Junkers 88 PJ876

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Junkers 88 PJ876

This Ju88 has a famous history. On Sunday May 9th 1943, Luftwaffe pilot Oberleutnant Heinrich Schmitt received orders to shoot down an unarmed British civilian Mosquito en route to neutral Sweden.

Oberleutnant Schmitt decided to ignore the order and defect to Britain. Gunner and Wireless Op Oberfeldwebel Paul Rosenberger was in on the act, but Flight Engineer Oberfeldwebel Erich Kantwill wasn’t. He had to be held at gunpoint as the Ju88 headed for Scotland.

It is understood Rosenberger and Schmitt were already spys for the Brits. Possibly the order to shoot down the unarmed Mossie was the last straw for them.

Oberfeldwebel Rosenberger sent a message to their base saying they had a starboard engine fire. Oberleutnant Schmitt then descended to below radar level and dropped life rafts to suggest to any searching Luftwaffe aircraft that they had ditched. The aircraft was eventually picked up by two RAF Spitfires 13 miles north of Aberdeen, and Oberleutnant Schmitt waggled the wings, fired off flares and lowered the undercarriage to indicate he wanted to surrender.

The Spitfires were from 165 Squadron at RAF Dyce (now Aberdeen Airport). Flown by an American, Flt Lt Arthur F Roscoe DFC and a Canadian, Sgt Ben R S Scamen, the two pilots escorted the Luftwaffe aircraft back to base. They were later Mentioned in Despatches for not shooting down the Ju88. It was a real prize, the secrets revealed by the state of the art radar equipment and codes were invaluable.

see here for the full report;

Ju88 PJ876 is currently on display at the RAF Museum, Hendon.

19 comments on “Junkers 88 PJ876
  1. mickb6265 says:

    beautiful shot,ian…loved seeing this up close..going back soon…gonna do east kirkby,too…

  2. pasujoba says:

    Blimey , a BMW badge , tis too , you can make it out on large size .
    A great piece of history and the first time I have ever heard this story .
    Marvellous stuff , who would have thought it!

  3. redrocker_9 says:

    Great story Ian along of course with the image~

    My weekend is sounding exactly like yours and I and quite happy about that, food, silly TV and snoozing on the sofa!

  4. Tech Owl says:

    That is a fantastic story Ian and a great sense of intrigue is in the shot too!!

  5. het broertje van.. says:

    Absolutely wonderful!!!

  6. David Hannah says:

    Nice story and nicely shot

  7. ​favourite waste of time​ says:

    great compo – the plane is most impressive in this shot and they story interesting as always

  8. andyholmfirth says:

    More shots from that garage of yours ? Ever thought of opening up a museum .Love the way the light just catches those wings.

  9. Ian D B says:

    Thought about it, but I’ve nowhere else for the Flymo. : (

  10. jr55 (John Richardson) says:

    Nice shot Ian, great colour balance, tripod, or very steady hand?
    Seen on your photo stream. (?)

    Seen on your photo stream. (?)

  11. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    I have known of this story ever since I was a lad and have just read about it again in a new book called "The Luftwaffe Over Scotland".
    The capture of this aircraft was a real coup as it was fitted out with the brand new FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC Lowband UHF air interception radar, complete with the nose mounted "Matratze" aerial array. The aircraft circled continually once it passed over Peterhead, knowing that it would eventually be picked up by the radar station at Hillhead and Spitfires from nearby Dyce would be sent to investigate. The rest you already know!

  12. Ian D B says:

    thanks John, had the gorillapod, but tiny little thing, could only put it on the deck, hence lots of probs with lens flare from the ceiling lights.

    Cheers Colin, this your neck of the woods, aye?

  13. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    Yep, my neck of the woods. Dyce is about a 50 minute drive from my home and I have flown from here on numerous occasions. There are still some surviving buildings and tracks visible which you can see when taking off. With a little bit of imagination you can just imagine……

  14. Southampton Al says:

    Brilliant photo and a very intresting story

  15. Never Was An Arrow II says:

    ☆☆☆☆☆ SUPERB FIVE STAR Capture!

    Great historical background, especially about signalling their surrender and the Canadian involvement!

  16. Ian D B says:

    Thanks for the invites!

  17. bill_fawcett says:

    Great shot and very interesting story.

  18. sixty8panther says:

    Wow, that tale is just as epic as this BMW powered bird.
    If it had not fallen into Allied hands it most certainly
    would have been destroyed, either in combat, or maybe
    strafed on the ground by a P-47 or maybe even as a
    Mistel bomb, gutted and stuffed full of TNT.

  19. Ian D B says:

    Thanks Sylvester. Yeah, lucky to have this example on display.

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