March 7, 1945

In the early days of March 1945, Lt. Kurt Lamm is having his familiarization flights on the Me 262 – he himself dates his arrival with the unit as March 7th, 1945[1]Note: Reference missing.. His familiarization flights supposedly ended March 11th, 1945[2]Note: Reference missing..

According to his flight log, Lt. Herbert Altner was flying at Burg as well – it is reasonable to assume that both pilots were trying to get as much flying time as possible before their first nocturnal mission[3]Note: Lt. Herbert Altner’s Flugbuch needs to be treated with caution: the entries contained seem to have been added post-war, maybe because the original log was lost or inaccessible at the time – we will probably never know. One obvious shotcome of the log is the lack of any flight time information, something that usually was done very accurately (as you can see in the initial entries. Also, there is no final confirmation of the flights, another hint that they may have been added retrospectively..

Altner-1During the day, at least to missions were flown against allied reconnaissance aircraft, the Evening Report of the Luftwaffeführungsstab Ic notes:

“Against reconnaissance aircraft over NW Germany: 1. Jagddivision: (Kdo. Welter) 2 aircraft (Me 262). No successes, no losses.”[4]Mehner, Kurt (Hrsg.): Die geheimen Tagesberichte der Deutschen Wehrmachtführung; Page 254

However, there is a correction to this entry on the same that that reads:

“Against reconnaissance aircraft over NW Germany: 1. Jagddivision: 5 aircraft, 5 Me 262 (JG 7), 2 for sure, 2 Me 163, no losses.”[5]Mehner, Kurt (Hrsg.): Die geheimen Tagesberichte der Deutschen Wehrmachtführung; Page 254

Difficult to say if these numbers amend the previous statement or if the replace it.

In the evening hours of March 7th, 1945, the Royal Air Force is present in the skies over Germany in force: about 520 heavy bombers have set out to attack Dessau, 80 Mosquitos are en-route to Berlin. Both target areas are in easy reach of the jets of 10./NJG 11[6]Middlebrook, Martin et al.; The Bomber Command War Diaries; Page 676.

Einflug 1945-03-07

They are taking a heavy toll: 18 Lancasters from the attack on Dessau do not return home. 6 Halifax and 15 Lancaster do not return from other raids. And 1 Mosquito fails to return from Berlin.

The missing Mosquito belongs to No. 128 Sqn. – RV306, flown by S/LDR John David Armstrong and F/O William Edward Whyte – is, at the first glance, hard to trace: the official Squadron Records of Events document does not list the aircraft and crew on this operation to Berlin:

1945-03-03 - Records of Events No 128 Sqn

However, a closer look into the Squadrons Summary of Events reveals that in fact RV306 – the “U” Aircraft – had also been part of the raid and was lost in an attempted emergency landing at the airfield of Gilze-Rijen in the Netherlands.

1945-03-03 - Summary of Events No 128 Sqn

Both crew members are killed, today, they are buried at the Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands.

1945-03-07 - RV306There is no evidence that “Kommando Welter” was actively involved in nocturnal missions that day.

References   [ + ]

1, 2. Note: Reference missing.
3. Note: Lt. Herbert Altner’s Flugbuch needs to be treated with caution: the entries contained seem to have been added post-war, maybe because the original log was lost or inaccessible at the time – we will probably never know. One obvious shotcome of the log is the lack of any flight time information, something that usually was done very accurately (as you can see in the initial entries. Also, there is no final confirmation of the flights, another hint that they may have been added retrospectively.
4, 5. Mehner, Kurt (Hrsg.): Die geheimen Tagesberichte der Deutschen Wehrmachtführung; Page 254
6. Middlebrook, Martin et al.; The Bomber Command War Diaries; Page 676
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