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Thread: Junkers 88 shot down May 4, 1941, Bourne, Lincs

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    Default Junkers 88 shot down May 4, 1941, Bourne, Lincs

    I am trying to research the crash of a Ju88 shot down over Bourne, Lincolnshire, on May 4, 1941.
    It crashed on to the Butcher’s Arms Inn, with 3 of the 4 crew killed.
    I understand that the pilot, who stayed with the aircraft and died in the crash, was Unteroffizer Adam Becker, who is now buried at Cannock Chase. Does anyone know the identity of the other three? I think two died when their parachutes failed to open, but one survived.

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    I think it possible that the aircraft to which you refer is Ju88A-5 (3358) code V4+35 of 8/KG1

    In addition to Becker, Gefr R KITZELMANN and K FOCKE were killed and Gefr R DACHSHEL was made POW.

    There were three British soldiers, the Licensee and his wife killed and six other injured when the aircraft crashed onto the pub. Apparently when the place was demolished in 1964, a 500 Kg bomb was found!!!!

    This info from The Blitz Then and Now.

    Colin Cummings

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    Hello Tom,

    Ju88A-5 (3358) V4 + BS shot down by W/Cmdr D F W Atcherley and F/Lt J Hunter-Tod in 25 sqdn Beaufighter.

    Uffz A Becker, Gefr R Kitzelmann and Gefr K Focke killed. Gefr R Dachshel baled out and PoW.

    Source: The Blitz T&N

    As a Yellowbelly I would be interested in what else you find about this incident.

    Regards,

    Ian

    PS Colin beat me to it as I typed reply, my code letters are correct though !
    Last edited by ian94avenge; 30th July 2012 at 19:23. Reason: Colin beat me to it !

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    Default Bourne Ju88 crew

    Hello Ian and Colin.
    Many thanks for your quick replies.
    I went to a pub that still stands in that street to do some research (yes – really!) and just about everyone in there knew the basics about this crash which took place about 75-yards from today’s pub.
    Inside there is a picture of the Butcher’s Arms Inn that was completely destroyed the Ju88. Two women pictured standing outside the Butcher’s Arms are said to be Mrs Lappage and her young adult daughter. Judging by the clothes that these ladies are wearing I think it is a Victorian-era picture and was taken some 30-40 years before the building was destroyed by the Ju88. There is some confusion about the identities of the pub landlord and wife who died in the crash. Some sources say that it was Mr + Mrs Lappage but one source says the Licensee was “S. Boulton and wife.” The local newspaper archive report simply refers to the “63-year-old licensee and his wife”
    After the war a garage was built on the by-then flattened site. The story about the 500kg bomb being found is correct, though I was told by more than one source that the bomb was discovered when the garage was having an oil-tank fitted adjacent to it, rather than when the garage was being bulldozed.
    A chap who said he was a friend of the ‘JCB’ operator that uncovered the bomb said that he was sure that the discovery was in 1961 rather than ’64 but I will be returning to the local newspaper archive to see what I can find regarding that discovery.
    There is also confusion about the three soldiers that were killed in the pub. Several sources say that they (I don’t know their identities) were billeted in the pub but at least one person said they were billeted opposite the pub and were just unfortunate enough to be in the pub when it was hit at approx 23:45.
    As for the Beaufighter crew I presume this is the same Wg Cdr Atcherley that broke his back in a flying accident but was able to continue flying by having ground crew lift him into his aircraft..?
    Do you have any idea what the Beaufighter’s serial / code letters were?
    Regards,
    Tom

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    As a "Yellow Belly" in exile I will add the following from "Lincolnshire Air War 1939 - 1945" by S. Finn.

    "At 23.45 on the 4th May 1941, a Ju88A-1, was shot down by fighters, and crashed on the Butcher's Arms Public House, Eastgate, Bourne. The Licensee and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Lappage, and a number of soldiers who were in billets on the opposite side of the road, were killed. Out of the crew of four, one was taken prisoner, two died (one parachute failed to open) and the pilot was buried in the wreckage. The inspection report on this crash reads-
    "Aircraft damaged by night fighters, on fire in the air. Dived vertically, hit a building, aircraft wreckage almost covered by bricks and mortar. Several .303 strikes found in wreckage and propeller blades. Second propeller blade showed strikes of 20mm calibre. Normal armament carried."
    The fighter pilot who shot the bomber down, is supposed to have visited the scene of the crash later, and cried when he saw the damage. The German airman were buried in Bourne cemetery but, after the war, they were exhumed and returned to Germany."

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    Default Witness Reports

    Hello David,
    I had forgotten that someone had said that the visiting pilot cried when he visited the crash site so thanks for that.
    I was told that three of the four jumped but two of the parachutes failed to open so there is another question mark.
    It is interesting that the book says that the soldiers were billeted opposite – rather than in the pub.
    Can I ask when that book was published? I would suggest that if it is quite an old one it might have benefitted from several eyewitness accounts.
    I was also told that the three Luftwaffe crew were later re-buried in Germany but, now that Ian and Colin have supplied their names I can see that they are now together at Cannock Chase.
    Many thanks,
    Tom

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    Tom the edition I have is dated "Copyright 1973."

    I'm always cautious of "Parachute failed to open." It does not take into account the user failing to deploy the parachute or deploying the parachute too low to open.

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    Default Parachutes

    Yes, my thoughts exactly, but the spot where one of the bodies was said to have been found was pointed out to me with the words, "his parachute was spread across the ground but still attached [to him]" though the chap was repeating a story that he had been told; he wasn't an eye-witness.
    There would certainly have been several more eye-witnesses around in 1973 so maybe the book is accurate.
    Thanks again,
    Tom

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    Hi Tom, the deaths of Charles E Lappage (aged 61) and Fanny E Lappage (aged 58) are registered in Bourne district, second quarter of 1941. No Boulton's registered.

    Cheers,

    Tom

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    Can add the probate record for Charles Edward Lappage (from ancestry):
    "Charles Edward Lappage of The Butchers Arms, Eastgate, Bourne, Lincs, died 5 May 1941. Administration Llandudno, 5 March, to George Stephen Lappage, gas fitter. Effects Ł1068 15s 6d"

    Cheers,

    Tom

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