Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Ju 88C-6 serial number 360372 crashed in the sea of Skagerak 8/10 1943.


The aircraft belonged to Stab. IV./ NJG 3 and was coded D5+CF.
T/o Grove. Op: Feindflug.


Gruppenkommodore Major Erich Simon took of from Fliegerhorst Grove in search for mine laying aircrafts.
 
Stirling EF140 was returning towards west at 6000 feet after having dropped mines in the sea of Kattegat when it at 01:00 hours was attacked by Ju 88 D5+CF in position 57`47N 09`43E.

Major Simon was closing in from astern and below when he was observed by Rear gunner Sgt S. Etridge who instructed Pilot Wing Commander G. E. Harrison to Corkscrew.
Harrison corkscrewed starboard while at the same time observing enemy tracers passing under the port mainplane.
Major Simon closed further in and moved to port beam low, and W/Cdr Harrison turned port to allow both Rear gunner Sgt Etridge and Mid upper gunner Sgt C. W. Buffham a chance to open fire.
They did so and both reported to have hit the Ju 88 that turned away and was seen to catch fire. It fell in flames and was seen to hit the sea where it burned for some time.
Only Engineer Obergefreiter Erwin Schröder managed to get out of the falling Ju 88 and landed by parachute in the sea and entered his dinghy.
Major Erich Simon and Wop Unteroffizier Hans Vogel went down with the Ju 88 and have no known graves.

A search was mounted for survivors and about 10 aircrafts circled the general area where the JU 88 had crashed and dropped flares while a number of Vorpostboots and Danish rescue launches were alerted.
The rescue launch from Hirtshals was alerted at 01:55 hours and set out of the harbour at 02:25 heading in a northeasterly direction and arrived at the position given after about 30 minutes. An aircraft arrived overhead and by means of flares guided the launch in an eastwards direction. After 1½ hours it arrived at a position where 10 aircraft`s was seen circling at low altitude.
 
By the help of the boats spotlight a man was seen floating in a dinghy in the sea. It was found very difficult to get him onboard as he was suffering from his stay in the cold water and was not able to help. The time was now about 04:30 hours and Schröder had been in his dinghy for about three and a half hour.
Obergefreiter Erwin Schröder was in a rather bad state and was handed over to a Vorpostboot.

The search for the two remaining flyers continued until 07:30 hours in the morning when all aircrafts and ships returned to base.
 
 


                            (WASt)

Erich Simon
 


Sources: RL 2 III/1194, WASt, AS 52-249, Flugbuch Uffz Heinz Philipp 12/NJG 3, AIR 50/219, AIR27/1003, Journal of Hirtshals Recue launch, VDK.

 

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