23.08.1942 12./JG 51 Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2 WNr.5447 Lt. Kamrath. Location: Rshew, PL.Q.4779 Soviet Union, (Russia).
Mission: Free Hunt Patrol.

Date: 23rd August 1942

Unit: 12 Staffel./Jagdgeschwader 51

Type: Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2

Werke/Nr. 5447

Coded: 3 + (Brown).

Location: Rshew, PL.Q.4779 Soviet Union, (Russia).

Leutnant. Klaus-Henning Kamrath. DOB: (13.10.20) – Missing.


This pilot was on his second mission on August 23rd 1942, his plane, a Me 109 F-2 with Wnr. 5447 and coded "Brown 3" was hit by ground fire and he had to make an emergency landing in the Rshew region, Pl.Q. 4779 in Russia.(Balss archive). He has since been reported missing in action. Leutnant. Kamrath had one victory claim on the 18th August 1942 a Russian Yak 4 at 05.50.

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This is an early photo showing Kamrath, it was taken at JFS 4, 2. Staffel. Kamrath is sitting at the front row, No. 3 from right. (Berring).

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Letter from Hauptmann. Müller, on the 2
nd October 1942 to the mother of Klaus. (Berring).

In the East, 03.10.1942

Dear gracious Madam!

I would like to reply to your letter of 28.09.1942 :

Your son was transferred to the group on July 13 and was missing on August 23, so he was with us for almost 6 weeks. In the group's war diary, the announcement that your son did not return from the enemy flight ended with the words: "He was a hopeful fighter pilot and a good comrade."

Your son's relay leader from the supplementary hunting group, to which your son belonged before he was transferred to us, also gave an identical, unreservedly good assessment of your son. I myself often talked to your son and told him that I feel particularly attached to him as a colleague of his late father and own father of four children. In these conversations, I have receive full confidence in the honesty of your son's character.

On August 23, your son flew his first mission from 5:15 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.
He accompanied with 2 comrades a Stukaverband that dropped bombs in the Rshew area.
The flight went without special occurrences.

Your son flew his second mission of the day together with the highly experienced Oberfeldwebel. Friebel for free hunting in the Rshew-Subzow area. Start at 8:20 a.m.
At 9:08 a.m. Obfw. Friebel shot down a Russian fighter pilot. He won his 37th aerial victory with it.
Your son attacked an aircraft belonging to the same bandage and chased it over the enemy line. It was shortly after 9:08 a.m. on grid square 4779. On the enemy side, your son's plane was undoubtedly forced to make an emergency landing by earth bombardment. We can assume that your son is in captivity. The fact that there is a prison camp for German aviation officers has been repeatedly confirmed by statements made by prisoners, it is located in Sverdlovsk on the Urals.
We all believe, therefore, that our missing comrades will return one day. You too can live this hope.

I will continue to be at your disposal at any time.

Sincerely yours.
N. Müller

A letter from Leutnant. Heinrich Klöpper, a Knight Cross winner, who knew Kamrath and wrote to his mother on the 22
nd October 1942. (Berring).

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Heinz Klöpper. (Hiestermann).

Russia, d. 22.10.1942

Dear Mrs. Kamrath.

Today, just returned from mission, I find your letter.
Back then, I was very sorry not to have met you in your apartment.
Nevertheless, I had a sad duty, Ms. Kamrath, to inform you of your son's heroic death and to tell you more about his last flight.

As difficult as it had been for me to go to Eichwalde, I would have liked to do you this favor.
Especially since your son was not just a pilot in our group, no, he was more than a good comrade to me. We often played cards in free hours and between missions, or made it kind of nice, as far as one can speak of it out here.

I can empathize with your pain most deeply, which they get through this message. I just didn't want to turn to you anymore because I didn't want to touch a fresh wound.
In December I will most likely be on vacation to be there when my first child is born. If you find it pleasant, I would like to visit you. As I can see from your letter, you tried very hard to speak to me.

But I drove from Berlin to my wife in Hanover for 4 days and then I flew here from Zöberitz with a BF109 Messerschmitt.
I apologize again for not coming back one more time. I was not afraid of the way out to you, but the pain that I would cause you again.

In the meantime I have now received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and achieved a total of 67 air victories. Also, as I wrote above, perhaps I'm lucky to see my first child on December 10th.

Hoping to have given you a little pleasure with my letter.
I greet you with Heil Hitler

Yours Heinz Klöpper.

Heinz Klöpper. (Hiestermann).

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Finally three photo’s of Klaus Kamrath, one portrait, one relaxing and the other sitting in a Messerschmitt Bf 109. His brother has written this on the back of the photo. (Berring).

Researched by Christian Berring and compiled by Melvin Brownless, with special thanks to Henning Hiestermann for translating the German documents and to Ian Jewison for the additional information regarding his victory claim.

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