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Mission: Not known.

Date: 27th July 1943

Unit: 1 Staffel/Kampfgeschwader 1

Type: Junkers Ju 88A-4


Code: V4 + MH

Location: Gela Bay, Sicily, Italy.

Pilot: Feldwebel. Otto-Herman Thiede. Born in Usedom 01.05.1921
- Missing.

Observer: Unteroffizier. Wenzel Rohm - Missing.

Radio/Op: Obergefreiter. Herbert Schaaf - Missing.

Gunner: Unteroffizier. Adelbert Wieser - Missing.


Not known - Failed to return, all crew still listed as missing in action.

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Young Otto after enlistment into the Luftwaffe.Otto pictured as Unteroffizier. (Koch)

“Sestrières, 25th July 1943

Sestrières is in the Italian region of Piemont, close to the French border and the winter sport area in the province of Turin. The area is situated at 2,035m on a pass of the same name between Val Chisone and Susatal. Towering over the area to the North West is Monte Fraitève (2,701m) and in the South East Monte Sises (2,658m) and Punta Rognosa (3,280m).

On the letter dated 26th July, Otto’s mother had written on the envelope “One day before the last flight”.

My dear parents!

A lot has happened since my last message to you. We have experienced quite a bit and have survived many situations, which we really couldn’t have foreseen. I’ll start my report with what happened yesterday. After 8 missions, we were sent to one of the most luxurious Italian resorts to recover. It is beautiful here, we are extremely happy to be able to experience such wonderful hours. I can promise you that we needed it too.

You can just imagine where we have been deployed and where we will end up. Matters are extremely turbulent and difficult. On top of this, we have been working at night. You’ll appreciate our situation when I tell you full of pride and joy that I was awarded the EK II on 22nd July. Absolute joy prevails over the hard-won successes and over the strength which we have at the right moment to cope with the trickiest situations. The battle against the resistance is truly growing. Attentiveness, ability, good sense and a lot of divine Providence will bring us fresh and strong through all future events too.

To report details of certain events is, of course, forbidden, but perhaps my holiday leave will come sooner than we thought. The drain on our physical strength is extremely high. Mainly because here we aren’t in open single combat like in the old campaigns, but rather our enemy must be fought maliciously and craftily. But enough of that.

In the vicinity of Turin I met the owner of a castle and his family. He, his wife and their son are bombarding me with letters. And it is exactly as they promised – to replace my parents as much as possible. The people are touching. (By the way, the woman wrote yesterday that they are now actually praying for me.) Most of the photos I’m enclosing for you were taken at the Castle P. A nice small souvenir!

You, dear mum, I hope your health continues to improve. Get better soon! Otherwise what are the chickens and rabbits going to do? My dear parents, I’m sending you heartfelt greetings and you, dear dad, stay fit and healthy. And write soon!!

Your Otto

Please say hello to Rehni!.......

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German Bombers attack shipping on the 26th and 27th July 1943 off Sicily- some boats are destroyed in the action.

Burial details; None, all crew still missing in action.

Compiled by Melvin Brownless with thanks to Hans-Hubertus Koch, Dave Kirby, Lino von Gartzen and Matti Salonen.