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Veteran 95th Birthday on 4th July 2009

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Veteran 95th Birthday on 4th July last

 

Illustrious veteran Walter Wilhelm Franz Neusüss, born 4. July 1914 in Hamburg, celebrated his 95th birthday on 4th July 2009.

Walter Neusüss entered the newly formed Luftwaffe as a volunteer, taking part in the Spanish Civil War with the Legion Condor. At the finish of this war, in Autumn 1939, he joined the newly-formed Kampfgeschwader 26, known as "Löwengeschwader" in Lübeck-Blankensee. This squadron took part in minor raids in Autumn 1939 over Firth of Forth and even Scapa Flow, about 14th October 1939.

The next major event was the battle of Narvik (Norway), starting on 9th April 1940, after which the squadron flew raids in the direction of Narvik from it's newly attained base in Stavanger-Sola. On 29th May 1940 in the early morning hours, the Heinkel He111, 1H+FH was shot down along with another He111, 1H+LK by two Hurricanes flown by Drummond and Jameson of 46. Squadron RAF. He mentioned recently the markings on one of his planes being: 1H+GK, and there exists a photo with just these markings. The Heinkel in which Unteroffizier Neusüss was radio operator and gunner crash landed 30 km from Narvik, near the Swedish border. One of the crew, the board mechanic, Unteroffizier Herbert Ranscht had been killed in the battle. Other crew members were, Pilot: Oberlt. Egon Schmidt, and observer: Fw. Harald Lipp. The surviving crew were captured by French troops (as I was told), but were able to escape over the border to Sweden, where they were interned two days later at Sjangeli, being held till 12.July 1940, then returning to Germany. This was lucky, as there were many Polish troops in the vicinity and they took no prisoners, as the records of other losses clearly show.

Neusüss told that he was then posted right away to Kampfgeschwader 4 (Geschwader General Wever), which must have been stationed in Holland at the time, and have taken part in the Battle of Britain. The following year, about May 1941 Neusüss was posted to the Island of Rhodes ( this must have been the II.Gruppe of KG 4 ), from where raids were carried out against Egypt, Suez and shipping on the Red Sea. He must have been on leave in Summer 1941, being depicted on a such dated photo, being nicely suntanned and smoking a cigar. By 1941 he was already Oberfeldwebel.

 

Later he was on the Eastern Front, where at the end of the year he sustained a wound to the left wrist and hand as well as one knee. He was then in a military hospital from about January till April 1942 near Königsberg, Lazarett Iruna, as he mentioned. Altogether he had flown 283 combat missions and was highly decorated. He was visited by his wife Liesel, who stayed with Familie Bedarf in the Kurfürsten-Damm 3, Königsberg. After recovery he was sent with his wife and baby daughter Birgitt to Langenlebarn near Tulln and Vienna, where he was Stations- and Peilfunk-Leiter with Luftkriegsschule 7, and was able to enjoy life in married quarters in the so-called "Fliegersiedlung" until April 1945, when the Russians were approaching. The base was evacuated and the families left first, making their way out with whatever means could be found. Leaving on 2nd April, they arrived after a harrowing odyssee in Hamburg on 14th April 1945. Part of the way had been made with goods trains carrying wounded and refugees, which were unable to cross into Czech territory as this was no longer safe. Some of the remaining personnel of the base were formed into 2 "Sicherungs-Bataillone" to defend the area, and one of which was set in march in direction of Vienna. Walter Neusüss was captured near Salzburg in the last days of the War by the Americans. His uniform was stripped down, losing all decorations, and he arrived in this "abgerissene Uniform" about 6 months later in Hamburg.

In the postwar years he set up a chain of drycleaning shops in Hamburg, often making business trips to Italy to purchase machinery. The marriage broke up in 1947. He remarried in later years, and his present wife still runs one of the businesses. He was able to visit his daughter of first marriage up till a few years ago, but is now wheelchair bound, and recently recovering from a spell in hospital. He still telephones ocasionally with his daughter, and I have also spoken with him several times, and he is still remarkably clear for his age. A wonderful chap altogether. We all wish him the very best and a long and happy life, after what he has been through.

 

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Hi Paul ,

 

you managed to log in at last :)

 

Welcome to the forum :thumbsup:

 

 

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what a lovely story, i wish him well ;)

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