WWII Sachsenberg Squadron history

Fw190-d9
Sachsenberg Squadron

Sachsenberg Squadron history

"Sachsenberg was a good pilot... We felt safer when his aircraft were in the air" Adolf Galland.

In autumn 1944, some fighter pilots leaded by the General der Jagdflieger Adolf Galland and Lützow as spokesman decided to tell Göring their thoughts about how to fight the bomber menace. In an usual Göring's act, Galland was dismissed and sent to Berlin to await orders. Lützow was banished to Italy as a staffel commander, both with orders of no contacting each other.

A friend of Galland contacted Albert Speer, who was surprised by the treatment of his best fighter pilot. He contacted Adolf Hitler in the middle of the night, and in the morning Galland was ordered to report to the Reichs Chancellery to meet with Hitler. Finally, in January 1945, Galland was instructed to create a unit equipped with Me262, to demonstrate what he had been claiming for so long: that the Schwalbe was a fighter and not a bomber.

Galland made up Jagdverband 44 in February 1945, and became known as "Galland Circus". Contrary to commonly thought, it was not strictly an "Experten" squadron. It had a lot of them indeed, but Galland often had to take the available pilots through the Luftwaffe personnel office.

The Me 262 was very vulnerable on take-off and landings, requiring long time and distances for these operations. Galland knew that the Fw 190 D-9's from III./JG 54 had provided top cover for Kommando Novotny, the first jet fighter unit. Therefore, he asked for a staffel of Doras to fly cover for his Me 262.

Some Fw 190 D-9 and one rare Fw 190 D-11 equipped this Platzschutszstaffel (Field Protection Flight). These aircraft were painted with bright red and white striped undersurfaces to aid in recognition by Flak ground units, usually fired by young, inexperienced gunners. This Platzschutszstaffel has been called by many names: Sachsenberg Staffel, Würgerstaffel, or Papageinstaffel. The last one was not known during WWII, and there are two possible reasons to explain its origin: The colourful schemes of the planes or the use of the word "Papagei" as a radio callsign, as "Elefant" was as well.

The Staffel had an emblem consisting of a red circle with a black and white checker board in the middle, painted on the left fuselage under the cockpit. The black and white squares represent the command headquarters, the same symbol used by the Wehrmacht, but reversing the squares. The red circle around the checker board represents the Red Doras protecting the Command Headquarters, in this case Galland's Me262.

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