JAGDVERBAND 44 - HORRIDO!!!!
Munich-Riem airfield, home of the famous Jagdverband 44 commanded by Generalleutnant Adolf Galland.
Galland formed the unit in February 1945 and after the completion of training, at the beginning of April, the unit moved south to the airport at Munich-Riem. From here, attacks against the USAAF were conducted, and included combat against heavy bombers and fighters alike. Some success was achieved against the bombers using R4M unguided air-air rockets. Due to its speed, the Me 262 could outfly anything fighter the Allies could muster, but thanks to the inability of the rapid application of throttle, the plane was vulnerable on takeoff and landing, making it an easy target for Allied fighters. The Allies had the Munich airport well within their sights, and the danger that this presented was very real.
The protection of the jet fighters fell on high-performance piston engined fighters - the Fw 190D. This group, the airfield protection flight ‘Platzschutzschwarm’, under the leadership of Lt. Heinz Sachsenberg, was formed in mid-April, and had at its disposition five Fw 190D Doras, in D-9 and D-11 versions. Members of the unit included Hptm. Waldemar Wübke, Lt. Karl-Heinz Hofmann and Oblt. Klaus Faber.
The role of these men was to take off before the Me 262s, and clean out the air space around the airfield. Once the Me 262s formed up, and left the local airspace, the Fw 190s were to land. The protection of the Me 262s on landing approach was not mandated.
Captured by the 42nd Inf Div at the end of the airfield it was found abandoned by the US troops with JV 44 relocating into Austria.
The airfield became Munich’s main international airport post WW2 and was in operation until 1996, at which point it cease operations and is now a shopping/residential and commercial area with open parkland to the south.
The original reconnaissance photo taken by the 27th Sqn of the 7th PR Gp, 8th USAAF taken on the 10th April, the day after the raid there on the 9th April 1945 shows the fighter pens and handstand areas having been hit as a result of the bombing. All that remains of these areas now is a nice, peaceful community park area.
The Last remaining original building on the edge of the former airfield
The former spectator stands, now overgrown and derelict.
Aerial reconnaissance photo taken by the 7th Photographic Group post the bombing on 9th April, 1945.
The airfield today. Now a peaceful community park.