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Translation of article regarding Luftwaffe desertion taken from PWE/OSS air-dropped newspaper 'Nachrichten für die Truppe'. The article appeared on page four of editions Nr. 308, 18 February 1945 and Nr. 313, 23 Feb 1945.
PILOTS SURRENDER IN THE AIR
Signals Assure a Smooth Landing with the Allies
It is reported that stricter measures are being introduced by the Headquarters of the Luftwaffe Command West to prevent desertion with aircraft, as the casualty rate for combat sorties has noticeably increased of late.
During the previous year, the average casualty rate for actions near or behind Allied lines averaged 4%. During the past eight weeks, these casualties went from 6 up to 7%.
The commanders of the air units have not been able to determine to what extent this unusual increase is due to the growing materiel superiority of the Allies, or the result of desertion.
It is however assumed that the increase in casualties for combat sorties is largely due to unreliable pilots, who have lately been using a special means of identifying themselves to surrender in the air and make an end of it. They fly alone to an Allied airfield after separating themselves from their group, and then they give the three "I surrender" signals:
1. They lower their landing gear, 2. They jettison their canopy, 3. They waggle their wings.
At night they turn on their running lights, and many also send out an emergency signal, to be absolutely sure.
Following these simple rules is generally recognised as a signal that the pilot wants to give up. There is no AA fire and no fighters, and the pilot can land unimpeded at the Allied airfield.
(Translation courtesy of William Robinson)