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Martin Gleeson 18th November 2010 14:10

ZG or JG53 victory, 31 May 1940.
Hallo all,

I came across a brief reference to the loss of DH 89A Rapide W6457 of 24 Squadron RAF in TNA, Kew earlier this year. It was apparently attacked by 3 Bf110s, probably forced to land and then strafed at 1600 hours on 31 May 1940. I believe the location was near Auneuil, just SW of Beauvais.

On Tony Wood's website I can find no matching claim by a ZG pilot for that date. However on 31 May 1940 Fw. Anton Oschenkuhn of 9./JG53 claimed a 'Doppl. decke' at 1650 hours as his first victory claim. No location given. This claim is not mentioned in the text of Vol.1 of Jochen Prien's JG53 history. As German time was one hour ahead of British/French time in May 1940 both times quoted above are a good match.

I presume 'Doppl. decke' is a biplane. Is that an exact translation ? Can anyone please expand on this victory claim ?


Martin Gleeson.

hucks216 18th November 2010 14:26

Re: ZG or JG53 victory, 31 May 1940.
There is no mention of such a loss on that date in the Battle Of France Then & Now by Peter D Cornwell.

Stig Jarlevik 18th November 2010 16:35

Re: ZG or JG53 victory, 31 May 1940.
Hi Martin

This Rapid was the former G-AFSO which was impresed by RAF in October 1940. Acording to all my second hand sources the aircraft made a forced landing near Aneuil in France on May 31st. No reason is given anywhere of the reason for this forced landing but the general idea writing it that way is some kind of technical reason rather than enemy interference. It is also said the aicraft was destroyed by fire due to enemy ground troops (one source specifically mention artillery fire!)

What in your sources make you say the force landing was due to enemy aircraft attack? The claim of Oschenkuhn is listed by Prien in his Jagdfliegerverbände series.

All these losses of non-combat aircraft interest me, so I would very much like to know more from your sources.


Martin Gleeson 19th November 2010 02:25

Re: ZG or JG53 victory, 31 May 1940.

Thanks Hucks. Yes I have Peter's terrific book.

Stig. I found a copy of a cipher message in AIR 35/149 ('Replacement of Aircraft and Crews') which briefly mentioned this loss. All it states is;
"D.H. 89 No. W6457 destroyed by 3 ME110s 978 1600 hours today at M8302. Crew and passengers uninjured".
It continues to request a replacement aircraft. I don't know the meaning of '978' but the 'M8302' appears to be an RAF grid location.

I cannot find 'Aneuil' anywhere in France, but there is an 'Auneuil' in Oise department just SW of Beauvais. This area was still under Allied control on 31 May 1940 and I think for another week at least. Because of this I do not believe German ground troops were anywhere near Auneuil or Beauvais on that date.

Hope this helps,

Regards for now,


Stig Jarlevik 30th November 2010 18:41

Re: ZG or JG53 victory, 31 May 1940.
Thanks Martin

Apologies for not saying thanks earlier. Very interesting info and since I don't believe Air Britain are making things up but also rely on first hand sources (in this case no doubt the aircrafts record card) it is interesting to see how different various sources can be. I also agree about the spelling you have.....:)

Thanks again for looking this one up

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