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Do 18D werknummer 0737 emergency landed in the North Sea
The aircraft belonged to 2./ Kü.Fl.Gr 506.
T/O Hörnum. OP: Reconnaissance.
The Do 18 was seen circling a steam ship at 200 ft when three Hudson`s from 224
Sqn. Coastal Command arrived flying in a wide “Vic” formation. The leader
ordered close formation and prepared to attack the Do 18. The Do 18 left the
ship and headed west. It then suddenly turned towards the ship and the Hudson
formation dived to attack from 1000 feet.
The Do 18 was hit in the front engine by the first bust of fire from the leader
and started smoking. While still under fire from the flanking aircraft the Do 18
made a good landing in the rough sea on position 56`30N 0`04W at 08:10 hours and
two red Varey lights were fired as distress signal.
The crew inflated the aircrafts dinghy and started paddling away from the Do 18.
The leader of the Hudsons attracted the attention of the Danish steam ship
“Teddy” and led it towards the Do 18.
A life boat was lowered into the water and took the dinghy in tow back to
“Teddy”. When the crew after about 20 minutes had been picked up by “Teddy”, the
Hudson’s sank the Do 18 by means of machinegun fire and returned towards their
base at Gosport.
The crew of the Do 18 were Leutnant zur See Hans Wilhelm Heinrich Hornkohl,
Feldwebel Willy Erich Nasz, Unteroffizier Hermann Alfred Pluntke and
Unteroffizier Alforn Fait.
Captain Alexander S. Meyer of “Teddy” brought the flyers to Rudkøbing harbour on
the island of Langeland where they on 13/10 was handed over to the Danish
When the German crew were questioned by the Danish police, all four claimed that
they had not been in combat with the Hudsons but had landed their unarmed
aircraft due to engine failure and that Hornkohl had fired several pistol shots
at it to make it sink. The British aircrafts had only arrived after the landing.
Captain Mayer could not recognize that story, which he told the police.
Late in the afternoon the flyers were taken to Hotel “Langeland” where they were
guarded by the police. After a couple of days the guard was handed over to personnel from the Danish army based at Odense. The
crew were allowed to walk around town and on 19/10 they were permitted to return
Sources: UA, RL 2III/184, FB, MH, AIR 50/308.
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