I hope I am not overdoing this research on this souvenir left by Feldwebel Kramer when he returned to Germany after the war in 1945 …
It was a piece of cake to find more information on the second pilot on this list I found on a Website which I think has some errors.
|Walter Evers||1912||Fw.||0||31.08.40||gefallen, Luftkampf (Themsemündung)|
|Günther Kramer||1918||Fw.||0||31.08.40||gefallen, Luftkampf (Themsemündung)|
I don’t think these pilots flew with JG51 “Molders” as the Website implies. In fact, it’s only on November 21, 1940, that I. Gruppe/JG77 was renamed IV. Gruppe/JG51:
- Stab I./JG77 became Stab IV./JG51
- 1./JG77 became 10./JG51
- 2./JG77 became 11./JG51
- 3./JG77 became 12./JG51
This is Oblt. Hans-Jürgen Ehrig’s Bf 109E that crash-landed at Tenterden on August 31st, 1940. (Source)
The Bf 109 E-4, ‘White 13′ of Oblt. Hans-Jurgen Ehrig, the Staffelkapitan of 1./JG77, lies crumpled in a field at Gates Farm near Tenterden, Kent on the afternoon of 31st August 1940. Damaged by fighters while over Hornchurch on an escort mission, Ehrig attempted to return to France but, harried by F/Lt. M.L. Robinson of 601 Sqn, he was forced to put his damaged aircraft down and was subsequently taken prisoner. 31st August 1940 was disastrous for JG77 which, newly introduced to the Battle of Britain, lost five aircraft from 1. Staffel and one from 2. Staffel.
I found more information about Oblt. Hans Jürgen Ehrig.
Hans Jürgen Ehrig
Units: Legion Condor, Stfkpt 1./JG-77 (Channel)
Awards: Spanish Cross, EK 2 (Eisernes Kreuz 2 Klasse), Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 109E-4 WNr 5105 ‘White 13′ (lost 8/31/40)
Remarks: POW 31st August 1940, shot down during aerial combar by F/O Robinson of RAF No. 601 Sq, and belly landed at Gates Farm, High Halden while on an escort mission over Kent and Essex. One victory in Spain. One known victory, his 1st, a Morane 406 north of Valenciennes, 18th May 1940.
Hans-Jürgen Ehrig, born in 1912, had 3 victories and he was shot down on 31 August, 1940. He was taken gefangenschaft (prisoner). It is clear that he was with JG77 on August 31, 1940, and not with JG51 when he was shot down.
To better undertand what you have just read, here are some notes on the structure of a Geschwader that were taken from the Internet.
Initially the Geschwader comprised of three Gruppen and a Stab, later in the war a fourth Gruppe was added. The Geschwader was the largest German flying unit to have a fixed nominal strength. Originally it had been intended that the component Gruppen of each Geschwader should operate together from adjacent airfields, but under the stress of war this soon broke down.
The Geschwader commander held the title of Kommodore (Kdore), and was usually a Major, Oberstleutnant or Oberst. His Staff included and adjudant, an operations officer, an intelligence officer, a navigation officer, technical officers, a signal officer and such other specialist officers as the nature of the unit and task might dictate.
Number of Aircraft in a Jagdgeschwader
Stab (±4 a/c)
3-4 Gruppen (each Gruppe also a Stab flight of 4 a/c)
3-4 Staffeln in each Gruppe
12-16 aircraft in each Staffel
Nominal strength of 12 aircraft. A Staffel formation comprised of three Schwärme stepped up in line astern. The staffel was the lowest grade of formation within the organisation. Commanded by a Staffelkapitän usually an Oberleutnant or Hauptmann, members of its flying personnel would supervise the technical and signals branches as secondary duties. Late in the war some Staffeln had their numbers raised to 16 aircraft on strength nominally.
Initially in the Gruppe comprised three Staffeln and a Stab (Headquarters flight), later in the war a fourth Staffel was added. The Stab flight consisted of 3-4 a/c. The Gruppe was the basic flying unit for operational and administrative purposes. When orders were given for moves of flying units, the recipients were usually Gruppen. Normally one complete Gruppe occupied a single airfield, occasionally individual Staffeln might be detached from their parent Gruppe for operational reasons or to re-equip.
The Gruppe commander carried the title of Kommandeur (Kdr.) and was usually a Hauptmann or a major, under his command he had an adjudant, specialist technical officers and a medical officer.
More information about IV. Gruppe/JG51
I was formed 21 November 1940 in Marquise from I./JG77 with:
Stab IV./JG51 from Stab I./JG77
10./JG51 from 1./JG77
11./JG51 from 2./JG77
12./JG51 from 3./JG77
Hptm Johannes Janke, 21 Nov 1940 – 18 Feb 1941
Footnote to the footnote
Is it possible that the photo above with all the others were taken in Marquise when Haupmann Johannes Janke was in command of I. Gruppe/JG77 before he took command of IV. Gruppe/JG51 on November 21, 1940?
I guess we will never know for sure.
I. Gruppe / Jagdgeschwader 77
Hptm Johannes Janke, 1.5.39 – 21.11.40
Hptm Walter Grommes, 2.41 – 6.41
Maj Joachim Seegert, 6.41 – 1.42
Hptm Herbert Ihlefeld, 6.1.42 – 11.5.42
Maj Heinz Bär, 11.5.42 – 6.8.43
ObLt Armin Köhler (acting), 31.7.43 – 19.8.43
Hptm Lutz-Wilhelm Burkhardt, 19.8.43 – 30.11.43
Hptm Theo Lindemann, 30.11.43 – 28.8.44
Hptm Armin Köhler (acting), 5.44 – 13.6.44
Hptm Lothar Baumann, 1.8.44 – 24.12.44
Maj Münnichow, 24.12.44 – 10.1.45
Hptm Joachim Deicke, 10.1.45 – 17.4.45
Hptm Heinz Grosser, 17.4.45 – 8.5.45
IV. Gruppe / Jagdgeschwader 51
Hptm Johannes Janke, 21.11.40 – 18.2.41
Maj Friedrich Beckh, 1.3.41 – 19.7.41
Hptm Karl-Gottfried Nordmann, 20.7.41 – 9.4.42
Hptm Hans Knauth, 10.4.42 – 28.2.43
Maj Rudolf Resch, 1.3.43 – 11.7.43
Maj Hans Ekkehard Bob, 1.8.43 – 8.5.44
Maj Heinz Lange, 9.5.44 – 11.4.45
Olt Günther Josten, 12.4.45 – 28.4.45
Maj Heinz Lange, 29.4.45 – 8.5.45
I hope I am not overdoing this research on this souvenir left by Feldwebel Kramer when he returned to Germany after the war…
The pilot who shot down Oblt. Hans Jürgen Ehrig.
I found this information.
Squadron Leader Michael Lister Robinson, then of 601 Squadron Tangmere, sitting on the wing of his Hurricane in 1941. In 1942, after having been “rested” but having insisted on being put back on ops, Robinson was lost while leading the Tangmere Wing at the head of 340 Squadron. His remains were never found. Robinson’s personal papers, accessed after his death, contained some rich anecdotes, including this account of the downing of an Me 109 on August 16th 1940 which differed somewhat from the official log entry:
“He [the German pilot] never rose above 100 feet until well south of Maidstone and then throttled back. I overtook him and formated on him, pointing downwards for him to land. He turned away so I carried out a dummy quarter attack, breaking very close to him. After this he landed his Me in a field. I threw him a packet of twenty Players and returned to base.”
Excerpt (be sure to read the complete article)
Michael Lister Robinson was born in Chelsea, London in May 1917, the son of Sir Roy, later Lord, Robinson. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in September 1935. On the 28th he was posted to 3 FTS, Grantham and, with training completed, he joined 111 Squadron at Northolt on August 3rd 1936. Robinson went to 11 Group Pool, St Athan on January 30th 1939, as an instructor and was appointed ‘B’ Flight Commander on July 10th.
He was posted to France on March 16th 1940 and joined 87 Squadron there. On May 9th he badly injured a hand in a crash in a Master and was sent back to England.
Fit again, Robinson was posted to 601 Squadron at Tangmere on August 16th as a Flight Commander. On the 31st he claimed a Me 109 destroyed, another probably destroyed and a third one damaged, on September 4th he shared a probable Me 110, on the 6th he destroyed a Me 109 and on the 25th he got a probable Me 110.