Header by Dan Taylor

Thanks to David E. Brown and Gordon for some of the information on this page, their contributions to the Luftwaffe Discussion Group provided the basis for this page.

This page is dedicated to the surrender of Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Kommodore of Schlachtgeschwader 2, at Kitzingen on 8 May 1945, the final day of the war in Europe. The surrender is quite relevent to the FW 190, because accompanying Rudel's Ju 87 G-2 - along with some other Ju 87s - were a number of FW 190s.

The Surrender of S.G. 2, 8 May 1945
On 8 May 1945, Kitzingen airfield in Germany was home to the Republic P-47s of the 405th FG, but before the day was out, it was also to be the home of a number of Luftwaffe Ju 87s and FW 190s. Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel's Schlachtgeschwader 2 had continued to support German ground forces in the east until the final days of the war, but with hostilities to cease on 8 May 1945, and facing capture by the Russians, Oberst Rudel and his unit decided to try to reach the West.

Stab and II./S.G. 2 were based at Kummer, in northern Bohemia, I./S.G. 2 was in Austria, and III./S.G. 2 was near Prague. The I. and III.Gruppe both escaped westwards. Although the Stab and II./S.G. 2 had few serviceable aircraft, it was decided to fly as many men out as possible, while a vehicle convoy would try to reach the west with the rest of the unit's personnel. This ground column was later attacked and destroyed, with few survivors.[1] But this was in the future when Rudel led the three Ju 87s and four FW 190s westwards in the afternoon of 8 May. The unit made radio contact with the US XIX Tactical Air Command, and was directed to the airfield at Kitzingen. Allied anti-aircraft defenses were made aware of the approach of the aircraft.[2]

During the two-hour flight, S.G. 2 had encountered Soviet aircraft, but had escaped unharmed, aand arrived at Kitzingen late in the afternoon. After circling the airfield, the seven German aircraft landed to surrender, quickly being surrounded by their excited captors. A total of seven aircraft landed, and they carried six officers, six NCOs, and one civilian female.[3] Known personnel included:

Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel - Kommodore S.G. 2, RK mit Gold EL, nine aerial victories, 2,530 operational flights.
Oblt. Karl Bierman - Staffelkapitän 5./S.G. 2.
Oblt. Hans Schwirblat - Staffelkapitän 10.(Pz.)/S.G. 2, RK.
Major Kurt Lau - Kommandeur II./S.G. 103, RK.
Hptm. Ernst-August Niermann - war correspondent and pilot, DKiG.
Major Karl Kennel - Kommandeur II./S.G. 2, RK mit EL, 34 aerial victories, 957 operational flights.

At least three aircraft were deliberately damaged on landing, with Rudel - who was first to land - smashing the undercarriage and the propeller blades of his Ju 87 G-2. Oblt. Schwirblatt crashed his Ju 87 D-5, and another aircraft deliberately damaged was the FW 190 A-8 of Major Karl Kennel. Kennel wrecked the right wing and sheared off the undercarriage in a crash-landing. Other aircraft could not be damaged because they carried passengers.[4]

One of the Ju 87s, piloted by a Feldwebel, was carrying a female passenger (probably the pilot's girlfriend). This aircraft taxied up to the reviewing stand at the airfield, where "Stuka Girl" disembarked. A third Ju 87 landed just after "Stuka Girl's" aircraft. One of the FW 190s carried a passenger in the usual position for an evacuation, stuffed in the radio compartment - a very tight fit!

The pilots of these aircraft had achieved their objective of avoiding Soviet captivity, but some Luftwaffe pilots and ground crew were not as lucky, having to endure years of isolation from their homeland, trapped in Soviet Prisoner of War camps.

Appendix I: Aircraft surrendered at Kitzingen in the late afternoon of 8 May 1945
Type Markings W.Nr Unit Crew
Ju 87 G-2 'Black <- + -' 494 110 Stab S.G. 2 Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel; Hptm. Ernst-August Niermann
Ju 87 D-5 'T6 + VU' ? 10.(Pz.)/S.G. 2 Oblt. Hans Schwirblat
Ju 87 D-5 'T6 + TU' ? 10.(Pz.)/S.G. 2 Ofw. ?; Fw. ?; female passenger
FW 190 A-8 'Black << + -' 171 189 Stab II./S.G. 2 Major Karl Kennel
FW 190 A-6 'White 2 + -' 550 503 4./S.G. 2 ?
FW 190 F-8 'White 9 + -' 585 584 4./S.G. 2 ?
FW 190 F-8 'White 12 + -' 583 234 4./S.G. 2 ?

Other Aircraft Reported to have been Involved
FW 190 A/F 'Black 5 + -' ? II./S.G. 103 Hptm. Kurt Lau

Further Information on the Kitzingen aircraft

Ju 87 G-2 W.Nr 494 110 'Black <- + -' Stab S.G. 2
The camouflage scheme of Rudel's aircraft, according to B.C. Rosch (ed.) Luftwaffe Verband #21, January 2000, p.1, was a "patched and well-worn" RLM 70 black-green / RLM 71 dark green splinter scheme. The Geschwaderkommodore markings were black with a thin white outline. The Balkenkreuz and Hakenkreuz were the late-war white outline type, and the six-digit W.Nr was in black above the Hakenkreuz. The spinner was RLM 70 black-green with a white spiral, and the rudder had the two white diagonal stripes seen on a number of S.G. 2 aircraft.

Ju 87 G-2 W.Nr 494 013 '< + -' of Stab S.G. 2 suffered a belly-landing at Fl.Pl. Niemes-Süd on 18 April 1945, sustaining 25% damage. Perhaps 494 110 was a replacement machine.

Ju 87 D-5 W.Nr unknown 'T6 + TU' 10.(Pz.)/S.G. 2
This aircraft carried a female passenger, and had the yellow V marking under the right wing (for further details on this marking, go to this page). On the rudder were the two white diagonal stripes.

Ju 87 D-5 W.Nr unknown 'T6 + VU' 10.(Pz.)/S.G. 2
Flown by Oblt. Schwirblatt, this aircraft also carried the two white diagonal stripes on the rudder.

FW 190 A-8 W.Nr 171 189 'Black << + -' Stab II./S.G. 2
The aircraft of Karl Kennel, this FW 190 A-8 was built in July 1944 by the Focke-Wulf factory at Cottbus. The undercarriage fairings were oversprayed with one of the upper surface colours. To view a photo of a data plate that is almost certainly from this aircraft, please go to this page.

FW 190 A-6 W.Nr 550 503 'White 2 + -' 4./S.G. 2
W.Nr 550 503 was an Ago-built aircraft, completed in August 1943

FW 190 F-8 W.Nr 584 584 'White 9 + -' 4./S.G. 2
An FW 190 Jabo built by Arado at Warnemünde, this ircraft had the bulged canopy of later FW 190s. After capture, it was painted with the star and bars, and the 509th FS code of 'G9 - T' was applied. It retained the Hakenkreuz, and was probably flown only once by Lt. Oscar Theis, a Texan.[5]

FW 190 F-8 W.Nr 583 234 'White 12 + -' 4./S.G. 2
This aircraft was an FW 190 F-8, not as previously reported, an FW 190 A-8. It was also built by Arado at Warnemünde. In American hands, this aircraft recieved the 511th FS code of 'K4 -', but was probably not flown.[6]

Kitzingen Photographs

Link to photos and a profile of FW 190 A-8 'Black << + -'

Link to a photo of FW 190 F-8 'White 9 + -'

Link to photos of Ju 87 D-5 'T6 + TU'

Link to a photo of Ju 87 G-2 'Black <- + -'

Link to a photo of FW 190 A-8 'Black << + -' and FW 190 'White 2 + -'

[1] M. Pegg, 'Oberst Rudel's Last War Flight', in B.C. Rosch (ed.), Luftwaffe Verband #27, July 2001, p.23; Rudel's radio technician, Fw. Herbert Fuchs, was shot in the head on 5 May 1945, and died of his wounds on 7 July 1945. It could be assumed that he was killed in the S.G. 2 ground convoy, although the recorded date of his wounding is a few days too early. This information comes from the Soldbuch of Fuchs, via an email from Phil Froom on 21 August 2005.
[2] Pegg, 'Oberst Rudel's Last War Flight', p.24
[3] J.V. Crow, 'Oberst Rudel's Surrender', in B.C. Rosch (ed.), Luftwaffe Verband #29, January 2002, p.10
[4] Pegg, 'Oberst Rudel's Last War Flight', p.25
[5] Crow, 'Oberst Rudel's Surrender', p.10
[6] Crow, 'Oberst Rudel's Surrender', p.10

Further Reading
The following books and magazines have information or photographs of the Kitzingen incident:

M. Jessen, Focke-Wulf 190: Defending the Reich 1943-1945, Greenhill Books, London, 2000

Morten has included a number of photographs from James V. Crow's collection. Three views of Kennel's 'Black << + -' are included, along with a pair of photos of W.Nr 585 584 in American markings (G9-T).

C-J. Ehrengardt, Aerojournal Issue No.4

This issue of the French aviation magazine has a number of photos of the Kitzingen aircraft. Also from the collection of James V. Crow, these photos include: a view of the starboard side of FW 190 A-8 'White 12 + -'; a photo of another S.G. 2 FW 190; Junkers Ju 87 D-5 'T6 + VU'; and a picture of the German captives under guard.

R. Nolte Thundermonsters Over Europe - History of the 405th Fighter Group, 9th A.A.F

Although I have not seen it, this book has been recommended by others. It deals with the S.G. 2 landing in some detail.

M. Pegg 'The last combat sortie of Oberst Rudel', Militaria, Poland, February 1996

An article about this topic, although again I have not seen it.

B.C. Rosch (ed.) Luftwaffe Verband #21, Luftwaffe Verband #27, article by M. Pegg, & Luftwaffe Verband #29

The Kitzingen incident has been covered in some detail by Barry Rosch, Martin Pegg and Jim Crow. On the cover of #21 is a photo of Rudel's crash-landed Ju 87 G-2, with some interesting comments on camouflage and markings. In #27 is a very good article by Martin Pegg with many accompanying photographs. #29 has some additional comments by Jim Crow, along with a further three photographs.

Luftwaffen Warbirds Photo Album Vol.3

A Japanese book which has photos of aircraft involved in the Kitzingen incident. One photograph (also seen on this page) shows the fate of 'White 2 + -' and 'Black << + -', as wrecks lying on a junk pile. This particular photo gives a top view of the starboard wing of Kennel's FW 190 A-8.

- David E. Brown
- Gordon
- Phil Froom
- Bob Hritz
- Neil Page
- Dennis Peschier
- Stephen Osman