1944 Nancy   Bf 109G
7 Jun 1944 - Aug 1944 Villacoublay   Bf 109G
Aug 1944 - 15 Aug 1944 Rosieres   Bf 109G
15 Aug 1944 - 29 Aug 1944 Chievres   Bf 109G
29 Aug 1944 - 3 Sep 1944 Brüssels-Evere   Bf 109G
3 Sep 1944 - Oct 1944 München-Gladbach   Bf 109G
Oct 1944 - Oct 1944 Bönninghardt   Bf 109G
Oct 1944 - Nov 1944 Ma. Veen   Bf 109G
Nov 1944 - 14 Mar 1945 Plantlünne   Bf 109G/K, Fw 190D
14 Mar 1945 - 25 Mar 1945 Delmenhorst   Bf 109G/K, Fw 190D

* 7./JG26 (Bf 109E) moved to North Africa on 7 Feb 1941. Stationed at Gela (7 Feb 1941 - 5 Apr 1941), Grottaglie (5 Apr 1941 - 8 Apr 1941), Gela again (8 Apr 1941 - 25 May 1941), Molaoi (25 May 1941 - 14 Jun 1941) and Ain-el-Gazala (14 Jun 1941 - 24 Sep 1941). The staffel then returned to Liegescourt, joining the rest of III./JG26, and began conversion to Bf 109F; 8./JG26 at Dieppe (15 Jan 1941 - 9 Feb 1941)

** 7./JG26 operated under JG54 in Russia, 17 Feb 1943 - Jul 1943. Left France 17 Feb 1943 and arrived at Krasnowardeisk on 28 Feb 1943. Remained there until it returned to III./JG26 in July 1943. While 7./JG26 was in Russia, 4./JG54 was attached to JG26; 9./JG26 at Beaumont-le-Roger, 27 Nov 1942 - Jan 1943

*** 10. and 12./JG26 was in Valenciennes until about Nov 1943.

IV. Gruppe:

Gruppenkommandeur:

  • Maj Rudolf Klemm, 25 Feb 1945 - 17 Apr 1945

Formed 25 Feb 1945 in Varrelbusch from with:

Stab IV./JG26 from Stab III./JG54
13./JG26 from 10./JG54
14./JG26 from 11./JG54
15./JG26 from 9./JG54

IV./JG26 was disbanded on 17 Apr 1945.

Airfields and Air Base Locations
Date Location Gruppe Aircraft Used
25 Feb 1945 - 24 Mar 1945 Varrelbusch   Fw 190D
24 Mar 1945 - 3 Apr 1945 Bissel   Fw 190D
3 Apr 1945 - 5 Apr 1945 Varrelbusch   Fw 190D
5 Apr 1945 - 10 Apr 1945 Dedelsdorf   Fw 190D
10 Apr 1945 - 17 Apr 1945 Kleinkummersfelde
(near Neumünster)
  Fw 190D

10. Staffel:

Jagdgeschwader 26 Emblem

10. (Nacht)/JG26 was formed 1 Sep 1939 in Bonn-Hangelar, apparently from 18 Feb 1940 redesignated (as part of IV.(N)/JG2).



10. (Jabo)/JG26 was formed 10 Mar 1942 in St. Omer-Arques. On 17 Feb 1943 redesignated

A new 10./JG26 was formed 1 May 1943 in Vitry from parts of II./JG26. Attached to II./JG26, 1 Oct 1943 redesignated 8./JG26, and officially became part of II. Gruppe.

Airfields and Air Base Locations
Date Location Gruppe Aircraft Used
1 Sep 1939 - 12 Nov 1939 Bonn-Hangelar   Ar 68E, Bf 109D
12 Nov 1939 - 9 Dec 1939 Stade   Ar 68E, Bf 109D
9 Dec 1939 - 18 Feb 1940 Jever   Ar 68E, Bf 109D
10 Mar 1942 - 26 May 1942 St. Omer-Arques   Bf 109E
26 May 1942 - 18 Jun 1942 Caen-Carpiquet   Bf 109E
18 Jun 1942 - 10 Jul 1942 Le Bourget   Bf 109E, Fw 190A
10 Jul 1942 - 27 Jul 1942 Caen-Carpiquet*   Fw 190A
27 Jul 1942 - 10 Aug 1942 St. André (Evreux)   Fw 190A
10 Aug 1942 - 14 Nov 1942 St. Omer-Wizernes   Fw 190A
14 Nov 1942 - 18 Dec 1942 Istres   Fw 190A
18 Dec 1942 - 17 Feb 1943 St. Omer-Wizernes   Fw 190A

For bases 1 May 1943 - 1 Oct 1943, see II./JG26.

* part of the staffel had used Caen-Carpiquet since Mar 1942.

11. Staffel:

Formed 8 Aug 1942 at Norrent-Fontes, as Hohenstaffel. On 4 Jan 1943 disbanded, and was absorbed by

A new 11./JG26 (Endausbildungsstaffel) was formed 10 Dec 1942 in Monchy-Breton. Attached to III./JG26 and on 1 Oct 1943 officially became part of III. Gruppe.

Airfields and Air Base Locations
Date Location Gruppe Aircraft Used
8 Aug 1942 - 6 Nov 1942 Norrent-Fontes   Bf 109G
6 Nov 1942 - Nov 1942 München-Riem   Bf 109G
Nov 1942 - 14 Nov 1942 Bari   Bf 109G
14 Nov 1942 - 24 Nov 1942 Trapani   Bf 109G
24 Nov 1942 - 25 Nov 1942 El Aouina   Bf 109G
25 Nov 1942 - 25 Nov 1942 Djedeida   Bf 109G
25 Nov 1942 - 2 Dec 1942 El Aouina   Bf 109G
2 Dec 1942 - 17 Dec 1942 Tunis   Bf 109G
17 Dec 1942 - 31 Dec 1942 El Aouina   Bf 109G

For bases 10 Dec 1942 - 1 Oct 1943, see III./JG26.

12. Staffel:

Formed 11 Apr 1943 in Wewelghem from parts of III./JG26. Attached to III./JG26 and on 1 Oct 1943 officially became part of III. Gruppe.

For bases, see III./JG26.

Ergänzungsgruppe Jagdgeschwader 26 Emblem
Ergänzungsgruppe - Engr./JG26

Gruppenkommandeure:

  • Olt Baron Hubertus von Holtey, 26 Sep 1940 - 17 May 1941
  • Hptm Fritz Fromme, 17 May 1941 - 27 Jan 1942

The Erg.Staffel/JG26 was formed 26 Sep 1940 at Reims-Betheny, from parts of JG26 and On 5 Mar 1941 increased to Erg.Gruppe with:

Stab of Ergänzungsgruppe/JG26 new
1. Einsatzstaffel/JG26 new
2. Ausbildungsstaffel/JG26 from Erg.Sta./JG26

Disbanded 27 Jan 1942:

1. Einsatzstaffel/JG26 became
2. Ausbildungsstaffel/JG26 became

Airfields and Air Base Locations
Date Location Gruppe Aircraft Used
26 Sep 1940 - Oct 1940 Reims-Betheny   Bf 109E
Oct 1940 - Nov 1940 St. Omer-Arques   Bf 109E
Nov 1940 - 27 Jan 1942 Cognac*   Bf 109E/F

* 1./ErgGr. JG26 at Düsseldorf (Feb 1941 - 26 Feb 1941), Vannes (26 Feb 1941 - 5 Mar 1941), Dieppe (5 Mar 1941 - Jun 1941), Wevelghem (Jun 1941 - Oct 1941), Maldeghem (Oct 1941 - Dec 1941) and Brest-Süd (Dec 1941 - 27 Jan 1942)

  • Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen,
  • Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen,
  • Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen,
  • Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen,
  • Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen,
  • Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen,
  • Flugzeugbestand und Bewegungsmeldungen,

 

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This webpage was updated 5th January 2019