Kommando Nowotny

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Kommando Nowotny
ActiveSeptember 1944 – November 1944
Country Nazi Germany
BranchBalkenkreuz (Iron Cross) Luftwaffe
TypeFighter Aircraft
RoleAir superiority
SizeAir Force Gruppe
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Major Walter Nowotny (26 September – 8 November 1944)
Major Erich Hohagen (8–19 November 1944)
Aircraft flown
FighterMe 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.

Focke-Wulf 190D, JV 44 protection squadron

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.

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.