September 1940

1 September

The Kommandeur of I./ZG 2 was notified that Obltn. Blume, Uffz. Hornberg, and Gefr. Pietruschka, in an Fw 58 »Weihe« aircraft, had been rammed by an Me 109 of JG 2. Blume and Hornberg had been picked up dead in Beaumont-le-Roger, Pietruschka died in the ensuing fire. [German War Graves information places these deaths at Conches. Death registration cards for Erich Hornberg (d.o.b. 05.01.18) and Siegfried Blume (d.o.b. 25.01.15), both of I./ZG 2].

2 September

Oberfeldwebel Herbst reported that aircraft 4U+OL (3.(F)/123) had landed in Würzburg owing to bad weather and a damaged petrol pump.

Airmen of II./ZG 2 missing from operations south of Thames Estuary: Feldwebel Beil, Uffz. Denker, Knapp, Obgefr. OEH(L?) [Oehl].

NOTE: Spellings not necessarily correct: later reported as casualties were Uffz. Deuper, Uffz. Knapp, Fw. Beil and Ogefr. Oehe(?).

3 September

In what was thought to be a list of losses, the following aircraft were reported to the Quartermaster of I./ZG 2 as escorting Do 17s raiding “an airfield near Cheshunt” [North Weald]:

Obltn. Gottschalk’s Bf 110 C-4, W.Nr. 3120, 3M+CB

Obltn. Müller’s Bf 110 C-4, W.Nr. 2133, 3M+HL

Fw. Wagenbreth’s Bf 110 C-4, W.Nr. 2065, 3M+EK

Ofw. Winkler’s Bf 110 C-4, W.Nr. 3113, 3M+EL

4 September

Losses reported to 1./ZG 2, St. Aubin:

Me 110 C-4, 3M+BH, W.Nr. 2142, Obltn. Gottschalk

Me 110 C-4, 3M+CB, W.Nr. 3120, Obltn Mestner

NOTE: Corrections to report of previous day? Nevertheless, the names and markings are at variance with information in J. Vasco & Peter D. Cornwell, Zerstörer (JAC Publications, 1995).

5 September

At 18.00, V. Fliegerkorps upbraided JG 2 and III./JG 2 for their repeated failure or refusal to send in daily reports of losses and accidents. For example, no return had yet been made of losses incurred on 2 September, even though replacements had been asked for.

7 September

At 11.15, Ltn. Engel reported to 4.(F)/14 (Villacoublay) that 5F+DM force landed at Cherbourg with slight injuries to its crew; 5F+MM was 30 minutes overdue. Initially it was reported that Ltn. Felix and Obltn. Russel were aboard 5F+MM but this was corrected some days later: Felix and Ltn. Diebler had crashed with 5F+DM.

NOTE: 5F+DM was Bf 110 C-5 W.Nr. 2211 and 5F+MM was W.Nr. 2208. Vasco and Cornwell write that Ltn. Goedsche had flown with Russel; his body was recovered near Shoreham.

At 16.05 GMT, I./ZG 2 reported that three Bf 110 were missing after contact with enemy fighters while escorting KG 53 to the London–Tilbury area.

8 September

“TENER” reported that AA fire had been weak, an aircraft (possibly from a Brussels-based unit) was only slightly damaged and could be repaired on the spot.

Ju 88, W.Nr. 255 en route to Würzburg for repairs “after being shot down”. If W.Nr. 383 was in Bernburg, it too should be taken to Würzburg.

9 September

V.(Z)/LG 1 (Rocquancourt) reported that, in an operation by 13 Me 110, no victories had been scored but an aircraft of the 15. Staffel was missing.

9–10 September

An urgent general warning was issued by Luftgau Kdo. Belgium-North France at 20.00 GMT on 10 September. German bombers returning home the previous night had been landing on an unspecified Dutch aerodrome when an English aircraft following close behind them dropped incendiary bombs. These ignited a munitions dump, placed, contrary to all instructions, close to parked aircraft and very heavy bombs exploded (apparently in the aircraft). Two He 111 had been completely destroyed, 7 more than 80% destroyed, and numerous people injured. This event demanded a renewed and most stringent consideration of the locations of munitions dumps on all aerodromes. Reports were to be submitted by 10.00 hrs. on the 12th.

NOTE: According to the Quartermaster General’s loss lists, nine He 111 P-4 of II./KG 4 at Eindhoven were destroyed in the explosions and a tenth was 30% damaged. Yet another of the Gruppe’s Heinkels was destroyed in a crash landing there after returning from its sortie. The bombing was long attributed to RAF Blenheims and described as taking place on the night of 10 September, rather than in the early morning.

The day’s Ob.d.L. situation report gave this version of events:

0451 [GMT+2]: Over Eindhoven aerodrome an He 111 was shot down while landing, by a hostile aircraft (shadower) with cabin lighting and navigation lights set. In the bombing which ensued, two more He 111 were destroyed on the ground and several damaged. Personnel casualties were not reported.

Supplementary information followed next day:

Hostile shadowing aircraft which followed an He 111 on approach shot it down over the aerodrome and then dropped several HE and incendiary bombs on aircraft parking area II and a Flak emplacement. 1 He 111 was destroyed by bombing, 6 were 80% and 2 were 50% damaged. 24 boxes in the parking area were destroyed by fire. The Flak emplacement had to be evacuated owing to 1 delayed-action bomb.

Jaap Wortman however writes (12 o'clock high, 7 August 2015) that the fire at the airfield was caused by a returning He 111 of II./KG 4 which dropped a bomb on its own airfield rather than the »Notabwurfplatz« (emergency jettison site) near Oirschot. After it dropped the bomb(s) it collided with a train while on its landing approach. Three of the four crew members were killed in the crash.

continued on next page …


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