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View Full Version : 30/31/5/1944 Last Bombs to fall on Britain


Alex Smart
13th September 2005, 20:19
Hello,
On the 30/31st of May 1944 the last bombs to fall on Britain .
Some 51 'planes were in the attacking force . Two were lost.

Which Units were these a/c from, how many bombs were dropped ?

The two lost, were they shot down or lost to AAA, What happened to their crews ?

If shot down, by which Squadron and pilots ?

Thanks in advance

Alex

Laurent Rizzotti
14th September 2005, 09:20
The last bombs dropped on Britain by Luftwaffe bombers were dropped in March 1945, probably in the night of 19-20th (last German raid over Britain). In this month Intruders were operating over Britain rather than classical bombers.
"The Blitz then and now, vol 3" shows no activity or German losses for 30-31/May/1944. The night before (29-30), "Falmounth was bombed, one hotel received a direct hit and another was damaged. One person was killed. A Ju88 of 5./KG 6, one of a force of ten attacking Falmouth, failed to return."

It seems to me that the last major bombing raid was the attack against Portsmouth on May 22-23 (7 losses). Next losses were on the night of 28-29, a Ju188 being lost on a raid against Torquay and a Me410 shot down off Cromer.

Alex Smart
15th September 2005, 00:02
Hello Laurent,


Thanks for this.

I got the detail from a comment on LEMB some time ago.

From Holloroedullioe (?) who listed under Operation Capricorn the following -

30th/31st May 1944: The last German bombs falling on British soil was in the night of 30th/31st May. Falmouth was attacked by 51 airplanes, 2 were shot down.

I just wanted to know which a/c took part andfind out how the two were lost, eithe flak or fighter ?

Til now I had always thought the last bombs to fall on Britain fell on Falmouth.

Thanks

Alex

Kurfürst
15th September 2005, 00:06
Not to nitpick, but my shadows from my memory tell me that the really last bombs fell onto Britian from intruder Ju88 nightfighters in March or april 1945. Could be totally wrong in this though..

Alex Smart
15th September 2005, 00:29
Hello Kurfúrst, thank you for adding to the thread.

The extra info backed up Laurent's , most welcome.

For the record, on the night of 30/31 May 44 One US serviceman was killed as were at least 4 others, three were civilians ( one a retired major ), another IIRC was a 61 y.o Corporal from the Inteligence Corps.

Interested to know more of the Luftwaffe Units involved and fate of the two (?) crews shot down.

Alex

Laurent Rizzotti
15th September 2005, 19:54
Well, the Falmouth Dead Civilian Roll has three names for 30 May 1944 but that doesn't help to know if it was the night of 29-30 or 30-31.

The dead civilian were CHARLES EDWARD ETCHES (the retired major), VIOLET MARY FOX and LOUISE FANNY HARLAND. All died at the Pentargan Hotel, Cliff Road.

The report above citing one dead in a hotel is a part of reports done immediatly after the attacks and casualties are often wrong.

It is possible that they were the last civilians killed by German bombs in Britain.

During operation Gisela (3-4 March 1945) at least one civilian was killed when a Ju88 crashed into his car.

If you know the name of the two military casualties I will be interested to know them.

George Hopp
16th September 2005, 03:21
Well, according to the book on KG 6, there was an attack on 29/30 May 44. IX. Fliegerkorps despatched 51 bombers, of which 30 were to attack Falmouth, 2 were to attack St. Austell (diversionary target), and the remainder were to mine the sea area off Falmouth with BM 1000 mines. I/KG 6 took off at about 22:40 hours from Bretigny, all Ju 188s, one of which was 3E+LL. They all carried either two SC 1000 bombs, or one SC 1000, one SC 500, and six SC 50 bombs. They flew from Bretigny, over Morlaix, and directly to Falmouth. The bombs were dropped in a glide attack, from 2000 m altitude. They returned via markers at Planquadraten 5027 and 5057, via Morlaix, to Bretigny, landing from 03:18 hours.

The book on KG 2 says, about the same night, that about 29.85 tonnes of bombs were dropped in the attack on Falmouth. Light bomb damage to Silley Cox & Co. Ltd., the Falmouth docks, as well as the Falmouth Oil Installation. Oil tanks Nr. 28 and 31 were burned out. During the search for the mines, the port was closed down. No losses to this unit. The book noted that this was KG 2's last attack on the UK during the war.

5./KG 6 lost one Ju 88A-4, no W.Nr. or ID given, over Falmouth. Crew of (F) Lt. Niemeyer, Kurt; (B) Uffz. Mai, Arno; (Bf) Uffz. Bensch, Josef; (Bs) Uffz. Schwarz, Erich. All listed as missing.

On the same night, 17 Fw 190s carried out a nuisance raid on Portsmouth. 13 SC 500 bombs were dropped.

Hope this helps,
George

Nick Beale
16th September 2005, 14:55
And if you go to Pendennis Castle which overlooks Falmouth Harbour, there is a small museum which (when I went anyway) had some photos of the bomb damage to the town following this attack.

Alex Smart
16th September 2005, 17:02
Thanks for replies,

It was Whit Monday on the 29th, so Tuesday the 30th.

The raid took place shortly after midnight on Tuesday 30th.

American Chief Boatswain's Mate Philip Lee Bishop was awarded the BEM for his prompt action in diverting burning petrol away from threatened houses as a result of an enemy raid on Falmouth on 30th May 1944.

Police Diary records "2 residential hotels extensively damaged. 4 casualties in one, 2 Naval officers, 1 security sergeant and 1 civilian. 18 seriously injured. A member of the US Service kiled in theother hotel."

George, re the Luftwaffe attack -

The basic raid details were that almost all of the raiders were to attack Falmouth ?
I/KG6 ... Ju188's did they lose any a/c?
KG2 no loses.
5/KG6 lost one Ju88.

Any detail as to how the Ju88 was lost ? AA or fighter ??

I may ask about this on the other pages here.

And laurent, I have the name of the intelegence man but not the Us serviceman as yet. Will let you have both in due time.

Thanks again to all

Alex

Laurent Rizzotti
16th September 2005, 18:13
It is fairly possible that the US man killed was brought back to USA for reburial but here are the five US servicemen shown as killed on 30-May-1944 by ABMC, awarded Purple Heart and buried in Cambridge.

SGT EDWARD J M NIMETH, 3516th Ordnance Automotive Maintenance Company
TEC4 STANLEY DZERZYNSKI 625th Ordnance Ammunition Company
PVT ALVIN N NEWMAN 625th Ordnance Ammunition Company
PFC ROBERT B NICOLL 625th Ordnance Ammunition Company
SGT MESSERLY JULIAN W 838th Bomber Squadron, 487th Bomber Group, Heavy

The first one may be the good man. As for the 3 men of the 625th Ordnance Ammunition Company, I saw an example in Lorraine in fall 1944 where men killed by an exploding ammunition dump (without any enemy action) were awarded Purple Heart. It might be the same here.

George Hopp
16th September 2005, 22:06
The raid took place shortly after midnight on Tuesday 30th.

American Chief Boatswain's Mate Philip Lee Bishop was awarded the BEM for his prompt action in diverting burning petrol away from threatened houses as a result of an enemy raid on Falmouth on 30th May 1944.

Police Diary records "2 residential hotels extensively damaged. 4 casualties in one, 2 Naval officers, 1 security sergeant and 1 civilian. 18 seriously injured. A member of the US Service kiled in theother hotel."

George, re the Luftwaffe attack -

The basic raid details were that almost all of the raiders were to attack Falmouth ?
I/KG6 ... Ju188's did they lose any a/c?
KG2 no loses.
5/KG6 lost one Ju88.

So, if the bombs hit Falmouth just after midnight on 30 May 1944, doesn't that mean that the raid took place during the night 29/30 May?

The police diary should give complete date and times, to confirm the date.

No, I./KG 6 did not lose any a/c. There were nothing in either book on numbers of a/c from the mentioned units, employed in the attack. You have the complete narrative from the KG 2 book, and are missing only a narrative on the evening's activities by the crew of one of the bombers.

Alex Smart
17th September 2005, 04:19
Hello George & Laurent,

George,
The date given as just after midnight on the 30th could equally have meant in the early hours of the 31st but I accept the date as the 30th to mean the early hours of the 30th.
Laurent,
I do not know if the US Serviceman/woman was Army,Navy or Air force or Marine. I will look at the ABMC.

Thank you Both,
Alex

Brian Bines
19th September 2005, 10:13
A number of Wrens were reported as killed/injured when one of the Hotels where they were billeted was hit.

At 0040hrs on the 30th F/O Kneath with W/O Kelsey in a Mosquito of 151 Sqd. claimed a He.111 shot down into the sea 10 miles south of Falmouth.
On 14th July 1944 the body of Uffz. Erich Schwartz was found in the sea 12 miles soth of the I.O.W.

George Hopp
19th September 2005, 17:21
Thanks for the note, Brian. Should I assume that IOW is "Isle of Wight"? If so, our airman drifted quite a distance. It also means that the Ju 88 got out to sea, before ditching. Which, I guess is understood, since no wreckage is mentioned in "The Blitz Now and Then, vol. 3."

Thanks again,
George

Brian Bines
19th September 2005, 21:19
Yes IOW is the Isle of Wight, I am not up on tides etc. but I would not have thought impossible for the airman to drift some 120 miles in over 40 days. perhaps someone with the right knowledge could advise.

The combat report states ' Port engine of the He.111 blew up and the aircraft dived steeply, emitting flames and debris, hitting the sea in a large explosion.'
Hope this is of some help.

Alex Smart
20th September 2005, 16:40
Hello ALL,


Thank you for these interesting additions .

Uffz Erich Schwartz was one of the crew from the JU88 of 5/KG6.

It would seem that RAF crews were claiming several a/c as He111's when in fact they were Ju88's. Just bad recognition or perhaps these were at night and the advisary was twin engined.

Or was this the second aircraft said to have been shot down ? as see my earlier post, two Ju88's were claimed as being shot down.

Were He111's involved in the raid ? If so from which unit ?

Chris, I sent you private mail .

Looking forward to more on this story.

Alex

Marcel van Heijkop
20th September 2005, 22:26
Hi Alex,

From my own sources at least 1 Ju 188 of the Pathfinder unit I/KG66 was active as a "Beleuchter" over Falmouth.

Take off: 22:10 hrs on the 29th of May 1944 from Montdidier airfield.
Landing: 3:05 hrs on the 30th of May at Montdidier.

All times are iaw German time.

I/KG66 suffered no losses on this raid to my knowledge.

HTH,

Marcel

Brian Bines
20th September 2005, 22:42
Hello Alex,

I dont believe He 111's took part in the Steinbock attacks, not attacking Britain in 1944 untill the Air-launched V1 raids. If I remember correctly the German history of KG 55 lists a He 111 and crew missing at the end of May at Fastner wherever that is, but the aircraft was from 1V/KG 55.
To return to 29/30th May I thought there was only the loss of the Ju 88 of 5/KG 6 claimed as a He 111 by F/O Kneath. Following shooting down the enemy aircraft he was then vectored onto a slow flying bogey which turned out to be a Swordfish ( which he did not attack)
For the previous nights (28/29th) attack on Torquay I have the following :
1. A Mosquito crew claimed a Ju 188 and a Do 217 which unfortunately turned out to be Wellingstons of 82 OTU returning from a Nickel raid to Nantes.As they returned they were engaged by AA and the Mosquito both crashing with nine aircrew killed. Bomber Command Losses vol. 7 only refers to them being hit by AA. The Mosquito Squadron Record Book refers to a Court of Inquiry but I did get a copy.
2. W/C Wight-Boycott with F/L reid of 25 Sqd. claimed a Me 410 of Happisburgh, probaly 9K+KP of 6/KG 51 crew of Fw. Dietrich missing.
3.A 68 Sqd. crew claimed a Ju188 off Dartmouth, but the combat report is notated as ' Disallowed in findings of Court of Inquiry'. However 2/KG 6 reported the loss of a Ju 188 A2 crew of Hpt. Lissat missing.
On the 29th May two Me 410's of 5/KG 51 collided on take off from Gilze-Rijen with one crew killed and the other injured, non-operational flight.
On 30th May Ju188 A6+RH failed to return from a mission to Scapa Flow.
I dont know if any of the above fits in with the second loss you originally referred to, so I hope this lot is of some help.