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> Romanian fighter versus soviet torpedo-bombers
Miroslav Morozov
Posted: March 24, 2004 09:26 pm
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Hello, friends!

Can somebody help me with the Romanian info about the combat engagements between Romanian fighters and soviet torpedo-bombers over Black sea in 1943-1944? In my turn I can give any details of the soviet point of view on the occasions.

Thank you in advance,
Miroslav Morozov (Moscow)
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Ruy Aballe
Posted: March 25, 2004 02:01 pm
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Privet Miroslav!

Could you please indicate any recent articles on the subject published in the Russian aviation press (Aviatsiya i Vremya, Aviamaster, Aviatsiya, Mir Aviatsii, etc)?
I think that at least one article more or less on the same subject matter was once published in a magazine called Historiya Aviatsiya, but I am not sure. I would be most obliged if you can indicate the precise issue. Thanks in advance.
Best regards,

Ruy
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Victor
Posted: March 26, 2004 08:46 am
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The following list of the successes of the 49th Fighter Squadron of the 4th Fighter Group, which had been detached to Yevpatoria under German command, was compiled from the book Vanatorul IAR-80 by Dan Antoniu and George Cicos and form the Luftwaffe kill list of Tony Wood (see http://tonywood.cjb.net). I also used the book Marina Romana in al doilea razboi moindial by Nicolae Koslinski and Raymond Stanescu for a view of the Romanian Royal Navy.

7 July 1943
The convoy made up of the cargo-ships Ardeal and Varna and escorted by NMS Marasesti, NMS Marasti, NMS Stihi, NMS Dumitrescu and an R-boot. Two other R-boots and 6 MFPs later joined the convoy. During the night it was attacked by a submarine (Sc-201), which NMS Marasesti manage to damage severely. In the morning, at about 0600 hours, the convoy was attacked by four DB-3Fs. NMS Marasesti opened fire and shot down one of them. The sailors claimed that they saw the fighters shoot down two Soviet aircraft.

Here is what the two fighter pilots claimed:
Adj. av. Mihai Mihordea 1xBristol* at 0650 hours
Adj. av. Vasile Burcu 1xBristol at 0653 hours
Adj. av. Mihai Mihordea 1xBristol at 0656 hours

* The Romanian fighter pilots used to wrongly identify the DB-3F with the Bristol Beaufort.

1 August 1943
The convoy made up of the cargo-ships PLM 16, Prodromos, Kassa and Serose and escorted by NMS Marasti, NMS Murgescu, NMS Ghiculescu, NMS Dumitrescu and 2 R-boots was attacked at 0937 hours in the vicinity of Yevpatoria by two Soviet torpedo-bombers, coming from the south. The fire from the NMS Marasti and NMS Murgescu (probably the Romanian ship with the most aircraft shot-down) made them launch from far away (some 3,000m) and the torpedoes missed the destroyer. The airplanes machine-gunned the Xanten submarine-hunter, which had some casualties on board. Two IAR-80Cs of the 49th Squadron attacked the DB-3Fs and severely damaged them. The pilots did not see them crash, but they disappeared from German radar and the sailors claimed that the aircraft were shot down, so they were later confirmed.

Lt. av. Gheorghe Butnaru 1xBristol flying the IAR-80C no. 271
Serg. TR. av. Radu Costache 1xBristol flying the IAR-80C no. 241

6 September 1943
The convoy made up of the cargo-ships Burgas and KT 25 and escorted by NMS Regina Maria, NMS Regele Ferdinand, NMS Ghiculescu and 3 R-boots was attacked near Sevastopol by five Soviet bombers at 1220 hours and at 1251 by another four. The fighters intervened and claimed two kills, of which one was confirmed.

Adj. av. Stefan Dumitrescu 1xBoston III* flying the IAR-80C no. 271
Serg. TR. av. Radu Costache 1xBoston III probable flying the IAR-80C no. 274

* Probably also DB-3Fs

27 December 1943
Adj. av. Mircea Mazilu 1xBoston III at 0730 hours

30 January 1944
Adj. av. Mircea Simion 1xBoston III 3.5 km NE Yevpatoria at 1510 hours

3 February 1944
Lt. av. Gheorghe Butnaru 1xBoston III N of Ak. Mafelka
I have also found a mention of a German tug convoy being attacked near Odessa on 5 February and four Soviet aircraft being lost. Maybe this claim is actually for 5 February.

16 March 1943
Adj. av. Mihai Mihordea 1xBoston III at 1105 hours
Adj. av. Mihai Mihordea 1xBoston III at 1108 hours
Adj. av. Eugen Toflan 1xIl–2 at 1112 hours
The Luftwaffe record shows these kills on 19 March. It seems there was no convoy on 16 March, but there was one to Sevastopol on 19-21 March.

I would also be interested to know if Soviet records confirm these kills and if possible the unit, actual type of aircraft and even names of the VVS-ChF crewmen.

The episode of 28 September 1943 (the attack of the Soviet torpedo-bombers on Constanta) is another interesting subject, but there were no fighters involved in it. All were shot down by the AAA.
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Miroslav Morozov
Posted: March 29, 2004 07:01 pm
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Hello, friends!

Thank you for very interesting remarks! Unfortunately, I don't know any articles in the Russian magazines regarding the theme (I one of the authors of Historia Aviatsii).
Victor, your info is really great! I'll examine it and then will make some comments.

Thank you,
Miroslav
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Miroslav Morozov
Posted: March 29, 2004 08:57 pm
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Victor, your info really interests me, so I prepared the answer immediately.

QUOTE
The following list of the successes of the 49th Fighter Squadron of the 4th Fighter Group, which had been detached to Yevpatoria under German command, was compiled from the book Vanatorul IAR-80 by Dan Antoniu and George Cicos and form the Luftwaffe kill list of Tony Wood (see http://tonywood.cjb.net/ ). I also used the book Marina Romana in al doilea razboi moindial by Nicolae Koslinski and Raymond Stanescu for a view of the Romanian Royal Navy.


I have in my collection day-by-day KTBs of Admiral Schwarzmeer for 2-3.1943 and 8-12.1943 and Marinekommandos Konstanza for the second half of the year and, of course, many soviet documents from Navy archive (CVMA).


QUOTE
7 July 1943  
The convoy made up of the cargo-ships Ardeal and Varna and escorted by NMS Marasesti , NMS Marasti , NMS Stihi , NMS Dumitrescu and an R-boot. Two other R-boots and 6 MFPs later joined the convoy. During the night it was attacked by a submarine (Sc-201), which NMS Marasesti manage to damage severely. In the morning, at about 0600 hours, the convoy was attacked by four DB-3Fs. NMS Marasesti opened fire and shot down one of them. The sailors claimed that they saw the fighters shoot down two Soviet aircraft.  

Here is what the two fighter pilots claimed:  
Adj. av. Mihai Mihordea 1xBristol* at 0650 hours  
Adj. av. Vasile Burcu 1xBristol at 0653 hours  
Adj. av. Mihai Mihordea 1xBristol at 0656 hours  

* The Romanian fighter pilots used to wrongly identify the DB-3F with the Bristol Beaufort.


KTB Konstanza gave R-37 and Ghiculescu instead Dumitrescu.
The convoy was located on the evening of 6.7, and on 04.20 (Moscow time everywhere in my text) 9 DB-3f (5th guard mine-torpedo regiment was the only VVS ChF unit on that type of plane) flew on the mission. Because the convoy wasn’t located for a long time 4 torpedo-bomber returned to the base (Gelendzhik off Noworosijsk). Only 5 bombers attacked the convoy on 08.45. Pilots claimed some hits in the transport, which presumed as damaged by the sub Sch-201. Two bombers (pilots – senior. lt D.I. Tumkin and V.K. Vaskov; I collect only pilots’ names) was shut downed by ship’s flak and fighters. The rest crews claimed a fighter as shut downed. Do you know how many fighters took part in the battle?


QUOTE
1 August 1943  
The convoy made up of the cargo-ships PLM 16 , Prodromos , Kassa and Serose and escorted by NMS Marasti , NMS Murgescu , NMS Ghiculescu , NMS Dumitrescu and 2 R-boots was attacked at 0937 hours in the vicinity of Yevpatoria by two Soviet torpedo-bombers, coming from the south. The fire from the NMS Marasti and NMS Murgescu (probably the Romanian ship with the most aircraft shot-down) made them launch from far away (some 3,000m) and the torpedoes missed the destroyer. The airplanes machine-gunned the Xanten submarine-hunter, which had some casualties on board. Two IAR-80Cs of the 49th Squadron attacked the DB-3Fs and severely damaged them. The pilots did not see them crash, but they disappeared from German radar and the sailors claimed that the aircraft were shot down, so they were later confirmed.  

Lt. av. Gheorghe Butnaru 1xBristol flying the IAR-80C no. 271  
Serg. TR. av. Radu Costache 1xBristol flying the IAR-80C no. 241


KTB Konstanza gave R-203, -206, -164 and add F-492, -493.
I think, the planes dropped their torpedoes more closely, otherwise they had no sense to be so close with Xanten. Both DB-3f survived this time. They didn’t get any moderate damages. Their pilots – V.F. Bublikov and A.R. Kovtun – perished 20.8.44 and 19.4.44 correspondently. The pilots claimed a 6000-ts ship as sunk and one from five Bf-109 as shut downed.

QUOTE
6 September 1943  
The convoy made up of the cargo-ships Burgas and KT 25 and escorted by NMS Regina Maria , NMS Regele Ferdinand , NMS Ghiculescu and 3 R-boots was attacked near Sevastopol by five Soviet bombers at 1220 hours and at 1251 by another four. The fighters intervened and claimed two kills, of which one was confirmed.  

Adj. av. Stefan Dumitrescu 1xBoston III* flying the IAR-80C no. 271  
Serg. TR. av. Radu Costache 1xBoston III probable flying the IAR-80C no. 274  

* Probably also DB-3Fs


The convoy was attacked on 14.00 by 5 Boston-III from 30th RAP (recon air regiment; not by torpedo-bomber unit, so I haven’t full picture). No hits were claimed. Battle with two FW-190 , a Bf-110 and a Bv-138 reported. No losses. BTW on the previous day the convoy was attacked by torpedo-bombers twice.

QUOTE
27 December 1943  
Adj. av. Mircea Mazilu 1xBoston III at 0730 hours


No soviets battle reports on that day and losses. May be unsuccessful attack on a recon plane?

QUOTE
30 January 1944  
Adj. av. Mircea Simion 1xBoston III 3.5 km NE Yevpatoria at 1510 hours


Great battle with many planes on that day. Three air waves attacked German ships off Yevpatoria on 14.15, 17.00 and 17.26. In the second wave was two A-20G, one of which was shut downed by flak and blew on the ground. His pilot – the commander of 1st MTAD (mine-torpedo air division) gen-mj N.A. Tokarew perished, two crewmen became POW. The second plane was late due technical troubles and attacked on 17.15. Its air escort (6 P-39) had battle with two “FW-190” and claimed one as shut down.

QUOTE
3 February 1944  
Lt. av. Gheorghe Butnaru 1xBoston III N of Ak. Mafelka  
I have also found a mention of a German tug convoy being attacked near Odessa on 5 February and four Soviet aircraft being lost. Maybe this claim is actually for 5 February.


On 15.30-17.48 3.2 great air battle over Ak-Mechet (on the north-west coast of Crimea) – 7 Pe-2, 13 Il-2, 14 P-39 attacked German ships. They had an engagement with 6 “FW-190” and 4 “He-115” (two of them claimed as downed). An Il-2 shut downed by the flak.

On 11.35 5.2 6 Pe-2, 4 P-39 attacked a convoy 16 miles off Odessa. No air engagements and no losses.

QUOTE
16 March 1943  
Adj. av. Mihai Mihordea 1xBoston III at 1105 hours  
Adj. av. Mihai Mihordea 1xBoston III at 1108 hours  
Adj. av. Eugen Toflan 1xIl–2 at 1112 hours  
The Luftwaffe record shows these kills on 19 March. It seems there was no convoy on 16 March, but there was one to Sevastopol on 19-21 March.


I think the battle was on 19.3.44. That day three waves of planes attacked a convoy off Tharkhankut Pt.
The first wave (4 A-20 torpedo-bombers, 6 Pe-2, 11 Il-2, 12 P-39) on 10.02 attacked the convoy. Two A-20 (kpt. E.A. Smirnov, lt. V.S. Romanov; both from 36th MTAP) shut downed by flak immediately after torpedo attack. In the air engagement a Bv-138 was claimed as downed.

The second wave (5 A-20 with bombs, 6 Pe-2, 12 Il-2, 18 P-39) attacked on 12.40. In fierce air engagement one A-20 (earlier damaged by flak) attacked by Bf-109 three times and then land on sea water in 1 km from the shore. The crew (pilot - senior lt. H.P. Romantsov, 36th MTAP) perished. 1 Ar-196, 2 Bv-138, 2 FW-190, 1 Bf-109 claimed as enemy losses.

The third wave (6 Pe-2, 12 Il-2, 14 P-39) attacked on 16.43. 3 Il-2 and a P-39 (another one damaged) lost in the air battle. Counter-claims are not clear for me.
Overall successes against ships claimed 1 transport of 2000 ts, 6 MFPs, 2 barges, 1 little barge, 1 PC as sunk and 1 MFP, 2 PC as damaged. Do you know the real composition and losses of the convoy?

QUOTE
The episode of 28 September 1943 (the attack of the Soviet torpedo-bombers on Constanta) is another interesting subject, but there were no fighters involved in it. All were shot down by the AAA.


A Boston-III and two A-20 downed by flak – certainly a half from attackers. From six crews of 36th MTAP (Col. Sh.B. Bedzinoshvili, kpt V.M. Levashov, sub lt. M.G. Dujkov, mj A.I. Fokin, senior lt V.P. Rukavitsin, senior lt A.D. Ryhlov) three former perished or became POW, but two later receive the HSU award by the end of the war!

I have the Nicolae Koslinski and Raymond Stanescu’s book, but unfortunately can’t read it due to the language obstacle. Could you please to translate some pages with the description of 28.9.43 Konstanza action for me?

What Romanian fighter units covered the convoys off Bessarabia – Romania coast?

What do you know about losses of Romanian fighters in engagements with the soviet torpedo-bombers?

Very best regards,
Miroslav
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Victor
Posted: March 30, 2004 01:50 pm
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Please use the Quote tags. It is much easier to follow than the i tags.

QUOTE
Pilots claimed some hits in the transport, which presumed as damaged by the sub Sch-201. Two bombers (pilots – senior. lt D.I. Tumkin and V.K. Vaskov; I collect only pilots’ names) was shut downed by ship’s flak and fighters. The rest crews claimed a fighter as shut downed. Do you know how many fighters took part in the battle?


Only two IAR-80s from the 49th Fighter Squadron took part in the battle. Koslinski and Stanescu also mention two Bf-109Gs, probably German. No loses were reported. Also, none of the ships were damaged.
Can you say which one of the two Soviet bombers was shot down by fighters and which one by NMS Marasesti?

QUOTE
I think, the planes dropped their torpedoes more closely, otherwise they had no sense to be so close with Xanten. Both DB-3f survived this time. They didn’t get any moderate damages. Their pilots – V.F. Bublikov and A.R. Kovtun – perished 20.8.44 and 19.4.44 correspondently. The pilots claimed a 6000-ts ship as sunk and one from five Bf-109 as shut downed.


No ships were sunk.
The Bf-109s were not Romanian. The 49th Fighter Squadron covered the convoy with one IAR-80C Rotte at a time. There was also a IAR-39, a BV seaplane and a German Bf-110. Probably the Bf-109s intercepted the Soviet bombers later, on their way back.

QUOTE
The convoy was attacked on 14.00 by 5 Boston-III from 30th RAP (recon air regiment; not by torpedo-bomber unit, so I haven’t full picture). No hits were , a Bf-110 and a Bv-138 reported. No losses.claimed. Battle with two FW-190  BTW on the previous day the convoy was attacked by torpedo-bombers twice.


I realized they were not torpedo bombers, but I presumed you are interested in claims over any VVS-ChF bombers.
The two Fw-190s were most likely the two IAR-80Cs.

QUOTE
No soviets battle reports on that day and losses. May be unsuccessful attack on a recon plane?


The attack took place at 1,000 m. The reconnaissance aircraft generally flew higher.

QUOTE
The second wave (5 A-20 with bombs, 6 Pe-2, 12 Il-2, 18 P-39) attacked on 12.40. In fierce air engagement one A-20 (earlier damaged by flak) attacked by Bf-109 three times and then land on sea water in 1 km from the shore. The crew (pilot - senior lt. H.P. Romantsov, 36th MTAP) perished. 1 Ar-196, 2 Bv-138, 2 FW-190, 1 Bf-109 claimed as enemy losses.  


The only Boston claimed by a German pilot (flying a Bf-109G) was the one of Ltn. Walter Wolfrum from 5./JG 52, at 10:58, in about the same area as the Romanian claims.
As for the composition of the convoy sorry, I cannot help you. However, it seems that no large ship was sunk in that period.

QUOTE
What Romanian fighter units covered the convoys off Bessarabia – Romania coast?


The 46th Fighter Squadron (from the same 4th Fighter Group) was based at Cetatea Alba/Belgorod and flew missions mainly over sea off the Bessarabian coast and probably also in the Odessa area. The 49th Fighter Squadron was deployed in forward position at Yevpatoria and covered the last part of the trip from Constanta or Sulina to Sevastopol. The third squadron of the 4th Fighter Group (the 45th) was at Targsor, in the Ploesti area and claimed 4 B-24s during Operation Tidal Wave on 1 August 1943.

At Mamaia, near Constanta was also based the 52nd Fighter Squadron, which had the mission to defend the port and the railway bridge over the Danube.

QUOTE
What do you know about losses of Romanian fighters in engagements with the soviet torpedo-bombers?


From what I read, none were lost to Soviet torpedo-bombers. I will signal the topic to mr. Cicos. He can give you more details, I hope.

QUOTE
I have the Nicolae Koslinski and Raymond Stanescu’s book, but unfortunately can’t read it due to the language obstacle. Could you please to translate some pages with the description of 28.9.43 Konstanza action for me?


That is the subject for another topic. :)
Here: http://www.worldwar2.ro/forum/viewtopic.php?t=926

In the meantime the drawing at page 118 depicts the attack.
Btw, it seems I may have been wrong. The book mentions a fourth bomber as probably shot down by fighters from Mamaia (52nd Squadron). Some 15 km E of Constanta.
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Miroslav Morozov
Posted: March 31, 2004 05:59 pm
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Thank you, Victor!

What do you know regarding claims of 45th, 46th and 52nd squadrons? What do you know regarding claims of Romanian night fighters over Constanta on 19-24/8/1944?

Regards,
Miroslav
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Dénes
Posted: April 01, 2004 12:43 am
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The Rumanian night fighters did not claim any air-to-air victory during W.W. 2. There were solely Luftwaffe units, which operated during the night over Rumania.

For the period you mentioned I found only one night victory, claimed by the Luftwaffe Major Herbert Lütje over a 'DB-3' during the night of 22 Aug. 1944, at 01.05 a.m.

However, there were several very powerful daylight VVS attacks against Constanta Port and surrounding areas between Aug. 20-24, 1944, which caused significant losses in Rumanian ships.
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Miroslav Morozov
Posted: April 01, 2004 04:49 pm
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Hello, Dénes!

My question based on the memories of V. Minakov - one of the pilots of 5th GMTA, which met on November, 1944 at Mamaia an unknown Romanian night fighter pilot, which said that he achieved four night victories over Constanta. 5th GMTAP lost (MIA) four torpedo-bombers DB-3f in night sorties:
7.8.44 maj Darjin crew - commander of 3/5th GMTAP
20.8.44 capt. Chuprov crew - commander of 1/5th GMTAP
20.8.44 capt. Bublikov crew
22.8.44 capt. Alfimov crew

This was one of the worst period in the regiment's history.
May be you know another reasons for this losses?

Regards,
Miroslav
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Victor
Posted: April 02, 2004 09:05 am
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Early on 24 August 1944 a Bf-109E of the 52nd Fighter Squadron claimed a Pe-2 near Constanta.

During that period, the 4th Fighter Group was involved on the front in Moldavia.
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Dénes
Posted: April 02, 2004 01:58 pm
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[quote]Early on 24 August 1944 a Bf-109E of the 52nd Fighter Squadron claimed a Pe-2 near Constanta.[/quote]
I knew that Lt. av. Stefan Florescu, who shot down a Pe-2 on August 24 - most probably the last air-to-air 'kill' of a Bf 109E - was part of Esc. 53 vân. It's said that only days later, he was intensely sought for by the Soviet KGB for his last act of defiance. However, his colleagues hid him until the threat diminished.
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Victor
Posted: April 03, 2004 08:29 am
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53rd Squadron? :?
Wasn't the Bf-109E equipped 52nd Sqauadron based at Mamaia?
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Petre
Posted: April 02, 2016 08:09 am
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War Diary of (german) Admiral, Black Sea

12 june 1943
At 12.40 off Eupatoria, 5 russian bombers attacked the convoy „Birgit" and "Helvetia", which was proceeding from Sevastopol to Sulina escorted by 2 romanian gunboats and 2 MFPs.
Steamship "Birgit" was hit by 2 bombs and she sank at 13.05. The crew was rescued by the escort vessels. During the attack, romanian fighters were with the convoy, but no planes were reported to have been shot down.
Commander Convoys and Escorts Black Sea has been informed that in the future, Commander Naval Air Black Sea(?) will also, if possible, detail German fighters to protect valuable convoys, since romanian fighter protection proved insufficient in the case of "Birgit".
Commander Naval Air Black Sea informed that it was planned to transfer a german fighter Staffel to Eupatoria for the protection of the imminent convoys. Execution of this measure was however dependent on the land and air situation at the Kuban front. After the failure of the romanian fighters in the case of the "Brigit" convoy, we must have protection by german fighters.
I therefore told 1.Fliegerkorps and Heeresgruppe A that, in addition to being stopped during the full moon period, the convoys would have to be canceled altogether, if fighter protection could not be promised. The disadvantageous consequences for the Army supplies to the Crimea would have to be accepted.
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