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Thread: Who shot down Blenheim L9481?

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    Default Who shot down Blenheim L9481?

    Does anyone know who was credited with shooting down 254 Sqn Blenheim IVF, L9481, over the Channel on June 1 1940?
    Have been researching an article about the sole survivour's story - and made contact with his family through this web site, but can't find what unit /pilot shot the Blenheim down.
    Crew member's report says it was an attack by Bf109s, but that's all I know.
    Anyone know more?
    Thanks,
    Tom

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    Hello,
    Ross's Vol 1 of RAF Coastal Command Losses has on page 38
    "254 Sqdn L9481 'QY-A'
    F/O. J.W. Baird +
    P/O. G.W. Spiers safe
    Sgt. R. Roskrow +
    Jumped by 11 Me109's while attacking Ju87's over the Goodwin Sands."

    Alex

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    Hi Tom,

    according to vistory listing by Tony Wood there are two Blenheims claimed on 1.6.40:

    01.06.40 Oblt. Walter Oesau: 4 1./JG 20 Blenheim  20 km. N. Ostende 11.35 OKL+JFV d.Dt.Lw. 3 - 31B
    01.06.40 Oberst Theo Osterkamp: n.b. Stab/JG 51 Blenheim  Dünkirchen OKL+JFV d.Dt.Lw. 3 - no

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Thanks guys
    Alex, that bit about Ju87s is interesting because the surviving crew member's report says that the attack was a complete surprise to him, bullets hitting the aircraft as they were flying in formation off Dunkirk - no mention of the Benheims attacking Ju87s or even seeing any enemy aircraft until they were hit. No crew calls warning of approaching enemy, gunner was killed without opening fire.

    Pavel.
    The second one you mention would appear to be L9481, but I don't understand what:
    "OKL+JFV d.Dt.Lw. 3 - no" means!
    Can you explain it for me?

    Regards,
    Tom

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    Hello Pavel and Tom,

    The Osterkamp one is noted further down the list as a "No Kill" so it looks like your man was Oesau, as you said the second one .

    Alex

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    OKL+JFV d.Dt.Lw. 3 are the sources used by Mr Wood: OKL is the official claim list compiled by the Luftwaffe, JFV d.Dt.Lw. 3 is one of the books (vol 3) done by Mr Jochen Prien and his team about the German fighters in WWII, listing all known losses and claims.

    The "no" means that Osterkamp claimed a Blenheim shot down, but that the claim was rejected by the German authorities. On the other hand, the claim of Oesau was accepted by the German authorities.

    But Oesau claimed his victory at 1135, while according to the story of Speirs the German fighters attacked at around 0755 (British time). 3h30 is a too big difference to be explained by differences between hours used by British and Germans. So Osterkamp may have been the pilot who shot down this Blenheim. But it may have been rejected because nobody else saw it go down.

    Then the other question is:
    1) can one find a possible identity for the Blenheim claimed at 1130 by Oesau ?
    2) Speirs testimony indicate that he saw another Blenheim with two engines on fire. If two Blenheim were shot down in the same action, there is apparently no such claim on the German side...
    Last edited by Laurent Rizzotti; 29th September 2010 at 12:52.

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    By the way, a website with Speirs story:
    http://www2.bc.edu/~emerypa/254/Speirs.htm

    This website gave the identity of the second Blenheim shot down at the same time, but as another serial for Speirs' one:
    http://www.epibreren.com/ww2/raf/254_squadron.html

    The mistery deepens.... :)

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    Default Spiers' aircraft

    Hello Alex / Laurent.
    Thanks for that.
    It certainly would appear to be Osterkamp that shot them down.
    I have a copy of a telegram sent from 254 Sqn at 16:20 on June 2nd to HQ 18 Group reporting the survival of George Spiers and listing his fellow crew members as missing.
    It records their aircraft as L9481 “at 07:40 off Dunkirk.”
    But as you point out, what was the other aircraft...
    Regards,
    Tom

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