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Icare9 5th February 2019 20:02

V1 interceptions in East Sussex
Can anyone direct me to accurate reports of where V1's fell short, landing in East Sussex around the Battle area?

On 6th August 1944 a Tempest crash landed near my village after what was believed an interception of a V1 which presumably then exploded and damaged his aircraft. He didn't bale out, he didn't turn off the engine or lower the undercarriage so my thinking is that the explosion incapacitated him.

To my current knowledge there were only two V1's that came down close to our village, one which left several impact craters does seem to fit with a mid air explosion, but was on 1st August, so not the one he intercepted.

I can't find the date for the second, and that did explode as the roof of our Memorial Hall was damaged and took many years of arguing for War Reparation funding to be paid.

Neither of these therefore fit with the date or a mid air explosion, but I can't trace a third V1, hence my appeal for any experts out there for better information on V1 crash sites, preferably with dates.

Any suggestions, please? Looking to commemorate the event this year.

edwest2 5th February 2019 20:18

Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex
Here is some information. Click on the map to view it clearly.

And some additional information:

edwest2 6th February 2019 02:02

Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex
Further information about the pilot.

Icare9 6th February 2019 15:07

Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex
Thanks both and whilst they are about the V1 campaign, it doesn't give details on ones that fell in East Sussex.
The AWM last Post ceremony (and his name screened over the front) are known to me and now also to his relatives in Australia who have provided in depth background and photos etc, plus ORB for 3 Sqdn at Newchurch.

It's because I would like a commemoration in the village that I need more precise details, as it seems that the V1 he was seen by his fellow pilot attacking (but not the result) MAY have been one that he directed away from the village.
I currently know of only two, one which had exploded mid air was not on the date that Mackerras was killed.
The other did explode with considerable force close to our Memorial Hall sufficient to badly damage the roof and took many years to have the reparation paid by the Government.
What I DON'T know is the date of that second V1 and as it exploded it doesn't seem to have been attacked by cannon fire which usually caused a mid air explosion such as may have caused the Tempest to crash.
Wing tipping tended not to be a 3 Squadron practice, unless all ammo exhausted but I'm told burning ammunition was being fired over a nearby road, so hadn't been exhausted (unless guns jammed).
So I need to find a V1 near our village on 6th August, and only to have two candidates.
One which did explode but on 1st August, and one which exploded on the ground on a date unknown.
Or was he hit by a proximity fuse AA shell from the nearby coastal batteries?
The records don't credit him with a V1 on 6th August (not surprising as he couldn't file a claim, and his fellow pilot didn't see what happened.
The priest conducting his burial did tell relatives attending that "he would be credited with destroying a V1" but that could either just be a soothing platitude, or from what he had been told.....
There is a rough sketch map of East Sussex (more akin to "Spot the Ball") which does show two sites around Ninfield and I have rough ideas of both crash sites, but not dates.

It's the hope of tracing who would record these the Royal Observer Corps, Police etc.
Village memories are sketchy, and History Group don't have anything more specific.

Frank Olynyk 6th February 2019 16:01

Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex
You might check Brian Cull's book Diver! Diver! Diver! which lists all claims against V-1s (in the air) and all losses to attempts to destroy V-1s.



Laurent Rizzotti 7th February 2019 13:41

Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex
In the above book, Brian wrote: "Flt Sgt Don Mackerras RAAF (14 Divers of which three shared) was killed when his Tempest JN759 spun into the ground at Minfield in Sussex during an anti-Diver patrol. He had apparently been attempting to tip a flying bomb with his wingtip."

Brian is a contributor here, with the current account BrianC, so maybe you can ask him directly how he reached the above conclusion.

Do you have a time for the crash ? From existing claims reported in the book, there seem to have been two periods of firing, between 1320 and 1400 hrs and between 1700 and 1700 hrs. The German were using V-1 by firing more or less coordinated salvoes to overwhelm Allied defenses, and in this day they so probably launched two waves of V-1 in daytime (more at night, where they were less concentrated).

Best regards

Icare9 7th February 2019 14:20

Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex
Frank, thanks, have the book and Mackerras was patrolling with Dryland (later killed as test pilot for Meteor IV).
The situation is confused as family were given several versions, and I don't see any reference to a V1 that Mackerras was seen by Dryland in pursuit of.

Tipping a V1 doesn't seem to tie in with Mackerras making no attempt to bale out or drop the landing gear which is more likely if a failed tip caused damage to the aircraft but not to him. The lack of preparation seems to indicate that he was incapacitated, presumably from flying through the debris of a V1.

Thanks but looks as if it will have to be Police Records as I don't know what became of any ROC logs.

Time of crash given as 13:36 patrolling with Dryland.
I believe I have contacted Brian but no further info - and it's Ninfield, there is no Minfield in Sussex- that's why the details have been overlooked for so long and only when I accidentally mistyped M instead of N that this crash came to light. Thanks, perhaps I'll check again with Brian

BrianC 7th February 2019 16:40

Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex
Hi guys

I'm afraid that I am unable to add any further information.

Please note that when I was researching DIVER DIVER DIVER there was no master list to work from (or if there was then I was no aware). All tabulations were compiled by me, hence the odd typo. Combat reports were the prime source.

Best of luck with the investigation.


Icare9 8th February 2019 23:25

Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex
Thanks Brian, I think that's what you told me on first enquiry.
Minfield is the typo, it's corrected later in the ages of the report but the mistype has been quoted so much it was hard to track it down. The AWM files do have both the mistype and the corrected spelling.
Dryland reported he saw Mackerras going after a V1 but not what became of it or Mackerras crash.
He still had ammunition so tipping wasn't necessary and the damage to the Tempest not only badly damaged his aircraft sufficient to cause a crash, but as he made no attempt to bale out, or lower the undercarriage and din't get out of the burning aircraft I have to assume that the explosion rendered him unconscious.
I can trace a V1 mid air explosion near the village on 1st August and a second exploded close to our Memorial Hall, damaging the roof, but I don't know the date, but it was a ground explosion. Perhaps he did tip that one, but how would that severely damage his aircraft?
But I don't have anything about a 3rd V1 near the village that exploded in mid air, so as to disable his plane.
There's an outside chance of a proximity fused AA burst but we're 4 miles inland and shouldn't have had AA fire that far inland.

I'll have to try ESRO

MarkRS 10th February 2019 07:58

Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex
If he spun out trying to tip a V1, he could have blacked out and hit the ground before he came to. That would also explain why he did not try to bale out or belly land.

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