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Thread: Mid air collision or shoot down?

  1. #1
    Alan434 Guest

    Default Mid air collision or shoot down?

    Hello,

    On the 16/17th January 1945 the following bombers crashed in the vicinity of Pfaffenhausen, Germany while participating on a raid to the synthetic oil plants at Zeitz.

    405 squadron Lancaster serial PF 402, Pilot F/L Payne

    434 squadron Lancaster serial KB 850, Pilot F/L Keihlbauch

    I cannot find an entry in Tony Wood’s nor Luftwaffe.cz web sites indicating that either of these a/c were shot down over Pfaffenhausen, thus a mid-air collision?

    Wondering what the entry is in Chorley’s for the demise of these two bombers?

    I do not require details on the crews involved, already acquired. However if someone is researching 405 squadron in depth I am willing to put you in contact with a relative of the 405 squadron Payne crew.

    Thanks, Alan
    www rcaf434squadron com

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hi Alan,

    Chorley doesn't mention the cause of loss for both crews.

    Oblt Kurt Welter 10/NJG11 shot down two Lancasters that day but no place is mentioned.

    So the cause of loss is still unknown.

    A look at the burials show that the crews rest in plot 6 row f and row c respectively of Dürnbach War Cemetery.

    In my opinion this speaks against a mid-air collision. The crews would probably have been buried right next to each other if a mid-air collison was the cause of loss.

    I have listed two examples of mid-air collisions:

    Operation Hanau
    6./7. Januar 1945

    10 Sqn Halifax III LV909 ZA-P
    F/L W D Harrow + T/o 1506 Melbourne. Collided over Oberscheid
    F/S F J Walker + with MZ456 and fell near Eibach. F/L Harrow,
    P/O R C Hollings + F/S Calvert and P/O Hollings rest in Hannover
    F/S A H Calvert + War Cemetery. The others have no known graves.
    F/S J Draper +
    Sgt M A Solomon +
    F/S R W Thomas +

    415 Sqn Halifax III MZ456 6U-P
    F/O L R Belcher RCAF + T/o 1542 East Moor. Lost in the circumstances
    Sgt L D A Mawson + described before. F/O Strosberg rests in Hannover
    F/O H P Breir RCAF + War Cemetery. The others have no known graves.
    F/O M Strosberg RCAF +
    F/O H C Irvine RCAF +
    F/O S W Elgie RCAF +
    F/S N A Butler RCAF +

    27 May
    1943
    139 Sqn Bomber Command
    Mosquito IV DZ381 XD-W
    Op: Jena
    F/L Pilot H R Sutton DFC RCAF
    +
    P/O Navigator J E Morris
    +
    T/o 1915 Marham to attack the Schott glass works. Collided with another Mosquito from 139 Sqn and crashed near Rhenegge, 2 km SW of Adorf. Both airmen are buried in Hannover War Cemetery.

    139 Sqn Bomber Command
    Mosquito IV DZ602 XD-R
    Op: Jena
    F/O Pilot F Openshaw
    +
    Sgt Navigator A N Stonestreet
    +
    T/o 1915 Marham to attack the Schott glass works. Collided with another Mosquito from 139 Sqn and crashed near Rhenegge. Both airmen are buried in Hannover War Cemetery.

    In both cases the crews are buried right next to each other.

    But...this is only my suggestion.

    regards

    Steve

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    Default Pf402?

    I think the 405 Squadron aircraft was PB402, "LQ*M". My notes confirm date and general location of both losses, but no more details.

  4. #4
    Alan434 Guest

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    Steve,
    Reading through Investigation Report I received...
    405 squadron PF-402

    "On the night of 16th January between the hours of 2100-2200 as he was watching the heavy stream of aircraft passing Eastwards over the village he saw streams of flame in the air and a little later heard a very loud explosion. So powerful this explosion that many windows in the village were smashed. Approximately twenty minutes after this explosion another was heard, although not nearly as great and causing no damage.
    No flak or nightfighters were heard and one can only permit the assuption that two aircraft collided in mid-air.
    Evidence to support this theory is quite ample and the other aircraft has been dealt with under Casualty Enquiry No. X.528"

    The report goes onto mention 8 crew men were eventually located from this a/c belonging to 405 squadron.

    Via a contributer to 434 website (A/C serial numbers) I have the Kielbauch crew being shot down with no other documentation yet.

    Thanks Steve for the information, and the cause of this a/c demise may remain unknown, unless something comes of "Casualty Enquiry No. X.528"

    Alan

  5. #5
    Alan434 Guest

    Default

    Thanks Bill,
    I did not have the call letters for the 405 squadron a/c.
    Alan

  6. #6
    Nicolas 405 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan434 View Post
    Thanks Bill,
    I did not have the call letters for the 405 squadron a/c.
    Alan
    Hello,

    The Lancaster LQ-M serial PB 402 take-off at 18.23. Just before, the LQ-W serial PB 530 (F/L McNaughton D.A.) up 18.19 and the LQ-Y serial PB 282 (F/L Whittall H.R.) up 18.24.

    The PB 530 down 01.11 and PB 282 down 01.10

    The PB 402 failed to return from this operation and nothing has been heard from any member of the crew since time of take-off. This was F/L Payne's 16 operations.

    The Wir/op of the PB 402 (F/S Joseph Bruggeman) was the great uncle of my wife.

    Regards,

    Nicolas,
    FRANCE

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