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Brian 15th October 2005 16:54

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Hi guys

Thanks for the latest contributions, I really am grateful and will duly acknowledge all contributors in my forthcoming book by way of thanks. As I am still having problems responding, I reply to all herewith :

JUHA - yes thanks, I have picked up on past discussions but may well come back to you.

SMUDGER - I had overlooked Aaron's VC incident. Thanks for reminding me.

STEPHEN - similarly, I did not have record of the 421 Sqn incident. Thanks for this and also info provided via Hugh.

MARK & JON - I think the incidents are one and the same, in which case I do have details, although I understand the 357thFG shot two Mosquitos. Still investigating the second.

JON - I will research Mr Bircher's bale out to see if I can establish date and unit, unless you already know?

LAURENT - what can I say? Thanks a million. I have some recorded but certainly not all. I wasn't aware of the 17/5/40 Blenheim losses to French fighters. I've had a look at 82 Squadron's ORB and note 11 Blenheims failed to return from that mission. I wonder which three were shot down by the French fighters? Do you know? I would dearly like any additional details related to ALL the incidents you record, including names of crews/pilots responsible etc. May be you would care to write to me with details at:

31 Raynham Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP32 6EA.

BOB COLLIS - we must be practically neighbours! Perhaps you would care to phone (01284-760271), and perhaps we could meet for a chat. I, too, have long maintained an interest in East Anglian airwar incidents.

Gentlemen! I thank you all for your help - please keep it coming!


Laurent Rizzotti 15th October 2005 18:39

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Hi Brian,

I would like better to send you an e-mail. Send one to my own adress: october44 _at_

As for the 82 Sqn losses, the book is listing the 3 crews, so yes the aircraft are identified, as least in the author's theory. IIRC he says that 3 of the 4 Blenheim having survived German fire were shot down, so maybe the report of the remaining crew may be useful to describe a fighter attack on the return leg.

Six Nifty .50s 15th October 2005 19:20

Re: Friendly fire WWII

Originally Posted by mhuxt
4 April 1945, 25 Group. April 4: Wesendorf airfield - The airfield was bombed with good results.

Colonel Troy Crawford, 446th CO, was flying in an RAF Mosquito as an observer. While trying to join with the group, 2 ME 262 fighter jets flew along side Colonel Crawford's plane. The RAF Mosquito, like a German ME 262, was a twin engine aircraft and, from a distance, they look a bit alike. When the crews saw what they thought were 3 ME 262's coming at them, they opened fire and did their job well, knocking the Mosquito out of the air. Colonel Crawford and his pilot parachuted to the ground and were taken prisoner. In just a week and a half, their POW camp would be liberated.


MACR 13948



The plane was a USAAF Mosquito that belonged to the 25th Bomb Group. This unit lost at least four Mosquitoes shot down in error during the war. I could provide the dates, serial numbers and other details if Brian doesn't have them.

Franek Grabowski 15th October 2005 19:31

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Have you got my e-mail?

Brian 16th October 2005 11:35

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Hi Mark

Please - I have only note of the one loss so the othres would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

Hi Franek,

No, I haven't been able to open my e-mails for a week or so - hopefully the problem will be rectified tomorrow (Monday). I will reply asap. Thanks in advance!


Brian 16th October 2005 23:20

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Hi guys

I am extremely grateful for the wonderful response to my many queries. Here are some more that have been bugging me for a considerable time. Hopefully someone out there may be able to help - please!

19/5/40: Lysander P1720 shot down by Spitfire (who was the Spitfire pilot?) St Quentin area

21/5/40: Blenheim L9266 shot down by HURRICANE (who?) crashed nr Arras early pm.

27/5/40: Lysander P1685 shot down by Hurricane (who?) near Calais, crash-landed Hawkinge

17/7/40: Lysander L6870 from Army School of Co-operation shot down by Hurricane (who?) near Exeter 1600 hours

24/7/40: Two Skuas 808 Squadron shot down by Spitfires from 610 Squadron. Serial numbers of Skuas? Both force-landed at Worthy Down.

4/9/40: Was P/O Janusz Macinski of 111 Sqn the pilot murdered by civilians in London in the belief that he was German?

24-25/9/40: DH90 X9337 from RAF Acklington attacked by RAF night fighter (who?) 2050 hours

13-14/11/40: Two Hampdens - X2995 of 44 Sqn and P4338 of 61 Sqn - shot down by Spitfires (who were the pilots responsible?) X2995 shortly after take-off from RAF Waddington; P4338 force-landed near RAF Leaconsfield.

Any help will be most appreciated. I have similar queries for 1941-1944!!

Cheers and have a nice one


Franek Grabowski 16th October 2005 23:37

Re: Friendly fire WWII
I have to crawl through my database but I am afraid most of the incidents are just hopeless. If recognised by authorities, chances that they are mentioned are just minimal.
Perhaps adding place and time will help to narrow down possible candidates.

4/9/40: Was P/O Janusz Macinski of 111 Sqn the pilot murdered by civilians in London in the belief that he was German?

According to my data, he baled out over the Channel off Folkestone and reputedly was straffed in sea by the Germans.

Brian 17th October 2005 11:24

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Hi Franek

I have added more information to my above listing - hope this helps. Do you know the identity of the Polish pilot allegedly murdered by civilians?

Franek Grabowski 17th October 2005 19:24

Re: Friendly fire WWII

21 Dec 1939: Potez 637 GR II/33 shot down by 2 Hurricanes over Meuse. 2 KIA, 1 WIA
I have this on 18 Dec. Lt. Sagan, Lt. Castellana, Adj. Pernot downed near Souilly by F/L Reginald Eric Lovett of 73 Sqn.

18 May 1940: Blenheim 235 Sqn RAF shot down by GC II/8 off Ostende. 3 KIA (shot down by Spitfire/Hurricanes according to RAF)
Do you mean L9395?

4 Jun 1940: L-N.411 of AB4 shot down by a Polish pilot of Romorantin defence patrol. Pilot wounded.
The pilot was ppor. pil. Jan Daszewski flying MS.406C-1. French pilot was second-maitre Rochon, he passed away in 1997.Another incident involving Polish airmen occured on the same day.adj.chef Herve, plut. pil. Henryk Kowalski and plut. pil. Stanisław Tomicki flying MB.152C-1s of Chateaudun chimney flight bounced a LeO 450, reputedly with no human losses.Brian

17/7/40: Lysander L6870 from Army School of Co-operation shot down by Hurricane (who?) near Exeter 1600 hours
There was a claim for Ju 88 by 145 Sqn at the time, perhaps CR or ORB should be checked for any clue?

24/7/40: Two Skuas 808 Squadron shot down by Spitfires from 610 Squadron. Serial numbers of Skuas? Both force-landed at Worthy Down.
A question to Ray Sturtivant. I have 54 Sqn possibly involved.

13-14/11/40: Two Hampdens - X2995 of 44 Sqn and P4338 of 61 Sqn - shot down by Spitfires (who were the pilots responsible?) X2995 shortly after take-off from RAF Waddington; P4338 force-landed near RAF Leaconsfield.
I suppose you mean Leconfield. I know 303 Sqn was based there at the time, perhaps other units as well. I am not awared of involvement of the former, however.I recall a story by Tom Neill concerning Hampden icident more less at the time but I was unable to verify it.

Do you know the identity of the Polish pilot allegedly murdered by civilians?
No, I am awared of no such incident.

Laurent Rizzotti 17th October 2005 22:34

Re: Friendly fire WWII
Some more cases in October 1944

A flight of P-38s dropped four napalm bombs within the 30th US division's lines, destroying an ammunition dump and six vehicles and killing two men and wounding four during an abortive attack on the West Wall on 22 September.

A US Thunderbolt pilot claimed a 'Mosquito in German markings' and actually destroyed a 140 Squadron photo-recce aircraft.

Between 3 and 4/10/44:
Typhoons attacked 43rd British Division S of Arnhem.

Between 9 and 12/10/44:
As part of the expansion to meet the needs of war, an independent paratroop company was established. It consisted of 150 Assyrians and 50 Kurds with a small British element. In 1944 they were deployed to Italy in response to a request from the commander Adriatic Forces for "paratroops trained in mountain warfare". The Adriatic forces had the task of not only helping the partisans in their fight against the Germans but of sealing off the ports the Germans would use when withdrawing troops from the Docecanese and other parts of the Aegean. One such port was Sarande on the westernmost tip of Albania. To seize the port a commando (about 250 strong) had landed on the outskirts but could not advance further because of the enemy resistance from Mount Sarande overlooking the port, hence the call for reinforcements.
Just before dawn, the levies were landed by the Royal Navy at a spot about five kilometres south of the port. At first light the German commander saw the landing but decided, as a good commander should, that his men could have breakfast first and be ready to fight the enemy on full stomachs. Little did he know that the Assyrians and Kurds were hardy men whose abode was the mountains of Iraq. One of their pastimes was to race up and down these mountains and the Mount Sarande climb, about half the average height of their home mountains, presented little difficulty. Setting off at a jog they outstripped their British officers and caught the German garrison who were just finishing breakfast. After a brisk firefight, the Germans surrendered and the Levies settled down to their breakfast. Unfortunatley, the Germans were not the only people taken by suprise. The Royal Navy and the RAF had not realized that the mountain was in friendly hands and attacked with naval gunfire and rockets. RAB Khamshi Schlemon Bukko was dispatched with a patrol to contact the Commando and get them to send a message to HQ that the objective had been captured and would they please ask the Navy and the RAF to cease firing. Seeing troops coming from the direction of the enemy, the commandos opened fire. Bukko was hit but had enough strength left to call out "Stop shooting. We are British". His cry, in a Syriac accent, was greated with derision and another burst of fire. "British are you? Not b...y likely". Eventually the commandos saw their error and ceased firing. Henceforth the Paratroop Company sardonically reffered to themselves as experts in combined operations, having been shot up by the Navy, Army and RAF in a single operation.

At 1040 the CP of the 1st Battalion, 351st US Regiment was bombed and strafed by friendly planes. Twenty-eight casualties were inflicted (Italian frontline).

P-40N A29-688 of 80 Sqn RAAF shot down by rocket fire [friendly?] into Waroe Bay, New Guinea with F/O Peter Parkinson was KIA.

One 401st BG B-17 took "friendly fire" from a gunner on a B-17 from another Group who was testing his guns, taking several 50 calibre bullet holes in the fusilage.

In Italy, 1st Bn, 168th US Infantry: "Some consternation followed when friendly aircraft bombed and strafed the Battalion area at 1415 hours. At least three planes dove to strafe the road from the Battalion command post at Hill 525 (916293) to M. della Formiche. Several bombs were dropped before ground troops could signal with yellow smoke grenades provided for that purpose. As soon as the smoke became noticeable, the planes ceased their fire and began to circle the area. Fortunately no casualties were suffered by the Battalion from this mistake. "

Junkers Ju 88 A-4/Trop WNr: 140556 of 1.(F)/124 Code: G2+BH Wreckplace: Ivalo Date: 19th October 1944
The Plane was shot down by own anti-aircraft gun. They (Flakcrew) assumed that the plane was an enemyplane and was on mission parachuting partisans. The plane got several hits and started to flame. Pilot ordered all to bale out. Oblt. Werner Horst BO baled out and survived, but wounded badly. Fw. Oswald Heider BF baled out and survived Fw. Ernst Beck BM baled out but did not survived Stfw. Willi Welz FF, MIA, probably did not get out of the plane. There was Jumo 211B engine, wheel and lots of aluminium pieces on the ground in 1990. Engine and wheel has disappeared in 1995 In Year 2001 spinner has raised from a pond.

In Italy, 1st Bn, 133rd US Infantry: "Early on the morning of 21 October a plan was formulated to attack Zena Castle following the firing of white phosphorus by our Cannon Company, the 151st Field Artillery Battalion, and our attached platoon of Company A, 84th Chemical Mortar Battalion. The assault began at 1015 hours, Company C leading, B in its wake. Company C was very near its objective when friendly aircraft, flying a mission with their target 3000 yards to the front of the castle, dropped bombs in and around the fortress. The bombs inflicted casualties on some of our men. Information given to us later revealed that the target of the planes was to have been marked with white and violet smoke. Presumably several fliers had mistaken the smoke from our white phosphorus for the smoke marking our target."

Douglas A-20J-10-DO Havoc 43-9912 converted to F-3A. Crashed Oct 29, 1944 (155th PRS) during attempted emergency landing at St. Dizier/Robinson Airdrome (A-64) in France after receiving friendly fire. 2 crew killed.

B-17G 43-38431 527BS 379BG 117 8 Crashed due to Friendly Fire 5 Goodier, Charles W ENG Knodishall

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