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Old 09-30-2011, 08:29 AM
Jesus Salazar Jesus Salazar is offline
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Default 15 Spanische Staffel

Well, I am making good progress with my investigation about the 15 Spanische Staffel Fw-190s. Now I have the two books published in Spain about the unit, plus one article written in 1984 by one of the brothers of two of the unit members. And finally, next week I will have access to the original files from the spanish air force history archive. This is a sort view of the unit from the information that I already have.



The "15 Spanische Staffel", known in Spain as "Escuadrilla azul" and translated more or less as "the blue squadron" was the name of the unit of the Luftwaffe composed by spanish pilots and ground personnel during WW II. Its members were not the same ones during all of it existence, in fact the unit was composed of five consecutive detachments sent by the dictator Franco as payment for the german aid during the spanish civil war and also to recieve as counterpart all the technical documents and liceses of the Bf-109, the He-111 and Ju-88.



The first detachment, with 17 pilots, arrived at the Werneuchen JadgFliegerSchüle in July 27th 1941 under the command of Maj. Ángel Salas Larrazabal. After the training period the unit was sent to the eastern front and beginning to operate in October 2nd 1941, just in the middle of the Moscow offensive. They were given 12 Bf-109E (3, 4 and 7) and the unit was theoricaly attached to the Jagdgeschwader 27 and designated 15./JG 27, while in fact they operated with the asault group II(S) LG2.
They flew from the following bases (*source http://www.ww2.dk/air/jagd/jg27.htm):

24.9.41 - 7.10.41 Moschna Bf 109E
7.10.41 - 9.10.41 Bjeloj Bf 109E
9.10.41 - 16.10.41 Konaja Bf 109E
16.10.41 - 28.10.41 Kalinin Bf 109E
28.10.41 - 6.11.41 Staritza Bf 109E
6.11.41 - 25.11.41 Russa Bf 109E
25.11.41 - 10.12.41 Klin Bf 109E
10.12.41 - 15.12.41 Russa Bf 109E
15.12.41 - 7.1.42 Dugino Bf 109E
7.1.42 - 13.2.42 Witebsk Bf 109E

The number of bases is long due to the forced retreat as the Red Army counterattack, that in an ocassion, in the Klin aerodrome, forced the unit to destroy almost all aircraft.
During this period they flew 460 missions, engaged in 96 combats, got only 10 kills and lost 5 pilots plus one badly injured. After that, this group was sent back to Spain, without having been still replaced by the next party.



Second detachment, with 18 pilots under command of Maj. Julio Salvador Díaz-Benjumea, trained at Werneuchen from middle march to june 1942 and begun to operate from Orel that month. This time the unit had the Bf-109F2 and was attached to JG 51. The unit had now also one Ju-52. This transport although being painted in german scheme and its pilots wearing german uniforms, belonged to the company Iberia, and it was used for weekly liason between the Staffel the Blue Division Headquarters and spanish embassy in Berlin.
This area had less activity during that period, so, despite executing about 1312 sorties, they participate only in 117 combats, lost 2 pilots and shot down 13 enemies.
They start to went back to Spain in november. The replacement by the third detachment was done in steps and was completed officially in november the 30th.

Third detachment was different from the previous two; first because they had never been fighter pilots before, even not all of them were pilots during the spanish civil war, second because their trainning was for one month and in the south of France, probably at Tolouse; third, because the replacement was done in small groups, so they were able to fly with their experienced colleages in their first missions over Belarus. Fortunately this group was trainned previously in german tactics in Spain by pilots of the 1st detachment.
Command of the group of 20 pilots fell under Maj. Carlos Ferrándiz Arjonilla. At the beginning they were based as the 2nd detachment at Orel but later on they moved to Sechtschinskaja.
In december the 1st the spanish pilots had their first captured guy when Lieutenant Asensi had to land in enemy controlled terrain due to an engine malfuntion, he was keept prisioner since 1953.
The unit operate the Bf-109F2 and F4 till april 1943 when they recieved the first bunch of Fw-190A2 and A3. To understand what this change meant to the spanish guys only to notice that during five months with the Messer they got 33 kills, but with the Focke-Wulf they got 29 in only six days of combats. Their best score was done in june the 6th with 10 kills.
The unit began to be replaced in june the 23rd. During its operation they had 5 KIA, 1 WIA and 1 POW.



The fourth detachment was the most successful but the one that more lives paid. Under the command of Maj. Mariano Cuadra Medina the group was formed by 19 pilots.
Again they had been previously trainned in spain by "veterans" and then completed the trainning with the Fw-190 in the french base of Colomiers. They participate in the Citadelle operation, were the days of the luftwaffe air superority in the east front were over, recieving a great damage, not only in number of losses but in the experience and skill of some of the downed pilots (Hubert Strassl, Albert Walter, Hans Pfahler, Rudolf Resch,...). after that and because of the russian offensive they were ordered to move to Smolensk first and finally to Bobruisk, were their replacement took place the 24 of february of 1944. They suffered 4 KIA, 3 MIA and 3 WIA and got 74 victories, all with the Fw-190A2 and A3 although having recieve 5 Bf-109G6 at the end of January.

The last detachment was commanded by Maj. Javier Murcia and arrived with no time to achieve any victory, order to go back to Spain was recieved in March. Unfortunately they lost Lieutenant Estanislao Segurola Guereca, he probably suffered a g-lock when performing a high speed and angle dive to attack 2 IL-2 at low level, february the 27th while flying his Bf-109G6 Wr.Nr. 411218.
Order of redeployment was completed in April 1944.

Last edited by Jesus Salazar; 04-21-2012 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:16 AM
Andrew Arthy Andrew Arthy is offline
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Default 15. Spanische Staffel

Hi Jesus,

Please keep us updated about your research into this unit. I'll send you a private message during the next week or two.


Cheers,
Andrew A.

Air War Publications - www.airwarpublications.com
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2012, 04:04 PM
Jesus Salazar Jesus Salazar is offline
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Default Update

I have updated the first post in the thread. I preffer to do that than editting new post.

thank you.
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