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  #1  
Old 25th March 2007, 23:56
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Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

Gentlemen, I have two mystery aircraft lost Tobruk area Jan 1943. Would be nice to hear more about them :

1. Date : 16th January 1943 Ju88 code 6N+DR werk nummer 7949 lost (possibly by 6/KG100) Tobruk area.

2. Same date, 16th Jan 1943. Ju88A-14 code L1+RH (poss of 1/Staffel, Lehrgeswader 1 ??) again lost Western Desert, near Tobruk.

Can anyone supply/confirm further details - such as crew, kia or pow ? Circumstances of losses ? Cheers guys, RO.
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  #2  
Old 26th March 2007, 04:33
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Re: Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

Well, if there was a Ju 88 A-14, L1+RH, of LG 1 lost on 16 Jan 43, LG 1 didn't note it. Nor did it lose anything other than Ju 88 A-4/5s druing that timeframe.

He 111 H-14, 6N+DR, 7949, of 6./KG 100 was seen to go down in flames during an attack on Bengazi on 9.1.43, reason unknown. The crew, all MIA, were: FF Ltn. Guenther Barett, Bo Uffz. Peter Woerner, Bf Uffz. Franz Joba, and Bs Ofw. Rudolf Mayer.
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Old 26th March 2007, 08:24
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Re: Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

Hi guys

According to my records, three Ju88s were claimed by 89 Squadron Beaufighters in the Tobruk area on the night of 16/17 January 1943, two claimed by the crew of F/O Shippard/F/Sgt Oxby, and one by F/Sgt Peters/F/Sgt Halliday (who also FTR). I have a note that two Ju88s from II/KLG1 FTR.

Hope this helps
Cheers
Brian
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Old 26th March 2007, 15:44
Jim P. Jim P. is offline
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Re: Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

II./LG 1 reported 2 aircraft missing on the night of Jan. 16/17. A 3rd crahlanded on Crete due to enemy fire. 2 other machines collided during landing, one was a total loss, the other reported as 55% damaged.

The other machine that you are looking for sounds like possibly this machine - Ju 88A-4, 140219, ISACHSEN, Ofw. Herbert, , 2., LG 1, , L1+RK, , , 08-Jan-43, POW with crew, shot down by Beaufighter of 89 Sq.(Flt. Lt. Shipard?). Notlandung., RK. Loss report says 8.1.43., Mittelmeer, Gen.Qu.6.Abt. (mfm #8)-Vol.13; Taghon, LG 1, II, p.508; McAulay, Six Aces, p.192 fotos, , (NE of Tobruk), 100%, F
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Old 26th March 2007, 17:39
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Re: Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

The Ju 88 RO is looking for is an A-14 with the coding L1+RH. The 2 losses on the 16th were A-4s coded L1+FN and L1+EN. (Taghon, p.508)
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Old 26th March 2007, 18:02
Jim P. Jim P. is offline
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Re: Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

I listed Isachsen's machine because, assuming my memory is correct, the original loss report (and maybe even Taghon) said the code was 'L1+RH', whereas a photo in McAulay's book clearly shows the code to be 'L1+RK'.
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Old 26th March 2007, 20:05
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Re: Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

Taghorn labels your a/c, in both narrative and listing, Jim, as L1+RK, and the 4 members of the crew were captured, whereas RO says the a/c and crew were listed as missing. In that category, the closest might be L1+FN, shot down on the 16th, in the Tobruk area. The night he was shot down, Ofw. Isachsen was sick, forbidden to fly, but gave in to the Kommandeur's request to fly. It was his 328th operational flight.
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Old 26th March 2007, 21:25
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Re: Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

Hmmm. Interesting stuff fellas. Maybe I should have given you all a little more to go on... but really needed to get some confirmation of the facts for old man's book (still work in progress - arrrgh, help !!) Here's what I have on tape (plus extract from handwritten (!) combat report. And, didn't the RAF have a typewriter in North Africa ?) from Oxby snr. :


'Fifteen minutes later, another Ju88 was detected by our AI, but this time Ship was ready for the slow flying tactics. It seemed instead of flying at the more usual 150 knots, this German Junkers was deliberately flying slow, perhaps in hope this would make it very difficult for any British night fighters to mount an attack. Well, it was not easy to get him, as the flying speed of the Junkers was only just above the stalling speed of the Beaufighter, and when we opened fire we would immediately risk a stall, and (end) like a leaf in a spin. At a low altitude this could be lethal. It seemed to us a fairly drastic way for the Germans' to extract their revenge – so Ship approached quickly enough just to maintain flying speed, and opened fire accurately which immediately crippled the German aircraft. Ship's combat report of 16th January 1943 :

‘After the first combat I was told to orbit position for a few moments and then given various vectors – Angels 11. E/A appeared to be jinking approximately 30° and flying very slowly. My operator obtained contact with E/A at right angles crossing from starboard to port, well above. A large number of corrections were given and we climbed to 13,500 feet. Obtained a visual on E/A’s silhouette, no exhausts seen at first as E/A was flying very slowly. I closed in at approximately 140mph and had to weave violently to avoid overshooting. E/A appeared to be travelling at approximately 100 mph. Eventually came in from dead astern and open fire at range of 100 yards with a 4 sec burst. E/A immediately caught fire in both engines and fuselage and went down vertically. No return fire experienced – own aircraft struck by pieces from E/A but no damage done. E/A identified as Ju88. Claim one Ju88 destroyed.’

As the German fell away into the darkness, Ship then turned for home and returned to Sidi Bu Amud. We found out later two aircraft were lost that night from Lehrgeswader 1 whilst flying over Tobruk. (confirm ???) One of these was (needs checking) 6/KG100’s 6N+DR, (Werk no. 7949) flown by Leutnant G. Barett. (check fact ???) Having landed safely back at Bu Amud ourselves, we scanned the night skies and listened for the distinctive engine noise of Peter’s returning Beaufighter. We waited for some time, but gradually it became apparent that two more of our friends would not be returning that evening. Sadly, we later heard that Peters had closed in too close behind the Ju88, and he had struck the E/A’s tail-plane. This had caused both German and attacking aircraft to spiral into the ground. Just then, far away in the distance we heard the drone of a large heavy approaching. We could tell it wasn’t a Beaufighter. And it wasn’t the enemy either. This sounded like a four-engined bomber, and as it entered the circuit, we ran to light up the flarepath, a simple arrangement of tins each half filled with sand, into which a little petrol was poured before setting them alight. We watched as the aircraft turned in to land, and realised there were more approaching from the darkness. As the large aircraft switched on its landing lights, we could see this was an American B-24 Liberator. It roared down the strip to the far end of the runway, and then the next arrived, and the next. In all, there were eight of them scattered around the small field. The first had over-run into a patch of camel thorn, and as our fire-truck approached it as a precautionary measure, the big bomber opened up its four Pratt and Whitney engines to follow the fire truck to dispersal. Wherever the fire engine went, the Liberator followed, and it was only after two complete circuits of the airfield that the fire engine managed to shake him off. Later, it was revealed that the standard procedure at the B24’s base, was for a truck to approach the nose of each bomber on landing and escort him to dispersal. Anyway, the Americans had all made it down safely, and being based at an airfield nearby, they decided to stay for the night, and not to risk further unnecessary manoeuvres in the darkness.

Refreshed by a good night’s sleep, they took off again for their own base early the following morning. A half hour later, one of the B24’s unexpectedly returned to the airfield, and the pilot told Ship that one of the Ju88’s that he had shot down the previous night appeared to have crashed in the desert only a few miles away along the road to the west. Ship politely thanked the American, but thought that he was referring to an old aircraft wreck that had been lying out there for several weeks. Then ‘Rus’ turned up in his Hurricane and confirmed the Yank’s story. He’d spotted it too. Indeed there was a new Ju88 that had appeared overnight. We borrowed a jeep and roared off into the desert to take a closer look. Sure enough, it was one of the German Junkers from the night before, which had made a belly landing – but which otherwise appeared to be fairly intact. The aircraft turned out to be a Junkers Ju88A-14 coded L1+RH which originated from 1 Staffel Lehrgeschwader 1 - an elite Luftwaffe unit. This particular aircraft had been flown by Oberfeldwebel Herbert Isachen, (check details) who had been busy against Allied shipping judging by the specialist 20mm MG FF cannon fitted in the nose. It also had Kuto-Nase balloon-cable cutters fitted to the wings. The crew had been taken prisoner, and it turned out that Lt. Isachen had flown a remarkable 328 sorties in his operational career, stretching back to the beginning of the war. He had seen action over Poland, Norway, France, Britain and now the Mediterranean. This was to be the last of our actions for many weeks.


So, there you go - that's what I have. Most is on tape - except some details e.g. the combat report. I've edited the beer swigs out too. Incidently, I have a photo of the offending e/aircraft (L1 +RH) grounded on the desert - but the damn .jpg filesize won't allow me to upload to the TOCH forum. Any technical minded members know how to reduce it's size, and then I can show you (?!) I'm still a bit worried about getting the detail right on this series of incidents. All comments welcome. Cheers, guys. RO.

Last edited by Oxby R; 26th March 2007 at 21:28. Reason: typo.
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Old 26th March 2007, 21:32
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Re: Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

PS oops, nearly forgot - thank you George, Brian and Jim for your inputs !! Your comments and opinions are valued, I assure you.

Last edited by Oxby R; 26th March 2007 at 21:32. Reason: damned typo again !
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Old 26th March 2007, 23:26
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Re: Ju88 losses over Tobruk 16th Jan 1943

Photo of desert wreck attached - minimal damage apparent. Note missing swasticka ripped from tail. Can't quite make out the code - but could this be L1+RH ? RO.
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