December 5, 1944 over the Reich

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the old Sage
May 20, 2004
Platonic Sphere
for a future volume I am working on.............

question and this is for Bill but anyone can chime in with their two cents if they like.

The whole of JG 301 flying Fw 190A-8's and A-9's were embroiled in a heavily contested air battle north and around Berlin with P-51 escorts. The 356th fg scored at least 6-7 Fw 190A's of III./JG 301 in the area of Eberswalde.
Curious I think I read the 355th fg scored 10-11 kills but in what area.........close to the area I described and were they Fw's ?
JG 301 as they were getting cut up pretty badly were short on fuel and tried to return to base. Their kill count for the date was 2 B-17's and 10 P-51's. Losses on their side were too heavy

thanks guys E ~
Erich - the 355fg were running S to N and first engaged N of Berlin on a Free Lance Support. Hovde led A Group with 4 flights of 358 and 3 flights of 354FS. Elder had B Group with 4 flights from 357 and 1 from 354FS. Elder was some 15 miles in trail with 355 B Group.

The 355th had no escort duties, strictly run along and in front of the 3rd Division at 29,000 feet about 2,000 feet above the high squadrons of B-17s

North of Berlin Hovde spotted fighters emerging from cloud cover in front at 2:30 and NorthEast at about 28,000 feet heading to the south to attack a wing just behind the 355Fg at approximately 1045

Hovde took the A Group down in a hard turn to the right (yes Soren these guys DiD attack from above) to bounce a very large gaggle of mixed Fw190s and Me 109s. The Gaggle was described as flying 6-7 line abreast in 7-8 rows in a slight dive going for the bombers.

Two flights of 358 engaged - one by Hovde and one by McElroy and one of 354FS led by Duffy. The fight ranged from 27,000+ to 15,000 feet

Hovde shot down five Fw190s and shared a 109 w/Alexander for 5 1/2.

These three flights got 12 Fw190s plus 1 Me109 and damaged 7 others.

Elder arrived too late to engage with the B Group as the remainder Split S and broke away.

Williams of 357FS (355 B Group)had mechanical trouble N. Munster on the way back and bailed out just before getting back to friendly lines.

Hope this helps

thank you Bill ! this may have been JG 1 which got clobbered as well by Mustangs, think the 353rd was also close by and possibly another 8th AF fg.

Trying to find exact timing of the JG 301 in it's engagements though 10.45 comes to mind and of course German and US times seem to be off possibly even as much as an hour but depending on how deep into the Reich the mission was

thanks, still searching further ...........

Good luck. I know the 353rd, 355th, 356th, 357th, 364th and 479th scored all around Berlin area.

Suggestion - go into William's Mustang Encounter report section to see if you can dig up the other 5 December encounters for times?

Mustang Encounter Reports
yep have done it Bill sometime ago, thanks. Interviewed Don Strait at length with the 361st fs and he and his boys were there taking on JG 301 in part but there was another fg in the immediate area as JG 301's losses prove it. I have one other chap of the 361st fs that shot down 2 Fw 190A's that date to chat with very soon to get his incites
Erich - the 355th and 353rd engaged about the same time NNE-NE Berlin at 1045. These are the first two groups to engage with probably the 'Sweeper' (Hovde) attacking first

At 1045 trailing perhaps by one wing is the 357FG attacking at 1050 Berlin Area

At 1100 the 479th engaged NW of Berlin toward Muritz Lake

At 1105-1120 the 356th engaged from NE to NW Berlin.

This kinda suggests the order of battle going into the target with 355FG Sweeping, 353 just behind escorting lead wing, then 357 and 364 behind them, then 356 and 479 in trail.

B-17 track South to North with Rally Point Nw Berlin then swing back south Muritz Lake and home

All times BST

Bill JG 301 tack is a bit strange and it is due to the Mustang involvement, and sorry to say pinpointing some of the engagements is going to be difficult as it just gives an area like Mecklenberg. the downings on the other hand are pretty much definate at least where the crashes are located. The 356th fg was in the area of Finow and Eberswalde and there at least 6 Sturm like Fw 190's shot down from III./JG 301 in the area S.E. of Muritz lake and east-North of Berlin. As the ops or at least what has been written in the JG 301 diary shows that the Fw's en masse or I should correctly put up were broken to bits in small sections flew in somewhat of an Easterly way. JG 301 backed off and returned to base while JG 1's Fw 190A's and Bf 109G's were in contest in the area of Muritz Lake/Waren and northward.

E ~
Erich - the 355th A group was in front of the lead bomber wing, presumably ahead of the 353rd.

As the bombers were at the IP just behind Hovde he spotted the Gaggle of 190's NNE of him at 2:30 and heading S. Sounds like the Bernau area between Berlin and Eberswalde is where the first contact was made.

The history describes 'bombs away at 1045 over Berlin for the first wing and the initial 190 force as 50+

He described the formation as 7 line abreast, six or more deep so that gives us a good number for this group. Since Hovde shot a 109 off Alexander's tail it certainly implies High Cover of some number also in addition to the Gaggle of 190s.

The 353rd engaged also as the first bombs were dropping from lead wing at 1045. Their fights also ranged N and NE but no claims as far as Eberswalde.

As you say, who knows which unit.

Which ones were based N of Berlin? Not that it would be more than a clue?

The 356 first engaged at Wittenburg and then ranged north to Berlin at 1045 then engaged until 1120 near Eberswalde. They got most of their scores in that area.
actually no kills made at Wittenberge that was the angle of the JG 301 flight or so it was reported but that is not entirely true. I do believe that JG 1 was taken out by the 355th as the JG 301 boyz suffered - their heavy gruppe the III near the Eberswalde, in reality Finow and in the Heide which runs all to Finows north, then up to Prenzlau and over to Neustreulitz and Altstreulitz. Upon further study the Stab of II./JG 301 and Stab of JG 301 hung around foolishly but 3 pilots including Major Aufhammer scored 4 P-51's.

Jg 1 also lost Fw's in the Eberswalde area in the dragging out of following Fw's to the deck in all directions. JG 1 had a top cover of Bf 109G's and due to the silly inexperience kept their belly tanks on even while being shot down in formation which they seldom broke. JG 301 on the other hand wanted to mix it up as the 356th fg reports show. in conclusion which there is none at the moment............feel that the 364th fg could of been very close by.

there is no doubt with a wide sky that even 5 US 8th AF fg's could of flown within each others area of protection hunting down the mysterious "Gaggle" which all fg reports give between some 35 all the way up to 75 Fw's. If we add up the JG 301 and JG 1 contingent we are going to get far more than that. I or III./JG 1 alone put up 42 Fw 190A's on this mission so that must be a reference of the large formation of Fw's advancing towards the heavies.

another thing Bill is that JG 301 had NO Bf 109G's in their line-up in it's I.-III. gruppen but JG 1 did. JG 1 and JG 301 did not fly together on this mission but quite seperately. JG 301 also attacked the bombers in 2's and 4's the latter in a V attack from slightly above and behind. This was a modification on the Sturm attacks of JG 3, 4 and 300.
erich - based on what you said i am in complete agreement that it was JG1 that the 355th engaged.

also, while the 356 engaged near wittenburg they didn'r score - all their scores were around Eberswalde - and they lost a flight 'mysteriously' which certainly leads to Major Aufhammer's claims.

The 355th reported zero Fw's making attacks on the lead wing from the gaggle they hit. The 355th B group was in a position to cover for the 353rd when they engaged making this feasible. I don't know yet which wing was lead wing of B-17s

The 356 lost a total of 5 - 1 in berlin area the other 4 in Eberswalde

Thew 355th lost zero in this fight but Williams went down N.Munster, W. Dummer Lake to mechanical problems - he was in B group which did not engage

Gut Stuff E
I would apperciate it if you would direct me to the site to find out about a mission flight over Hanau Germany Dec. 12th 1944. or Dec 23rd 1944

I have picture of B-24 Liberator bombing a base outside of Hanau, the base was Fiergerhorst Kaserne, an old Luftwaff base outside of Langendiebach now Elinsee.

I tried everywhere and this is the closest I've have gotten to a referance of bombing missions in Germany.

Thanks, Frank Whalen
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Frank you question really has nothing to do with mine but in any case the 2nd bd lost 3 B-24's on raids to marshalling yards including Hanau's and Aschaffenburgs and two others
I would apperciate it if you would direct me to the site to find out about a mission flight over Hanau Germany Dec. 12th 1944.

I have picture of B-24 Liberator bombing a base outside of Hanau, the base was Fiergerhorst Kaserne, an old Luftwaff base.

I tried everywhere and this is the closest I've have gotten to a referance of bombing missions in Germany.

Thanks, Frank Whalen

As Ho Hun pointed out in another thread the base in Hanau was not called Fliegerhorst in WW2 that is just the name that the US Army gave to the post. I might be able to help with your question.

If you would please make all further questions in the thread that you started so as not to hijack this thread.
I would appreciate it if you would direct me to the site to find out about a mission flight over Hanau Germany I was given 3 days Dec ., 5, 12, and 23rd. 1944.

I have picture of B-24 Liberator bombing a base outside of Hanau, the base was Fliegerhorst Kaserne, an old Luftwaff base.

I tried everywhere and this is the closest I've have gotten to a referance of bombing missions in Germany.

Thanks for your response Eric!

Thanks, Frank Whalen

The dates have been added
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12 December - 2BD B-24s - most were directed to bomb Hanau. Three B-24s lost. 1 each from 389, 445 and 446BG.

Erich - I dug a little more. All 355th scores from Berlin to ~ 25miles North of Berlin. The only 109 they shot down was hovde's about 15-20mintes after the first attack from the nne of ~ 50 Fw190s. He picked off a stray after the main scrap was over - on the way out of the battle as he bombers were unlaoding on Berlin.

The key to matching up is to identify the German units attacking from the North and Northeast from the IP through Berlin to the Rally point.

The 356th, 357th claimed Fw 190s at Eberswalde specifically. The Eberswalde specific MACR site for Mustangs lost were -5 356th FG, -1 from 357 of the total of 10 Musangs lost air to air.

The 55th and 4th also scored on 190s NE Berlin. 5 190s/1 109 for no losses

The 339th with zero destroyed and 1 lost air to air near Rechlin

As you noted the 353rd engaged from Steinhuder Lake and points south to N and NE of Berin 9 Fw 190s for loss of 2 air (Wunstorf and Hohnhorst)

The 355th engaged from N/NE Berlin to Berlin for 12 Fw 190s and 1 Me 109 with no losses

The 356th engaged from Muritz Lake to N and NE (Eberswalde) for 13 Fw 190s for loss of 5 (Eberswalde)

The 357th engaged from NW and N and NE of Berlin to Berlin for 20 Fw 190/3 Me 109s for loss of 1 (Eberswalde)

364th engaged N and NW Berlin for 10 Fw 190s with no loss in air

The 479 engaged from NW Berlin and Neurippin to N/Berlin - 12 Fw 190s/2 Me 109s with 1 loss at Neurippin
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cool Bill

yes I dug deepr over the year and got full macr's from the mustangs lost from the 356th fg for 15 December 44 in their battle with JG 301 Fw's. thanks for the additions as I will make a copy of this posting from you for the files just to add and see where the 357th fits in. some of JG 301 did fly more into the north and the west on the date as well, hopeful that Frank can use a bit of the newer info's.
Most of the FW engagements and their losses are attributed to JG 1 whom were slaughtered close to Berlin and northward.
For Frank W.

no B-24's lost on December 23, 44. this was the tragic day for the 9th AF B-26 units ripped apart by Fw's of JG 11 and the SturmFw's of IV./JG 3 with some 55 + B-26's claimed. JG 2 was in on this mess along with IV./JG 54's Fw 190A-8's
Hi Erich (and others!),

I wonder if you or anyone else on the thread have crash locations for all the B-17s lost this day? I'm trying to identify the KG 51 claim near the Dutch border.


Thanks for that, didn't have it as was starting with MACRs.

Seems a good bit further along towards friendly territory, but it's worth considering. I should have specified the Dutch-German border.

Thanks again,


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