Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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He 111H-16 serial number 110304 shot down over the North Sea 25/11 1944.


The aircraft belonged to 1./ KG 53 and was coded A1+BH.
T/o Flh Varelbusch. OP: V1 against London.


The He 111 had just launched the V 1 it had carried under ist starboard wing and was now on ist way back to Varelbusch flying at 900 ft. The He 111 was tracked on radar and Mosquito HK290 of 456 Squadron coded RX-J was vectored towards it at 04:45 hrs. The He 111 was on a easterly heading weaving constantly and at the same time altering height. The Moscuito flown by pilot F/O F. S. Stevens and navigator F/O W. A. H. Kellett both of RAAF got visual contact at 800 ft range to the target that was now flying at 500 ft. When the He 111 made a violent starboard turn, the Mosquito lost contact and made a half orbit and regained contact. The He 111 was now flying at 900 ft and opened fire twice at 800 ft range without hitting the Mosquito. At 600 ft range the Mosquito opened fire with a two second burst and the Heinkels port engine caught fire. Closing in to 150 ft, the Mosquito fired another two second burst that hit the Heinkel in the fuselage. The Heinkel went down in a shallow dive, flames from the port engine spreading.
The aircraft hit the water and the wreckage bounched over the surface leaving a sea of flame.
The He 111 crashed at 05:09 hrs about 10 kilometers west of Egmond aan Zee killing the crew of five.

Pilot Feldwebel Kurt Hillmann was found washed ashore on 27/11 in the vicinity of beach pole 16 near the coastal village of Callantsoog and was laid to rest in Huisduinen cemetery near Den Helder on 30/11 1944.
Air gunner Unteroffizier Josef Jauernig was washed ashore on the Dutch coast on 26/11 and was laid to rest in Bergen on 28/11 1944.
They have both been reinterred at Ysselstein cemetery after the war.
Wop Feldwebel Ludwig Klaiber was found washed ashore on the Danish west coast believed on 31/12 or 1/1 and was laid to rest in Esbjerg Fovrfelt cemetery on 2/1 1945.
Navigator Unteroffizier Rudolf Martin and Engineer Unteroffizier Jürgen Hauser has no known graves.



 
Sources: Hans Nauta, AIR 50/157 and Kriegstagebuch des Marinebefehlshaber in den Niederlanden via Hans Nauta.

 

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