But not even the arrival of the Bf 109 G-10s could halt
the massacre of JG 300’s pilots. On January 14, 1945
during another huge raid over Berlin, Jagdgeschwader 300 and 301 lost at least 90 fighters and 68 pilots,
either dead, wounded or missing in the space of thirty minutes! For Jagdgeschwader 300, aircraft losses,
amounting to at least sixty machines, approached
50% of those committed during the course of the day.
The Staffelführer of 9./ JG 300 Klaus Grothues was
shot down and killed flying Bf 109 G 14/AS “Yellow 2”
north of Rathenow. Credited with 17 victories he was
the last ace of III. Gruppe. His disappearance, coming
as it did one month after the loss of Lt. Otto Köhler along with the huge losses in combat that day - had
a profound impact on his comrades.
In late January 1945 I./JG 300 along with the other
Gruppen of JG 300 were rushed to the Eastern Front.
With the Russians within striking distance of Berlin
there were more pressing concerns than intercepting bombers and dog-fighting P-51s as Lt. Friedrich-Wilhelm ‘Timo’ Schenk, Staffelführer of 2./JG
300 recalled ;
" Liegnitz - February 1945. The Russians had crossed
the Oder near Steinau. (..) When the weather allowed, we flew uninterrupted sorties, up to eight a day
for some of us. The fields and roads between the
villages were teeming with thousands of people, women, children, the elderly, all attempting to flee the
Soviet invasion in the bitter cold. Most of the columns
of refugees were heading for Dresden. Viewed from
the sky these columns of civilians clogging the roads
painted a picture of terrible suffering. The Russians
were everywhere. We flew strafing attacks with variable results - low level firing passes against tanks,
vehicles and infantrymen was no easy task.. "
In March 1945 with just a handful of serviceable aircraft and pilots remaining, I./ JG 300 was disbanded.
The young and inexperienced pilots in its ranks were
encouraged by ‘Hajo’ Herrmann – the creator of the
wilde Sau - to ‘volunteer’ for the ramming mission to
be flown by the Sonderkommando Elbe. The more
experienced pilots had already been posted for jet
training - Eberhard Gzik had gone to 9./EJG 2 in November 1944 and flew with the former Kommandeur
of I./ JG 300 Gerhard Stamp in the Me 262 Kommando Stamp. The remaining pilots went to III. and IV./ JG
300. Both these units were shuttling around various
airfields in southern Germany. Their aircraft – essentially Erla built G-10s and Bf 109 K-4s - all featured
the blue-white-blue JG 300 fuselage bands introduced at the turn of the year 1944-45. Brought together
under the banner of Jagdgruppe 300, a short black
Gruppe bar was painted over the fuselage bands.
Ultimately little is known about Jagdgruppe 300 - it
was 'officially' established through the amalgamation of II. and III./JG 300 in April 1945 and is mentioned
in a Luftflottenkommando 6 ORB dated May 3, 1945.
Ordered to Ainring and from there on to Prague with
stated diversionary airfields in Czech territory, their
pilots flew some of the last – and perhaps most hopeless - Luftwaffe sorties of the war.
Bf 109G-10 Erla, WNr. 151965 (not confirmed),
I. or III./JG 300, Germany, early 1945
INFO Eduard - July 2021