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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 22388
Last updated: 22 November 2021
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Date:22-FEB-1940
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic H111 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Heinkel He 111P-2
Owner/operator:1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. Ob.d.L Luftwaffe
Registration: T5+OH
MSN: 1594
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:East Coldingham, near St Abbs Head, East Lothian -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Nature:Military
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Heinkel (T5+OH) The aircraft was shot down by 39947 P/O George Victor Proudman in Spitfire L1007 & 90158 Sqn Ldr Alistair Douglas Farquhar in Spitfire K9962 of 602 Sqn forcing it to crash land and the crew then set fire to the aircraft at Lumsdaine, East Coldingham, near St Abbs Head, East Lothian. Farquhar tried to land next to the Heinkel but overturned his Spitfire and had to be rescued by Fw Sprigarth
Lt R E Grote pow
Fw Sprigarth pow
Uffz Berger pow
Uffz Bachman injured pow

At the time, the Melbourse newspaper 'The Argus' reported on 24th February 1940 -' After a Spitfire pilot brought down a Heinkel bomber yesterday he landed close in and took the crew of four Germans prisoner.' The village postman reported -' I saw a big black machine flying from the sea. It was very low and the Spitfire was almost on top of it. Then I heard a burst of fire and the bomber crashed.' A farm worker followed on-' Three Germans climbed out of the bomber and lifted out another man who seemed badly injured. The carried him across the field. They then went back and got in again. They weren't inside long. They jumped out and smoke and flames shot up'.
As this happened the Spitfire landed and the pilot clambered out and raced toward the Heinkel a few seconds late. Flames were rising 30ft from the bomber. The British pilot guarded the Germans until troops arrived and then helped them carry thier wounded comrade to a farm close by.'

On February 29th, Flight magazine reported: '''persued by the Spitfires and with one engine out of action, the German pilot decided to make for land. He crashed his aircraft an mile inland near St Abbs Head. The crew succeeded in setting it on fire. One of the Spitfires descended in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the Germans destroying thier aircraft. One German airman said-' we were shot cown by one of your Spitfires. It shot at our tail and back. The machine gunner, a Corporal, in our Heinkel was hit twice in one leg. We were not struck. We were shot at several times and we had to come down about 1 o'clock. The Spitfire came down too.'

However, another Spitfire pilot, based at Drem, wrote to his brother and this is his account of what actually happened: 'The only thing of interest that has happened up here is that awful show when the Heinkel landed at St Abbs Head. Of course you must have read about it. The 'dashing' pilot landed near the machine and tried to prevent the Jerries firing it, of all the crass stupidity. I have never seen such a miserable attempt at being a hero or something. It was the C.O. of 602 squadron! A squadron leader!!! My my. The field was like a minature mountian like this ( cartoon drawing) and of course he went ass over tit and landed flat on his back like this ( cartoon drawing) and was firmly stuck in the cockpit upside down! Of course the Germnas, being decent chaps, lifted what was left of the tail and got him out, thus saving his life - or if not that, from a nasty headache. Actually, the Heinkel was nicely set alight, whilst the wretched S/L was on the wrong end of a revolver, trying to bluff a bullet headed German to hand it over! The scream of it all is that the 'ace British Spitfire pilot' had not got even a peashooter with him!! A silly man. The King is coming to see us all tomorrow and I expect he will get a DFC or something; I know what he really wants!

Sources:

1. Letter from Frank Howell to his brother Henry, dated 'Sunday'. Henry was my father.
2. http://coastkid.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-north-berwick-heinkel.html
3. http://ne-diary.genuki.uk/Inc/ISeq_03.html
4. https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205075696

Media:

THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN 1940: WRECKED GERMAN AIRCRAFT AND DAMAGE THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN 1940: WRECKED GERMAN AIRCRAFT AND DAMAGE IWM (HU 72687)

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Aug-2008 12:29 Anon. Added
25-Jul-2011 02:47 spazzo Updated [Source, Narrative]
09-Nov-2012 15:33 Uli Elch Updated [Cn, Operator, Source, Narrative]
09-Nov-2012 15:36 Uli Elch Updated [Registration, Source]
28-Sep-2018 23:05 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source, Embed code]
11-Dec-2019 08:16 Nepa Updated [Operator, Narrative, Operator]

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