February 21, 1945

February 21st, 1945, marks the next loss of an aircraft assigned to 10./NJG 11. The circumstances require additional research but so far, it seems as if Fw. Heinrich von Stade put down his (damaged) jet at Prenzlau airfield.

1945-02-21- 110 600The loss lists of the Generalquartiemeister list this Me 262 as “70% damaged by enemy fire” but no indication that the pilot was injured or even killed[1]Genst. Gen. Qu. 6 Abt, Nr. 280/45.

1945-02-21 - GQM Verlust

This is important because some sources suggest that Heinrich von Stade was either “injured”[2]Smith, J. Richard et al.; Me 262 Volume 3; Page 461 or even “killed”[3]Jurleit, Manfred; Strahljäger Me 262 im Einsatz; Seite 178 on the occasion. The Volksbund Deutscher Kriegsgräberfürsorge lists his death for the beginning of April 1945 which I believe is correct – but I will get to that later.

It also is not clear if the aircraft was damaged during a daylight mission or a nocturnal mission – a chance for the jets of 10./NJG 11 to have seen action that night exists: the Light Night Striking Force attacks Berlin the night of February 21st, 1945, to February 22nd with 77 Mosquitos[4]Middlebrook, Martin et al.; The Bomber Command War Diaries; Page 668. Intercepted ULTRA Messages however suggest that only a single Me 262 saw action this night[5]ULTRA Record DEFE-3/510 – BT5511

References   [ + ]

1. Genst. Gen. Qu. 6 Abt, Nr. 280/45
2. Smith, J. Richard et al.; Me 262 Volume 3; Page 461
3. Jurleit, Manfred; Strahljäger Me 262 im Einsatz; Seite 178
4. Middlebrook, Martin et al.; The Bomber Command War Diaries; Page 668
5. ULTRA Record DEFE-3/510 – BT5511
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