Ar 234 losses

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the old Sage
May 20, 2004
Platonic Sphere
curious any of you gentlemen have something current on the ops of the Ar 234 like the Monogram book on the jet ?

looking for the total number of losses for the Ar 234 in the war and also to be more specific how many were shot down by US fighter groups. If answered further questions will be enroute ......... 8)

thank you

Erich ~
well no joy so I ordered a little booklet which will probably give me more on the graphic schematics of the variants and pilots manual than operations. Oh well maybe I need to order profiles of Norway # 5, Ar 234B-2 ?

I sure as hell would love to know that. Erich let us know if you get some info about it please.
I know there were 2 AR234 operative as recon in northeast Italy, one of them was shoot down by a pair of Mustangs whlie returning to airport.
If you don't have already the details, let me know and I will try to find that old magazine.
Parm can you trasnlate please or at least give a brief description of the contents for us ?
I did not make a literal translation, just the operations (I don't think we need generic info on the aircraft...)

This is the first link:

"In February 1945 3 Arado 234 were posted in Italy for recon duties. The group, leaded by Captain Erich K. Sommer who arrived on March 14, 1945 were based in Campoformido (Friuli, Italy North East) but could also use the airfield of Osoppo (North East), Lonate pozzolo (North West), Villafranca (North East) and others.
The other two pilots were Lieutnant Guenther Gniesmer and Feldwebel Walter Arnold.
The first mission was a 2h 10min flight over Ancona and S.Benedetto del tronto (Central Italy) made by Sommer on March 15.
On march 20 Feld. Arnold was about to take off but a Spitfire attack lightlly damaged the plane forcing to abort the mission.
On April 9 Gniemser took off with arado T9+DH provided with cameras, but he had to abort the mission after 1 hour flight because of fighter activity in the area.
On April 11, Gniemser moved to Lonate Pozzolo from where he started a recon mission on Appennini mountains. During the flight he was spotted by 2 P51 (52 FG, 15 Air Force) escorting a bomber group on Bologna that managed to hit the Arado on the tail and left engine. Gneimser pushed the throttle to disengage, and the American pilots did not follow, reporting that the Blitz was losing height in flames and claimed it as crashing south-west of Bologna.
The damaged T9+DH instead continued to fly until Gniesmer decided to jump, hitting the tail in the process. The plane finally crashed at Valli di Comacchio (delta of Po river) within the German lines.
The pilot was recovered and cured in Ferrara hospital, but he died on April 14 because of the wounds he had in the bailing out process.
After a few days the area was gained by the Allies and the British intelligence recovered what they thought important from the wreck.
It is currently impossible to tell if the plane crashed or made a 'soft' landing. The British report states that the plane made an emergency landing and was burnt by the Germans afterward. The attached pictures does not solve the question (it is impossible to tell if are the remains of a crash or of a deliberate destruction)"

The rest of the item is the desription of how the remains were found in 2005, let me know if you are interested in this details too.

The second item is more focuse on Lonate activity

"In Feb 1945 Germans were holding the 'Gothic line' and the Luftwaffe was in a marked inferiority situation vs Allied air forces. German intelligence was convinced that an offensive was in preparation to break the front and enter in Osterreich, so a recon activity was deemed necessary.
To solve the problem the OKW decided to move in Italy the 'special recon unit' and on Feb 28 Obtl Sommer was ordered to Udine-Campoformido (north East) to establish the recon unit 'Kommando Sommer'
After the logistics moved, on March 14 left his base at Biblis with his Arado 234B-2b Wn 140344 - code T9+EH and after a stop in Lechfeld he arrived in Campoformido.
The other pilots were Lt Gunther Gniemser (Ar234B-2 Wn 140142 code T9+DH formerly SM+FB transformed in recon with installation of cameras) and Stabsfw. Walter Arnold (AR24B-2 Wn 140153 code T9+HH formerly SM+FM, already a fotorecon model) that came from Oranienburg trough Muenchen-Riem.
According to some source, a 4th plane should have been part of the group, the T9+KH with pilot Werner Muffey, but this plane never made to Italy.
It was decided the NAG11 of Hptm. Eckersham should have provided escort, but Sommer himself ws not happy with that because the concentration of planes and related activity would had increased the probability of attacks by allied fighter bombers
For the mission, it was decided to use the fields of Osoppo as secondary location for dispersal and Lonate Pozzolo as base for long range flights.
The continuous presence of enemyt fighters limited the flight activity, the recorded flights were:
March 15 - Sommer - recon on Ancona/S.Benedetto - 2hr 10 min
March 17 - Sommer - recon on Livorno/Elba island/Pisa
March 19 - Sommer - recon on Appennini mountains
March 21 - Sommer - recon on Ancona
March 23 - Sommer - recon on Livorno/Perugia/Ancona
March 25 - Sommer - transfer to Lonate then recon on Marseille/Tolon/Cote d'Azur
March 26 - Sommer - recon on Ancona/Firenze/Livorno
March 27 - Sommer - recon on Appennini

Of course this activity was noticed by the Allies who intensified the attacks on North east fields.
On March 29 Arnold was ready for his first take off but was attcked by spitfires, damaged and forced to abort
On March 31 Sommer flew to Lonate, then recon on Corse/Elba/Livorno
On April 9 Gniemser made his first flight, but had to return after 1 hour because of patrolling enemy fighters.
On April 11 Gniemser moved to Lonate and then took off for a recon on Appennini, but was intercepted by 2 P51 of 52FG above Bologna. Hit in the left engine the plane crashed in Alfonsine (Comacchio) The pilot bailed out but hit the elevators and died two days later in the hospital.
A following take off by Arnold had to be aborted because of fuel leak from a tank, the plane had to be sent to Udine for revulcanization and this stopped the activity of the pilot.
Meanwhile, sommer had obtained an armament pod (Magirusbombe)
During a test flight, the main gear did not extend on landing and Sommer decided to land with the nose wheel extended to limit the damage to the pod.
The operation ended badly because the nosewheel bumped in a hole and the airplane badly damaged wings and engines and hence grounded. The pilot escaped unhurt.
On April 22 and 24 Sommer made a couple of recon along the Po river using Arnold's plane
On April 29 (5 days after war officilly ended in Italy) Sommer ordered Arnold to move the plane to Bolzano and then Holzkirchen, and to destroy it. Destruction took place on April 30.
Sommer and the crew moved to Austria by road, after having completely destroyed the damaged aircraft.

All flights were made without use of drop fuel tanks, brake parachutes and take-off boosters

In the airports, the planes were always thoroughly mimetized also with fake wooden propellers.

Article by Giorgio Dorati (GMS) "

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