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Thread: 218 Sqn HA-K Stirling 26 April 1942 Nightfighter Claims

  1. #1
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    Default 218 Sqn HA-K Stirling 26 April 1942 Nightfighter Claims

    Hi, am new on here, and would be grateful for any assistance as to whether Haisch or Hadeball are likely claimants.

    218 Sqn Stirling I, HA-K, W7506 lost with all crew on the night of 25-26th April 1942. From Marham, en route to Skoda Works in Pilsen. Operation Canonbury.

    Bomber Command War Diaries records that night saw major raid on Rostock - 128 aircraft. Bill Chorley records 4 bombers lost from that Rostock raid - 3 Wellingtons and a Stirling.

    Separately, six 218 Sqn Stirlings to Pilsen. HA-K lost, and other five returned. Other missions include 32 aircraft to Dunkirk, 2 Blenheim intruders, and 5 leaflet flights to France.

    Bill Chorley has HA-K crashing at Hugelsheim, 10km NW of Baden Baden. Contemporary Canadian newspaper has plane crashing in North Sea, seemingly associated with the Rostock raid. Both are wrong.

    Air Historical Branch Casualty record and other associated information records plane crashing at Hueffelsheim, south-west of Bad Kreuznach.
    Confirmed by local burial and exhumation records. (Air Historical Branch wrote saying they would notify Bill Chorley's publishers, but this change does not appear in errata to 1942 Bomber Command Losses online).

    The 218 Operational records show that "[COLOR=#000000]At 00.10 (ten minutes after midnight), just south of Mainz, the crews of two of the Stirlings witnessed an aircraft at 10,000 feet shot down behind them." (I assume this is British 00.10 time).[/COLOR]

    My question concerns different published nightfighter claims, and I refer to two books. (Note - without access to Casualty records - which I understand to be confidential to relatives - both sets of authors would not have known the crash site as Hueffelsheim).

    So, Steve (Smith) in his 218 Squadron history attributes the downing to Obw Karl Haisch of 4/NJG3 at 00.06 (near Rudesheim, which is near Bad Kreuznach)

    I believe Steve's source may be Boiten's Nachtjagd War Diaries, of which I now have a copy. This reads Ofw. Karl Haisch (1), 4./NJG 3 ... a Stirling at Erbes-Buedesheim at 00.06 (to which the author attributes 218 Sqn Stirling W7506). Erbes-Budesheim is close to Bad Kreuznach.

    (One curious point ... I assume 218 Sqn record times on UK system, while Boiten has times as Central European. This would suggest an hour difference between the loss and the claim. Am I right to think there is an hour difference between RAF records and Luftwaffe claims?)

    A different source is Foreman, Matthews and Parry - this shows 8/NJG4 Heinz-Martin Hadeball claiming a bomber at Siefersheim. Siefersheim is close to Bad Kreuznach. He claims a Wellington, but no Wellingtons were seemingly in that vicinity that night. No time is assigned.

    This Foreman book makes no mention of Haisch or Erbes-Buedesheim.

    8/NJG4 (Hadeball) were based at Metz
    StII/NJG3 have a claim that night by Radusch on the Schelde Estuary ... and by an unknown German crew at an unspecified location at 01.05. It seems 4.NJG3 were operating out of northern Germany (Schleswig and Westerland) during April 1942, but interestingly another detachment operated from Mainz-Finthen in late 1941 (1. NJ-Div.)

    I wonder if anyone has any insights as to likelihood of claims by Haisch and Hadeball in respect of W7506 HA-K. Suggestions elsewhere it may have been flak.

    If I can, I will happily give further info to unlock this ...

    Many thanks, Andy

  2. #2
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    Wish to clarify the time difference issue above - as (as many of you experienced heads on here will know), Britain was on GMT+2 during this period. So, time in Uk the same as time in Germany.

    Does anyone know any details about 419 Sqn X3717 Wellington shot down on 6-7 May near Mannheim? The reason I ask is that Boiten's book attributes the loss of that Wellington to Hadeball of 8./NJG4 at Siefersheim. Whereas the Foreman book has the Hadeball claim at Siefersheim as being on 26th April. Siefersheim is very close to Bad Kreuznach where HA-K crashed.

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