Wodarczyk, Heinz Ulrich.

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Wodarczyk, Heinz Ulrich, born 12-03-1922 was a Unterofficer in the 4th Squadron of the 51 Jagdgeschwader , under Major Rudolf Klemm  who died age 71, on 05-07-1889.  Wodarczyk was the wingman of Oberst, Josef “Pips” Priller   a flyer ace. Josef Priller flew 1307 combat missions to claim 101 victories. All his victories were recorded over the Western Front, and consisted of 11 USAAF heavy bombers, 68 Spitfires (the highest Luftwaffe ace’s tally for these aircraft), 11 Hurricanes, 5 medium bombers, and 5 USAAF fighters.The two of them were the air fighters, with their FW 190, over the beaches of Normandy on D-Day 06-06-1944.   Thus, with a weather forecast for the first week in June that seemed to preclude any possibility of the Allied invasion every German knew would come sooner rather than later that summer Geschwader Kommodore, Oberst Josef “Pips” Priller, the leading German expert on the Channel Front, felt safe in giving some of his pilots time off, sending II Gruppe to Mont de Marsan near Biarritz for a week’s leave. I and III Gruppen, which were based on the Pas de Calais, directly in what it was expected would become the battlefield, were ordered to move inland on June 5, with I Gruppe to be based at Reims and III Gruppe at Nancy; their ground echelons were still on the road as dawn came on June 6, 1944 when Priller was awakened by the phone in his Lille command post. The orders from 5th Jagd Division  under Generalmajor Karl Hentschel   and who died, age 57, 12-12-1956 in Münster, were for him to move the Geschwader headquarters immediately to Poix, to the rear of the anticipated invasion site on the Pas de Calais, since what looked like the Allied invasion had begun a few hours ago with mass landings of paratroopers on the Cherbourg peninsula and inland from the Normandy beaches and he needed to move into the combat zone. The two Focke Wulffs strafed Sword, Juno, and Omaha beaches, while flying through the combined anti aircraft fire of every ship in the invasion fleet, until they ran out of ammo and returned to base unharmed. The comment of one of the British sailors witnessing this; “The Luftwaffe has had its finest moment!”.Considering the huge allied air superiority and ground/naval AA defences, they were very lucky to get away with it, and little wonder they didn’t go back for a second run! This act was first brought to the world’s attention by the book, and then the film, The Longest Day. Contrary to popular belief, Priller and his wingman were not the only Luftwaffe forces to attack the beachhead on 06-06-1944. Both Luftwaffe Hauptmann (Captain) Helmut Eberspächer Helmut_Eberspächer, who died very old age of 95, on 19-11-2011, in Esslingen am Neckar,leading a ground-attack four-plane element of Fw 190As of SKG 10 which was responsible for downing a quartet of RAF Avro Lancasters at 0500 over the invasion area, and the Luftwaffe bomber wing Kampfgeschwader 54 , nickname “Totenkopf” File:KG54 Totenkopf.jpg  made several attacks on the British beachheads on D-Day. II./KG 54, the only unit of the Geschwader to operate on the front after Barbarossa, participated in the Battle of Kharkov (the unit had participated in two of the three battles for the city during the war, in 1941 and 1942) and the Battle of Stalingrad. It reported 32 aircraft losses and 20 damaged, suffered 31 killed, 57 missing and 29 wounded. No personnel were recorded as captured. The Geschwader was withdrawn from Russia on 08-10-1942. On 11-06-1944 Wodarczyk shot down two P-38 Lightning and during Operation Bodemplatte he was shot down. Operation Bodenplatte(Baseplate), launched on 01-01-1945, was an attempt by the Luftwaffe to cripple Allied air forces in the Low Countries during the World War II. The goal of Bodenplatte was to gain air superiority during the stagnant stage of the Battle of the Bulge, to allow the German Army and Waffen-SS  forces to resume their advance. The operation was planned for 16-12-1944, but it was delayed repeatedly owing to bad weather until New Year’s Day, the first day that happened to be suitable. Wodarczyk was shot down east of Wijhe, 15 km from Zwolle, over Holland, probable by anti aircraft fire and he crashed.

Death and burial ground of Wodarczyk, Heinz Ulrich.

     Heinz Wodarczyk, age 22, is buried on the large German War Cemetery of Ysselsteyn , with 29.000 other. Also buried on Ysselsteyn the personalities, Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 526th Reserve-Division, Kurt Schmidt

, Generalmajor der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 376th Infanterie Regiment, Oskar von der Hagen, Oberleutnant with 3./NJG1 File:Nachtjagd badge.svgPaul Gildner, Major, Kommandeur III./N.J.G. 1, Egmond Prinz zur Lippe Weissenfeld, Major, Kommandeur I./N.J.G. 100,

 Heinrich Prinz zur Sayn Wittgenstein, Oberleutnant with I./ZG 76, 24 victories, Helmut Woltersdorf and Oberleutnant in the 26th Jagdgeschwader , Air Fighter Squadron, Karl Willius.
   

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