22.06.1943 2./(F)11 Junkers Ju 88D-1 Wnr.430503 Uffz. Ludwig Hofmann. Location: Flugplatz Charkow-Nord (Kharkov-North), Soviet Union, Russia.
Mission: Enemy War Flight – Reconnaissance.

Date: 22nd June 1943

Unit: 2 Staffel./(F)11 (Fernaufklaerungsgruppe).

Type: Junkers Ju 88D-1



Location: Flugpatz Charkow-Nord, Soviet Union, (Russia).

Pilot: Unteroffizier. Ludwig Hofmann - Killed.

Observer: Leutnant. Josef Tschope - Killed.

Radio/Op: Gefreiter. Helmut Bruntsch - Killed.

Gunner: Gefreiter. Friedrich Arbe - Killed.


Whilst returning back to the Kharkov North Airfield after a reconnaissance mission over Russia. Aircraft attempted to land, heavily damaged, and on one engine at the airfield but tragically crashed killing all four crew members. This was just prior to the Battle of Kursk.

Daryl Goss reported the following;

Here are a few photos attached as files.

The portrait was taken in April 1943 in Bennigsen, Germany.  Where my family was from for hundreds of years.  He was killed on 22 June 1943 after a reconnaissance mission over Russia.  From family letters received around the time, the aircraft was damaged from the flight and was in bad shape.  They were trying to land at Kharkov North with one functioning engine and crashed at the airfield.

His father, Bruno was also in the Wehrmacht and was in a motor unit in Hannover.  As the family had owned/operated a vehicle repair/sales shop in Bennigsen.  Bruno also served in WWI in a motorcycle reconnaissance unit in France.  Friedrich was supposed to take over the family business at a later date.  He was in a signals unit where he used his mechanical background prior to making the transition to a flight unit.  There is a Tresse band on his shoulder board that you can see in the portrait.  He was obviously an NCO candidate.

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The 2 Staffel./(F)11 Unit Badge (Goss).

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Junkers Ju 88 of 2./(F)11 during landing. (Goss).

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Original burial of the crew in 1943. (Goss).

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Large individual wreath's and Sashes decorate the crews original graves.

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Death card for the pilot, Uffz. Ludwig Hofmann. (Goss). The Ill-fated gunner, Friedrich Arbe, aged 23. (Goss).

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Friesrich Arbe's grave, Soldatenfriedhof Kharkov.

Friedrich Arbe in flight gear. (Goss).

Burial detail:

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This crew now rests in the German Soldatenfriedhof Kharkov, Russia. (Goss).

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Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless A R Society with thanks to Daryl Goss in memory of his Uncle Friedrich. (2019).

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