In the spring of 1943, a new reorganization started. All the Polish, French, Italian
and English airplanes were retired from service, because they were obsolete and their
maintenance was very difficult due to the lack of spare parts. They were replaced mainly
by Romanian and German planes.
The 4th Fighter Group (45th, 46th and 49th Squadron) was equipped with the IAR-80C
and the 9th Fighter Group (43rd, 47th and 48th Squadron) with the IAR-81C. The newly
created 1st Fighter Group (63rd and 64th Squadron) and 2nd Fighter Group (65th and 66th
Squadron) were also equipped with the IAR-81C. The 2nd Bomber Group (82nd and 83rd
Squadron) was also created and had JRS-79B1s.
The Air Corps received modern German airplanes. The 2nd Long Range Recon Squadron
replaced the Do-17M with the Ju-88D1. The 7th Fighter Group got the Bf-109G, the 5th
Bomber Group the Ju-88A4, the 3rd Bomber Group the Ju-87D3 and D5 and changed its name
to 3rd Dive Bomber Group and the 8th Fighter Group received the Hs-129B2 and changed
its name to 8th Assault Group. A part of these planes were only loaned by the Germans to
the ARR. This meant their the maintenance and replacements were done by the Luftflotte IV.
The majority of the Romanian built airplanes were regrouped inside Romania and had
defensive tasks. The 3rd Fighter Group, equipped with the older IAR-80A, was transformed
into a pilot training unit.
In the second half of 1943, 3 new units were created: the 107th Transport Squadron
(Ju-52), the 109th Squadron (IAR-39), which towed the DFS-230 transport gliders and
the 51st Night Fighter Squadron (Bf-110C1 and C3).
In June 1943, the reorganization of the ARR ended. The 1st Air Corps, which was in
the front line, was made up of the:
- 1st Fighter Flotilla:
- 7th Fighter Group: 56th, 57th and 58th Fighter Squadrons (Bf-109G)
- 9th Fighter Group: 43rd, 47th and 48th Fighter Squadrons (IAR-81C)
- 8th Assault Group: 41st, 42nd and 60th Assault Squadrons (Hs-129B2)
- 3rd Bomber Flotilla:
- 3rd Dive Bomber Group: 73rd, 81st and 85th Bomber Squadrons (Ju-87D3 and D5)
- 5th Bomber Group: 77th, 78th and 80th Bomber Squadrons (Ju-88A4)
- 6th Bomber Group: 74th, 86th and 87th Bomber Squadrons (Ju-88A4)
- 2nd Long Range Recon Squadron (Ju-88D1)
- 105th Transport Squadron (Ju-52)
- 115th and 116th Liaison Squadron (Fleet-10G)
It had about 200 airplanes, which had the mission to support the German troops in
southern Ukraine. It was one of the most effective periods of ARR during WWII.
Initially the 9th Fighter Group wasn't sent to the front, because it was preparing to
change to Bf-109Gs. It replaced the 7th Fighter Group in October 1943, also taking over
its best pilots and airplanes. The exhausted 7th Fighter Group was brought back home for
rest and refitting. It had been fighting since March, when it was part of JG 3 Udet.
The 5th Fighter Group (52nd and 53rd Squadron) was reorganized in the second half of
1943 and equipped with Bf-109Es and Gs. The 52nd Squadron (IAR-80Cs and later Bf-109Es)
was assigned to coastal defense, while the 53rd (Bf-109G) was part of the mixed
German-Romanian group (I/JG 4), which was defending the oil fields and refineries at
The 5th Bomber Group arrived on the front in August and replaced the badly hit 6th
Bomber Group, which began training for transition to the Ju-87Ds.
On 1 August 1943, the first massive USAAF attack on the Ploesti refineries took place.
The Americans suffered heavy casualties and the primary result was the increase in AA
defenses in the area, defenses which will cause the highest loss ratio for the Allied raids
The Romanian AA artillery shot down 17 USAAF bombers and 84 VVS aircraft in 1943. The
fighters brought down 10 American and over 300 Soviet airplanes.