Kommando Nowotny

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Kommando Nowotny
Active September 1944 – November 1944
Country  Nazi Germany
Branch Balkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
Type Fighter Aircraft
Role Air superiority
Size Air Force Gruppe
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Major Walter Nowotny (26 September – 8 November 1944)
Major Erich Hohagen (8–19 November 1944)
Aircraft flown
Fighter Me 262

Kommando Nowotny was a Luftwaffe fighter Gruppe formed during the last months of World War II for testing and establishing tactics for the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter, and was created and first commanded by Walter Nowotny, from whom it drew its name.

History[edit]

Following the disestablishment of the earlier Erprobungskommando 262 test unit (previously based at Bavaria's Lechfeld Air Base) on 26 September 1944, Kommando Nowotny was formed later the same day in Achmer and Hesepe with Stab/Kommando Nowotny from Stab III./Zerstörergeschwader 26 (ZG 26),[1] 1./Kdo Nowotny from 9./ZG 26, 2./Kdo Nowotny from 8./ZG 26 and 3./Kdo Nowotny (new). Thus its strength was 3 Staffeln (that of a typical Gruppe) and a Stab flight.

On 3 October it attained operational status[2] with a complement of about 40 Me 262A-1a jet interceptors.[citation needed] Over the next month and a half the unit operated against allied aircraft, while at the same time trying to establish proper tactics for a jet fighter unit. It also had to deal with many technical problems plaguing the unproven Me 262.

The unit was the first to realise that a dedicated protection-squadron of single piston-engined, single-seat fighters like the Bf 109G and Fw 190 were a necessity for the jets, as the Me 262 could not manoeuvre or accelerate well at low speeds, and thus was a sitting duck for any allied fighters nearby during take-off and landing.

Due to the experimental nature of the unit, and the technical difficulties in operating the jet fighters, the unit had a less than illustrious record. A total of 22 enemy aircraft were claimed for a loss of 26 Me 262s.[3] Shortly after Walter Nowotny's death on 8 November, the unit was redesignated III./Jagdgeschwader 7 (JG 7) on 19 November, and therefore ceased to exist as an independent unit.

Losses[edit]

W.Nr. Date Fate Pilot
170044 4 October 1944 Engine failure on landing at Hesepe 75% damage Oberleutnant Alfred Teumer killed in flying accident
170292 5 October 1944 out fuel resulting in an emergency landing on the Autobahn near Braunschweig 10% damage Oberfeldwebel Helmut Baudach
110405 7 October 1944 shot down during takeoff Leutnant Gerhard Kobert
110395 7 October 1944 Oberfähnrich Heinz Russel
170307 7 October 1944 shot down during takeoff Oberfeldwebel Heinz Arnold
110402 12 October 1944 out fuel resulting in an emergency landing at Bramel 10% damage Feldwebel Helmut Lennartz
110399 13 October 1944 Oberingenieur Karl Leuthner
110401 13 October 1944 Oberfähnrich Heinz Russel
170041 4 October 1944 Undercarriage failure during landing at Braunschweig-Waggum Hauptmann Franz Schall
110388 12 October 1944 out fuel resulting in an emergency landing at Steenwyk 15% damage Oberleutnant Paul Bley
110387 29 October 1944 Leutnant Alfred Schreiber
110481 28 October 1944 Crashed on takeoff at Achmer 99% damage Oberleutnant Paul Bley killed in flying accident
110419 28 October 1944 Hauptmann Franz Schall
110386 1 November 1944 Oberfähnrich Willi Banzhaff
110368 2 November 1944 Unteroffizier Zöllner
170278 2 November 1944 Oberfeldwebel Siegfried Göbel
170310 4 November 1944 Oberfeldwebel Zander
110403 4 November 1944 Oberfeldwebel Siegfried Göbel
110483 4 November 1944 Oberfähnrich Willi Banzhaff killed in action
110389 6 November 1944 unknown 50% damage Leutnant Spangenberg
170045 6 November 1944 Undercarriage failure at Hesepe Feldwebel Erich Büttner
110402 6 November 1944 out fuel resulting in an emergency landing at Ahlhorn 30% damage Oberfeldwebel Freutzer
110490 6 November 1944 out fuel resulting in an emergency landing near Bremen 30% damage Feldwebel Helmut Lennartz
110400 8 November 1944 Crash after aerial combat 100% damage Major Walter Nowotny killed in action
110404 8 November 1944 Engine flameout at an altitude of 9000m after aerial combat 100% damage (bail out) Hauptmann Franz Schall
170293 8 November 1944 Blown tire on takeoff 35% damage Feldwebel Erich Büttner

References[edit]

  1. ^ For an explanation of the meaning of Luftwaffe unit designation see Luftwaffe Organization
  2. ^ Baker, David (1997). Messerschmitt Me 262. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: Crowood Press. p. 82. ISBN 9781861260789. 
  3. ^ Walter Nowotny, German Luftwaffe Ace of WW2
  • Held, Werner. Der Jagdflieger Walter Nowotny Bilder und Dokumente. Stuttgart, Germany: Motorbuch Verlag, 1998. ISBN 3-87943-979-6.