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Uffz Franz Mörl Pilot 2/JG-27 (Luftwaffe)

Page written for Aircrew Remembered by Tom Kracker, a friend of Franz.

Franz Mörl Secret Interrogation Reports

Uffz Franz Mörl was born 21 January, 1920 in Eger Czechoslovakia, a frontier region of the Czech Republic, inhabited by three million Germans. This region, known as the Sudetenland was ceded to Germany on 1 October, 1938. One year later, in October 1939, Franz joined the Luftwaffe at Straubing Germany.

After completing Aviation Technical School and Mechanic School, he enrolled in Flight School at Olmutz (Cz.) in May, 1940. In April 1941, he flew the Fieseler Storch, a light Observation plane, in Russia, where he flew courier flights during Operation Barbarossa.

In November 1941, he was assigned to Flugzeugführer (Aircraft Commander) School at Prenzlau, and on to Fighter-Bomber School at Nancy France in May, 1942. Here he flew the Arado 96 and the Me 110. In October 1942, he was assigned to Fighter School at Fürth Germany.

After a brief assignment in 2 Staffel/Fighter Group Süd (2/JG-Süd) in February 1943, he was transferred to 2 Staffel/Fighter Squadron 27 (2/JG-27) at Leeuwarden. It was here that he flew the Bf 109G-6 on patrols over the North Sea. In May 1943, he was transferred to Marseille France, however, no operations were flown while there.

In August 1943, he was transferred to Fels am Wagram, near Krems/Donau, where defensive operations were flown against Allied day bombers. After attacking a B-24, his aircraft heavily damaged, he was forced to belly-land near the Donau (Danube) River. In January 1944, he joined 2 Staffel/Fighter Squadron 3 (2/JG-3 “Udet”) at München-Gladbach. On 10 February, 1944, he was shot down with wounds over Holland by a P-47 Thunderbolt, and spent eight months in a hospital. An explosive shell had hit his left foot. This was his first real dogfight!

In September 1944, he re-joined his unit at Bork, to find that all his former comrades had been killed. In early December, without a wingman, Franz shot down a Spitfire, and evaded the second one, which had locked onto his tail. On 24 December, 1944, at 1130 hours, 20 aircraft from I Group/ JG-3, including four from 2 Staffel, were put up to intercept Allied bombers in the Aachen area. At 8000 meters, as he was about to engage the bombers, he was jumped by two P-51 Mustangs.

Diving away to 100 meters, he evaded the P-51s, but light anti-aircraft fire from the 413th AA Bn. riddled his aircraft so badly, that he force-landed in Eupen Belgium, near Elsenborn Ridge, with the engine still running, and before catching fire. The time was 1230 hours, on his 21st combat mission.

An eyewitness to this event, an American Medic, litter bearer Pfc Chalmus Cochran, stated that from his billet window, he saw 'Black 7' approaching for a wheels-up landing approximately 150 feet from the building. Just as Franz passed the building, his guns began firing as he bellied in. This phenomenon was referred to as 'nervous thumb'. When asked 'Why he was firing', it was evident that Franz was unaware that he was firing, as his response was that he 'was following procedure by turning off all electrical switches'.

Medical and Infantry personnel ran to his aid and found Franz shaken and bleeding from the scalp. They said he did not seem frightened nor was he arrogant. He was talking in German, more than likely answering questions about his condition. Another eyewitness, ambulance driver Pvt. Walter Sammons, all the while, took six pictures of the event.

After being bandaged and marched off to captivity, Franz was interrogated on 24 December by the 9th Air Force personnel. On Christmas Day, he was flown to London, and interrogated for a second time on 30 December. In early January 1945, he was interned at a Prisoner of War Camp in Northern Ireland. In May 1945, Franz was returned to London and subsequently repatriated to Bavaria on 13 May, 1945.

Postscript: I had the pleasure of re-uniting Franz and Chalmus Cochran in 1998 after considerable research. In a letter from Franz to Chalmus, Franz was delighted to thank the members of the 9th Medical Bn. 'for their kindness in those dark days, Prisoner of War, future dark and imprisonment, before entering Heaven’s Gate'. Franz and his wife, Luise lived in Munich after his retirement from the pharmaceutical business in 1981.

Tom Kracker

(Franz Mörl died on the 21st December 2009 in Munich. His wife wrote to Tom to inform him of his passing)

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