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  #1  
Old 27th August 2005, 12:22
pointedeflèche pointedeflèche is offline
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Luftwaffe crash 15 May 1940 near Brussels, Belgium

Hello,

Has anyone got information on a German two-engined aircraft that crashed on the 15th of May 1940 in the Belgian village of Wezembeek-Oppem, situated about 10 kilometers east of Brussels.

The crash occured at the hamlet of Oppem, in a field situated between the streets named: Van Severlaan and Krommestraat. The plane had left a huge crater on impact and parts of both plane and airmen laid scattered around. The fate of the crew, according to witnesses, is as follows:

One airman was able to parachute but was killed during his descent by British groundfire and landed in the neighbouring village of Kraainem, in the vicinity of a street named Bosstraat. A second airman bailed out to low and smacked on top of the roof of a greenhouse (orangerie) belonging to the castle Solvay, situated in the neighbouring village of Sterrebeek. He was buried in a provisional grave near the castle. At the crash site itself, the remains of 2 airmen were found. Both were buried in a provisional grave alongside the street named Krommestraat. One of the crosses beared the name 'Julius ........' (according to another witness 4 airman were buried there). The aircraft is presumed to have been a Heinkel 111. A lot of photographs were found at the crash site. Was this crew on a reconnaissance or bombardment mission?
Any information (e.g. crew names , Luftwaffe unit, mission target or aircraft type) would be higly appreciated.

Best regards,
Dirk

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Old 29th August 2005, 10:57
Luc Vervoort Luc Vervoort is online now
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Luftwaffe crash 15 May 1940 near Brussels, Belgium

Hi Dirk,

Could have been Do 17P w/nr. 2419 6M+LK of 2(F)/11, of which Uffz. Julius Deutschle got killed and is presently buried at Lommel (German War Cemetery).

Best regards

Luc
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Old 29th August 2005, 23:18
pointedeflèche pointedeflèche is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe crash 15 May 1940 near Brussels, Belgium

Hi Luc,

Thanks for the information.

According to the publication "Mei 1940 boven Belgie" by Cynrik De Decker and Jean Louis Roba, Do 17 P, Wnr 2419, 6M + LK was lost over Mechelen (Malines). Pilot Fw Karsten was able to jump but two airmen of pilot Karsten's crew were killed, namely Uffz Fritz Höfer and Julius Deutschle (radio).

The account regarding the Wezembeek (Wesenbeek) crash can be found at :
http://www.derand.be/derand/pdf/Gemeenschapskrantdekam200409.pdf

I have knowledge of another Luftwaffe crash that occured during that same period in time near the village of Wezembeek and I'm fearing that witness accounts concerning the fate of both crews got somehow mixed up. The second crash I'm refering to happened at Sint-Stevens-Woluwe (Woluwe-Saint-Etienne). Here also a German crew member was found dead near the castle Solvay. The account regarding the Sint-Stevens-Woluwe crash is the following: A German aircraft crashed in the back yard of Mr Ludovicus Brusselaers, situated in the street named Molenstraat number 127. Ludovicus Brusselaers ran towards the plane, but was mowed down by exploding ammunition (The Molenstraat forms the border between St-Stevens-Woluwe and Kraainem (Crainem) ). I haven't got a clue wether a German fighter or bomber crashed in Brusselears back yard.

More than half a century ago the names of the Flemish villages I mentioned were in most cases spelled differently from the way they are presently and in some cases they were even rendered in their French version. I therefore added the ancient Flemish and French spellings between brackets. This is often the way the names were spelled on maps and records dating from about the WWII period.

Information regarding both crashes is most welcome,

Dirk

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Old 30th August 2005, 00:17
Peter T Peter T is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe crash 15 May 1940 near Brussels, Belgium

Hi,

On the 11th May 1./LG 1 lost a He 111 at Wezembeek, the crew Uffz Kurt Fürstenberg, Fw. Gottfried Fröhlich, Ogfr. Rudolf Petermann and Ogefr. Walter Rautmann was killed. On the 15th I have a He 111 of 1/KG 54, shot down by GC III/3 near Hoeilaart. Crew Lt. Hans-Burghardt Eimer, Gefr. August Müller, Gefr Heinz Hühle and Flg Herman Meister all POW of the BEF.
Hope this helps
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Old 30th August 2005, 22:19
pointedeflèche pointedeflèche is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe crash 15 May 1940 near Brussels, Belgium

Hi,

Thanks very much Peter.
It is very plausible that May 15th isn't the correct date.

Do you happen to know the Werknummer and fuselage code the He-111 of 1./LG 1 beared ?
May I know the source you consulted concerning the fate of
Uffz Kurt Fürstenberg 's crew?

According to "Mei 1940 boven Belgie" by C. De Decker and J.L. Roba the He-111 belonging to 1./KG 54 (crew of Lt. Hans-Burghardt Eimer) made a belly landing at "Champ des Estafeaux" in the village of Vellereille-lez-Brayeux (southwest of Binche).

Could it be that the crash at Sint-Stevens-Woluwe occured the 14th of May 1940?

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Old 3rd September 2005, 23:05
Peter T Peter T is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe crash 15 May 1940 near Brussels, Belgium

No code or serial is known for the He 111 of 1/LG 1, sources are the Namentliche Verlustmeldung and the chronicle of the Lehrgeschwader.

I know the book by De Decker and Roba, it was interesting attempt, but it contains several errors ...

14th is a possibility, on that day I have a He 111 of 7/KG 27 lost during a raid in the Leuven - Waver area. I have no exact crash location (crew Fw Willi Biskupski, Uffz Willi Heidbüchel , Uffz Josef Kerstin, Gefr. Arthur Klöckner all POW of Belgian Army)
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