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Thread: Maj Franz Beyer opponents on 11 February 1944

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    Default Maj Franz Beyer opponents on 11 February 1944

    Hello,

    According to several sources, Maj Franz Beyer, the Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 3, was killed on 11 February 1944 in an air battle against Spitfires. His Bf 109 G-6 WNr 411036 crashed near Helden, Netherlands.

    Problem is that the only claim made by Spitfires that I found for this day was by 331 Sqn for a Fw 190 shot down (and another damaged) SW of Lille, France, so far away from this place.

    The Osprey book about the aces of JG 3 provided maybe an explanation: it says that Beyer's "machine clipped a tree during a low-altitude dogfight with Spitfires to the south of Liége, Belgium".

    The location is very probably wrong, as Beyer is buried in Netherlands, not in Belgium, but the fact that it crashed after hitting a tree can explain why no claim was made by a Spitfire pilot, who probably did not see the crash and just noticed that his pursuer had let him escape for one reason or the other.

    So my question is: does anybody know if a Spitfire squadron reported an engagement with German fighters over Netherlands on 11 February 1944 ?

    Another possibility would be that the "Spitfires" were actually American P-51s escorting B-17s to Frankfurt.

    Thanks in advance

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    Well, it seems that the crash of Beyer occured near Erezée, in Belgium, not in Netherlands. So I have the same question, but in a different geographical area, southern Belgium or northern France.

    On this day, according to Tony Wood, IV./JG 3 claimed two B-26 shot down at 1115 hrs and 1120 hrs, near Valenciennes (there is no mACR for B-26 this day). B-26 formations were often escorted by RAF Spitfires, so it is possible they were the fighters engaged by Beyer.

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