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Alpha codes of combat wings (units) and squadrons

by Wolfram Bradac

 
 
 
In spring 1939 a new identification system for aircrafts in combat wings (units) was introduced. The combination of a number and a letter left hand of the national insignia explained the wing the aircraft belonged to. The first letter right hand of the national insignia identified the order number of the aircraft in the squadron (Staffel). This letter was often painted in the squadrons color. The last letter (the most right one) identified the staff (Stab), the squadron (Staffel) and also the group (Gruppe). This kind of identification was used by all combat wings (units) in the airforce (Luftwaffe) with the exception of fighter wings and ground attack wings. Some exceptions are also seen at the heavy fighter wings.

Please note: the identification code of the combat wing was kept in small letters during the late period of war.
 
 
 
  Fi 156 C-3/trop der Aufklärergruppe 14 (5F)  
     
 
 
  Example 1 (Image): Fi 156 C-3/trop  5F + YK  
     
 
5F = Reconnaissance Group 14
Y = Aircraft 25
K = 2nd Squadron (1st Group)
 
     
 
     
 
 
  Example 2: Heinkel He111  A1 + AA  
     
 
A1 = Bomber Wing 53 - Legion Condor
A = Aircraft 1
A = wing staff (The aircraft of the wing commodore)
 
     
 
     
 
 
  Example 3: F8 + EH  
     
 
F8 = Bomber Wing 40
E = Aircraft 5
H = 1st Squadron
 
     
 
   
 
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The alpha codes of fighting units

 
  Standard and exceptions considering the number of groups:  
     
     
 
  A = wing staff (a blue letter to the left)
  B = staff of the 1st group (a green letter to the left)
  C = staff of the 2nd group (a green letter to the left)
  D = staff of the 3rd group (a green letter to the left)
  E = staff of the 4th group (a green letter to the left)
  F = staff of the 5th group (a green letter to the left)
 
     
 
  1st Group H = 1st Squadron (a white letter to the left)
  K = 2nd Squadron (a red letter to the left)
  L = 3rd Squadron (a yellow letter to the left)
 
     
 
 2nd Group M = 4th Squadron (a white letter to the left)
  N = 5th Squadron (a red letter to the left)
  P = 6th Squadron (a yellow letter to the left)
 
     
 
 3rd Group R = 7th Squadron (a white letter to the left)
  S = 8th Squadron (a red letter to the left)
  T = 9th Squadron (a yellow letter to the left)
 
     
 
4th Group U = 10th Squadron (a white letter to the left)
  V = 11th Squadron (a red letter to the left)
  W = 12th Squadron (a yellow letter to the left)
 
     
 
 5th Group X = 13th Squadron (a white letter to the left)
  Y = 14th Squadron (a red letter to the left)
  Z = 15th Squadron (a yellow letter to the left)
 
     
     
 
 
 
 
  Markings on both sides of a Luftwaffe aircraft:  
  The unit markins were down toned and so hardly to recognice. It became nearly impossible to indentify the unit.  
     
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  meet the author      
 

Wolfram Bradac

     
         
  I was born in 1962 in Vienna. During my school time I started modelling with Airfix kits. After a long break I restarted modelling. My main subjects are aircrafts of the German Luftwaffe of WWII, also military vehicles.

Like most other modellers I stored a lot of kits, more than I built. Beside modelling photographing is my main subject.
  Wolfram Bradac  
  Email:      
         
 
 
 
 
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This page:  ARCHIVE: Alpha codes of combat wings (units) and squadrons of the Luftwaffe
was last modified on: Dec 18, 2000
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