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  #1  
Old 17th March 2006, 15:04
Craig MacPhee Craig MacPhee is offline
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Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

My father saw a Bf-109 crash in Sep 1940 near his home (now my home) in Wickham Street, Welling in Kent and he told me the story of how the plane came down on fire in a flat spin.

The pilot bailed out but his parachute caught fire and sadly he was killed. The fire went out before the plane struck the ground and was not badly damaged. He says there were no guns protruding from the wings so I presume it was an E-1 and it had the yellow cowling.

Anyway, I wrote to my local cemetery to find out if they had any records of the pilot and I received this reply:

***
'The record we have is that Albert Friedmann 2nd Lieut German Air Force aged 26 on the 20.10.1940 Place of death Gibsons Farm Wickham Street.

And W Krohn pilot in German Air Force who died on 4.11.1940 at Coldblow Bexley.

They where both Exhumed in 1962 and where re-interred in German War Cemetery Cannock Chase Stafford.'
***

So Leutnant (is this 2nd Lieut?) Albert Friedmann is the unfortunate pilot my father saw.

I am interested in finding out more about him, but obviously want to do this in a sensitive manner. Where can I look?

Thanks.
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Old 17th March 2006, 16:04
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

I am afraid Friedmann is not the man you are looking for, as his aircraft exploded in the mid-air. Interestingly, on the very same day Uffz. Maierl of 3./LG2 was killed in similar circumstances to the ones you describe but the place of crash is Chapel Farm, Lenham Heath. This is a question for someone with a ready database of 109 crashes.
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Old 17th March 2006, 17:39
Rabe Anton Rabe Anton is offline
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Re: Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

Craig,

You can almost certainly identify the Bf 109 you are searching for by examining Winston Ramsey, ed., The Battle of Britain Then and Now (After the Battle Publications, ca. 1980) and Ramsy, et al., The Blitz Then and Now, Vol. I (After the Battle Publications, ca. 1985). Each of these references offers a comprehensive day-by-day calendar of Luftwaffe losses during the Battle of Britain with salient facts such as aircraft type, markings, time of day, aircrew names, place fallen, etc. The information was drawn by highly reputable British researchers from primary sources such the Luftwaffe's daily materiel loss reports and its Verlustmeldungen, or personnel casualty reports, as well as Br. A. Min. Crashed Enemy Aircraft Reports based on first-hand examination of the fallen aircraft. I suggest consulting The Blitz Then and Now, I, first as it is slightly more up to date. But I strongly suspect that either of the two works will tell you what you want to know.

For various reasons that don't need to be opened up here, I recommend avoiding any edition of Francis Mason, The Battle of Britain, which also offers a day-by-day calendar of Luftwaffe losses.


RA
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Old 17th March 2006, 17:46
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Ruy Horta Ruy Horta is offline
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Re: Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

Welcome Craig,

Glad you accepted the invitation.

Any chance you can narrow down the date?
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Old 17th March 2006, 19:07
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Peter Cornwell Peter Cornwell is offline
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Re: Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

The aircraft was Bf109E-4 (2780) that exploded under attack by P/O Draper of No.74 Sqdn. & fell apart over Welling at 1.45 pm on Sunday 20 October 1940. The pilot 65167/6 Oberfw Albert FRIEDEMANN of 6./JG52 fell dead & was originally buried in Service Grave E492 in Bexleyheath Cemetery on 29 October before reinterrment in Cannock Chase.
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Old 17th March 2006, 19:11
Joe Potter Joe Potter is offline
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Re: Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

I believe this to be, Oberfeldwebel Albert Friedemann, EM B65167/6, Bf 109E-4, Werk Nr 2780, 6/JG52, Born, Meusdorf 25.11.1913, died 1345 hrs 20.10.1940, now buried Cannock Chase, Block 1, Row 7, Grave 256.
Regards
Joe.
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  #7  
Old 17th March 2006, 19:14
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

Peter
The fact the aircraft exploded rules out it was the one seen by Craig's father.
Craig noted.
Quote:
he told me the story of how the plane came down on fire in a flat spin. The pilot bailed out but his parachute caught fire and sadly he was killed. The fire went out before the plane struck the ground and was not badly damaged. He says there were no guns protruding from the wings so I presume it was an E-1 and it had the yellow cowling.
I presume, this aircraft may have not crashed at Welling but in a nearby village, unfortunately my knowledge of English geography disallows me a quick search.
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Old 18th March 2006, 08:20
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Peter Cornwell Peter Cornwell is offline
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Re: Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

Franek,

In my experience you shouldn't place too much importance on eye-witness accounts. And certainly those quoted at second-hand at a distance of almost half a century. I stand by what I have said & published in BoBT&N back in 1980. The aircraft that fell at Wickham Street, Welling, was FRIEDEMANN's. The fact that it exploded doesn't mean that it disintegrated. The engine, forward fuselage, cockpit section, & wings fell as a complete unit, landing inverted off Plumstead Road, in Woolwich. Other wreckage being scattered over neighbouring areas of South London.

As to the question of armament, I quote the RAF Intelligence A.I.1.(g) Report on the incident that described the armament as '2 20mm. shell guns, 2 M.G.17's'. Photos of the incident confirm this statement.

Last edited by Peter Cornwell; 17th July 2006 at 19:12.
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Old 18th March 2006, 15:58
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

Nah, Peter, that is a convincing argument! I have checked Blitz, as well as had been suggested by a disintegrated remains of yet another Messerschmitt.
Importance of witnesses' accounts - well it does work both ways, depending on circumstances and the men involved. I think in this particular case, memories fit just perfectly.

Last edited by Franek Grabowski; 18th March 2006 at 18:01.
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Old 19th March 2006, 10:44
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Peter Cornwell Peter Cornwell is offline
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Re: Researching Bf-109 Crash in Sth London

Franek,

Thank you - most gracious. Yes, of course, I accept that eye-witness accounts have their place, but if I was believe all those I have heard over the years, every Bf109 was yellow-nosed, & (this will amuse you) they were invariably shot down by a Polish pilot. In this particular case, as you say, the eye-witness account is accurate in most important respects.

In signing-off on this subject I must say 'thanks' to Rabe Anton for his remarks which are appreciated.

Last edited by Peter Cornwell; 17th July 2006 at 19:12.
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