Estonian aircraft used by the Sonderstaffel Buschmann
Four light aircraft of Estonian design PTO-4 (SB + AA, + AB, + AC, + AD);
Miles "Master" (the SB + the AF );
RWD-8 (SB + AJ);
DH-89A (previously owned by Latvian airline, SB + AH);
Four SV-5 (from the 10 planes, built in Latvia );
The Luitwarre was particularly interested in Estonian trying personnel, but the first air unit was the personal initiative of an Abwehr officer born in Estonia, Gerhard Buschmann, who was convinced that the German Navy would support the establishment of an Estonian air squadron to patrol the Gulf of Finland. Accordingly in February 1942 the 'Buschmann Special Squadron' (Sonderstaffel Buschmann) began patrols, and by early 1943 had 200 personnel flying 40-50 Estonian, Latvian and German aircraft.
In April 1943 die unit formally joined die Luftwaffe as 1.SAGr 127, flying Arado Ar95A-1 floatplanes, the 2nd and 3rd operating obsolete Heinkel He 50 as night bombers. In October 1943 the He50s were reorganised into the NSGr 11, adding a 3rd Sqn on 27 December. The Estonians established a good reputation, and on 31 May 1944 a fighter squadron was authorised and ten pilots were transferred to Germany for training.
As the Red Army advanced towards Estonia the NSGr 11 was ordered to retreat to Germany in September 1944. However, widi the fall of Tallinn the Estonians grew more reluctant to fight for Germany, and from 22 September to 31 October seven Estonian pilots flew to sanctuary in neutral Sweden, causing the Luftwaffe to disband all Estonian and Latvian squadrons. The planned Estonian fighter squadron was cancelled, but the pilots were reassigned to the 4th and 54th Fighter Groups (JG4, JG54) where they flew Focke- Wulf Fwl90A fighters, losing four dead. Other pilots and ground crews served in the 20th SS Div or Luftwaffe anti-aircraft units as auxiliaries (Kampfhelfer).
This was taken at Tallinn airport circa 1935 and depicts aircraft of the Estonian Aero Club. They are: ES-RWD, RWD-8, a slightly modified machine constructed in Estonia; ES- EPP, OGL-2; ES-LDM, OGL-1; ES- PON, OGL-1; ES-ALF, type unidentified; ES-AGU, Raab Schwalbe II; and ES-EHA, Raab Schwalbe II.