Luftwaffe Ju88

 

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4/KG30 Junkers Ju88A-14 4D+FM, believed to be representative colour scheme as of 24 April 1944

NOTE: Much of the information on this page is collated from (or was prompted by) John Penny's superb Luftwaffe over the Bristol Area pages.  He has also provided generous help and advice by email. To him, my very grateful thanks.

We moved to Hill Deverill, near Warminster, Wiltshire, in the middle of 2001.  In early 2004, the local newspaper (Warminster Journal) happened to mention the reminiscences of a local resident who had witnessed the crash of "a German bomber" during the Second World War on a farm only a hundred yards or so from our house .  Obviously, as total aviation nut and now local resident myself, I was intrigued - so I began to do some investigation.  The following is what I have found so far:

23/24.04.44: Target Bristol: II/KG 30.
Ju 88A-14, Wnr.144501, 4D+FM of 4/KG 30

Uffz. Rudolf Detering (F) POW injured
Uffz. Johann Agten (B) POW injured
Uffz. Walter Kempter (Bf) POW
Uffz. Helmut Trauwald (Bs) killed

This aircraft loaded with 2 x AB 500* and 10 x 50 kg Phosphorous Incendiary Bombs (I/Bs) was shot down en-route for Bristol by Sqn Ldr E.G. Barwell DFC and Flt Lt D.A. Haigh in a Mosquito NF Mk.XVII (serial HK355, code "VA - T") of 125 Squadron (RAF Hurn).  Barwell's after action report can be read here. Interception took place 4 miles South of Melksham,  Wilts. The Junkers 88 crashed at Manor Farm, Hill Deverill, Wiltshire, at 02.10 hrs.

Helmut Trauwald is buried at Haycombe Cemetery, Bath.

Click here to listen to Barwell's reminiscence of the combat, recorded in 1987. (289kb MP3 file)

Click on picture below for more information:

Sqn Ldr Eric Barwell DFC

 

 

 

Flt Lt David Haigh

 

125 Sqn Mosquito NF Mk. XVII

* John Penny's site suggests 1 x AB1000, but see RAF Intelligence Report quoted later.

Quick Navigation of this page:

Overview of the intended raid on Bristol docks

RAF Intelligence Report on the crash site

RAF Intelligence Report on the Raid

46th Anti-Aircraft Brigade (Bristol) Report

Contemporary local press report

Junkers 88 Markings

Incendiary Bombs

Sources and Related Links

PRINCIPAL LUFTWAFFE RANKS - NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS

Unteroffizier (Uffz.) = Corporal

LUFTWAFFE AIRCREW CATEGORIES

Flugzeugführer (F) Pilot
Beobachter (B) Observer (Navigator/Bomb Aimer)
Bordfunker (Bf) Wireless (W/T) Operator
Bordschütze (Bs)

Gunner

Overview of the intended raid on Bristol docks

...the harbour installations at Bristol were again the target on the night of April 23rd, while in parallel an attack against night fighter airfields in the Bristol area was also to be carried out by the Me 410s of I/KG 51.
The raiders, probably drawn from I, II and III/KG 2, I, II and III/KG 6, II and III/KG 30, I and III/KG 54, I/KG 66, I/KG 100, together with the Ju88s of the operational training unit IV/KG 101, were to converge on Guernsey before making for the Initial Point at the mouth of the River Usk, and the second turning point near Chepstow. From here the final approach to Bristol was to be from the north, the target being marked by a square of red and white flares at the start of the attack. Over the target area there was a 16 kph south-west wind and 5/10ths cloud at 900 metres, but ground mist reduced visibility to 800 metres

Intended route of raid, Paris Orly → Bristol Docks

RED ARROW: Crash Site BLUE ARROW: RAF Hurn, Mosquito base

To aid navigation during the raid the pathfinders of 1/KG 66 employed Y-Verfahren which was operational from 23.45 to 02.45 hrs from St.Valery. In addition the Knickebein transmitters at Cherbourg West, Caen, and Morlaix were also in use, and Düppel* was dropped in an attempt to jam the British Radar system. It first fell at about 01.25 hrs over the coast near Portland, but eventually built up overland forming extensive areas of about 20 miles radius.


A total of 117 aircraft were dispatched, of which 93 reported over the City, claiming to have dropped 59.3 tonnes of H.E. and 79.4 tonnes of IBs on target. Once again, however, not one bomb actually fell on Bristol, the majority being scattered throughout Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, and East Somerset, the nearest to Bristol having landed at Batheaston at 02.05 hrs. German losses for this attack were again very high. A total of 10 aircraft failed to return resulting in the deaths of 39 crewmen, with 3 more being taken prisoner, 2 of them injured. In addition a further 4 aircraft crashed in France killing 5 and injuring another 6 men.
 

Unfortunately detailed German records for 1944 have not survived, but it is known that II/KG 30 operated that night from Orly airfield near Paris, and the RAF 's "Y" Service intercepted radio messages from the Gruppe indicating that between 01.45 and 03.45 hrs aircraft from the unit were attempting to
return to Orly, with D/F fixes being obtained from Rennes, Zandvoort, and Villacoublay, near Paris.

*  "Düppel" = Anti-radar metal foil. Named after the Düppel Estate near Berlin where it was first tested - similar to Allied "Window" (see reference thus in RAF Intelligence report later)

RAF Intelligence Report on the crash site

...the Intelligence Report on the crash, which is in the Public Record Office (now National Archives) at Kew.

AIR 40/45 - Intelligence Reports - Enemy Aircraft Shot Down in the UK

Report 8/125

4/KG 30, Junkers Ju 88, 23.4.44. Crashed Manor Farm, Hill Deverill, Warminster, Wiltshire

This aircraft was attacked by a night fighter as the result of which it caught fire and then exploded in mid-air, wreckage being scattered over a very wide area. Crashed 02.10 hrs.

Distinguishable markings: 4D+FM, call sign BM+BY, Wnr. 0144501. Upper surfaces mottled greenish grey, under surfaces sprayed black, Jumo engines 211J, both buried.

Armament - One MG 81 ventral, two MG 81's dorsal. Two separate belts filled with loading order of 4 AP, 1 AP/T, 1 API, 2 AP, 2 AP/T, 2 API*. Bomb load according to POW was canisters of two AB 500 incendiary containers, and filled with ordinary 1BL incendiaries, the other filled with incendiaries having explosive noses (1BFN). Also 10 x 50 kg phosphorus incendiaries.

Internal equipment - instruments all disintegrated, but remains of B2A dive bombing equipment found. Radio equipment FuG 101A; PEV 5 and EBL1. Balloon cable cutter fitted to leading edge of main plane. De-icing by hot air. Crew of 4, 1 dead, 3 POW.

*Assumed that "AP" = Armour Piercing; "AP/T" = Armour Piercing/Tracer; "API" = Armour Piercing Incendiary.

RAF Intelligence Report on the Raid

The RAF Intelligence Report described the raid as follows:-

At 00.55 hrs the first of about 60 aircraft appeared over the Cherbourg area, to be followed shortly after by the remainder which came up from the Channel Islands/Cherbourg area, all flying in a northerly direction at between 8,000 and 25,000 feet. The main body crossed the coast between Portland Bill and Swanage, the first coming in over Weymouth Bay at about 01.35 hrs at 8000 feet. They subsequently operated in a scattered fashion, mainly over areas of Dorset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire at between 8,000 and 20,000 feet. Isolated raids penetrated to the Cardiff and Swansea area, while some five aircraft operated off and over the Dartmouth/Exmouth area.

The enemy aircraft returned over the Dorset coast with the exception of a single aircraft which flew over Tangmere, and out over Ford. Bombs were dropped at a few points causing slight damage and no casualties. The country was clear by 02.45 hrs, and all action had ceased by 02.55 hrs.

The leading aircraft made landfall west of St Alban's Head at 01.28 hrs, and after sowing "Window" returned south after a brief penetration, while the main body followed on a front between Bridport and Portland. These operated in scattered fashion over Dorset, Wiltshire and the borders of Hampshire and Somerset, with some concentration in the Poole area. Five aircraft penetrated to the Dartmouth/Exmouth area and one operated over Bristol. The majority returned on reciprocal courses, but three re-crossed over Portland. The country was clear by 02.45 hrs.

Incendiary bombs and high explosives in the Bournemouth/Poole/Wareham area. An HE on the USA Camp at Lychett Minster. Scattered bombing at Batheaston (01.55 hrs), Wimborne, Yeovil and Weymouth.

46th Anti-Aircraft Brigade (Bristol) Report

The local (Bristol area) 46th AA Brigade also wrote a report:-

At 01.16 hrs a mass raid was reported in the English Channel moving north and north-east. One target was picked up and engaged by Bristol HAA with 28 rounds of 3.7 inch. One HE and 1 incendiary container reported at Batheaston. Operations ceased at 02.50 hrs. 60 plus aircraft through the area, but "Window" suspected and only one target was picked up and engaged.

01.16 hrs. Bristol called in to plot mass raids of 100 + and 70 +reported in the English Channel, mostly north and north-east from the Cherbourg area, many making landfall on a wide front between Holton Heath and Bournemouth. 60+ plotted through the Bristol GDA flying in a northerly direction. They returned on reciprocal courses at between 15 and 25,000 feet.

01.26 hrs "Operations Commence" ordered. 01.47 hrs "Attack in Progress".

Weather: 5/10 cloud at 3000 feet, ground mist with visibility down to ½ mile, wind south westerly, 10 mph.

 

Press Report

Following a visit to Warminster Library, I found (on microfiche) a copy of the local newspaper recording the crash.  It is interesting to note the complete absence of any identifying geographical information.

Warminster Journal
Friday 28 April 1944, p3

THREE NAZI AIRMEN CAPTURED
________________

Escaped from a blazing plane in the South Country
________________

Three of the crew of a German JU 88, brought down near a village in the South West during a raid early on Monday morning were captured the same day. One
[1] was found dead nearby by a member of the NFS (Fireman J. House[2]). The plane was one of five shot down when enemy raiders switched their attack to the South and South West coasts, although the enemy radio gave the announcement that the object of the attack was Bristol.

The first of three Germans surrendered to Major Fane when he awoke the household at three o'clock in the morning. He was bleeding profusely from wounds and his injuries included a broken arm. Three miles away another surrendered to Mr Philip Burt, a Home Guardsman. That there was something amiss was notified by a Spaniel dog barking frantically, and when Mr Burt made his investigation he found the wounded airman lying beside his parachute. He had injuries to his foot.
The third of the three who escaped was found near Mr Pinninger's farm. He was more fortunate than his comrades, having escaped injury in his hurried descent from the burning plane
[3].

Meanwhile the NFS were doing excellent work in quelling an outbreak of fire caused by falling phosphorous bombs
[4] on a farm occupied by Captain Booth. A house in the village had a miraculous escape, the plane passing over within a few feet and crashed nearby. A 70-ton straw rick was completely "gutted," having been destroyed in about half an hour. The plane itself was a burning furnace but this was controlled by means of a mobile dam using foam.

It was indeed fortunate that the village was spared the horror of total destruction which might easily have happened had the plane fallen in the midst of the houses.

A warning not to tamper with bombs or any other object found on the ground after an air raid has been made in an announcement by the Ministry of Home Security.

Occupiers of land should report at once the finding of small
[5] fire bombs or of suspicious holes to a Warden or the police. Reporting the find of bombs is a legal obligation and it is an offence not to report.

The public are also asked to warn the children not to tamper or handle ammunition which might be found after a crash as it is an extremely dangerous practice.
________________

Notes:
[1]        Uffz. Helmut Trauwald (Gunner), who is buried in a cemetery at Bath.
[2]        It was a January 2004 Warminster Journal article on the 65th Wedding Anniversary of John House, and which mentioned this event in his life, that set me on the trail that led to these web pages.

[3]        Presumably Uffz. Walter Kempter (the Wireless Operator), who in other sources (via John Penny) was reported to be uninjured.
[4]        Corresponds with bomb load of aircraft as as reported in RAF Intelligence Report and as researched by John Penny.
[5]        "Small": Corresponds with incendiaries being of the 1BL/1BFN and 50kg types as reported in RAF Intelligence Report.

AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION MARKINGS

Bomber, Heavy Fighter (Zerstörer) and Reconnaissance units identified their aircraft by a four character coding system painted on the fuselage sides. The first two characters, to the left of the fuselage cross, were an arbitary identification code peculiar to each Geschwader or independent Gruppe. The third character was the individual aircraft identification letter, and the fourth and final letter in the code identified the Staffel according to a rigid sequence. For example an He 111 coded G1+AH :- The G1 to the left of the fuselage cross was the code for KG 55, while the H on the extreme right indicated that the aircraft belonged to the 1st Staffel (of the 1st Gruppe). The A was the identification letter of the individual aircraft within the Staffel. In addition all aircraft carried throughout their lives their own individual Werk Nummer (Wnr.) or airframe serial number which had been allocated by the manufacturer.

As the Intelligence Report on the wreckage of 4D+FM makes no mention of any outline colour, it is reasonable to assume the letters were in black, or perhaps grey which was often used in 1944. The side codes by 1944 often had the last two letters five times the size of the Geschwarer code ie 4D+FM.

Prop spinners at this period often had two narrow coloured bands around them in the Staffel colour, (ie white for 4 Staffel).
 

KG30 "Adler" emblem on nose (assume both sides), with white background - again for 4 Staffel.


        

 

Here is a picture of one of the I./KG 54 Ju 88s lost on 27/28 March on an earlier Operation Steinbeck Bristol raid. This is B3 + FK. (From an article by Ken Wakefield that appeared in Aviation News in 1990). Pic via radio operator Uffz. Rudolf Tiesmann (far right). In the course of that night's raid a total of 19 crew members were captured after bailing out, the highest total since the summer of 1941. According to Wakefield writing in AFB's "The Blitz" apparently not a single bomb fell on Bristol itself or the docks area that night (an important centre in the pre-D Day build up of US forces in the UK).

The "Wellenmuster" camouflage scheme, an example of which is evident on this aircraft, may be the source of the description of the Hill Deverill aircraft's "mottled greenish grey" scheme given in the RAF Intelligence Report.

INCENDIARY BOMBS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN CARRIED

B1 Series (1 kg. & 1.3 kg.) Incendiary Bombs

Over-All Length: 13.54 in.
Body Length: 9.75 in.
Body Diameter: 2.0 in.
 
Wall Thickness: 3/8 in.
Tail Length: 4.75 in.
Tail Width: 2.0 in.
 

CONSTRUCTION: The body is a cylindrical alloy casting threaded internally at the nose to receive the fuse holder and fuse. The after body is tapered to receive the sheet metal, three-fined drum-shrouded tail assembly. The 1.3-kg and 1-kg bombs are identical except that the nose of the former is made of steel, while that of the latter is of light alloy.
SUSPENSION: These bombs are carried in a number of different sizes and types of construction.
COLOR AND MARKINGS: The bomb is unpainted magnesium; the tail is dark green. The B1EZA and the B1.3EZA may have a red A stencilled on the nose and probably will have a Z stamped on the body near the tail. The B1EZB and the B1.3EZB may have a red B stencilled on the nose and a Z stamped on the body near the tail.
REMARKS: There are three bombs to each set, as follows:
1. B1E and B1.3E: Fuse ignites an incendiary mixture
2. B1EZA and B1.3EZA: Bomb is identical to 1, but a penthrite filled gaine, threaded into the tail, detonates thermally in about 5 minutes.
3. B1EZB and B1.3EZB: These are similar to 1. but a penthrite filled pocket in the nose detonates thermally after about 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
 

(From http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org) All information for this entry were acquired from Army Technical manual TM 9-1985-2/Air Force Technical Order TO 39B-1A-9
GERMAN EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE (Bombs, Fuzes, Rockets, Land Mines, Grenades & Igniters)
 

Brand C50 A Incendiary Bomb

Over-All Length: 43.2 in.
Body Length: 30.0 in.
Body Diameter: 8.0 in.
Wall Thickness: 1/8 in.
Tail Length: 16 in.
Tail Width: 7.8 in.
Total Weight: 90 lbs. Approx.
Filling: Benzine 85%; Phosphorus 4%; Pure Rubber 10%
Weight Of Filling: 30 lbs. Approx.
Charge/Weight Ratio: 33%
Fuzing: (25) B or (28) A
CONSTRUCTION: The bomb body consists of a single piece of steel forging, very similar to the SC 50 grade 1 bomb, with a single fuze pocket located forward in the side of the bomb casing. The tail assembly consists of four sheet metal fins and a tail cone, which is attached to the collar on the base of the bomb body by screws.
SUSPENSION: The bomb may be suspended either horizontally or vertically by means of a single eyebolt.
COLOR AND MARKINGS: The bomb body is painted dark grey or green over-all, with the rear of the bomb painted red and a red band around the centre of the bomb body. The tail assembly may be painted dark grey or grey-green with longitudinal yellow stripes on the tail cone. On those bombs in which the filling is enclosed in glass, a drawing of a glass container is stencilled in red on the bomb body between the fuse and the nose, on the side remote from the fuse.

REMARKS: Later models of this bomb have the phosphorus filling contained in a glass cylinder inside the bomb body.

Sources and Related Links
bullet Luftwaffe over the Bristol Area, 1940-1944
bulletJohn Penny's excellent pages at the Fishponds Historical Society
bullet Discussion about "Mottled Greenish Grey" Colour Scheme
bulletHelp provided to me by the contributors to the Luftwaffe Experten Message Board (LEMB).  Much of the contents of this page is also reproduced there.
bulletThe Junkers Ju88
bulletGeneral information on the type and its deployment
bullet Operation 'Steinbeck'
bulletLEMB discussion on "The Baby Blitz" of 1944, of which this raid on Bristol was a part.
     

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This site was last updated 17-Dec-2004