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I recently discovered a german airplane was shot down over my village in Sussex on 15th Aug 1940 after raiding Croydon airfield. I’m going to explore the area when the weather improves to see if I can identify the exact spot. I am aware that a dig was carried out there some years ago so hopefully the nearby farm will know more about it. I don’t suppose you ever visited that part of the country?
Hi Simon, not been to Sussex alas, at least not looking for air crash sites.
Bf110C S9+TH at Smallbridge? Have a copy of Luftwaffe crash archive vol 2 if you need more. Hope you find the site.
HI Ian, no its the Bf-110 from Erpro210 flown by Walter Rubensdorffer (something of a bomber celebrity and CO of the specialist unit. It came down at Bletchinglye Farm, Rotherfield, East Sussex after the controversial raid on Croydon (attacked in error thinking it was Kenley and against Hitlers orders of hitting civilian targets) To make matters worse the RAF had scrambled Sqns waiting for them so in their efforts to hit and run most bombs and damage was inflicted on outlying civilian factories causing many deaths for the loss of 6no. 110’s and a 109 as well. John Vasco’s books of which I own none of! have some information and I’ve tried getting in touch with him but I’m trying all bases at the moment.
Ok, got it. God almighty, there was a lot of German aircraft lost that day (32) and in that raid alone as you say! Wish I was down south, so much history on the south coast.
Parker has a little on Bf 110D S9+AB and a bit about ErprGr210 inc a colour photo of the emblem of the British Isles in a gun sight. No identification of the spot though he notes debris was scattered over a wide area, which means a better chance of finding the right field sweeping with a metal detector though the farmer may be able to point you in the right direction. Also has portraits of both crew. Happy to get them to you if you need. Let me know how you get on?
Hi Ian, yes it was a black day for the Luftwaffe and the civilian population. But it was also the catalyst to the Germans switching priorities to London from the airfields which probably led to them eventually giving up on Sealion. Quite a few bits and pieces of chewed up metal were sold on a few auction sites a few years ago claiming to be relics from this crash. Before I knew anything about it sadly. Having read what I could from the books I have I am pretty sure I know the trajectory as the 110 had to pull up over the church before flying over the high street in front of my house (which incidentally was the Home Guard HQ/Office during the war) and the pub before hitting the ground. Apparently it already on fire and on impact it cartwheeled so a real mess and not much left after the fire was put out. There is a strange symmetry with some of this story as I also lived in Croydon before moving here.
What’s just as strangely coincidental looking at your website is that I was born in Bury and have also been to Berlin before the Wall came down where I took lots of photo’s of Die Mauer, Checkpoint Charlie and had a great time with my Dad goon baiting the East Germans in their towers. A couple of years ago I went back for a flying visit and couldn’t recognise any of it. But I have a keen interest in both places! I also am hoping to see the Sound Mirrors on the Sussex coast at some time which I thought were unique until I came across your photo’s. Great website.
Thanks Simon, I had a look at your site, stared at the word KEEPITURYENS for a few seconds before realising it was Excalibur! And then I saw a reference to Bury FC; I used to follow Bury home and away. Still watch the scores on tv, still hear myself saying, “We could make the play-offs” every time we win a game… But got fed up with travelling all the way to Leyton Orient on a Tuesday night in Deecember for an LDV vans trophy game only to get beat 4 nil but that’s football.
I didn’t know the attack on Croydon was that particular event which turned the RAF to civilian targets and in turn took the Luftwaffe away from the air bases. Very interesting stuff. Main thing I know of Croydon was the KLM air disaster.
Re; sound mirrors, I first saw them on the coast path around Dover and Folkestone, there’s loads of stuff there too. When I last walked that stretch of path I had little knowledge of them or even their age. Would love to spend some time in Kent and Sussex again, so much if interest down there for middle-aged anoraks like me.
Let me know if there’s anything you need from Parker’s book, I will have a look at another couple of resources but it does sound like you have the story of S9+AB sewn up apart from the location? Most farmers are very helpful, I find knocking on doors particularly useful, people often have photos or the odd chunk of debris and are more than willing to talk about it, even if they don’t recall it themselves, the story is often passed down.
Sucking eggs comment here, but have you been to the local library? Given the exact date, you could look at the local newspaper on microfilm for the days after 15/08/40. While it probably won’t specify the farm, there may well be a photo of the crash site which will help you find the spot. We used old photos from newspapers to help pinpoint the location of a Luftwaffe crash site on the east coast of Yorkshire last year. But if you know it came in over your house, I suspect you have already looked.
Do please let me know how you get on, be good to add a photo here or a link to your site if you add it there for anyone else searching for it.
Thanks Ian, yep Keep it Uryens catches a few people out. Its what sparked my interest in medieval history. Great film especially Helen Mirren’s armour……ahem. I also used to watch Bury mostly away games. The travelling fans were a great group and a lot of real ale drinkers so were the Camra pubs as well at places like Stockport that to be honest were never high on my must visit list. Living in Croydon I also regularly saw Palace (even play Bury which I vowed never to do again because of split loyalties) but I haven’t been to see them either since moving to Rotherfield, ironic since they are currently enjoying their most successful season ever. Getting a ticket is almost impossible unless you are a season ticket holder now.
I’m only just discovering the history of the area in more detail now as I don’t have to commute to London any more. The history of the area is quite rich with Hastings and the Norman stuff but my main interest is Wars of The Roses naturally and where I live there’s lots of evil Yorkist Neville references. At the moment though I’m focussed on more recent events. On my train to London I once counted about 20 pillboxes dotting the countryside and that started it off. We also did a few coast walks along Beachy Head (one of the RDF Chain Home stns) and more recently at a place called Cuckmere Haven (near Beachy Head) which is the estuary. A very flat meandering plain with the requisite pillboxes and dragons teeth it was a potential landing site for a German Invasion as armour would be able to move inland.
The Sound Mirrors at Greatstone on Sea have always fascinated me but access is restricted. I’m still planning on getting there sometime (I have a wonderful set of aerial photo’s my Dad took when doing his National Service as part of a weather recce for the Queens Coronation) and we’re planning a mini tour at some point to all the places photographed. Quite a bit of post WWII evidence now long gone.
I don’t know about Parkers Book so if you do have anything of interest I’d still be keen to see it. I also discovered that one of the first V2’s fired in anger exploded over Rotherfield killing 6 rabbits! and again I would love to find out more although as it blew up mid flight the debris landed all over the place with no discernible crater I suspect. We were also under the flight path of Doodle Bug alley. My main research at the moment is Battle of Britain stuff though as you can imagine there’s lots of stories about the time, loads of records of jettisoned bombs especially. On the local library point I am seeing the Verger tomorrow who knows the history of the village well and she also hopefully will be able to put me intouch with the local historian. Then if its not already been done I’ll probably try to do a local article for the parish magazine and then a proper on-line one too. The farm I think is a private residence now no longer working and looks very affluent with tennis courts and such so I’ll probably post a letter first before turning up and doffing my cap. Anyway if there is anything in that book that you think would help then please let me know or email me.
Hi Simon, I will take this conversation onto e-mail you, will drop you a line tonight or tomorrow with what I have. Will also look at those other resources, might be something else in one or two other books I have.
“so Iâ€™ll probably post a letter first before turning up and doffing my cap” made me laugh. Before now have pitched up at posh looking farms in Cheshire and have received no reply when I knocked on, even though there were two Range Rovers in the driveway and a TV on in the kitchen. Must’ve thought I was trying to sell something. Usually have my camera slung about my neck and wear a fairly smart jacket to appear presentable but yes, a letter would go a long way!
Will be in touch with more soon.
On August 30th 1940 a Heinkel 111 Group Markings A1_CL Crashed in Lifstan Way Southend On Sea,Essex 3 Crew Died and a Lady Died while Tripping over and Passed Away Going to hER Anderson Shelter , Iam Trying to Find Out What Happened To The Pilot Helmut Gall(uterofizier)? He Survived.One Crew Member May have Be mis identified.
Will take a look at what I have in my books, get back to you if I find anything. Maybe someone might see this and get in touch if they have any info. Have you tried on the forums?
Hello Ian Thank you for the Reply Iam Looking at going to take a Metal Detector over to the site though I may not find anything.
Also iam Curious about a Plane a Junkers 88A-5840 Which Came Down 13th August 1942 Shot Down By BS squadron Pilots Sullivan And Skeel, Freidrich was a Junkers crew Member I cant find nothing on the internet but I Have Bid on a Part from the Junkers On ebay
if You want to with a Metal Detector I would like to Do a Few bomb Sites in Essex if you Wish to Take Part One at Runwell Hospital Wickford and A few at Southend.as I Can do with Someone More exp With me.
Hi Paul, couldn’t anything re; your first enquiry. Good luck with the search on the ground, be interested to see if you locate any signal patterns with a metal detector sweep. You are at the opposite end of the country to me, am Manchester way. But where you are is an area rich in WWII history of course.
Hi Paul Marshall,
I can provide you with many details of Pilot HELMUT GALL!
My father was a POW in Canada with Helmut Gall.
My mother knew Helmut’s future wife Crystal.
I was introduced to the Gall family as a teenager.
I knew Helmut’s daughter and corresponded with her.
Helmut’s daughter later married.
If I can make contact with you perhaps I can share paragraphs of details with you.
Hi thankyou a very brave man by the sound of it glad was treated ok.couldn’t find nothing on records regarding the gentleman.I think he was Essen based nice to hear he got to see his family
Has Been a long time since reading any posts have you any photography of Mr Gall ? not a lot of info on the crew on Lufftwafe sites ,Hope your well.
I know it is a long time since you wrote for help. I have an entry in a ‘crash diary’ that says exactly this…
361/W/N5532 HE111 30-8-40 17.15 Next Line…3/KG53 A1 + JL (J in yellow) Lifstan Way Southend Next Line… 2xPOW,bailed out 3xkilled uterofizierPilot- Helmut Gall. I can send image of this if you can get me an email address. 🙂 I doubt it helps any but you can see if you wish.
Ju 88 shot down by two Hurricanes, resulting in its crash near Winchester, Hants, in Battle of Britain. Any photos and details, of the Ju 88squadron and of the Hurricanes etc.? (Hurricanes possibly from MIddle Wallop?). Ju crew survived a good belly landing a few miles to the east, south-east of Winchester.
I am an aviation artist (davidmarshallaviation art.com) and want to paint the scene, which I witnessed.
Hi David, do you know the date it happened?
Thanks for your reply D B. Unfortunately I have no idea about the date though I fancy it could have been early September.
Good luck and thanks again ( If I can get more info I want to do a painting of it).
I’m struggling. Do you have the year? Wasn’t near the village of Twyford by any chance?
Twyford is not far, so it could be the the location of the the crash site. I am trying to get in touch with local newspapers to see what they have in their archives.
I will keep you posted.
It could be Ju88 L1 + BM which was shot down at Hazeley Down at Twyford at 1800 on 15 August 1940 by a fighter of 601 squadron (at the time they were flying Hurricanes though one forum entry on line mentions the Ju88 being shot down by a Spitfire).
It would be good if this is your aircraft as there are a lot of photos of it on the ground, even some cine footage in existence. I could copy across some photos if you think this is the one? The details here are from Luftwaffe Crash Archive Volume 2 by Nigel Parker, published by Red Kite Books, 2013.
I’m new to these sites but wonder if anyone can help me. On March 2nd 1944 at 0315hrs a Heinkel He 177 bomber was shot down and crashed in or around Hammerwood in West Sussex. I have gleaned a lot of information