At 19:00 on 20 April 1945, 41 Squadron’s Sqn. Ldr. John Shepherd led seven aircraft on a fighter sweep of the Wittstock-Hagenow area. Approximately half way between Oranienburg and Neuruppin at around 19:30, they sighted 8-10 FW190Ds flying in the opposite direction at 4,000 feet.

The Squadron dived on them, Fg. Off. Eric Gray immediately shooting down one which dived into the ground at Teschendorf. Another 190 got onto Gray’s tail, but in his efforts to shake it, the 190 spun out, hit the ground nearby and blew up. Sqn. Ldr. John Shepherd then attacked another 190, which went down in flames in Kremmen Forest. WO Ian Stevenson then downed another after turning inside it. It went into a shallow dive and blew up on impact in Teschendorf Wood. Flt. Lt. John Wilkinson and Flt. Sgt. Peter Scott then attacked a fifth, which dived into Teschendorf Wood and blew up.

On their return to Celle, they approached Neuruppin Aerodrome at around 20:00, where they spotted several aircraft of varying types in circuit. WO Viv Rossow dived on an Me262, which he shot up. The 262 crash-landed on the aerodrome. Flt. Lt. John Wilkinson then spotted a short-nosed FW190, which he and Sqn. Ldr. Shepherd attacked. This aircraft was also sent down into Teschendorf Wood.

On their return to Celle at 20:40, the Squadron claimed six FW190s destroyed and an Me262 probable. They suffered no loss of their own.

It has been suggested that WO Rossow’s Me262 may have been Obfw. Hermann Buchner of III/JG27 who was landing an Me262A-1b at Neuruppin Aerodrome at the time of the attack. I understand the jet was destroyed in the crash-landing and that the implication, therefore, is that Rossow’s probable was actually a full confirmed victory.

Can anyone confirm this and potentially confirm the identities of the unit, aircraft and pilots of the other aircraft shot down by 41 Squadron on the evening of 20 April 1945?

Thanks
Steve