Interested in 15th AF Combat Operations on June 23rd, 1944

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by airminded88, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. airminded88

    airminded88 Member

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    Good day gentlemen.

    Following my daily morning routine of reading USAAF combat operations for the day during the war years, I found the entry for June 23rd, 1944 quite disturbing.

    Both reliable and well researched sites usaaf.net and armyairforces.com stipulate that on such day the 15th AF sent a force of 400+ bombers against oil targets in Romania and returned with 300, losing more than 100+ over the target area while claiming 30 e/a destroyed or damaged.

    I find this a catastrophe as big as the debacles occurred to the 8th over Schweinfurt or Stuttgart earlier in 1943 and as such I find myself keenly interested in learning the details of the mission.

    If any of you could share your knowledge or point me to the right direction, I'd be most grateful.
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    There's a typo in the original document. Maybe 100 damaged. But not 100 lost. We will have to find out what bomber groups were active on that date and what their losses were.
     
  3. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    june 22 - 495 dispatched - 24 lost according to Ken Rust History "Fifteenth AF Story".
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    #4 syscom3, Jun 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
    Here's the MACR's for that date, all 15th AF.

    MACR Date Type Serno Group.
    6374 440623 B-17 42-31622 97
    6406 440623 B-17 42-5951 97
    6407 440623 B-17 42-31351 97
    6951 440623 B-17 42-30267 97
    6076 440623 B-17 42-106995 99
    6080 440623 B-17 42-97189 301
    16203 440623 B-17 42-37813 301

    6075 440623 P-51 42-103590 52
    6074 440623 P-51 43-24863 52
    6072 440623 P-51 43-24847 52
    6733 440623 P-51 42-103554 325

    10720 440623 B-24 41-29530 451
    12527 440623 B-24 41-29495 485
    6176 440623 B-24 42-52706 485
    6263 440623 B-24 41-28822 487
     
  5. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    US losses due to flak only ? cannot find anything from II./ZG 1, JG 302 or II./JG 27 which had flown on previous anti-bomber missions.
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Four P-51s lost. 52nd and 31st FG claimed 22
     
  7. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    Bill ~ 22 what ? seems some real oddities here and have seen this in the past with the ops sflown by the 15th Af vs the LW. records incomplete of known LW sources for one...
     
  8. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    #8 Mike Williams, Jun 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
    Possiby Romanian - IAR 80/81s and Me 109G's if not LW (I./JG 53 and JG 77 ?)

    Fw. Heinz Seig 1./JG 53 Me 109 G-6 163650: shot down killed by P-51, Targsorul (10 miles west of Ploesti)

    Partial list of Romanian losses known or admitted:

    Grupul 1 IAR 80/81
    Capitan commandor Ioan V Sandu - killed north of Bucharest, IAR-81 no. 170
    1 other killed and 3 crash landed, not named

    Grupul 6 IAR 81C (based at Popesti-Leordeni airfield, near Bucharest)
    Adj. av. Constantin Dimache - killed near Bucharest
    Slt. av. Victor Petric - killed near Bucharest
    Adj. av. Dumitru Ilie - wounded near Bucharest
    Adj. av. Gheorghe Cocebas - severely wounded near Bucharest

    Grupul 7 - Me 109 G's
    Capitan aviator Virgil Trandafirescu killed
    Cpt Dan Scurtu shot down wounded

    Grupul 9 - Me 109 G's
    Adj. av. Dumitru Encioiu, shot down wounded
    Lt. av . Teodor Greceanu, shot down wounded 13 km west of Găeşti (NW of Bucharest, SW of Ploesti.

    31st FG claims for June 23, 1944:
    Lt. Robert Riddle - 2 Fw 190s destroyed and 2 damaged, Ploesti.
    Lt. James Brooks - 1 Me 109 destroyed and 1 damaged, Ploesti.
    Lt. Dewey Surratt - 1 Me 109 destroyed, Ploesti.
    Capt. Thomas Byrnes - 1 Fw 190 destroyed, 10 miles N Bucharest.
    Lt. John Voll - 1 Fw 190 destroyed, 10 miles N Bucharest.
    1st Lt. Robert J Goebel - Me 109 destroyed N Bucharest
    Capt. Walter Goehausen - 1 Me 109 destroyed.
    Lt Williams Schanning - 1 Me 109 destroyed, Ploesti.
    1st Lt. Robert J Goebel Me-109 destroyed, N Bucharest

    52nd FG claims for June 23, 1944:
    Capt. Bob Curtis - 1 Me 109 destroyed, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    Lt. Dennis Riddle - 1 Me 109 destroyed, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    Lt. Richard. Lampe -1 Fw 190 destroyed, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    Capt. Jack Schneider and 1 Me 109 shared
    Lt. Daniel Zoerb - 1 Me 109 shared , 1 Fw 190 shared, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    Lt. Williard Pretzer .5 Fw 190 destroyed, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    Capt. James Tyler - 1 Fw 190 destroyed, 1 G.50 destroyed, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    Lt Frank Tribbett -2 Fw 190 destroyed, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    Lt. George Goettleman -1 Me 109 destroyed, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    Lt. Bob McCampbell - 1 Mc. 205 destroyed, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    Lt. Frederick Bullock -1 Mc. 205 destroyed, 20 miles NW Bucherest
    (actually IAR 80/81)

    Gun camera film of Bullock's IAR 80/81 shot down on 23 June 1944:
    [​IMG]

    325th FG claims June 23, 1944:
    Maj. Herschel H Green Me 109 destroyed, 15 miles S Ploesti
    2nd Lt. John M Simmons FW 190 destroyed, 10 miles S Bucharest
    2nd Lt. Paul J Kastner FW 190 destroyed, 20 miles N Ploesti
    2nd Lt. Cecil O Dean FW 190 destroyed, 20 miles W Ploesti
     
  9. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    thanks Mike, another possible unit would be from the Hungarian 109 force. the Fw 190 would be a LW ground attack unit flying occasional intercepts which they were highly unsuited for either fighters or bombers.
     
  10. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    Maybe II./SG 10 with Fw 190F Gs also ...
     
  11. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    yes I believe you are correct 15th AF bomber vets have stated that Fw's attacked them during 1944 so the unit must be it....
     
  12. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Hi Erich. Good to see you're still around. It's always good reading your data for whatever was happening on any day of the air war.
     
  13. airminded88

    airminded88 Member

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    Thread starter and yet I quickly find myself out of the realm of discussion with you all gentlemen.
    Your knowledge is extensive and admirable.
    It is quite reassuring to me that the debacle I initially thought had happened on this date never occurred and losses to a much smaller degree were taken by the American strategic force.

    Kudos gents, looking forward to learn more details you have yet to shared.
     
  14. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    #14 Mike Williams, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
    Other LW losses in Romania on June 23, 1944:
    4./SG 2 lost three pilots including the Staffelkapitän Hptm. Günther Müller, shot down killed E of Ploesti/Romania, Fw 190 F-8 (White 13)
    II./SG 10 recorded four Fw 190 F-8 shot down with two pilots killed and one wounded.

    Further details as time permits.
     
  15. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    An additional claim for the June 23, 1944 escort mission to Ploesti:

    Major Herschel Green, 325th FG, 1 Me 109 destroyed, 1 Fw 190 damaged.
     
  16. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    2nd Lt. David R. Kingsley, a B-17 bombardier with the 97th BG, 15 AF was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Ploesti mission of June 23, 1944.
     
  17. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    I've encountered a couple of references on the web of two Me 109 G's downed from 10./JG 301 on June 23, 1944. 10./JG 301 was based at Targsorul, about 10 miles west of Ploesti, at the time. Does any one here have any details of these JG 301 losses? Thanks.
     
  18. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    a P-51 and 1 B-24 claimed by pilots of 6./JG 301.

    1 loss of a Bf 109G-6 with gun pods from 10./JG 301. Black 10 shot down pilot Uzz. Friedrich Röglsberger wounded. Interesting to me one of the 6th staffel pilots that claimed a P-51 went on to stay with the new 6./JG 301 during 1945 flying a Fw 190D-9.
     
  19. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    Thanks Erich, that's a big help and opened some doors to further details. Further research shows the following JG/301 losses on June 23, 1944:

    10./JG 301 losses June 23, 1944:
    Uffz. Friedrich Röglsperger - wounded, Bf 109 G-6, W.Nr. 163422 "Schwarze 10", crash landing at Otopeni (11 miles north of Bucharest)
    Bf 109 G-6, W.Nr. 163089, pilot bailed out south of Titu (30 miles NW of Bucharest)
    Bf 109 G-6, W.Nr. 20300, pilot bailed out over Maia (28 miles north of Bucharest)
    Bf 109 G-6, W.Nr. 163807, crash landing, Otopeni (11 miles north of Bucharest)

    In addition further Romanian losses have come to light for June 23, 1944:

    Grupul 6 IAR 81C (based at Popesti-Leordeni airfield, near Bucharest)
    Adj. av. Constantin Dimache - killed near Bucharest
    Slt. av. Victor Petric - killed near Bucharest
    Adj. av. Dumitru Ilie - wounded near Bucharest
    Adj. av. Gheorghe Cocebas - severely wounded near Bucharest
     
  20. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    #20 Mike Williams, Jul 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
    Here's a summary of what I've been able to find out so far about the fighter engagements over Romania on June 23, 1944:

    Luftwaffe losses in Romania - June 23, 1944
    Stab II/JG 52 Lt. Willy van de Kamp - injured in air combat, crashed 2 Miles SE of Mizil (20 miles east of Ploesti), Bf 109G-6 Wk. Nr. 760216
    5./JG 52 Uffz. Gerhard Brandecker - wounded, belly landing after air combat, Mizil (20 miles east of Ploesti), Bf 109G-6 Wk. Nr. 165041
    II/JG 52 Not named, Manzar, Technische Mängel. Bruch ? %., Bf 109G-6
    II/JG 52 Not named, Manzar, Technische Mängel. Bruch ? %., Bf 109G-6
    1./JG 53 Fw. Heinz Sieg killed Targsorul_Nou. Shot down by P51, Bf 109G-6 Wk. Nr. 163650
    4./SG 2 Hptm. Günther Müller - killled E of Ploesti due to fighter, FW 190F-8 W. Nr. 580956
    4./SG 2 Ofw. Werner Mau - killed N Ploesti due to fighter, FW 190F-8 W. Nr. 580960
    4./SG 2 Gefr. Günther Tolle - killed Ploesti due to fighter , FW 190F-8 W. Nr. 580968
    II/SG 2 Not named, Technische Mängel. Bruch ? %, FW 190F-8
    II/SG 2 Not named, Technische Mängel. Bruch ? %, FW 190F-8
    Stab SG 10 Uffz. Adolf Prünster - missing, shot down in flames by US fighter, Malaesti (110 miles west of Bucharest), FW 190F-8 Wk. Nr. 580968
    4./SG 10 Uffz. Gerhard Schulz - killed 24 miles E Ploesti, FW 190F-8 Wk. Nr. 580233
    4./SG 10 Uffz. Werner Scheidler - injured, bailed out around Peris (20 miles N of Bucharest), FW 190F-8 Wk. Nr. 930595
    II/SG 10 Unbekannt. Bruch 100 %., FW 190F-8
    6./JG 301 Unbekannt. Bruch 30 %. Mdana Sanaca, Bf 109G-6 Wk. Nr. 163608
    6./JG 301 Unbekannt. Bruch 98 %. N Corabia, (100 miles SW Bucharest), Bf 109G-6 Wk. Nr. 411089
    10./JG 301 Uffz. Friedrich Röglsperger, wounded, crash landing Otopeni (11 miles N of Bucharest), Bf 109G-6 Wk. Nr. 163422
    10./JG 301 Pilot bailed out near Maia (28 miles N of Burcharest), Bf 109G-6 Wk. Nr. 20300
    10./JG 301 Unbekannt. Bruch 98 %., Pilot bailed out S of Titu, (30 miles NW of Bucharest), Bf 109G-6 Wk. Nr. 163089
    10./JG 301 Crash landing after air combat Otopeni (11 miles N of Bucharest), Bf 109G-6 Wk. Nr. 163807

    Romanian Air Force losses - June 23, 1944
    Grupul 1 Capitan commandor Ioan V Sandu - killed near Stefanesti , IAR 81 No. 170
    Grupul 1 Unknown killed, IAR 80/81
    Grupul 1 3 unknown crash landed, IAR 80/81
    Grupul 6 Adj. av. Constantin Dimache - killed near Bucharest, IAR 81-C
    Grupul 6 Slt. av. Victor Petric - killed near Bucharest, IAR 81-C
    Grupul 6 Adj. av. Dumitru Ilie - wounded near Bucharest, IAR 81-C
    Grupul 6 Adj. av. Gheorghe Cocebas - severely wounded near Bucharest, IAR 81-C
    Grupul 7 Capitan aviator Virgil Trandafirescu killed, Me 109 G
    Grupul 7 Cpt Dan Scurtu shot down wounded , Me 109 G
    Grupul 9 Lt. av . Teodor Greceanu, shot down wounded 13 km west of Găeşti (NW of Bucharest, SW of Ploesti., Me 109 G
    Grupul 9 adj. av. Dumitru Encioiu, shot down wounded, Me 109 G

    Luftwaffe and Romanian losses due to engagement with US fighters: ~29
    15th AF P-51 claims: 24 destroyed, 6 probable, 7 damaged. Four P-51's lost.

    See [post=1031148]Post 8[/post] of this thread for Allied claims for enemy aircraft destroyed.
     
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