Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces

Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the German Luftwaffe and the Air Forces of its Allies.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 21st February 2014, 01:23
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
Posts: 2,980
Larry Hickey
Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

Hello,

On 18 December 1939, as related in detail in a previous thread now locked down, a total of 12 Wellington bombers where shot down and several damaged during a major daylight attack by 22 British Wellington bombers on German shipping and harbor installations in the Wilhelmshaven area. Out of all of those losses, only five British airmen were captured and one of them died the next day. I'm looking for specific accounts of the downing and capture of these British airmen: the pilot from one crew and three members, including the pilot from another crew.

I'm also looking for personal accounts of the other participants, both British and German from those who took part.

According to the revised EoE British loss DB, the five captured British survivors were:

"18 December 1939: Wellington IA N2936. Shot down by Oberstlt Carl Schumacher (Geschwaderkommodore) of Stab JG1 and ditched and burned out just offshore Borkum (Spiekeroog) Island ca 1.45 p.m. Sergeant T. W. Holley and Corporal F. J. Taylor both killed in fighter attacks, (Pilot) Sergeant H. Ruse, Sergeant T. May, and Leading Aircraftsman H. A. Jones all captured. Aircraft LF*J a write-off."

Flying Officer P.A. Wimberley, pilot of Wellington N2888

Aircraftsman First Class George Warne Geddes, aboard N2889 was rescued badly WIA and died the next day.

In addition to these airmen, another crew ditched in the North Sea and all but one member was rescued by the British:

According to the Revised EoE British Loss DB:
"18 December 1939: Wellington IA N2983. Set alight in attacks by fighters during daylight sortie to Wilhelmshaven and ditched in the North Sea off Cromer on return flight 3.30 p.m. Probably that claimed by Oberlt Walter Gresens of I./ZG76. Leading Aircraftsman Walter Lilley killed during the attacks, Sergeant R. Hewitt, Sergeant J. Ramshaw, Leading Aircraftsman D. Conolly, and Aircraftsman First Class C. R. Driver all rescued by the trawler Erillas. Aircraft a write-off."

I suspect that there may well be information about the captured crews in the contemporary accounts of this mission in the German press or the statements of the released prisoners after the war that could give us more of the story about this For the crew rescued by the British trawler, there may also be either contemporary British press accounts, or information about their story published in British aviation literature since.

Also, if anyone has the full names and crew positions of the members of the British crews that participated, I would appreciate that info.

Can anyone help.
__________________
Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
http://airwar-worldwar2.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 21st February 2014, 01:36
Don Pearson Don Pearson is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Monroe NJ
Posts: 331
Don Pearson
Re: Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/_...gton_N2940.htm

Some information, and some comments from participants

Don
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 21st February 2014, 03:21
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
Posts: 2,980
Larry Hickey
Re: Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

Don,

This is definitely some of the information that I'm looking for. Thanx. I believe that there is still a lot of material out there that can be relevant to telling the story of this mission, and I hope that we can find it all.

Regards,
__________________
Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
http://airwar-worldwar2.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 21st February 2014, 03:37
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
Posts: 2,980
Larry Hickey
Re: Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

Hello,

One of our main researchers indicates that we now have all the crew positions and full names of all but two crewmen who were aboard the lost or damaged Wellingtons on 18 December 1939. I'll soon have those two that we do not have and will let you all know the names of those we're still seeking.

Regards,
__________________
Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
http://airwar-worldwar2.com
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 21st February 2014, 12:45
Marius Marius is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 286
Marius is on a distinguished road
Re: Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Hickey View Post
"18 December 1939: Wellington IA N2936. Shot down by Oberstlt Carl Schumacher (Geschwaderkommodore) of Stab JG1 and ditched and burned out just offshore Borkum (Spiekeroog) Island ca 1.45 p.m. Sergeant T. W. Holley and Corporal F. J. Taylor both killed in fighter attacks, (Pilot) Sergeant H. Ruse, Sergeant T. May, and Leading Aircraftsman H. A. Jones all captured. Aircraft LF*J a write-off."

Indeed Schumacher was officially credited with a victory, but I don`t believe he had brought down anything. N2936 felt to Olt. Pointner, Olt. Steinhoff, Ofw. Fleischmann, Fw. Gröning or Lt. Lent.

Regards,
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 21st February 2014, 16:51
Nick Beale's Avatar
Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Exeter, England
Posts: 5,188
Nick Beale will become famous soon enoughNick Beale will become famous soon enough
Re: Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

Did you see the episode of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? with Minnie Driver. Her father was in the Battle and very badly shaken by his experiences.
__________________
Nick Beale
http://www.ghostbombers.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 21st February 2014, 19:56
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
Posts: 2,980
Larry Hickey
Re: Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

Hello,

1) Thanx Marius about your comments on Schumacher. I'll have to defer to Peter C. on that.

2) Nick, I live in the USA and, although my wife watches this program here, I was not aware of any info about her father relating to that mission. I know who Minnie Driver is. Has he ever been interviewed and his experiences published anywhere?

3) I've now heard from the person researching the full names and crew positions of all the participants in this mission. "...the two 'missing' names are 560992 Acting Sergeant R. T. Johns (Observer) and AC2 Gouldson (AG). Both were on board N2866 of 149 Squadron which returned slightly damaged.
Johns survived the war, did not become a POW and does not feature on the London Gazette. Only his initials are given in the AIR 78 enlisted men's name cards.
Gouldson was still flying with 149 Squadron by 7 June 1940 at least. I have nothing else on him."

Who can supply us the full names of these two individuals?

Regards,
__________________
Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
http://airwar-worldwar2.com
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 21st February 2014, 20:18
Don Pearson Don Pearson is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Monroe NJ
Posts: 331
Don Pearson
Re: Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Beale View Post
Did you see the episode of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? with Minnie Driver. Her father was in the Battle and very badly shaken by his experiences.
some details here

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/cele...n-TV-show.html

and here

http://books.google.com/books?id=BSF...goland&f=false

Don
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 21st February 2014, 22:46
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
Posts: 2,980
Larry Hickey
Re: Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

Don,

Excellent account of the fate of one of the Wellingtons that didn't make it back. Obviously sensationalized a lot at the personal level regarding damage to the Germans, but still a great story. Thanx.

I hope that there is more material like this out there.

Regards,
__________________
Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
http://airwar-worldwar2.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 22nd February 2014, 00:18
Nick Hector Nick Hector is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 861
Nick Hector will become famous soon enough
Re: Personal accounts and PoW Stories for the Battle of the Heligoland Bight: 18 December 1939

For Larry Hickey:

Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to reply to my query in the closed thread.

I wish you well with the project you're working on and feel free to contact me via PM if you I could help in any way.

Nick
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:20.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net