Junkers Ju 88 G Stab I./NJG 2 (4R+FB) Braunschweig 1945 01-03
Photo 01-03: This color photograph of Junkers Ju 88G-6 of Stab I./NJG2 at Braunschweig in May 1945 shows just how colorful some of these aircraft must of look. We get so used to seeing black and white photo's its fantastic to see things in color. This machine carried the operational marking 4R+FB and the RLM 75/76 uppersurfaces have been darkened with a field-applied overspray which appears to be in two colors, possibly in RLM82 with 81 or 83. The fact that this extends well down the fuselage sides would suggest that this was an attempt to find a compromise scheme suitable for concealment on the ground as well as in the air.
1 Staffel I./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 1./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88C 1./NJG2 (R4+BH) Werk Nr 360010 El Quasaba 1942
Photo 01: 1-Ju-88C-NJG2.1-(R4+BH)-WNr360010-El-Quasaba-Aug-1942-01
Junkers Ju 88A I./NJG 2 (R4+CH) Sicily 1942
Junkers Ju 88R 1./NJG2 (R4+FH) Mediterranean 1941
Profile 00: A Ju 88C-4 of 1. Staffel 1. Gruppe./NJG2. After flying from bases in Holland, I./NJG2 was transferred to the Mediterranean during late 1941, with some aircraft being painted with a white fuselage band which was prominent in that theatre of operations.
Junkers Ju 88C 1./NJG 2 (R4+HH) Gerhard Bohme Catania Sicily early 1942
Profile 00: Junkers Ju 88C-6 (R4+HH) of 1./NJG2, Catania, early 1942 Although camouflaged in a dull, overall matt black scheme, the overall appearance of this aircraft was relieved by the white of the national markings, the grey 77 code, the white fuselage band and the yellow identification panels under the engines. The tail was marked with three victory bars and although this aircraft is believed to have been flown by Oblt. Gerhard Bohme in early 1942, he had only two confirmed victories at that time: a Blenheim, destroyed on 17 April 1940 when he was flying with 1./ZG 76, and a Whitley on 3 January 1941. Note that although the whole nose is covered in the accompanying photograph, what appears to be a Nachtjagd badge shows faintly though the material and has therefore been shown in the profile.
Photo's 01-02: The yellow identification markings under the engines are also shown in these views of two otherwise overall black Ju 88Cs, also of I./NJG2, but with the white fuselage band positioned further forward. The aircraft coded R4+HH with the damaged wingtip (Photo 01) is believed to have been flown by Oblt. Gerhard Bohme of I./NJG2, and although the forward part of the fuselage is covered to protect the cockpit from the sun, the Englandblitz emblem was almost certainly carried on the nose in the same position as shown in the detail (Photo 03) and logo.
2 Staffel I./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 2./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88G-6 2./NJG2 (4R+AK) Johannes Strassner WNr 620181 Germany 1944 01-02
Photo's 01-02: A Junkers Ju 88 shown in the summer of 1944 with a single experimental obliquely-mounted MG 151 fitted in the nose. It is not known how this atmament installation fared in combat, nor how effective the flash suppressor on the barrel of the MG 151 was in preserving the pilot's night vision. This particular aircraft was coded 4R+AK and was flown by Ofhr. Johannes Strassner of 2./NJG2.
Luftwaffe aircrew Bordfunker I./NJG 2 Carlos Nugent 01
Photo 01: The role of the Bordfunker was extremely important in night fighter operations. Carlos Nugent was posted to I./NJG2 in May 1942 and became Heinz Rökker's Bordfunker. Nugent flew almost 150 missions with R6kker, participating in 62 of his 64 victories, and on 28 April 1945 became one of oniy a very few Bordfunkers decor;lted with the Knight's Cross. In this portrait, Fw. Nugent is shown wearing the German Cross in Gold which he received on 1 January 1945.
Junkers Ju 88C I./NJG 2 (R4+CK) Heinz Rokker W.Nr 5664 Catania Sicily 1941 01
Photo 01: Lt. Heinz Rokker of I./NJG2 also flew this Ju 88 C, W.Nr. 5664, shown at Catania after a landing accident in which the port undercarriage collapsed. The aircraft, coded R4+CK, was evidently on loan from 2. Staffel.
Junkers Ju 88C I./NJG 2 (R4+ K) Heinz Rokker Catania Sicily 1941 01
Photo 01: In July 1940, II./NJG1 specialised in mounting night intruder operations to British bomber aerodromes which had been located by radio intercepts. On 11 September 1940, the Gruppe was redesignated I./NJG2 but the number of intruder aircraft available was inadequate and the perceived lack of results resulted in the end of such operations on 12 October 1941. In mid-November 1941, I./NJG2 was ordered to the Mediterranean theatre and was based at Catania in Sicily. On its arrival at Catania, the Gruppe flew daylight missions to escort convoys of vital supplies destined for German troops in North Africa as well as night intruder sorties over Malta, Crete and North Africa. This Ju 88C-6 was flown by Lt. Heinz Rokker of 1. Staffel and although the person on the right is unknown, the NCO on the left is Rokker's Bordmechaniker, Uffz. Georg Frieben. The absence of flame dampers over the exhausts suggests the aircraft was used predominantly for daylight operations although it is clearly equipped with Lichtenstein radar. As the C-6 was originally intended as a day Zerstorer, it is finished in a 70/71/76 scheme but with a tan wave-mirror overspray on the uppersurfaces and spinners.
Luftwaffe aircrew Pilots I./NJG 2 Heinz Rokker 01
Photo 02-03: After entering the Luftwaffe in October 1939 and qualifying as a pilot, Heinz Rökker underwent night fighter training at Neubiberg near Munich. On joining the Nachtjagd he was posted to I./NJG2 on 6 May 1942 and remained with this Gruppe until the end of the war.
Junkers Ju 88C I./NJG 2 (R4+DK) Catania Sicily 1941 01
Photo 01: In addition to its Ju 88C-6 night fighters, I./NJG2 used a number of Ju 88A-4s for bombing operations. One such aircraft, R4+DK operated by 2./NJG1, is shown here with the glazed nose area just visible. Note the white band around the rear fuselage, applied to almost all Luftwaffe aircraft operating in the Mediterranean area, and the yellow undersurfaces on the engine cowlings which were to assist Axis ground forces in identifying friendly aircraft.
Junkers Ju 88C6 2./NJG 2 (R4+GK) landing incident due to icy conditions
Photo 01: Junkers Ju 88C6 2./NJG 2 (R4+GK) landing incident due to icy conditions. The photo shows the dual under wing cannons and the half black camuoflage
Book Reference: Jet & Prop Foto-Archiv Band 13
3 Staffel I./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 3./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88C II./NJG2 (R4+DK) Catania Sicily 1941 01
Photo 01: In addition to its Ju 88C-6 night fighters, I./NJG2 used a number of Ju 88A-4s for bombing operations. One such aircraft, R4+DK operated by 2./NJG1, is shown here with the glazed nose area just visible. Note the white band around the rear fuselage, applied to almost all Luftwaffe aircraft operating in the Mediterranean area, and the yellow undersurfaces on the engine cowlings which were to assist Axis ground forces in identifying friendly aircraft.
4 Staffel II./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 4./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88C 10./NJG1 (R4+FM) Wilhelm Beier W.Nr 360219 Holland Oct 1942 00
Profile 00: Junkers Ju 88C-4 'R4+FM' flown by Lt. Wilhelm Beier of 10./NJG1, Leeuwarden, October 1942. This profile represents Lt. Beier's R4+FM after he achieved his 36th victory and shows the tail marked with a small representation of the Ritterkreuz and the appropriate number of white victory bars. Each bar contains a black diagonal line to denote a night victory and the date of the respective claim. Although camouflaged in a worn and apparently hastily applied grey 74, traces of the original bomber scheme of 70/71/65 remain, particularly on the tail and where the grey has weathered away from the engine cowling. Note that whereas the repainting around the fuselage code letters on the starboard side is quite crude, that on the port side was much neater. Traces of temporary black remain on the white segments. of the Balkenkreuz and a variation of the diving falcon badge of the Nachtjagd probably appeared on both sides of the nose. As explained above, although operating with NJG1 (code 'G9'), the machine still carries the 'R4' code of NJG2, Beier's previous unit.
Junkers Ju 88C 4./NJG2 (R4+GM) Wilhelm Beier W.Nr 360219 Holland 01-02
Photo's 01-02: Two views of a Ju 88 C-4 coded R4+GM of 4./NJG2, probably at Gilze-Rijen, shown after a taxiing mishap in which the machine lost its radar antennae and suffered other damage to its nose and propellers. This machine was flown by Ofw. Wilhelm Beier of 4./NJG2. Note, however, that when the photograph was taken, no victory markings are visible on the tail unit indicating that, if carried at all, Beier's tally was carried only on the port side. Note also that at this time the aircraft was clearly camouflaged in the standard 70/71/65 bomber scheme.
Junkers Ju 88C 4./NJG2 (R4+GM) Wilhelm Beier W.Nr 360219 Holland 03-04
Photo's 03-04: This view of the same aircraft, again almost certainly photographed at Gilze-Rijen in Holland, shows that the machine has now been almost entirely repainted with grey 74. Also visible are the victory bars on the tail which have been left in a prominent white although the white segments of the Balkenkreuz on the fuselage and under the wings have been overpainted with temporary black distemper.
Junkers Ju 88C 4./NJG2 (R4+GM) Wilhelm Beier W.Nr 360219 Holland 05
Photo 05: The starboard side of the tail of the same machine showing the W.Nr. 360219 and 22 victory bars. Ofw. Beier's 22nd victory was an Avro Manchester which he shot down north-east of Moerbeke at 03.16 hrs on 29 August 1942.
Junkers Ju 88C NJG1.10 (R4+FM) Wilhelm Beier W.Nr 360219 Holland 01-02
Photo's 01-02: September 1942, Ofw. Wilhelm Beier was promoted to Leutnant and the following month transferred from NJG2 to the newly formed 10./NJG1 at Leellwarden, apparently taking his aircraft with him. On the night of 15/16 October, Lt. Beier claimed a B-24, two Stirlings and a Manchester, raising his tally to 36 victories. These photographs were taken shortly afterwards and, although this is the same aircraft, WNr 360219, as shown in , the individual aircraft letter has now been changed to an 'F', but neither the Geschwader code nor the Staffelletter have yet been amended to 'G9' and '0' respectively. In addition to the 36 victory bars, the tail has also been marked with a small representation of tbe Ritterkreuz awarded to Ofw. Beier in October 1941. Note also that the victory markings now appear on both sides of the tail and that the Englandblitz emblem, probably obscured by the spinner in the photograph on top of page 77, appears on the forward fuselage. Willlelm Beier was later commissioned and was credited with 38 victories up to the end of May 1943 when he became an instructor. Although he was retraining on the Me-262 night fighter in May 1945, Beier, then an Oberleutnant, flew no more combat missions and survived the war.
Pilots I./NJG2 Wilhelm Beier October 1941 01
Ofw. Wilhelm Beier shown here after being presented with the Knight's Cross by General Josef Kammhuber on 11 October 1941. Lt. Beier was at that time the highest-scoring pilot of I./NJG2, claiming the destruction of 14 bombers.
Junkers Ju 88C 4./NJG2 (R4+IM) 01
Photo 01: A Ju 88 C-6 night fighter of the 4.Staffel of an unidentified Nachtjagdgeschwader. The camouflage consists of 76 undersurfaces and plain 75 on the uppersurfaces which has been extended well down the fuselage sides. The 75 was then oversprayed with what appears to be 76 but in such a way that small patches of 75 remained. Such a finish, referred to in this work as 'reverse mottling', is often mistaken for 75 mottles applied over 76.
Junkers Ju 88C 4./NJG2 (R4+XM) Sayn-Wittgenstein East Prussia
Profile 00: Pilot - CO of IV./NJG5 Hauptmann Heinrich Alexander zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. Kursk area, Summer 1943. Heinrich Alexander zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was promoted to Major and is credited with 83 victories but KIA on 22 Jan 1944 in Luftkampf. 320ff (150 as Kampfflieger). He servered with the following units KG 51, NJG2, NJG5, NJG1, NJG3.
Pilots NJG5.4 Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein 01
Photo 01: In order to bolster the makeshift night fighter units operating in Russia, IV/NJG5, under the command of Hauptmann Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, was deployed to Insterburg in East Prussia on several occasions during 1943. Wittgenstein accumulated 33 victories against the Soviets.
Junkers Ju 88C NJG5.4 (C9+AE) Sayn-Wittgenstein 01
Photo 01: This tail unit with 29 victory bars is reported to have belonged to the Ju 88 C-6 flown by Hptm. Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, the Kommandeur of IV/NJG5, probably when based at Insterburg in East Prussia in Mayor June 1943. There are many inconstancies between the victory bars shown and Sayn-Wittgenstein's known confirmed victories. For example, although the bars in the bottom row including the linked bars which represent multiple kills correspond precisely with Sayn Wittgenstein's kills in July 1942, the rest cannot be reconciled with his subsequent claims. Moreover, on the night of 24/25 June 1943, he claimed four kills which raised his total from 28 to 32, but why only one of those victories should be shown, bringing the total to 29 bars, is again not known. The grey camouflage on this aircraft, a Ju 88 C-6 code C9+AE, would appear to consist of 74 mottles over 75.
5 Staffel II./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 5./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88C 5./NJG2 (R4+GN) Lichtenstein BC radar 1943 01
Photo 01: Junkers Ju 88 C-6 of 5./NJG2, probably photographed in late 1943, clearly showing the aerials for the FuG 202 'Lichtenstein' BC radar on the nose. The night fighter versions of the Ju 88 C series were originally introduced relatively slowly due to limited availability of the radar and were later replaced by the Ju 88G which began to appear in mid-1944. Given the period in which this machine was photographed, the full code would almost certainly have been R4+GN, although in 1944 the Geschwader's operational code was reversed to '4R'.
6 Staffel II./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 6./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88G 6./NJG2 (4R+EP) Fritzlar 1945 00
Profile 00: This Ju 88G of 6./NJG2 with the operational code 4R+EP had a most unusual camouflage. Disregarding the dark patch on the tail, which is merely a piece of camouflage netting, the rest of the machine visible in this view has been camouflaged in a disruptive pattern of what is probably 76 and 75. Very few examples of this scheme have been observed, but it is thought that the uppersurface of the wings and tailplane were finished in a similar manner.
Junkers Ju 88G 6./NJG2 (4R+EP) Fritzlar 1945 01
Photo 01: Photographed at Fritzlar in Germany in 1945, this Ju 88G of 6./NJG2 with the operational code 4R+EP had a most unusual camouflage. Disregarding the dark patch on the tail, which is merely a piece of camouflage netting, the rest of the machine visible in this view has been camouflaged in a disruptive pattern of what is probably 76 and 75. Very few examples of this scheme have been observed, but it is thought that the uppersurface of the wings and tailplane were finished in a similar manner.
Junkers Ju 88R-2 6./NJG2 (R4+AP) Erich Jung WNr 620045 Germany 1945 01
Photo 01: A Junkers Ju 88G-6 of 6./NJG2 taxiing in daylight. Note the oversprayed swastika and, just visible on the upper surfaces of the fuselage, the mottled camouflage finish.
7 Staffel III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 7./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88G-6 7./NJG2 (4R+BR) Walter Briegleb WNr 622338 Operation Gisela 1945 00
Profile 00: Junkers Ju 88G-6 flown by Oblt. Walter Briegleb of 7./NJG2, March 1945. This aircraft was originally finished in RLM 76 overall with mottles where the base 75 was left exposed. Later, the uppersurfaces and fuselage sides had been oversprayed with a blend of mottles and Wellenmuster type meandering lines in the late war colors 82 and 83. Although 25 victory bars were painted on the fin, Oblt. Briegleb's official tally was 24 victories before 'Gisela' and 26 afterwards.
Junkers Ju 88G 7./NJG2 (4R+BR) Walter Briegleb WNr 622338 Operation Gisela 1945 01-02
Photo's 01-02: This Junkers Ju 88G-6, WNr. 622338, was flown by Oblt. Walter Briegleb, the Staffelkapitan of 7./NJG2, pictured (RIGHT) as a Hauptmann seated in a Bf-110. The aircraft had a 'Naxos' housing mounted on the canopy and the SN-2 aerials mounted on the nose were canted at 45 degrees in order to widen the angle of interception. This photograph was almost certainly taken just before or just after Operation 'Gisela' when, on the night of 3/4 March 1945, German night fighters mounted a long-range intruder mission over England. Before this operation, Oblt. Briegleb had 24 confirmed victories, as represented by the victory bars on the tail of his machine, but obtained his 25th and 26th during 'Gisela' itself when he destroyed two Lancaster bombers. For the operation, the aircraft involved were fitted with extra fuel tanks and the oblique armament was reduced to a single 20 mm MG 151, as shown here.
Junkers Ju 88G-1 7./NJG2 (4R+UR) Hans Mackle WNr 712273 00
Profile 00: On the night of 12/13 July 1944, Uffz. Mackle, Obgfi. Olze and Obgfi. Mockl of 7./NJG2 were aboard this Ju88G-1 when the pilot became completely lost and, instead of heading for Berlin as intended, apparently flew a reciprocal course which took him to the Suffolk coast of England. By this time, the aircraft was very short of fuel, so that when Mackle sighted the emergency landing strip at Woodbridge, he made a wheels-down landing at 04.25 hrs on the 13th still believing he was near Berlin. The capture of this machine was of great importance to the British as it was one of the Luftwaffe's latest night fighters and was fully equipped with the most recent radar and radio equipment. The aircraft, WNr. 712273, carried the operational code 4R+UR and the camouflage was 75 and 76, being described in RAF AI2(g) Report No. 242 as 'duck egg blue on all surfaces with dark grey mottling on the top surfaces'.
Junkers Ju 88G-1 7./NJG2 (4R+UR) Hans Mackle WNr 712273 01
Photo 01: On the night of 12/13 July 1944, Uffz. Mackle, Obgfi. Olze and Obgfi. Mockl of 7./NJG2 were aboard this Ju88G-1 when the pilot became completely lost and, instead of heading for Berlin as intended, apparently flew a reciprocal course which took him to the Suffolk coast of England. By this time, the aircraft was very short of fuel, so that when Mackle sighted the emergency landing strip at Woodbridge, he made a wheels-down landing at 04.25 hrs on the 13th still believing he was near Berlin. The capture of this machine was of great importance to the British as it was one of the Luftwaffe's latest night fighters and was fully equipped with the most recent radar and radio equipment. The aircraft, WNr. 712273, carried the operational code 4R+UR and the camouflage was 75 and 76, being described in RAF AI2(g) Report No. 242 as 'duck egg blue on all surfaces with dark grey mottling on the top surfaces'.
Junkers Ju 88G-1 7./NJG2 (4R+UR) Hans Mackle WNr 712273 02-03
Photo's 01-02: Just visible in these photograph's are the aerials on the nose for the 'Lichtenstein' FuG220 airborne intercept radar. Note the dorsal gun position with a single MG 131 and the annular flame damper at the rear of the engine cowling. Also visible on the wing, and seen again (BELOW) are the aerials for the FuG 227 'Flensburg' which detected and homed onto the emissions of the 'Monica' tail warning radar fitted to RAF bombers. Note that two of the FuG227 aerials projected from the leading edge of each wing while the third was located above and below the starboard wing.
Junkers Ju 88G-1 7./NJG2 (4R+UR) Hans Mackle WNr 712273 04-05
Photo's 01-02: Although the Revi 16D gunsight had been removed when the photograph was taken, it shows the pilot's instrument panel with standard flight instruments and, in the rectangular housing on the left of the panel, a rounds counter for the four 20 mm forward-firing MG 151 cannon mounted in a large streamlined fairing offset to port under the forward fuselage.
Junkers Ju 88G 7./NJG2 (4R+UR) Mackle WNr 712273 06
Photo 01: A front view of Uffz. Hans Mickle's Ju 88G-1, now under armed guard and being examined by an RAF Technical Intelligence expert. When the machine landed, there was so little petrol and oil remaining in the tanks that it subsequently proved impossible for the RAF to obtain samples for analysis. An interesting feature of this aircraft was that the Werk Nurnmer was repeated on all control surfaces and detachable panels.
Junkers Ju 88G-1 7./NJG2 (4R+UR) Hans Mackle WNr 712273 07
Photo 01: After being extensively tested and evaluated, the same Ju 88G-1 was allocated the British serial number TP190 and is seen here on display at Farnborough in October 1945.
8 Staffel III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 8./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88C 8./NJG2 (4R+AS) Friedrich Tober Holland 1943
Profile 00: This late production Ju 88C-6 Nachjager of 8./NJG2 was flown by Hauptmann Tober during 1943-44. The upward firing Schrage Musik cannon armament enabled Luftwaffe fighters to attack their enemies from below and to the rear, where the fighters were completely out of sight.
Junkers Ju 88C 8./NJG2 (R4+LS) Friedrich Tober Werk Nr 750811 Germany 30th January 1944
Photo's 01-02: A crash-landed Ju 88C-6 clearly showing the 'Schrage Musik' installation of two MG151/20 cannon protruding from the fuselage. This particular aircraft, R4+LS, WNr. 750811, was being flown on a daylight mission on 30 January 1944 by Hptm. Friedrich Tober of III./NJG2 when it was attacked and shot down by a P47. Tober's machine crashed in a field south-west of Hardenberg, as a result of which it was written off.
9 Staffel III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 9./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88C 9./NJG2 (R4+MT) crash-landed Belgium 1942 00
Profile 00: Junkers Ju 88 C-4 'R4+MT' of 9./NJG2, Summer 1942. This machine was somewhat unusual for a night fighter in that it retained a 70/71 splinter camouflage on the uppersurfaces with 65 on all undersurfaces. The fuselage code was in black with the individual aircraft letter 'M' outlined in white and the emblem of the Nachtjagd appeared on the nose.
Junkers Ju 88C 9./NJG2 (R4+MT) crash-landed Belgium 1942 01-04
Photo's 01-04: This crash-landed Junkers Ju 88C-4 was coded R4+MT and belonged to 9./NJG2.The aircraft was photographed in the summer of 1942, and although the unit was at that time stationed at Gilze-Rijen in Holland, it is believed these photographs were taken after the machine made a forced landing in an orchard or farm in Belgium. Note the straw spread over the wings and the camouflage netting placed over the rear fuselage to conceal the white of the Balkenkreuz.
13 Staffel IV./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - 13./NJG 2
Junkers Ju 88G 13./NJG2 (4R+BX) 1944 01
Photo 01: A heavily exhaust-stained Ju 88G-1 fitted with a ventral gun pack. Just visible behind the training edge of the port wing on this otherwise RLM 76-painted aircraft is the 75 reverse mottling. Although the small Geschwader code ahead of the fuselage Balkenkreuz is indistinct, it is believed to be '4R' which, together with the last letter 'X' in the fuselage code, would indicate that this machine belonged to 13./NJG2. Although it is not known exactly when or why NJG2 began using the code '4R' in addition to its usual 'R4', this probably began sometime after the beginning of 1944. No lettering appears under the starboard wing although, unusually for the latter period of the war, the letters 'B' and 'X' of the fuselage code are repeated beneath the port wing, although, in letters of different style and size. The 13./NJG2, part of V.Gruppe, was formed in December 1944 by redesignating the bomber Staffel 7./KG2.
Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 - NJG 2 mixed photo's
Junkers Ju 88C (R4+C_) Nachtjagdgeschwader 2
Photo 01: This Ju 88C, also of NJG2 but probably seen in Holland or Belgium, has again retained its 70/71 upper surfaces but has had the undersurfaces, including the national markings and most of the code letters, overpainted in matt black. Only the individual aircraft letter 'C' remains, and the sooty appearance of the black suggests this may have been a temporary distemper. This machine carried only a single gun in the rear canopy.
Junkers Ju 88C Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 NJG2 (R4+__) 1942
Photo 01: A Ju 88C-6 of NJG2, probably in the summer of 1942. All white areas in the national markings have been blacked out, even in the Balkenkreuz under each wing, although the bright blue undersurfaces have been retained.
Junkers Ju 88C Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 NJG2 (R4+__)
Photo 01: This Ju 88C of NJG2 appears to be camouflaged overall in a single dark grey, probably RLM 75, with the fuselage code in RLM 74.This supposition is based on the contrast between these colors compared with the known black of the fuselage Balkenkreuz where the original white segments have been overpainted.
Junkers Ju 88C Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 NJG2 (R4+__)
Photo 02: Another example of a camouflage finish probably modified at unit level may be seen on this Ju 88, believed to have belonged to NJG2. Note that the mottled uppersurface finish, which already comes well down the fuselage sides, has been further extended with sprayed streaks to include the ventral gondola.
Junkers Ju 88C Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 NJG2 FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1 radar 01
Photo 01: A Ju 88C-6 with the four aerials for FuG 202 'Lichtenstein' BC or FuG 212 'Lichtenstein' C-1 radar and still wearing the early overall black night finish. This particular machine almost certainly served with NJG2 which retained the type until well into 1944, while other units continued to operate the type until the surrender in May 1945.
Junkers Ju 88C NJG2.2 (R4+__) Operation Anton
Photo 01: Luftwaffe aircraft participating in Operation 'Anton', the German occupation of Vichy France which followed the Allied 'Torch' landings in North Africa in November 1942, were marked with narrow white bands on each wing. This marking is clearly visible on these Ju 88Cs of 2./NJG2, apparently on a flight to Bordeaux which, prior to Operation 'Anton', was just outside the unoccupied area of France.
Junkers Ju 88C NJG2.3 (R4+__) Catania Sicily 1941
Photo 01: Another Ju 88C, believed to have been flown by 2. or 3./NJG2 in the Mediterranean showing a partial white band around the rear fuselage. Note also the weathered area at the base of the tail where the action of sand, thrown up by the propellers, has abraded the finish.
Photo 01: Crew RAF 514Sqn Thomas Harvell
New IL-2 Sturmovik Cliffs of Dover - COD skins
BL Ju 88A I./NJG 2 (R4+CH) Sicily 1942
Ju 88 of 1./NJG2 Sicily, in 1942. R4+CH Buglord firstname.lastname@example.org
MH Ju 88R I./NJG2 (R4+FH) Mediterranean 1941
MH Max_theHitman http://downloads.flightsimfiles.com/
VP Ju 88A II./NJG2 (R4+DL) Sicily 1941
Units: 3./NJG-2 (4/41), 9./NJG-2 (9/42), NJG-1, NJG-3, Ausbildungskommando Ost (East Trng Cmd) Instr.
Awards: RK(10/11/41), EK 1 & 2, Night Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 110C-2
Remarks: About 250 combat missions. One known victory, perhaps his first, a Hurricane 5 km E of Spilsby the night of 15-16 December, 1940. His 2nd, a Whitley at Cambridge, 9-10 April, 1941. His 3rd, a Wellington at Wells-next-Sea on 7-8 May, 1941. His 4th, a Blenheim 50 km east of Scarborough, 11 May, 1941. His 5th, a Blenheim 20 km southeast of Lowestoft on 3-4 June, 1941. His 9th & 10th, both Whitleys on 6 July, 1941, no location. Nos.12, 13 & 14, a Blenheim, a Halifax and a Wellington downed 8 August, 1941 over England. He downed a Manchester, a Halifax and a Wellington on 7 September, 1942. At wars end, he was training for Night Fighting with the Me 262. One author proclaims that Beier was the first RO to receive the RK! His photo reveals the Pilot Badge being worn, unless there were two Wilhelm Beier's! Bowers/Lednicer, 36 victories, all night. Deceased 12 July, 1977.
Asisbiz database list of 38 aerial victories for Wilhelm Beier
Units: 10/NJG-3 (2/44), Stfkpt 7/NJG-2 (3/45)
Awards: DK-G(10/15/44), EP, EK 1 & 2, Night Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 110, Ju 88G-1 WNr 710639 (lost 10/6/44), Ju 88G-6 'R4+IR' & WNr 622338 '4R+BR' (3/4/45) & Ju 88G-6 WNr 622830 '4R+BR' in 7/NJG-2
Remarks: His Ju 88G-1 crashed at Opsterland Holland, by Bakkeveen, on 6 October, 1944, cause and pilot/crew disposition unknown (DeSwart). One known victory, a '4 mot' W of Berlin on 20 February, 1944. Another '4 mot' at Halle-Leipzig on 24 March, 1944. A '4 mot' 100 km WSW of Copenhagen on 23 April, 1944. A '4 mot' near Duisburg on 22 May, 1944. Four victories, all '4 mots' in the Paris -Rouen area on 11 June, 1944. A '4 mot' in the Abbeville area on 13 June, 1944. A '4 mot' at Beacon 'Kurfürst' on 17 June, 1944. A '4 mot' NW of Amsterdam on 19 July, 1944. Two '4 mots' 50 km S of Radio Beacon 'Kurfürst' on 21 July, 1944. A '4 mot' at Normeny, S of Metz, on 29 July, 1944. A '4 mot' 30 km SW of Kiel on 26 August, 1944. A Wellington at St Avold on 3 October, 1944. A '4 mot' into the Sea near Ostfreich on 6 October, 1944. A Wellington on 2 December, 1944, no location. Hius last two victories, Lancasters; one S of Waddington airfield, the 2nd 40 km W of Lincoln, 3/4/March, 1945. On 1 May, 1945, Briegleb and his R/O, Ofw Möller, flew their AC to Portugal. Magnus & Jager Blatt article.
Asisbiz list of 26 aerial victories for Walter Briegleb
Units: Kdr I/NJG-2 (11/41), Kdr II/ZG-101 (3/43), 6/NJG-2 (12/43), 5/NJG-2, Kdr III/NJG-2 (5/45)
Awards: DK-G, EP, EK 1 & 2, Night Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Ju 88C; Do 17Z-10 'R4+AK' (10/40); Ju 88R-2 'R4+AP' and Ju 88G-6 'R4+AN' in NJG-2(3/45)
Remarks: In March, 1945, Jung scored 7 victories in 20 minutes and an 8th shortly thereafter. His crew was R/O Uffz Walter Heidenreich and Mech Ofw Hans (Heinz) Reinnagel. They flew in '4R+AN' Werk # 620045. Their last mission was 16 March, 1945, and on 25 March, 1945, Werk # 620045 was blown up as U.S. gliders were landing on their airfield at Zellhausen. One known victory, a Lancaster at Ober-Sayn on 24 December, 1943. Another, a Lancaster at Epinal on 28 April, 1944. A Lancaster in the Brussels area on 28 May, 1944. Two '4 mot's' in the Dieppe-Abbeville area on 25 June, 1944. Two '4 mot's' over northern France, in the Bourges area, on 5 July, 1944. A 3rd '4 mot', same day, N or Paris. Two '4 mots' at St Leu on 8 July, 1944. An 11th, a '4 mot' SE of Orleans on 25 July, 1944. A 12th, a P-38 in the Blechhammer area on 7 August, 1944. Magnus, 30 victories.
Asisbiz database list of 33 aerial victories for Erich Jung
Awards: EK 1 & 2, Night Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Ju 88G-1 WNr 712273 '4R+UR'
Remarks: POW 13 July, 1944 when he was forced to make an emergency landing at Woodbridge (UK) emergency landing strip, due to lack of fuel, at 0425AM, after a night mission. From his intact, newly-equipped radar, Allied authorities were able to gather important intelligence data. None of the crew were injured. The other crew were: Ogefr Heinz Olze and Ogefr Hans Mockle. One known victory, a '4 mot' at Volkel on 22 June, 1944. Alternate spelling: Mackle.
Asisbiz database list of 1 aerial victories for Hans Mäckle
'I saw ahead of me the shadow of a Wellington'
LT. HEINZ ROKKER, I./NJG2
In November 1941, just a month after the cessation of their long-range intruder missions to England, l/NJG2 was transferred to Catania in Sicily. From here they were deployed on long-range night fighter missions to Malta, Sicily, Crete and to North Africa where, in June 1942, Lt. Heinz R6kker of l/NJG2 achieved his first night victories.
My first night fighter victory came on 25 June 1942 in North Africa. With Carlos Nugent as my radio operator and Georg Frieben as mechanic, we had taken off from Derna at 22.00 hrs with the task of finding and shooting down in freelance action, enemy aircraft that were. bombing German supply traffic. It was a bright, moonlit night. Visibility was good, as one would expect in a desert climate. In order to better locate their targets, the British were using flares, but by doing so they made our job easier because, logically, they must have been close to and above the flares. Finding the bombers' altitude, however, was a matter of luck. We discovered that the height from which they carried out their attack was mostly in the region of 500 to 1,000 metres, because at this altitude they were just out of the range of the light Flak, and the 8.8 cm guns of the German anti-aircraft units could only rarely be brought into action because it was more important to deploy them in the front line.
At 23.45 hrs, in the vicinity of Mersa Matruh, at an altitude of about 500 metres and a range of about 400 metres, I saw ahead of me the shadow of a Wellington. At once I switched on my guns and the reflector sight (Rem) and opened my throttles in order not to let the enemy out of my sight. I had not, however, allowed for the slow speed of the Wellington, so that I approached the aircraft so rapidly that I only had time to throttle back and give a short burst. I scored hits in the fuselage and the tail unit without coming under fire from the rear gunner, who had been taken completely by surprise by our rapid appearance. I had approached the bomber so quickly that it was only with difficulty that I avoided a collision. I managed to dive away when I was only a few metres below the burning enemy aircraft. I flew a full circle and then, through a thin layer of cloud, we saw the enemy machine hit the ground in flames.
During the same night, at about 00.09 hrs, we located another Wellington at about the same altitude. I adjusted my speed to that of the bomber and then shot its port engine into flames with a single burst. Without any defensive fire from the rear gunner, the aircraft went into a dive, but when it was near the ground it pulled out and made a belly landing. As it did so, the fabric covering the fuselage caught fire, and we could clearly see the lattice construction in the light of the flames. We landed at Derna without any problem at 02.10 hrs.
I had a very negative experience when I shot down my next Wellington on 28 June 1942, again near to Mersa Matruh, which I picked up at a height of 600 metres. We had taken off from Derna at 21.40 hrs and saw the Wellington at approximately 23.58 hrs. After matching its speed I moved into firing position and pressed the firing buttons. Unfortunately, only one machine gun and one cannon fired. We saw that we had scored hits, but the Wellington did not catch fire and immediately went into a dive. I was faster, however, and by reason of the good visibility it was unable to escape. In pursuing it we came close to the ground. Although we were flying close to the Wellington we did not receive any defensive fire from the rear gunner. It is probable that he was hit in the first burst of fire. Finally, we were flying so low that I could clearly see a group of lorries below me. I opened fire again, and set its port engine on fire. As I did so the Wellington lost speed so suddenly that despite throttling back I was unable to stay behind the enemy but overtook him on his port side. Suddenly there was a metallic noise in our cabin that I recognised from the first time I was shot down. We had come under fire from the nose gunner of the Wellington flying alongside, who was bravely defending his machine despite the burning engine. Again we saw the Wellington make a belly landing.
As we had been hit in the crew cabin and my radio operator and I both had slight splinter wounds, I began to climb in order to return to base. Suddenly we noticed that the water temperature indicator and the oil temperature on the starboard engine had risen to 'maximum'. I immediately feathered the airscrew and switched the engine off. As we did this, we were no higher than about 200 metres. Suddenly Carlos Nugent shouted out, 'The port engine's on fire'' Because I was concentrating on switching off the starboard engine I hadn't been looking at the port instruments. Red flames were coming from the port engine.
The pilot of a Ju 88 had only a remote chance of survival if he tried to bale out through the ventral gondola at so Iowan altitude, and if he tried to get out through the cabin roof he was in great danger of hitting the tail fin, so I decided to make a belly landing in the desert. To make matters worse, as happened almost every night, a sheet of fog had formed on the ground. We had to rely on fliers' luck to find a suitable spot on the desert floor. The landing flaps were lowered successfully, and in that way we came down towards the ground in a state of tense awareness.
With my good night vision I could soon see the desert floor and started my first belly landing. In doing so, however, I stalled the aircraft very early in order not to hit the ground at high speed and so increase the danger of fire. The result was a 'passenger lift landing'. Our tail-wheel touched the ground first. There was a heavy bump and the aircraft came to a halt after skidding no more than about 50 metres. There was a great cloud of dust, and then an eerie silence. My radio operator jettisoned the cabin roof as we touched down.
We left the aircraft by the rear exit as quickly as possible. The port engine was no longer burning as it had probably been extinguished by the desert sand. The belly gondola had been ripped off and was lying about 50 metres behind us. Fortunately, however, the ground thereabouts was relatively flat. After our first shock we were able to inspect the damage to the engines at our leisure. We could only find two shell holes in each engine and one in the cabin. It was a puzzle to us how we had come to be forced to make an emergency landing by only three hits. Probably the same hits had penetrated the water pipes in each motor. As we were getting our parachutes out of the aircraft, German soldiers approached out of the darkness with their machine pistols at the ready. They thought they were going to be able to take a British crew prisoner.
We identified ourselves as a German crew and told them of our success and our bad luck. The Wellington was probably lying in the desert several kilometres away and further from the road. We never heard what became of the crew.
It was with heavy hearts that we took our leave from our fine Ju 88. It felt to me as if I was having to leave a badly wounded comrade behind. The German soldiers took us in a lorry to their camp. They belonged to a reinforcement unit. We were supplied with blankets and offered one-man foxholes to sleep in and as protection against bomb splinters, because there were several hours to go before sunrise. When I woke up the following morning, there was a scorpion on my blanket. He was carefully shaken off and quickly disappeared beneath some stones. Because of the distance involved and the remoteness, there was no question of informing our unit. Naturally, we wanted to be back at Derna as soon as possible. We left our parachutes behind and were able to travel in the back of an empty lorry in the direction of Tobruk, where the two drivers were going to recover food from a British supply depot which had fallen undamaged into German hands following the fall of Tobruk. Following an adventurous ride in the open lorry we reached Tobruk that evening.
The next day we began by going for a swim in the bay of Tobruk. Suddenly, Carlos gave a loud cry, waving his hands about and thrashing with his feet. We didn't know what was happening at first, but when he got back on land we saw that he had been bitten by a shark. On the lower part of his back could be seen the bleeding row of wounds of a shark's teeth. When we had recovered from the shock we went to the British supply depot. We each stuffed a British rucksack with preserved foods from all over the world. The contents of a pineapple tin had never tasted so good to me as they did on that day. Then we reported to our unit, which had already posted us missing. The same day we were picked up by car and greeted enthusiastically by our unit.
From one of Heinz Rökker victims: Crew RAF 514Sqn Thomas Harvell
' ... there was the unmistakable thump of cannon fire, and I glimpsed tracers going up vertically on the port side of the bombardier's observation window'
A formal photograph of Sgt. Thomas Harvell of 514 Squadron showing the Flight Engineer's brevet on the left breast pocket of his tunic. During an attack on Stuttgart on 28 July 1944, Sgt. Harvell's Lancaster was attacked and shot down by a Ju 88. It is believed that the pilot of this night fighter was Hptm. Heinz Rökker of 2./NJG2, who claimed two bombers that night.
I was the Flight Engineer of Lancaster LM206 that took off from Waterbeach at 21.40 hrs on the evening of 28 July 1944, destination Stuttgart. 1 occupied a seat next to the pilot, F/Lt. Robert Jones, carrying out the duties of a co-pilot. This was our twelfth operation, and the second to Stuttgart in three nights. We flew across France at 11,000 feet, skirting to the south of Paris in comforting cloud until we reached the area of Lorraine when we climbed to 14,000 feet into startling, bright moonlight. It was then that some Flak burst close to the aircraft and the skipper, Bob Jones, told me to go into the bombardier's compartment and release some bundles of 'Window'. I wriggled down through the small hatch of the bombardier's compartment and, as I was doing this, the voice of the rear-gunner, Sgt. Alfred Braine, came over the intercom reporting fighter flares being dropped some distance away and from above us.
I had just pushed out two packets of 'Window' when there was the unmistakable thump of cannon fire, and I glimpsed tracers going up vertically on the port side of the bombardier's observation window. This was immediately followed by a bright glow of fire that emanated from the area of the port inner engine. Then I heard the rumble of the hydraulic system and I realised that the bomb bay doors were being opened. The aircraft reared up as the 8,000lb bomb load was released and the skipper's voice came over the intercom saying, 'I have let the bombs go, Ken!' This was addressed to our bomb aimer, F/O. Kenneth Loader, who was back assisting the navigator, F/Sgt. George Robinson.
I felt frustrated at not being in my usual place in the cockpit and was attempting to get back when the aircraft started to go down. At this moment the skipper informed us, 'You had better get out lads!' I re-entered the bombardier's compartment where there was an escape hatch in the floor. As I did so, I had a last look at Bob Jones, who was now out of his pilot's seat and was standing up in the cockpit. I sat on the glycol tank in the compartment and attempted to reach the release toggles of the escape hatch, but the g-forces were now so great that I could not do so. Then came the thump of another burst of cannon fire, followed by a rush of warm air and I was catapulted head first into the domed observation window in the nose of the bomber and blacked out.
When I came to, I realised that I was falling free of the Lancaster and I deployed my parachute. I saw that burning debris from the aircraft was falling towards the canopy of my chute, so I spilt some air out of it from one side so that I went into a sideways glide away from the debris. I landed in a field and badly twisted my right knee, and my scalp was bleeding from lacerations caused when the Lancaster exploded. I was now some distance from the burning wreckage of the aircraft and I later learnt that the only other survivor from the crew was the navigator, George Robinson, who had landed close to the wreckage and was taken prisoner. I evaded capture and, using the alias of Charles Hautier, continued fighting the war with a Maquis group, the guerrilla arm of the French Resistance.
'My last victory had almost sealed our fate'
In the cockpit of his Ju 88 night fighter and wearing full flight gear; Heinz R6kker prepares for a night sortie. R6kker flew 161 such sorties and claimed 63 victories at night plus one day victory. During a three-year operational career with L/NJG 2, this pilot flew operations in the Mediterranean, Africa and Western Europe. In the following account, Hptm. R6kker and his crew were flying a Ju 88G night fighter: 18.30 hrs on 15 March 1945, I took off from Twente with my crew, Funkmess-Funker Carlos Nugent, Boden-Bordfunker Hanns Mattar and Beobachter Fritz Wefelmeier, on a night operation against a British bomber attack on Hagen. It was not until the attack was almost over that we knew the target. At 20.50 hrs, after a long period of searching, we found a four-engined aircraft with twin rudders at an altitude of about 4,500 metres. I fired at it from below with my 'Schrage Musik' and it caught fire, went into a dive and crashed in flames.
Immediately afterwards, at 20.52 hrs, we picked up another four-engined bomber with twin rudders at the same height. He too was dispatched from below with 'Schrage Musik' in the tried and tested way, and crashed in flames. The bombers were on their way back home from the target, flying in a south-westerly direction, and they attempted to evade the German defenders by diving at high speed. In pursuing the bombers towards the south-west we soon found ourselves over Belgian and French territory, which was already occupied by the Allies. Suddenly; we saw beneath us a brightly illuminated airfield. It could not be a German airfield, because we saw two aircraft flying around it with their navigation lights on.
Towards the end of the war, the British often switched on their navigation lights when taking off, forming up or landing because, during mass attacks by up to a thousand bombers, they were afraid that aircraft might collide. At this time, the risk of being shot down by a German intruder was less than that of a collision. In order to avoid becoming a target for a British intruder, we never switched on our navigation lights during the whole war.
It goes without saying that I immediately positioned myself under this aircraft, which was flying at about 1,000 metres and was probably waiting for permission to land. It was a twin-engined machine with twin rudders. We did not recognise the type. One burst with 'Schrage Musik' and it caught fire and crashed in flames at 21.26 hrs 1 I turned my attention to my second victim, who seemed not to have seen the other aircraft go down and kept on flying straight ahead, still with his navigation lights switched on. The machine was coming into land, and when we caught up with him we saw that it was a Mosquito. It had already lowered its undercarriage and was just crossing the airfield boundary. As I could no longer get beneath it to shoot it down with 'Schrage Musik', I quickly switched on the forward gunsight and shot it down with my four forward-firing cannon. The burning aircraft came down on the airfield at 21.34 hrs and crashed in flames. To our surprise we saw no anti-aircraft fife. We later discovered that this airfield was St. Trond, which the Allies had occupied and were using as an operational base.
1. Heinz Rökker was subsequently credited with destroying a B-25. The Mosquito shot down on the same night was Rökker's 64th victory and proved to be his last of the war.
As there were no more enemy aircraft to be found, we turned on a heading for home. Suddenly, I saw that the temperature gauge for the starboard engine had risen to its maximum level. When we shot down the Mosquito, a piece of debris must have hit the radiator. I switched the starboard engine off straight away so that I would be able to switch it on again for landing. Hanns Mattar established contact with Twente and told our unit that we would be landing in a short time with only one engine. However, our airfield was covered in ground fog and we were told to divert to Vechta. Nevertheless, I flew on to Twente so that I could confirm for myself whether a landing was possible. Old pilots are always drawn to their home base, just as horses are drawn to their stable, but the airfield was indeed covered in a milky soup and a normal landing was out of the question.
We were not wildly enthusiastic about being diverted to Vechta, because swanning about in the darkness on one engine is no fun, but at 22.45 hrs we made good visual contact with the airfield. Hanns Mattar informed the field by radio that we were coming in with only one engine and we received immediate landing clearance. Once we were on the circuit, I restarted the starboard engine and came in over the approach lights and towards the runway with my undercarriage down. Just when I had almost reached the airfield boundary, I was alarmed to see that, just ahead of me, another aircraft was making a belly landing on the concrete runway. The aircraft slid along the runway spraying sparks like a comet, and at the same moment the airfield lighting was switched off. Now what? To try and overshoot with a faulty engine was too risky, but in critical situations such as this, one acts instinctively. I was already so low that I could see the ground by the light of my landing lamp, and with mixed feelings I decided to make a blind landing parallel to the runway.
After a few bounces, our machine came to a halt on the periphery of the airfield, but then small flames appeared from the starboard engine. The fire crews arrived at high speed, but there was nothing for them to do, however, because when I switched off the engine, the flames extinguished themselves.
What had happened was that the aircraft that had made the belly landing had been unable to contact Vechta by radio and, of course, the control tower thought that it was we who had made the belly landing. They therefore immediately switched off the airfield lighting as a precaution against English intruders, and thus my last victory had almost sealed our fate!
Additional Sources: Heinz Rökker was born on 20 October 1920 at Oldenburgh. He joined the Luftwaffe in October 1939 and began flying training with Flieger-Ausbildungs-Regiment 22 at Güstrow in July 1940. In August 1941 he attended Blindflugschule 5 at Belgrade-Semlin before completing his training in September 1941 at Nachjagdschule 1 at Neubiberg near München. Rökker was posted to I./NJG2 operating in the Mediterranean theatre on 6 May 1942.
Leutnant Rökker was assigned to 1./NJG2. On 20 June 1942, Rökker shot down a RAF Beaufort twin-engined bomber, by day, over the Mediterranean Sea whilst transiting from his base at Catania to Kalamaki in Greece. His aircraft received 25 hits from return fire during the action but he landed safely at Kalamaki. From bases in Libya, he undertook intruder missions over Egypt claiming four RAF Wellington twin-engined bombers shot down. On 4 August 1942, 1./NJG2 was relocated to Belgium. Rökker was appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./NJG2 on 15 December 1942. 1./NJG2 was relocated back to the Mediterranean theatre based in Sicily on 16 February 1943. Rökker undertook night fighter missions over Sicily and Tunisia, recording a RAF Wellington twin-engined bomber shot down near Marsalla on the night of 19/20 April to record his sixth victory. On 2 July 1943, Rökker led the unit back to northern Europe to undertake Reichsverteidigung duties. Rökker enjoyed much success at this time, claiming three victories on each of the nights of 15/16 March 1944 (12-14), 22/23 March (15-17) and 24/25 March (18-20). Rökker was appointed Staffelkapitän of 2./NJG2 on 1 April 1944. On the night of 6/7 June, he claimed five British bombers shot down in the area of the Allied landings in Normandy (29-33). Oberleutnant Rökker was awarded the Ritterkreuz on 27 July 1944.
He recorded his 40th victory on the night of 7/8 August. On the night of 4/5 November, he shot down four enemy aircraft (42-45). He recorded three victories on the night of 3/4 February (50-52). He claimed six enemy aircraft on the night of 21/22 February (56-61). Hauptmann Rökker was awarded the Eichenlaub (Nr 781) on 12 March for 60 victories.
On the night of 15/16 March, Rökker recorded four enemy aircraft shot down (61-64) as his last victories of the war, including a RAF Mosquito twin-engined bomber shot down over his airfield at St Trond. Heinz Rökker was credited with 64 victories in 161 missions. He recorded 63 of his victories at night, including 55 four-engined bombers.
Victories : 64
Asisbiz database list of aerial victories for Heinz Rokker
Units: EP, EK 1 & 2, Wound Badge, Night Fighter Operational Clasp
Awards: Bf 110, Ju 88G-6 WNr 620181 '4R+AK' (lost 2/45)
Known Aircraft: Bf 110, Ju 88G-6 WNr 620181 '4R+AK' (lost 2/45)
Remarks: WIA 15/16 February, 1945 when he crashed at Ziesar, near Burg after aerial combat (Boiten). Forced to bail from his G-6 on 1 February, 1945 after being shot down by another German Night Fighter at Noithausen, Grevenbroich. Remaining crew (all bailed safely): Fw Hans Hahn, R/O and Ogefr Helmut Pareidt, Gunner. 54 combat missions. One known victory, a '4 mot' at St. Valery on 28 June, 1944. A '4 mot' at Ouarville, E of Chatres, on 5 July, 1944. A 2nd '4 mot', same day, SW of Chartres. A 4th, a '4 mot' at Montbard on 25 July, 1944. A 5th, a '4 mot' 4 km E of Chateuadun on 29 July, 1944. A 6th, a '4 mot' in the Le Harve-Lisieux area on 8 August, 1944. Flugbuch. Magnus & Boiten, 8 victories. Deceased 3 September, 1998, Salzkotten.
Units: 5/ZG-26, II/NJG-4 (5/42), 8/NJG-2 (1/43), Stfkpt 11/NJG-3 (10/44), Kdr IV/NJG-3 (3/45 to end)
Awards: EP, EK 1 & 2, Wound Badge, Night Fighter Operational Clasp in Gold
Known Aircraft: Bf 110, Ju 88C-6 WNr 750811 (lost 1/30/44)
Remarks: WIA 30 January, 1944 when his Ju 88C-6 crashed at Ebbenbroek Holland, near Hardenberg, after being damaged during aerial combat (DeSwart & Balss). One known victory, perhaps his 1st, a Halifax 5 km northeast of Laimont on 17 April, 1943. An 'unidentified AC' N of St. Trond on 13 May, 1944. A '4 mot' at Rotterdam on 22 May, 1944. His R/O was Konrad Rössner. He flew 45 combat missions in Russia (Operation Barbarossa) as a destroyer pilot. 2 victories as a Destroyer pilot. Both survived the war. Magnus, 10 victories. Boiten 7 victories.
Asisbiz database list of 5 aerial victories for Friedrich Tober
Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein
Units: KG-51 (5/40), KG-1 (6/41), Kdr IV./NJG-5 (12/42), NJG-100, II./NJG-3, Kdr NJG-4, Kdr NJG-2
Awards: RK(10/2/42)-EL(8/31/43)-S(1/23/44), DK-G(9/7/42), EP(5/19/41), EK 1 & 2, NJ Oper.Clasp w/'300'
Known Aircraft: He 111(KG-51), Do 17Z(NJG-2), Ju 88C(NJG-3), Bf 110(NJG-5), Ju 88C-6 WNr750467 'R4+XM'(lost 1/44)
Remarks: KIA the night of 21-22 January, 1944 in Ju 88C-6, when he was Kdr NJG-2, by an English Night Fighter during a raid on Magdeburg, after downing five enemy AC himself. 150 missions against ground targets while in KG-1 & KG-51 in Russia. 29 night victories in Russia. Three DB-3's and a Boston the night of 19-20 July, 1943. His first known Soviet night victory, two DB-3's on 17 April, 1943. A DB-3 on 23 April, 1943. Another Soviet, a B-25 SE of Schweindl (sic) on the night of 23-24 April, 1943. A Soviet DB-3 the night of 11-12 July, 1943. Seven Soviet victories on the night of 20-21 July, 1943. His 1st known western victory came on 9 May, 1942, four months after joining NJG-2. His stay in the west was brief, and he returned to Russia in May 1943 downing a DB-3 SE of Eydklau on 1 May, 1943. He was Kdr JG-100 in August, 1943. Numerous multiple victory nights including 5 AC on 21 January, 1944. His R/O in IV/NJG-5 (6/43) was Herbert Kümmritz. In II/NJG-3 & NJG-2, it was Fw Friedrich Ostheimer (survived) and mech. Kurt Matzuleit. Heinrich's body was found in a woods near Stendal. Buried at the German War Cemetery at Ysselsteyn, Holland.
Heinrich Alexander Ludwig Peter Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein (14 August 1916 – 21 January 1944) was a German of aristocratic descent and a Luftwaffe night fighter flying ace during World War II. A flying ace or fighter ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. At the time of his death, he was the highest scoring night fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe and still the third highest by the end of World War II, with 83 aerial victories to his credit.
Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was born on 14 August 1916 in Copenhagen, Denmark and joined the cavalry of the German Wehrmacht in the spring of 1937. He was accepted for flight training and transferred to the emerging Luftwaffe. He initially served as an observer and later as pilot in Kampfgeschwader 1 (KG 1) and Kampfgeschwader 51 (KG 51). With these units he fought in the Battle of France, Battle of Britain and Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, before he transferred to the night fighter force. He claimed his first aerial victory on the night of 6/7 May 1942. By October 1942, he had accumulated 22 aerial victories for which he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 7 October 1942. He received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) on 31 August 1943, for 54 aerial victories. He was tasked with the leadership of Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 (NJG 2) in January 1944, before he was killed in action on the night of 21 January 1944. Posthumously he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern).
In April 1937, Sayn-Wittgenstein decided on a military career and joined the 17. Kavallerie-Regiment (17th Cavalry Regiment) in Bamberg. He transferred to the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1937 and, in October, he was accepted at the flight training school in Braunschweig. He received his officer's commission and was promoted to Leutnant (second lieutenant) in June 1938. Sayn-Wittgenstein served on various air bases from where he flew the Junkers Ju 88 and the Heinkel He 111. In the winter of 1938–39 he served as a Kampfbeobachter (combat observer or navigator) in Kampfgeschwader 54 (KG 54—54th Bomber Wing) based at Fritzlar.
With the bomber arm.
After the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, Sayn-Wittgenstein experienced his first combat action on the Western Front in the Battle of France and, later, during the Battle of Britain. Initially he served as an observer on the He 111 H-3 from Kampfgeschwader 1 "Hindenburg," piloted by Gerhard Baeker, with whom he flew high-altitude missions against the Royal Air Force (RAF) airfield at Biggin Hill.
In the winter of 1940–41, Sayn-Wittgenstein returned to pilot school and took his Luftwaffe Advanced Pilot's Certificate 2 (Erweiterter Luftwaffen-Flugzeugführerschein 2), also known as 'C2'-Certificate, confirming proficiency for blind-flying, a pre-requisite for night duty, and returned to a combat unit in March 1941. In preparation for Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, his unit moved to Eichwalde in East Prussia. In support of Heeresgruppe Nord (Army Group North), KG 1 flew its first missions against Liepāja and then Jelgava and Riga, targeting the heavily-occupied enemy airfields. In August 1941, Sayn-Wittgenstein transferred to the night fighter force. By this time, he had flown 150 combat missions and was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz), Honour Goblet of the Luftwaffe (Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe) and the Front Flying Clasp of the Luftwaffe for Bomber crews in Gold (Frontflugspange für Kampfflieger in Gold).
Sayn-Wittgenstein had left KG 51 by January 1942, after he had volunteered for the night fighter force and been appointed Staffelkapitän (squadron leader) of the 9./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 (9./NJG 2—9th Squadron of the 2nd Night Fighter Wing) on 1 November 1941. He claimed his first nocturnal victory—a Bristol Blenheim 40 kilometers (25 mi) west of Walcheren—on the night of 6 May 1942, while serving with the Ergänzungsgruppe (Supplementary Group) of NJG 2. He shot down three aircraft in both the nights of 31 July 1942 (victories 15–17) and 10 September 1942 (victories 19–21). Sayn-Wittgenstein received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) on 7 October 1942, after 22 aerial victories. The award was presented by General Josef Kammhuber, after which they both inspected the personnel of 9./NJG 2.
Hauptmann (captain) Sayn-Wittgenstein was moved to the Eastern Front in February 1943 after he had been appointed Gruppenkommandeur (group commander) of the IV./Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 (IV./NJG 5—4th Squadron of the 5th Night Fighter Wing) on 1 December 1942. Here Unteroffizier Herbert Kümmritz joined Sayn-Wittgenstein's crew as his radio and wireless operator (Bordfunker). Kümmritz at this time already had six months of operation experience on board a Messerschmitt Bf 110 serving with the II./Nachtjagdgeschwader 3 (II./NJG 3—2nd Squadron of the 3rd Night Fighter Wing) stationed at Stade. Kümmeritz had studied high frequency technology at the Telefunken Company in Berlin before World War II. Prior to Kümmeritz, Sayn-Wittgenstein had rejected all his previous radio operators after only a few missions. In March and April 1943, Kammhuber ordered IV./NJG 5 to relocate to Rennes, France in defense of the German U-boat bases.
Stationed at Gilze-Rijen the order was issued to convert to the Bf 110 night fighter. Sayn-Wittgenstein flew the Bf 110 for one short flight only, but on the night of 24 June 1943, the aircraft had technical problems and was considered unserviceable. Kümmeritz and Sayn-Wittgenstein took off in their usual Ju 88 C and shot down four Avro Lancaster bombers (victories 32–35). Sayn-Wittgenstein never flew another Bf 110 again, preferring his Ju 88 to the Bf 110. The group was relocated to the Eastern Front again and redesignated as I./Nachtjagdgeschwader 100 (I./NJG 100—1st Squadron of the 100th Night Fighter Wing) on 1 August 1943. While stationed at Insterburg, East Prussia, Sayn-Wittgenstein shot down seven aircraft in one mission, six of them within 47 minutes (victories 36–41), in the area north-east of Oryol on 20 July 1943.
Sayn-Wittgenstein claimed three more victories on 1 August 1943 (victories 44–46) and three more on the night of 3 August 1943 (victories 48–50). He was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of the II./NJG 3 on 15 August 1943. Sayn-Wittgenstein became the 290th recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub) after 54 aerial victories on 31 August 1943. The award was presented at the Führerhauptquartier in East Prussia on 22 September 1943. For these achievements he also received a letter from the commanding general of the 4. Jagd-Division (4th Fighter Division) Generalleutnant (lieutenant general) Joachim-Friedrich Huth.
On 1 December 1943, Sayn-Wittgenstein was ordered to take over command of the II./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 (II./NJG 2—2nd Groupe of the 2nd Night Fighter Wing). He was appointed Geschwaderkommodore (wing commander) of NJG 2 on 1 January 1944; he had already reached 68 aerial victories. He claimed shooting down six four-engined bombers on the same night (victories 69–74). In late 1943, his wireless operator Kümmeritz went on study leave and was replaced by Feldwebel (warrant officer) Friedrich Ostheimer, who flew with Sayn-Wittgenstein from October 1943 until January 1944.
On the night of 20 January 1944 Sayn-Wittgenstein claimed three enemy aircraft shot down in the Berlin area (victories 76–78). He almost collided with the third burning Lancaster which went into a dive and came very close to his own Ju 88. The Ju 88 went out of control and Sayn-Wittgenstein regained control of his just-flyable aircraft. His radio operator on this mission, Feldwebel Friedrich Ostheimer established contact with airfield at Erfurt. Since the aircraft began stalling after the wheels and flaps went down the crew decided to belly-land the aircraft. They discovered that about 2 meters (6.6 ft) of the wing had been cut off by the Lancaster's propeller.
The next day, 21 January 1944, Sayn-Wittgenstein, wireless operator Ostheimer and board mechanic Unteroffizier Kurt Matzuleit took off on a Zahme Sau (Tame Boar), a combination of ground controlled and airborne radar, night fighter intercept mission flying the Ju 88 R4+XM (Werknummer 750 467—factory number), which normally was assigned to the Technical Officer of NJG 2. At 22:00 contact with the first of five Lancasters was established and shot down which was observed to explode at 22:05. Between 22:10 and 22:15 the second Lancaster was shot down. Observers reported the third Lancaster exploded at approximately 22:30, followed shortly by number four, which hit the ground at 22:40. During the fifth and final attack, the four engined bomber was burning when their Ju 88 came under attack, presumably from British fighter escorts. In the attack, their left wing caught fire. Sayn-Wittgenstein ordered his crew to jump, and Ostheimer and Matzuleit parachuted to safety from the damaged aircraft.
Sayn-Wittgenstein's body was found near the wreckage of the Ju 88 in a forest area belonging to the municipality of Lübars by Stendal the next day. His parachute was discovered unopened and it was deduced that he may have hit his head on the vertical stabiliser of his aircraft when trying to escape. The death certificate listed "closed fracture of the skull and facial bone" as his cause of death. He was posthumously awarded the 44th Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern) on 23 January 1944. Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein had flown 320 combat missions, 150 of which as a bomber pilot or observer. At the time of his death he was the leading night fighter pilot with 83 aerial victories, with 23 of them claimed on the Eastern and 60 on the Western Front.
On 25 January 1944, Heinrich zu Sayn-Wittgenstein's death was announced in the Wehrmachtbericht, an information bulletin issued by the headquarters of the Wehrmacht. He was buried on 29 January 1944 in the Geschwader cemetery at the Deelen Air Base. His remains were re-interred in 1948. He is now resting next to Prinz Egmont zur Lippe-Weißenfeld at Ysselsteyn in the Netherlands.
The question who shot down Sayn-Wittgenstein is unanswered. Friedrich Ostheimer remained convinced that they were shot down by a long range intruder de Havilland Mosquito night fighter. However, no Mosquito pilot claimed an aerial victory that night. A closer analysis reveals that three Mosquitos, two Serrate-equipped aircraft from No. 141 Squadron RAF and one from No. 239 Squadron RAF, participated in the attacks on Magdeburg. Only one Mosquito had enemy contact: No. 141's squadron Mosquito F.II, DZ303, piloted by Pilot Officer Desmon Snape with Flying Officer L. Fowler as his radar operator reported radar contact at 23:15 south of Brandenburg. After three to four minutes of pursuit they encountered a Ju 88 with its position lights on. They attacked the Ju 88 and believed to have damaged it behind its cockpit, but they did not claim a victory. This encounter exactly matches the time and area in which Sayn-Wittgenstein was killed.
Asisbiz database list of 83 aerial victories for Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein