Tag Archives: Ju88

488 (NZ) Squadron camera gun footage

The Imperial War Museum has added some web-accessible RAF Camera Gun footage to it’s online collection. The video, which can be found by following this link, has over 250 clips of 16mm cine “camera gun” film showing successful combats.

The collection includes 7 clips of 488(NZ) Squadron kills. The quality of the footage is understandably poor, and nothing like the shocking combat footage that we have been shown of more recent war zones. However, we must take into account the quality of the film itself; and the fact that all these combats were filmed in the dark. I believe that they do all add to the story of the Squadron.

For ease, I have listed the combats below, and referenced the time stamp on the video so that you can easily find the clip you are interested in. I should point out that the dates on the clips refer to the actual date of the combat which may differ to the dates quoted on this site. This is because my reference is the Squadron’s ORB which will record a victory on the day the pilot took off – therefore flights that span midnight may be a day out.

Timestamp Pilot Date
07:48 Sqn Ldr Bunting 14/iii/44
10:02 Fg Off Vlotman 22/iii/44
10:10 Flt Lt J Hall 22/iii/44
10:16 Sqn Ldr Bunting 22/iii/44
21:41 WO Bourke 19/iv/44
21:48 Flt Lt J Hall 19/iv/44
38:22 Flt Lt J Hall 15/v/44

 


15/viii/44 – 50th kill for the Squadron

Just after midnight on 15/vii/44, F/Lt Johnny Hall DFC and F/Lt Jock Cairns DFC were on a Patrol in the Caen area of Northern France under the control of CGI station 15083 (Radox). Contact was briefly made on a JU188, which despite coming under 3 short bursts of fire from the Mosquito’s 20mm cannon, evaded destruction.

Shortly afterwards, Cairns picked up a freelance contact, and the crew homed in on and destroyed a JU88. Two 2 second bursts of cannon fire destroyed the enemy aircraft, which spun and crashed to the ground in flames, but not before the JU88’s dorsal gunner managed to return fire (ineffectively) on the Mosquito.

This kill chalked up the 50th victory for 488(NZ) Squadron.

“A “Fiftieth” victory party was held. A bounty of Fifty pounds had been offered to the ground crew of the aircraft that achieved the fiftieth kill for the squadron and Hall and Cairns were pleased to be able to win it for their support crew and the pair of them no doubt played a big part in the celebrations.”
(Graham Clayton – “Gone the Dark Night”)

The 15th also saw F/Lt Jamie Jameson leave the Squadron for repatriation to New Zealand. From the ORB:

“He is our most successful pilot, and is now being repatriated to New Zealand having completed two tours of operations. We are indeed sorry to lose such a gallant comrade and wish him ‘Kai Ora’ in his new sphere.”


04/viii/44 – Starboard engine fire

4th August 14:50
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & A/C Test
A/C just out from a minor. Nice afternoon. NFT on a Lancaster & Supercharger test at 8,000ft, 50 miles SW of base. Tried to feather starboard motor. Prop feathered instantaneously & went into full fire. Losing 500 ft/min & just managed to get in on 1100yds downhill at Lulsgate Bottom. New motor & CSU!
0:40

AIRSPEED OXFORD II X6863
16:30
Pilot: F/O McKenzie
2nd Pilot: FIS Instructor
Passengers: F/O Scott & Self
LULSGATE BOTTOM ~ BASE
A lift home
0:40

DH Mosquito XIII MM515 ME-Z (A/I Mk.VIII)
18:20
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & FEATHERING TEST
Check with W/O Mallon. This on OK
0:35

22:10
PATROL – COL 15074 (Tailcoat One)
At 4,000ft in Alderney, Cap de la Hague, Jersey & Guernsey area. No activity at all. BUT we had swapped patrols with F/O Shaw owing to the un-serviceability of his A/C
(1 Ju88 destroyed by W/Cdr RC Haine DFC & F/Lt AP Bowman
1 Ju88 destroyed } by F/O AL Shaw & F/Sgt L Wyman
1 Ju88 damaged }
2:45

Another drama filled day! Once again, an aircraft test just after a service resulted in a near catastrophic situation. The approximate position given by Broody of 50 miles South West of RAF Colerne puts him just north of Taunton when the engine caught fire. From there it is 30 miles North East (and most likely with favourable South Westerly winds)  to RAF Luslgate, which is nowadays better known as Bristol international Airport. The airport is less than 7 miles as the crow flies from where I sit writing this!


30/vii/44 – 4 kills for F/Lt Jameson & F/O Crookes

The loss of Bunting and Spedding no doubt overshadowed the jubilation that was felt back at base after the return of F/Lt George “Jamie” Jameson DFC and his Nav/Rad F/O Norman Crookes DFC, who had claimed 3 enemy aircraft destroyed and one probably destroyed during one 4 hour patrol.

Jameson’s “Personal Combat Report” makes for fascinating reading.

“I proceeded on the vector of 100 degrees at Angels 5 and the controller asked me to make my Turkey Gobble and told me that he could not give me much assistance. I saw light anti-aircraft fire 2 miles ahead and almost immediately a contact was obtained ie 05:02 hours range 2 miles 10 o’clock height 5,000 ft head on.

I obtained a visual on a Ju88 range 1 mile against the dawn still approaching head on and at the same height. My navigator using Ross night-glasses confirmed the identification. Meanwhile I turned hard to port after the enemy aircraft following it by means of A.I as the enemy aircraft skimmed through the cloud tops.

I closed in to 300 yards range at full throttle as the enemy aircraft was then doing 260 ASI. Meanwhile I saw a series of explosions on the ground caused I believe by the enemy aircraft dropping its bombs. Visual was obtained in a clear spot (with no cloud) and I closed in and gave the enemy aircraft 2 short bursts from dead astern.

Strikes were seen on the fuselage causing a fire in the fuselage and port engine. The enemy aircraft went down through the clouds vertically and well alight and about 20 seconds later hit the ground with a terrific explosion. I reported the kill to Tailcoat and gave him a fix. The enemy aircraft was destroyed 5 to 6 miles S of Caen at 05:05.

When I was doing a port orbit over the scene of the kill much window was seen and a contact almost immediately obtained ie 05:06 range 2 miles 11 o’clock height 5,000 ft. A visual was obtained very quickly on an enemy aircraft flying slightly above cloud. This aircraft was also skimming the cloud tops.

I gave chase at full throttle to overtake. His speed was approximately 280 ASI. While giving chase another Ju88 came up through the cloud dead ahead one mile range and flying in the same direction as the former aircraft. I closed in rapidly to 400 yards range and confirmed the identity of the aircraft as that of a Ju88.

The enemy appeared to see me and turned very hard to port diving towards a thick cloud layer. I followed on the turn and closed in to 350 – 400 yards when I opened fire from dead astern. Strikes were observed which caused a large fire in the starboard engine. The enemy aircraft was well alight and disappeared vertically through the cloud.

At this moment I saw two aircraft approaching me through cloud and as I was satisfied that the former combat had ended in a kill and that the Ju88 would inevitably hit the ground I did not follow but turned towards the two aircraft whom I suspected to be customers. I closed in on both of them and I identified them as Mosquitos.

Sub/Lt Richardson a navigator of 410 squadron (Bungle 33) confirms my first kill having seen the E/A well alight and hit the ground and he saw the second E/A well alight. I reported the second combat to Tailcoat. The combat took place 5/6 miles south of Caen

Almost immediately after identifying the Mosquitos referred to above, I obtained a freelance visual on an aircraft 4000’ range same height 5000’ crossing starboard to port. I closed to 2000’ dead astern and identified the aircraft as a Ju88 which identity was confirmed by my Navigator. When I was about 300 yards behind the E/A it dived steeply to port towards cloud.

I followed and gave two short bursts and I observed strikes from one of the bursts on the fuselage. The E/A took advantage of the cloud cover and I followed with the use of A/I though it was taking violent evasive action and dropping large quantities of window. When we were almost at treetop height visual was regained range 4000ft dead astern. The enemy had ceased evasive action.

I closed in to 250 yards dead astern and gave it a short burst from which strikes were observed. The E/A pulled up almost immediately and turned to port with debris falling and sparks issuing from it. The enemy stalled and dived into a 4 acre field and exploded. The kill took place 5 miles S of Lisieux.

I climbed to 5000 ft called Tailcoat and reported the kill and at my request was given a north westerly vector back to the scene of enemy activity. I once again saw A.A fire ahead above cloud and I headed towards it and at 05:22 hours contact was obtained on two aircraft and much window. (a) at a range of 4 miles 10 o’clock (b) 2 miles 10 o’clock.

I decided to intercept the nearer of the two and obtained a visual dead astern at a range of 4000 on a Do217. The E/A must have seen me for almost immediately it dived into cloud and took very evasive action and threw out large quantities of window for several minutes in cloud. I followed through cloud using A/I and the E/A eventually straightened up at cloud base.

Visual was regained at a range of 2000’ dead astern and below. I closed to 300 yards and fired a short burst. Strikes were seen on the fuselage which began to burn furiously. The E/A turned gently to starboard, pulled his nose up and the dorsal gunner opened fire a wild burst which headed in the wrong direction. The E/A dived into the ground in flames and exploded.

Claim: 2 Ju88’s destroyed. 1 Ju88 probably destroyed. 1 Do217 destroyed.

Ammunition: PI 89. PO 90. SI 94. SO 91.”

(PI = Port Inner, PO = Port Outer etc. For a photo of the Hispano cannon arrangement, see this post)

Location of Jameson & Crookes' 4 kills (Image from Google Earth)

Location of Jameson & Crookes’ 4 kills
(Image from Google Earth)

Information later provided by the 410 Squadron navigator, Sub/Lt Richardson enabled the “probable” to be confirmed as a kill. By strange coincidence, this was the very same Sub/Lt Murray Richardson who, along with 5 colleagues from the Fleet Air Arm, had been seconded to 488(NZ) Squadron earlier in the year!

I think Jameson & Crookes’ successes tonight may be one of the greatest (but least well known) stories of the air war. In 30 minutes, and with the expenditure of only 90 rounds per cannon, 4 enemy aircraft were identified, tracked through cloud using A/I and destroyed. F/Lt George “Jamie” Jameson returned to his native New Zealand in August 1944 with a total of 11 enemy aircraft destroyed, 1 probably destroyed and 1 damaged, leaving him as the leading New Zealand night fighter ace of World War Two!

In addition, the aircraft in which they flew, MM466 ME-R holds the honour of being the Top Scoring Mosquito fighter during the war, also with a total of 11 enemy aircraft destroyed. 6 of these were while she was with 488!

Norman Crookes (L) and "Jamie" Jameson (R) standing in front of ME-R. (Image source, http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Norman Crookes (L) and “Jamie” Jameson (R) standing in front of ME-R.
(Image source, http://www.telegraph.co.uk)


15/vi/44 Patrol and Success for F/Lt P Hall

15th June 00:30
DH Mosquito XIII HK427 ME-L (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
PATROL – Fighter Direction Tender 216
In east of beach area, le Havre & Caen. Considerable activity. Two bogies – one discounted on account of IFF & one Halifax.
(1 Ju 88 destroyed by F/Lt PFL Hall & F/O Rd’A. Marriott)
2:40

F/Lt Peter Hall and his Nav/Rad Flg Off Dick Marriott, flying in aircraft MM513 ME-D destroyed a Ju88 approximately 7 miles west of St-Lô. The “Pilots Personal Combat Report” reads:

“On patrol near Bayeux I was given 240 degs. By GCI 82, onto a bogey at 8 miles range, target travelling 320 degs. After various vectors contact obtained at 2 miles range, at 0220 hrs. Height 7,000 ft. Course 340 degs. Closed on gently weaving and climbing target and got visual of Ju.88, rnage 1,000ft, height 9,000 ft. Opened fire at 200 yds range, dead astern. Strikes seen and enemy aircraft peeled off to port. Second burst fired as he peeled off, without effect. Visual lost but contact held on AI as target dived to 4,000 ft, weaving. Second visual obtained at a range of 1,000 ft. Several short bursts were fired from which further strikes were seen. Finally, I closed to 100 yds, and E/A exploded after a one second burst. E/A disappeared below, flaming, and hit the ground where wreckage was seen clearly burning. Position probably 5 to 10 miles south west of St-Lô [approximate position given as 49°N 01° 10’W]. Debris was felt to strike own A/C and radiator temperature of starboard engine was seen to rise, so that airscrew was feathered and we returned to base, switching on the R/T when required. Landed Zeals 0325 hrs”

This was Peter Hall’s 3rd victory of his tour to date


13/vi/44 – FDT Patrol and Success for S/Ldr Bunting

13th June 14:20
DH Mosquito XIII MM558 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT, CINE-GUN & A/I PRACTICE
Cine on Stirling, Dakota & Anson
0:55

22:50
PATROL – Fighter Direction Tender 216
Much activity on land & one short sharp raid. Patrolling over Seine estuary & Le havre area. One bogey right at the end of the patrol – a mosquito going North very fast
3:00


On this night, 488(NZ) Squadron scored its first success in the invasion Area after S/Ldr Bunting and his Nav/Rad F/Lt Reed intercepted and destroyed a Ju88 in the near Caen. Upon landing back at Zeals at 03:55, it was discovered that in addition to the superficial damage caused to Bunting’s aircraft from pieces of wreckage, an un-spent bullet from the Ju88 was lodged in the Starboard wing.


19/iv/44 – Ju88 of 3KG54 crash lands at Bradwell Bay

In the early hours of the morning on 19/iv/44, while several aircraft of 488(NZ) Squadron were returning from a successful number of patrols, it was reported that a disabled Mosquito was heading for Bradwell Bay to effect a crash landing. An Emergency Team comprising fire tenders and an ambulance stood by to assist, and the squadron’s Mosquitos who had not yet landed circuited to keep the runway clear. The aircraft performed a belly landing. Much to the surprise of W/Cdr Haine, the crew who scrambled out of the burning aircraft were in fact German! Closer inspection identified the aircraft as a Junkers Ju88 (B3+PL) of 3KG54 which had been damaged by AA fire during a bombing raid on London. The 4 airmen were taken to the guard room, where one who required medical assistance was treated.

W/Cdr Haine tried to claim one Ju88 “captured” to add to the Squadron’s tally, but this was rejected!

The photo below, taken from Broody’s journal (including his original caption) shows the aircraft the following morning.

Ju88 at Bradwell Bay

Recent contact with Melvin Brownless of the Aircrew Remembrance Society allows me to identify the 4 German aircrew who landed at Bradwell Bay this morning as:

Pilot: Unteroffizier. Heinz Brandt. 67412/305
Observer: Unteroffizier. Maximillian Oppel. 67412/306
Radio/Op: Obergefreiter. Walter Kobusch. 67412/307
Gunner: Gefreiter. Heinz Oberwinter. 67412/308

Heinz Brandt (© Croft via Kobusch)

Heinz Brandt (© Croft via Kobusch)

Maximillian Oppel (© Brownless via Rotter)

Maximillian Oppel (© Brownless via Rotter)

Walter Kobusch pictured in Gettysburg POW camp, U.S.A. POW No. 103346 (© Croft via Kobusch)

Walter Kobusch pictured in Gettysburg POW camp, U.S.A. POW No. 103346 (© Croft via Kobusch)

Heinz Oberwinter (©Croft via Kobusch)

Heinz Oberwinter (© Croft via Kobusch)

You can read more about this aircraft, her crew, her mission and the subsequent intelligence reports on the Aircrew Remembrance Society website. This is an interesting, well researched site, and I recommend you take the time to visit.


21/iii/44 – Pleasant trip to Gosport, but a busy night for B Flight

21st March 11:10
Airspeed Oxford II X7293
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator: Self
Passenger: F/Lt Norman
Passenger: W/O Aviss
BASE ~ GRAVESEND ~ BRIGHTON ~ GOSPORT
Pleasant trip, apart from mild front near Brighton
1:00

14:10
GOSPORT ~ WINCHESTER ~ READING ~ AYLESBURY ~ BASE
Very low cloud just past Reading, so had to fly for some while in cloud, by rough D.R [Dead Reckoning]. Whence well off track to North. “Senior” passenger panicking!
1:15

Later in the evening of 21/iii/44, with B flight having taking over operational duties, a mass raid gave 488(NZ) squadron a very busy night. A number of JU88s and JU188s were sent to bomb the Marconi factory in Chelmsford in retaliation for the RAF’s earlier raid on the  Philips factories in Eindhoven, Holland during Operation Oyster in December 1942. F/Sgt Chris Vlotman shot down two Ju 88s, including the leader of the formation,  and in fact 488(NZ) Squadron were credited with destroying all five of the first ‘pathfinder’ force.

I could never give a better account of the subsequent events than the author of the Squadron’s ORB – the excitement and pride palpable as you read:

“The most successful night in our history – 5 Huns destroyed by 488. A very large raid was plotted from the Dutch Islands and very appropriately, the first aircraft of the formation; a JU88 was shot down into the sea by our Dutch Pilot F/Sgt Vlotman C.J, with Sgt Wood J.L (British) as Navigator. Shortly afterwards F/Sgt Vlotman intercepted a second Hun and shot this down into the sea near Herne bay. Pieces of wreckage hit our Mosquito and the Pilot was compelled to feather his starboard engine, making a brilliant landing at base on the remaining engine. A very fine performance.

F/Lt J.A.S Hall & F/O J.P Cairns (British) who had witnessed the destruction of F/Sgt Vlotman’s first Hun, intercepted a JU88 over Essex and shot it down in flames near Earls Colne; the wreckage fell on an American airfield causing some damage but no casualties. This is their third Hun this year.

S/L E.N. Bunting DFC and F/L C.P.Reed, DFC were also meeting with success and intercepted a JU88 near Sudbury, Suffolk, shooting it down 10 miles away at Clare[?]. They had searchlight assistance and made use of this a few minutes later when they pursued a JU188 which they destroyed near Rochford (Southend area). Once again this wreckage bore evidence of S/L E.N. Bunting’s excellent marksmanship.”

21March44

© IWM (CH 12537) – Air Marshal Sir Roderick Hill, Air Officer Commanding ADGB, is shown the wreckage of one of five enemy aircraft shot down by aircrews of No. 488 Squadron RAF, flying from Bradwell Bay, Essex, on the night of 21 March 1944.

In the photo above are, (left to right) F/Lt Phil Reed (Navigator), S/Ldr Edward Bunting (Pilot, pointing toward the wreckage), AM Sir Roderick Hill, W/Cdr Richard Haine (Squadron CO) and F/Sgt Johnny Wood (Navigator). This particular aircraft, a Junkers Ju 188E-1 (3E+BK) of 2/KG6, came down at Butler’s Farm, Shopland, Essex, and was Bunting and Reed’s second ‘kill’ of the evening.

The crew of the 3E+BK were: Lt Günther Lahl (Pilot), Uffz Julius Fromm (Observer), Ogefr Ericn Schiml (Radio Operator), Uffz Rudolf Budrat (Gunner) (all killed) and Uffz Erwin Kosch (Gunner) who baled out injured and was then captured.


20/iii/44 – Air/Sea firing exercise on Ju88 Wreckage

20th March 02:10
DH Mosquito XII HK227 ME-E (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: F/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
PATROL & GCI PRACTICE – Trimley
Controller & Navigator nearly asleep. One very poor run, with contact lost early on & regained with help. 1 run: 2 contacts: 1 visual: 1 murder
1:55

14:10
NFT & CINE-GUN. AIR/SEA FIRING
Supposedly Air/Air firing, but target-tower U/S, so carried out Air/Sea on wreckage of Ju88 on mud flats
0:45