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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 199647
Last updated: 11 April 2020
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Date:21-SEP-1940
Time:14:15
Type:Silhouette image of generic ju88 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Junkers Ju 88A-1
Owner/operator:I./KG 54 Luftwaffe
Registration: B3+?H
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Stockbridge Road, Kings Somborne, Hampshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Evreux, west of Paris, France
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The crew of a Junkers 88 that was part of Staffel I of Kampfgeschwader 54, then based at Evreux west of Paris. This squadron, known by the nickname "Totenkopf" (Death's Head), was part of Luftflotte 3, under the command of Hugo Sperrle. On the 21st August, five Ju.88s of Staffel I and seven Ju.88s of Staffel II, took off from Evreux between 12.48 and 14.32. The target for Staffel II was the Supermarine Aviation factory at Woolston, while the target for Staffel I was the air-field at Brize Norton.

However, due to bad weather conditions, they made for their secondary target of Abingdon, which, according to German records they attacked "with good effect", and it was on the return from this mission that the plane, which was to crash at King's Somborne, was intercepted somewhere near Newbury, by not one, but two Spitfires of 234 Squadron based at Middle Wallop.

Three Spitfires of A Flight 234 Squadron had scrambled at 13.20. They had already been scrambled earlier that morning. In Red 1 was Sqn. Leader J. O'Brien, Red 2 was piloted by Ft. Lt. C.L. Page and Red 3 by P/Off. R. Doe. 234 Squadron had only arrived at Middle Wallop between the 13th and 15th August.

Although the German plane tried to utilise cloud cover as much as possible, it had little chance against the combined efforts of O'Brien and Doe. In their Combat reports, both pilots claimed that they had closed in on the German plane at distances from 50 to 30 yards. Sqn. leader O'Brien also reported that by the time they closed in for the final attack, all answering fire from the Ju.88 had ceased. This, together with bloodstained bandages on the ground, gives credence to the idea that the crew were probably dead before the plane, losing height and speed, hit the ground at a low angle. The plane crashed just north of the village near the Stockbridge Road.

The crew consisted of:
Oberleutnant Birkenstock
Obergefreiter Freude
Unteroffizier Schulze
Gefreiter Becker

All crew members are MIA. They were initially unidentified, and a memorial was erected at Hoplands, a mile from the crash site in 1951. The memorial states "4 unknown German Airmen 23 August 1940" (which is an incorrect date), The incorrect date of August 23rd probably stems from the fact that the incident was reported in the "Andover Advertiser" on that date.

Sources:

1. http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=9849.0
2. http://astoft2.co.uk/hants/hoplandsmemorial.htm
3. https://www.battleofbritain1940.net/0029.html


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
13-Sep-2017 12:52 gerard57 Added
23-May-2019 19:23 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
09-Dec-2019 11:56 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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