Aircrew Luftwaffe KG26 pilot Lt Roderich Cescotti 01

Aircrew Luftwaffe KG26 pilot Lt Roderich Cescotti 1941 01

Aircrew Luftwaffe KG26 pilot Lt Roderich Cescotti 1941 02

Artwork emblem or unit crest KG26 variation 01

Artwork showing a map of KG100 Targets during Norwegian Campaign 1940 01

Heinkel He 111 1./KG26 (1HBH) taxing accident Kristiansand Norway 1940 01

Heinkel He 111B KG26 White 78 location unknown 01

Heinkel He 111B KG26 White 78 location unknown 02

Heinkel He 111H 1./KG26 (1HAH) during Battle of Britain 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H 1./KG26 (1HAH) unit emblem during Battle of Britain 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H 1./KG26 (1HFH) 1939 01

Heinkel He 111H1 1./KG26 (1HLH) 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H1 2./KG26 (1HEN) WNr 6853 captured RAF AW177 01

Heinkel He 111H1 2./KG26 (1HEN) WNr 6853 captured RAF AW177 02

Heinkel He 111H1 5./KG26 (1HBN) Norwegian Campaign 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H1 5./KG26 (1HBN) Norwegian Campaign 1940 0A

Heinkel He 111H1 5./KG26 (1HEN) WNr 6853 France 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H1 5./KG26 (1HEN) WNr 6853 RAF AW177 1426 Enemy Aircraft 1942 01

Heinkel He 111H 2./KG26 (1HGK) aerial phot 01

Heinkel He 111H 2./KG26 (1HKK) Lt. Roderich Cescotti Wevelghem 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H 2./KG26 (1HKK) shot down England 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H 3./KG26 (1HHL) Norway 1941 0A

Heinkel He 111H3 2./KG26 (1H K) Aalborg 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H3 2./KG26 (1HNK) Lt. Roderich Cescotti Aug Sep 1940 0A

Heinkel He 111H3 5./KG26 (1HDN) WNr 5306 belly landed Sitasjauresee Norrbotten County Sweden 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H3 Stab I./KG26 (1HCB) crew after force landing at Burmarsh Kent 11th Sep 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H3 Stab I./KG26 (1HCB) crew after force landing at Burmarsh Kent 11th Sep 1940 02

Heinkel He 111H 4./KG26 (1HFM) shot down England 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H 4./KG26 (1HFM) shot down England 1940 02

Heinkel He 111H 4./KG26 (1HFM) shot down England 1940 03

Heinkel He 111H4 3./KG26 (1HML) transit Malmi 1942 01

Heinkel He 111H4 3./KG26 (1HML) transit Malmi 1942 02

Heinkel He 111H4 8./KG26 (1THK) Sestschinskaja Russia 1942 01

Heinkel He 111H4 8./KG26 (1THK) Sestschinskaja Russia 1942 02

Heinkel He 111H4 8./KG26 (1THK) Sestschinskaja Russia 1942 0A

Heinkel He 111H4 KG26 twin PVC1006 Torpedos 01

Heinkel He 111H4 KG26 twin PVC1006 Torpedos 02

Heinkel He 111H 5./KG26 (1HAN) Sicily 1941 0

Heinkel He 111H 5./KG26 (1HAN) Sicily 1941 01

Heinkel He 111H 5./KG26 (1HEH) WNr6353 shot down Scotland by 602Sqn Feb 8 1939 01

Heinkel He 111H 5./KG26 (1HFN) most likely Sardinia 1943 01

Heinkel He 111H 5./KG26 (1HGN) WNr 4139 Athens 1941

Heinkel He 111H 6./KG26 (1HEP) 1940

Heinkel He 111H6 2./KG26 (1HFK) Sardinia 1943 01

Heinkel He 111H6 2./KG26 (1HFK) Sardinia 1943 0A

Heinkel He 111H6 5./KG26 (1HCN) North Africa

Heinkel He 111H6 5./KG26 (1HHN) France 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H6 6./KG26 (1HBP) crash landed Spain 1942 01

Heinkel He 111H6 6./KG26 (1HBP) Italy 1942 0A

Heinkel He 111H6 6./KG26 (1HBP) Italy 1942 0B

Heinkel He 111H6 6./KG26 (1HBP) Italy 1942 0C

Heinkel He 111H6 6./KG26 (1HGP) Italy 1942 01

Heinkel He 111H6 6./KG26 (1HGP) Italy 1942 0A

Heinkel He 111H6 6./KG26 (1HGP) Italy 1942 0B

Heinkel He 111H6 6./KG26 (1HHP) crash landed Allied Territory 1942 01

Heinkel He 111H6 KG26 armed with two training torpedos 01

Heinkel He 111H6 Stab I./KG26 (1HBB) WNr 7383 1941 0A

Heinkel He 111H6 Stab I./KG26 (1HBB) WNr 7383 1941 0B

Heinkel He 111H 8.JG26 1HES foreground with 7./KG4 5J+KR 01

Heinkel He 111H 8./KG26 (1HLS) France 1940 01

Heinkel He 111H KG26 (A) mine laying mission 1940 0A

Heinkel He 111H KG26 (1HG ) loaded with two torpedos 01

Heinkel He 111H KG26 (1HJA) WNr 5449 Crew Scotland Oct 28 1939 0B

Heinkel He 111H KG26 (1HJA) WNr 5449 shot down Scotland Oct 28 1939 01

Heinkel He 111H KG26 (1HJA) WNr 5449 shot down Scotland Oct 28 1939 02

Heinkel He 111H KG26 (1HJA) WNr 5449 shot down Scotland Oct 28 1939 03

Heinkel He 111H KG26 (1HJA) WNr 5449 shot down Scotland Oct 28 1939 04

Heinkel He 111H KG26 (1HJA) WNr 5449 shot down Scotland Oct 28 1939 0A

Heinkel He 111H KG26 crash landed France 1940 eBay 01

Heinkel He 111H KG26 ground crew covering the engines 01

Heinkel He 111H KG26 ground crew covering the engines 02

Heinkel He 111H KG26 North Africa 01

Heinkel He 111H KG26 North Africa 02

Heinkel He 111H Stab I./KG26 (1HBB) most likely Sardinia 1943 01

Heinkel He 111H Stab IV./KG26 (1HDF) abandoned El Ouoina Tunisia 1943 01

Heinkel He 111 KG26 (1HDN) Mediterranean 1941 01

Heinkel He 111 KG26 (1HDN) Mediterranean 1941 02

Heinkel He 111 KG26 (1HFM) France 1940 0A

Heinkel He 111 KG26 (1HMM) 0A

Heinkel He 111 KG26 1HBx behind the Siegfried Line 3rd Feb 1940 NIOD

Heinkel He 111 KG26 armed with torpedos flying very low North Sea Norway 1942 01

Heinkel He 111 KG26 bomber being salvaged Banak Norway 01

Heinkel He 111 KG26 mission ready Norway 1940 01

Heinkel He 111P 4./KG26 (1HxM) Aalborg 1941 01

Heinkel He 111P KG26 carring a SC1000 warms up its engines prior to take off 01

Heinkel He 111P KG26 shot down Northern Europe 01

Heinkel He 111 Stab II./KG26 (1HEC) crash site 01

Lowengeschwaders Big Bang 1st Sep 1939 The Aviation Historian 2014 08 Page 40

Lowengeschwaders Big Bang 1st Sep 1939 The Aviation Historian 2014 08 Page 41

Lowengeschwaders Big Bang 1st Sep 1939 The Aviation Historian 2014 08 Page 42

Lowengeschwaders Big Bang 1st Sep 1939 The Aviation Historian 2014 08 Page 43

Vestigium Leonis (The Lion's footprint)

Heinkel He 111 KG26 coded A being loaded with mines during the early stages of the Battle of Britain 1940

Photo 01: Heinkel He 111s of 4./KG 26 bask in the sun at Aalborg in 1941. Note the matt black washable paint applied crudely to the undersides, aircraft codes and national markings for night operations.

L�wengeschwader's Big Bang by as ALEXANDER STEENBECK [1]

KAMPFGESCHWADER (KG) 26, known as L�wengeschwader 'the Lion Wing' is one of the most famous Luftwaffe units of the Second World War. What is much less well known, however, is that this distinguished bomber and anti-shipping unit, which fought on all fronts of the European theatre during the conflict, lost an entire Staffel (squadron) during the early days of the Polish campaign without even getting off the ground.

Following mobilisation on August 24, 1939, II Gruppe of KG 26 (II./KG 26) moved east from its home base at L�neburg in northern Germany, via Werneuchen (near Berlin), to the small airfield at Gabbert, near the Polish border, where the unit waited for Germany's declaration of war. As bombs were loaded into most of the 32 Heinkel He 111s that formed the Gabbert detachment, the unit's armourers discovered that many of the bombs were getting stuck in the bomb adapter; the bomb's attachment screws were too long and poked out of the casing. The solution was simple: the screws were filed down flush with the casing. When this had been done, the unit was once again ready for action.

Boom! [1]

On September 1, 1939 the opening day of the Second World War II./KG 26 flew its first missions to Posen and other Polish towns to bomb railway stations and other targets. The unit suffered no losses a situation that was to change dramatically three days later.

On September 4 the fifth Staffel of KG 26 (5./KG26) was scheduled to fly a late-afternoon sortie to Lodz. As groundcrews prepared the machines,around 1715hr an armourer was finishing up the loading of SC 10 bombs into He 111 1H+LN; Leutnant Ludwig Baum of 4./KG 26 recalls what happened next: 'We were resting in one of the huts when suddenly a massive explosion threw us from our beds. At first we thought that the Polish Army was attacking us, but when we got out of the hut and ran to the airfi eld we saw a huge trail of smoke coming from an He 111.'

So what had happened? The armourer working on 1H+LN had dropped one of the armed 12kg (25lb) SC 10s. The resulting explosion detonated the other bombs already loaded aboard the bomber. Further explosions followed as nearby bombs on the ground detonated owing to the pressure wave. Then things went from bad to worse. The Heinkel had 2,000lit (440gal) of highly infl ammable fuel in its tanks, which ignited simultaneously. Ground personnel and aircrews ran to their machines — also loaded with bombs and fuel — to pull them away from the ensuing inferno.

Surveying the damage Six men were killed instantly and another 15 were seriously injured, one of which subsequently died some days later. The Heinkel, 1H+LN, was totally destroyed and the unit's remaining bombers were heavily damaged; 5./KG 26 was out of action for days as a result of losing the majority of its aircraft. The damage did not end there — a Junkers Ju 52/3m and Focke-Wulf Fw 58 were also seriously damaged.

The unit proceeded with a comprehensive clean-up, which took two full days. An investigation into the incident revealed that another mechanic working in the cockpit of 1H+LN had switched the bomb-selector panel in the cockpit to 'live' not for bomb-loading. The crews were driven to the Heinkel factory at Oranienburg, near Berlin, to take delivery of brand new He 111s, and by September 10 the unit was ready for action again. The incident was, at that point, the most devastating in KG 26's history, and was never forgotten by the Staffel members who witnessed it.

Source [1]: The Aviation Historian 2014 08

Geschwader Stab Kampfgeschwader 26 - Geschwader Stab KG26

Heinkel He 111 H-1 Geschwader Stab KG26 (1H+JA) WNr 5449 shot down by Spitfires and crash-landed Lammermuir Hills near Edinburgh, Scotland .

Heinkel He 111H from Geschwader Stab KG26 coded (1H+JA) WNr 5449 was the first Luftwaffe bomber shot down by Spitfires over the British Isles and crash-landed Lammermuir Hills near Edinburgh, Scotland . Note the unusual markings with two sets of Balkenkreuz and the code painted under the wings.

Stab I. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 26 - Stab I./KG26

Heinkel He 111 H-6 Stab I./KG26 coded (1H+BB) WNr 7383 Bardufoss Norway late 1941

Bardufoss Airport is a primary airport situated at Bardufoss in Malselv, Norway. The airport, which is the civilian sector of the Royal Norwegian Air Force's Bardufoss Air Station, is operated by the state-owned Avinor.

Heinkel He 111 H-3 Stab I./KG26 (1H+CB) crew after force landing at Burmarsh Kent 11th Sep 1940

Two German airmen (L) Pilot Feldwebel Heinz Friedrich, who force landed Heinkel He 111H-3 Code: 1H + CB of 1/Kampfgeschwader 26, are marched off by the Home Guard at Burmarsh, Kent, UK. September 11, 1940. This aircraft was en-route to London when it was damaged by anti-aircraft fire, then it was attacked by fighters, including P/O T. S. Wade and P/O D. G. Williams of No. 92 Squadron. Heinkel dumped its bombs and forced landed at Burmarsh, Kent. The crew then set their aircraft alight which eventually burned out. Crew were all taken prisoner.

Pilot: Feldwebel Heinz Friedrich Captured unhurt
Observer: Feldwebel Heinz Georg Captured wounded
Radio/Op: Unteroffizier Kurt Hoffmann Captured unhurt
Gunner : Unteroffizier August Dreyer Captured unhurt
Gunner: Unteroffizier Heinz Stirnemann Captured unhurt

(Colour by Richard James Molloy)

Stab IV. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 26 - Stab IV./KG26

Heinkel He 111H Stab IV./KG26 (1H+DF) abandoned El Aouina, Tunis, Tunisia 1943

La Goulette is the port of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. The Kasbah fortress was built in 1535 by Charles I of Spain but was captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1574.

1 Staffel I Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 26 - 1./KG26

Heinkel He 111H 1./KG26 (1H+AH) crash landed France 1940

Heinkel He 111H 1./KG26 (1H+EH) WNr 6353 shot down Scotland by RAF 602Sqn

Heinkel He 111H 1./KG26 coded (1H+FH) Battle of Britain 1940

Heinkel He 111H 1./KG26 (1H+LH) in formation during the Battle of Britain 1939

2. Staffel I. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 26 - 2./KG26

Heinkel He 111 H-6 2./K26 'Lowen-Geschwader' coded 1H+FK Ottana, Sardinia August 1943.

Heinkel He 111H6 2./K26 'Lowen-Geschwader' coded 1H+FK, Ottana, Sardinia August 1943 Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and an autonomous region of Italy. The nearest land masses are the island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Balearic Islands.

Heinkel He 111H 2./KG26 (1H+KK) shot down England 1940.

3. Staffel I. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 26 - 3./KG26

Heinkel He 111 3./KG26 (1H+HL) Norway 1941
Photo 01: Heinkel He 111 KG26.3 (1H+HL) Norway summer 1941

Heinkel He 111 H-4 3./KG26 (1H+ML) transit Malmi, Helsinki 1942.

1-He 111H4-KG26.3-(1H+ML)-transit-Malmi-1942-01

4. Staffel II. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 26 - 4./KG26

Heinkel He 111 H-3 4./KG26 coded 1H+FM W.Nr. 2323 and flown by Unteroffizier Herman Wilms and based in France 2KIA 2POW

The following photographs taken shortly after the plane was shot down show the aircraft lieing in snow at Whitby on Feb 3 1940 after being shot down by aircraft from RAF 43 Squadron.

Heinkel He 111 H-3 4./KG26 coded 1H+JM Norway 1941.

Heinkel He 111 H-6 4./KG26 coded 1H+MM and based

5. Staffel II. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 26 - 5./KG26

Heinkel He 111H 5./KG26 (1H+AN) Sicily 1941

Heinkel He 111 H-1 5./KG26 (1H+BN) during the early stages of the Norwegian Campaign 1940

Heinkel He 111 H-3 5./KG26 (1H+DN) WNr 5306 belly landed Sitasjauresee Norrbotten County Sweden 1940

Heinkel He 111 H-1 5./KG26 (1H+EN) WNr 6853 France 1940

6. Staffel II. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 26 - 6./KG26

Heinkel He 111H6 Geschwaderstab 6./KG26 1H+BP Italy 1942

Heinkel He 111H6 6./KG26 (1H+BP) crash landed Spain 1942

Heinkel He 111 H-6 6./KG26 II Gruppe Flying anti-shipping missions from Italy 1942

8. Staffel III. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 26 - 8./KG26

Heinkel He 111H 8./KG26 (1H+LS) France 1940

Heinkel He 111 H-4 8./KG26 coded (1T+HK) which was the code from a former unit KG28.

This photograph was taken when it was based in Sestschinskaja Russia 1942. In the photograph you can see the flack damage received from a previous mission.

COD AS He 111H4 8./KG26 (1THK) Sestschinskaja Russia 1942

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Erich Schmidt

Units: 1/KG-26

Awards: Bomber Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: He 111H '1H+AH' (lost)

Remarks: Pictured in 'Broken Eagles 2' with notation 'who was captured after his He 111 was shot down over southern England on 11 September, 1940. Not certain this quote means for sure that he was a pilot or crewman.



Josef Hintermayer

Units: I/KG-26

Awards: Bomber Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: He 111H-6 WNr 4251 '1H+AH' (lost)

Remarks: MIA 1 February, 1942; failed to return from a mission west of Murmansk. Remaining crew (all MIA): Uffz Ludvig Leinweber, Observer; Gefr Hans Mayer, R/O and Ogefr Willi Wachowitz, Gunner. Source: SIG Norway.



Hermann Wilms

Units: 4/KG-26

Awards: Bomber Operational Clasp

Known Aircraft: He 111H-3 WNr 2323 '1H+FM' (lost)

Remarks: POW 3 February, 1940 after being shot down by Hurricanes of RAF No. 43 Sq., crashing at Bannial Flatt Farm, at the Sleights crossroads, four miles north of Whitby. Remaining crew: Uffz Rudolf Leushake, Observer (KIA), Uffz Karl Missy, wireless operator (POW and Uffz Johann Meyer, mechanic (KIA). Leushake was killed on the first pass, in the nose of the AC, his Observer position. Meyer was mortally wounded in the stomach and Missy's right leg was nearly severed from MG fire which raked the fuselage. The two KIA crew members are buried in the German Military Cemetery at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. This was the first AC to crash on British soil in WWII.

This webpage was updated 11th July 2019