Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: 189 Sqn Lancaster ME452 / CA-Q March 7 1945

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    143
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default 189 Sqn Lancaster ME452 / CA-Q March 7 1945

    Hello,
    I am researching the loss of Lancaster ME452 for a family friend whose grandfather was one of the three crew who survived its loss during Operation Harburg on March 7, 1945. Does anyone know the identity of the crew who shot it down?
    If possible I would like to get some artwork of the aircraft drawn-up. Does anyone have a picture of this aircraft? Was the squadron's aircraft equipped with H2S?
    Grateful for any snippets of information...
    Thanks,
    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    686
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Me-452

    Hello ,

    In the book " Nachtjagd War Diaries " by Dr Theo Boiten & Roderick Mackenzie " there is no positive indication that ME-452 was shot down by a nightfighter.The german nightfighters claimed 27 Lancasters , 5 Halifaxes and 7 four engine bombers that night.

    Regards
    Alain12

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    143
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Alain,
    The rear gunner warned the pilot that a fighter was slipping under their aircraft but their Lanc was hit and mortally damaged before any evasive action could be taken. Nevertheless, as you say, there is no absolute proof I guess as the surviving crew members also reported intense searchlight and flak gun activity prior to being hit. The pilot and rear gunner both survived the encounter.
    Regards,
    Tom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    250
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Tom,

    there is no realistic chance of identifying the German night fighter crew involved in this case. Besides the fact that German records for this period are incomplete (meaning that the identities of a number of German crews who claimed victories on this night are lost), on the homeward route from Harburg some 11 RAF heavy bombers were shot down along the 78-odd mile track from the target to the coast - what details do survive of German victory claims against the RAF Harburg/Heide raids are not precise enough to match to individual losses.

    Having said that, the Bomber Command Operational Research Section Summary of Aircraft Lost or Damaged on Operations (in TNA AIR 14/3460) has a hand-written notation against the entry for ME452 that indicates the aircraft was assessed by the ORS as having been shot down by a night fighter with upward-firing cannon. This assessment would have been based upon testimony of the surviving crew members.

    Surviving German records from Luftgau-Kommando XI don't indicate a suspected cause of loss for the crash of ME452.

    Cheers

    Rod

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    143
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Many thanks for that Rod; I'm sure it will remain a mystery.
    Regards,
    Tom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Dorset
    Posts
    307
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hello Tom,
    Funnily enough I have researched the loss of the Lanc with the next serial number, ME453. She was part of 467 squadron, shot down 4 days earlier on the final Dortmund-Ems/Ladbergen op. As Rod said, German records are incomplete and in all probability by that stage of the war with things being in such a stage of flux, record keeping wouldn't have been seen as a priority.
    However with Rod, Theo and Wim Govearts help I was able to narrow the destruction down to two pilots: Schnaufer or Greiner. Most probably the former because of the brief comments in their logbooks showing the area in which they were operating but I'll never be 100% certain.
    Max
    PS I'd refer you to my website but unfortunately the hosting company has problems with their server right now!
    Max Williams
    www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
    the story of Lancaster ME453

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    250
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Tom,

    while specific details may not be available, here is some general information on the German defensive effort against the Harburg/Heide attacks on 7-8 March 1945, as found in surviving German records:

    Nachtjagd (German Night Fighters): 45 sorties, 18 certain and 2 probable victory claims, up to 2 own aircraft losses (the losses are amalgamated with the sorties against the Dessau raid in the German report). Of these claims I have only found individual German crew details for 16 certain and 1 probable victories and in 14 of these cases, there appears to be no surviving details on the locations of the claims.

    Flak: Hamburg - 29 Batteries fired 176 volleys, expending 5327 rounds. Heide - 20 Batteries fired 106 volleys, expending 1024 rounds. There are no overall summaries of Flak claims, but surviving documents from Luftgau-Kommando XI detail 12 individual Flak claims by 3 and 8 Flak-Divisions and by 8 Flak-Brigade. Lancaster ME452 is definitely NOT one of the 12 that were claimed.

    Cheers

    Rod

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    686
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Hi Tom ,

    Out off the book " Nachtjagd War Diaries by Boiten en MacKenzie , the folowing pilots claimed a unidentified Lancaster that night :

    Maj Hubert Rauh Stab II./NJG4 his 30 and 31th victory at 2055 and 2142 hrs
    Hptm Helmuth Schulte , Stab II./NJG6 22nd victory at 2229 hrs
    Oblt Ruppert Thurner , 3./NJG1 3th victory
    Oblt Georg Fengler , 10./NJG1 his 15th and 16th victory
    Maj Eckhoff Max , Stan II./NJG2 his 13th, 14th , 15th ,16the and 17th victory.

    Regards
    Alain12

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    250
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Alain12 & Tom,

    Maj. Rauh (3 certain victory claims), Hptm. Schulte (1 probable victory claim), and Oblt. Thurner (1 certain victory claim) all flew against the RAF bomber stream that attacked Dessau. There is doubt about whether Oblt. Fengler and Maj. Eckhof really made any victory claims on this night, but, in any event, their Nachtjagd squadrons flew against the Dessau raiders as well.

    In the north, the following claims details are known, as confirmed by documentary sources:

    Fw. Walter Rohlfing - 1 claim (noted in an aircrew flying logbook)
    Fw. Otto Kutzner - 1 claim (noted in an aircrew flying logbook)
    Oblt. Hans-Heinrich Breitfeldt - 1 claim (recorded in the war diary/chronicle of Nachtjagdgeschwader 5)
    Oblt. Rehkate - 2 claims (recorded in the war diary/chronicle of Nachtjagdgeschwader 5)
    unnamed crew or crews who flew with the Stabsstaffel/NJG2 - 5 claims (recorded in the war diary/chronicle of Nachtjagdgeschwader 5)
    Fw. Egon Engling - 3 claims (noted in an aircrew flying logbook)
    Fw. Heinz Misch - 1 claim (noted in an aircrew flying logbook)
    Lt. GŁnther Wolf - 1 probable claim (noted in an aircrew flying logbook)
    Uffz. Bruno Rupp - 1 claim (noted in an aircrew flying logbook)

    In addition, the following claims may have been made, but the information is taken from an unverified post-war source:

    Oblt. Fritz Brandt - 1 claim
    Hptm. Arnold Brinkmann - 1 claim

    In only one of the cases above is the precise claim location known, all the other references either have no other details at all or give the location in very broad terms (e.g. "by Hamburg").

    Tom, the reason why so much detailed information is lacking is because most of the Luftwaffe tactical level documentation (unit war diaries, combat reports etc) were destroyed before the end of the war, either by Allied action or purposely destroyed by the Germans to prevent their capture. What information that remains has to be compiled from whatever sources still exist, including the flying logbooks and books of achievement retained by the Luftwaffe veterans themselves.

    Cheers

    Rod

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Posts
    143
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Galgos, Alain 12 and RodM,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to provide that fascinating information.
    Regards,
    Tom

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •