Kdo. Sperling

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Reconnaissance unit formed in November 1944, to provide operational reconnaissance testing of Ar.234B.

It used four Ar234B jets to provide photo-reconnaissance over the Meuse crossings before the approach of German armour during the Ardennes offensive. It would also be used to look at enemy flanking movements.

14 Dec 1944 – Kdo. Sperling reported that nothing could be said about further sea-borne landings from England owing to the lack of coverage of the possible points of departure from South and Southeast England. The Kdo. would be able to provide this information at any time. However, it would be constrained by the weather and range limitations of the aircraft.[1]

18 Dec 1944 - Reconnaissance of Meuse bridges.

21 Dec 1944 - T9 + IH (Oblt. E. Sommer) took off from Bilbis Airfield to perform a photo-reconnaissance mission over the front. Returned to Weisbaden-Erbenheim Airfield, the aircraft was damaged by friendly flak, landing during the late morning hours.

31 Dec 1944 - Single Ar234B flew over Antwerp-St.Trond-Venlo

23 Jan 1945 – commenced training of 1.(F)/123.[2]

29 Jan 1945 – Ar 234B written off in a landing accident.[2]

3 Feb 1945 – One Ar 234B Photographic recce in the Nijmegen – Venlo-Roermond area.[3]

6 Feb 1945 - One Ar 234B Photographic recce in the Nijmegen–Venlo-Roermond-Arnhem area.[3]

8 Feb 1945 – Two Ar 234Bs operating recce in the Strassburg-Schlettstadt area, the sortie was not completed due to bad weather.[3]

10 Feb 1945 – Ar 234B destroyed in a fighter-bomber attack.[2]

Sortie by one Ar 234B to Nijmegen-Hasselt area broken off due to fighter defences.[3]

11 Feb 1945 – Sortie to Humber estuary and Hull. This aircraft was shot down by two Tempests on return to base.[3]

Also operated two Ar 234Bs to the Nijmegen-Eidhoven-Masstricht sector but both sorties were not completed due to bad weather.[3]

23 Mar 1945 – Kdo. Sperling moved from Rheine to Rheinsehlen with 1.(F)/123.[2]

6 Apr 1945 – Kdo Sperling moved again to Lübeck-Blanksee.[2]

2 May 1945 – Moved to Hohn (nr Rendsburg).[3]

References

  1. Ultra T.398/76
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Smith, Creek and Petrick – On Special Missions p74.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 AIR 20/7891 via Steve Coates, LRG
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