Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: RAF Dyce Spitfires shoot down HE 111 after attack on German POWs at Banff

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default RAF Dyce Spitfires shoot down HE 111 after attack on German POWs at Banff

    On 22 July 1940 a German HE 111 dropped several bombs on POW Camp 5, then situated in Duff House, Banff, killing 6 POW and 2 British soldiers and injuring many more. Apparently the raider was shot down over the North Sea by Spitfires scrambled from RAF Dyce, Aberdeen. Does anyone have any information on this event?
    I'm currently researching this incident with a view to erecting a memorial at Duff House.
    Many thanks.
    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hornsea, East Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,863
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 35 Times in 34 Posts

    Default

    Hi

    According to the Fighter Command War Diaries there was only one aircraft shot down on 22 Jul 1940, a Do17 near Tangmere by 145 Sqn.

    That night there were isolated raiders over Scotland and Wales, which fits this scenario, but the only aircraft shot down was a Do17 by a Blenheim of the FIU off Brighton.

    Malcolm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,513
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Default

    What is your source, Jim?

    So far as I can determine (but happy to be corrected) the only Spitfire squadrons at Dyce in July 1940 were 602 and 603 Squadrons. The Operations Record Books (ORB) for the squadrons will record their activity on the date in question; unless someone already has the ORBs and can help you, they can be easily downloaded from the National Archives.

    Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bewdley, UK
    Posts
    2,703
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    HQ Fighter Command ORB (AIR24/526)

    Specifically mentions the event but attributes no shoot down to any source eg Fighter, AA etc

    "In the course of reconnoitring raids in the direction of Lossiemouth German Bombs caused several casualties among German Prisoners and their English guards at one of the northern camps."

    The Tangmere Do17 and FIU Do17 shoot down events are described in narrative paragraphs above and below this quoted entry.

    There is a inclusion for a He111 brought down at North Berwick by No.602 Sqn about midnight 23rd (actual time of combat 00:40 on 24th) and on the same date No.603 Sqn Blue section Do.17 75 miles east of Aberdeen.

    I wonder if this could be the source of a confused 2+2 = 5 on the event/date as the grave yard at Leith was bombed on the 22nd - reportedly exhuming the german casualties from the Forth raids.
    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 23rd March 2017 at 16:22. Reason: Leith and 23rd/34th details added
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thank you all very much. How interesting.

    Local anecdotal evidence always had the bomber shot down. Perhaps this was a propaganda exercise by the authorities.

    The attack took place around 9am on 22 June 1940, and here is an eye witness account written by former PoW Paul Mengelberg many years later:

    “It was there (Duff House, PoW Camp 5) that I lost six of my crewmates from U-26 during an air attack mistakenly made by Hermann Göring’s “Flying Circus”. A Heinkel He111 H of KG26, engaged on an unproductive inshore anti-shipping sortie, began its return leg from Britain to its Norwegian base near Stavanger. Under instructions to jettison any remaining bombs the Heinkel unknowingly jettisoned eight bombs into our camp around 0800 (sic) in the morning of July 22nd 1940 killing six U-26 crew members (MaschObGfr Hermann Ackerman, MatrGfr Heinz Heymann, MechGfr Conrad Marschall, MatObGfr Günter Nordhausen, MatrGfr Rudolf Popp, and MatrHptGfr Kurt Redieck) and wounding others from U-26 and killing two guards. I still remember hearing the air raid claxon sounding. I could hear the whistling of the bombs coming down. Three came down in front of the kitchen windows of the large building we lived in, two turned out to be duds that landed inside the building and three more hit behind the building as I was running towards its basement for shelter. I was about 20 feet from the basement door when the bombs exploded and the door came flying at me. Fortunately for me it came down over me where the glass once was. What irony, escaping from a sinking U-boat only to be killed by our own three weeks later. It was just too much. I still have a certain amount of animosity toward the Luftwaffe and anything that goes with it as a result.”

    Interestingly the local hospital admission records and the Banff Register of Deaths record that the 2 British dead and 12 British injured came from 9 different regiments!

    Can anyone point me in the direction of records of the Royal Engineers (?) who presumably dealt with the UXB?

    Thanks again.
    Jim

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,513
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Default

    Anecdotal accounts should be used with great care and always checked against reports written at the time. In this instance the 602 and 603 Squadron ORBs will add more meat to the summary quoted by Ross as regards date and time - and will also record whether or not they were in action on the date/time quoted by Paul Mengelberg.

    That said, if you have hospital details for the casualties do they not include date/time.

    Brian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    287
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Jim,

    I seem to recall there is a memorial of sorts in the house (but without names) but I may be wrong. There are some interesting pictures on the link below, including shrapnel damage from the bombs.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/northeas...00/8370867.stm

    Keith

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Keith.
    Many thanks for that.
    There isn't presently a memorial at Duff House. (I work there part time.)
    I'm trying to persuade 'the powers that be' to erect one now that I have all the names of those killed.
    Regards
    Jim

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Jim
    I have been reading the Duff house at war pamphlet which mentions that the 9th Gordon Highlanders were guarding the POW camp at this time, however records show that this battalion was posted to the shetlands at this time. The POW Paul Mengelberg also mentions that the guards were from Scottish regiments and the cap badge was a fleur de Lis. The Gordon’s cap badge is a distinctive stags head and I am not aware of any Scottish regiments with this style of cap badge. There could well have been a detachment of the 9th Gordon’s there but the timeline coincides with the highland division being lost at St. Valery shortly after Dunkirk so there may well been a lot of reforming of units with personnel being brought together from various units. You mentioned that the Banff hospital records showed that the dead and wounded came from 9different British regiments. Is it possible you could share this information with me so I may possibly be able to identify the cap badge mr Mengelberg was referring to.

    thanks

    mark

Posting Permissions

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