On the evening of 16 April 1945, 125 Wing Wg. Cdr. Flying George Keefer, and 41 Squadron's Sqn. Ldr. John Shepherd and Flt. Lt. John Wilkinson claimed two destroyed and one damaged FW190s near Hagenow. I’m interested to know if these losses can be allocated to a specific Luftwaffe unit and pilots.

At 20:20, whilst at 7,000 feet, heading SW towards Celle, Black Section of six Spit. XIVs came across three FW190s flying 3,000 feet below them on a parallel course, and Keefer, Shepherd and Wilkinson dived on them.

Shepherd (Black 3) shot down one, which hit the deck and exploded. He saw the pilot bale out at 500 feet but reported that the parachute failed to open.

Wilkinson (Black 2) went after the next, turning inside it and sent it down to a field between two woods where it exploded. He did not see a pilot bale out.

Keefer (Black 1) went after the third, opened fire and saw strikes, but could not bring it down. This pilot cleverly flew through his own Flak over Hagenow airfield. Keefer followed him through the first time, but when the Luftwaffe pilot turned to go through it again, Keefer decided to quit while he was ahead and only claimed the aircraft damaged.

Interestingly, on their return, Flt. Lt. Derek Rake stated that he had seen “3 separate explosions and fires on the ground… and concluded that all three aircraft had been destroyed.” This comment was typed on the bottom of Shepherd’s Combat Report but, as far as can be established, Keefer did not elevate his claim to destroyed.

Can anyone add anything to this, please, with particular emphasis on the identification of the unit and pilots involved, and their fates?

Thanks
Steve