NSGr 12

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NACHTSCHLACHTGRUPPE 12 (lettisch)


Operations

Feb 1944 – 1./NSGr 12 (lett.) formed with 17 Latvian pilots at Libau. At this point only the Stab and 1 Staffel existed.

23 Mar 1944 – 1./NSGr 12 became operational from Vecumi airfield in eastern Latvia. At this time the staffel consisted of 19 pilots, 105 groundcrew and 18 Ar 66c training biplanes which had been equipped for night harassment operations.

1./NSGr 12 (lett.) was commanded by Hptm Alfreds Salmins.

The Ar 66c biplanes would be operated in single-seat configuration, flying up to 50 Kms behind Russian lines. An average sortie would last up to 2 hours. The usual opperational altitude for such flights was about 1000m and the aircraft would carry two or three 50 or 70Kg bombs.

12-22 May 1944 – 1./NSGr 12 dropped over 1000 bombs over an eight night period.

28 May 1944 – 1./NSGr 12 moved to Salas.

22 Jun 1944 – 2./NSGr 12 (lett.) formed at Libau-Grobina.[1] The staffel consisted of 17 pilots and 70 ground crew and was commanded by Hptm Augusts Graudins.

26 Jun 1944 – 2./NSgr 12 (lett.) moved to Salas.

27 Jun 1944 – 2./NSGr 12 (lett.) began operations.

Jul 1944 – both staffeln moved to Gulbene airfield.

23 Jul 1944 – 2./NSGr 12 (lett.) sent out 16 Ar 66cs on operations but only 9 returned to base.

25 Jul 1944 - 1000th sortie flown.

Aug 1944 – early in the month both staffeln moved to Salaspils airfield, near Riga.

1 Aug 1944 – 35 aircraft from NSGr 12 (lett.) flew nearly 300 sorties and dropped 50 tonnes of bombs in the Jelgava area.

12/13 Aug 1944 – NSGr 12 (lett.) lost two aircraft, to the south of lake Peipus, due to bad weather.

Oct 1944 – Due to some Estonian defections to Sweden the OKL decided to ground NSGr 12. This was despite protestations from the chief of staff of Luftflotte 1 to the effect that there have not been any Latvian defections up until that time.

3 Oct 1944 – NSGr 12 was at Tuckum.[2]

7 Oct 1944 – By this date 1./NSGr 12 (lett.) had flown 3000 sorties.

8 Oct 1944 - By this date 2./NSGr 12 (lett.) had flown 2658 sorties.

10 Oct 1944 - NSGr. 12 landed at Serozki with 29 aircraft, after flying from Libau.[3]

Operational Codes

This unit used the code 6A

Examples of aircraft so coded include 6A+NL (Hs 126B-1), 6A+RU (Ar 66C) and 6A+TN (Ar 66C)

References

Neulen, Hans Werner – In the Skies of Europe

Dierich, Wolfgang – Die Verband der Luftwaffe 1939-45

Rosch, Barry – Luftwaffe Codes, Markings and Units 1939-45

Smith, J Richard et al – Schlachtflieger (Luftwaffe Ground Attack Units 1937-75)

Weal, John – Luftwaffe Schlachtgruppen (Aviation Elite)



  1. Note that Rosch sataes that 2./NSGr 12 was formed in Feb 1944.
  2. AIR 40/1983 via Andrew Arthy
  3. AIR 40/1982 via Andrew Arthy
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