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Old 17th January 2006, 04:23
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Larry Hickey
Crash-landing of Hptm Groth, Gr. Kdr. II./ZG 76 during the Battle of Britain

I've recently acquired a new photo (to me) of a Bf-110 in the air marked with the codes M8+AC, which would be the a/c of RKT Hptm. Erich Groth, Gr. Kdr. of II./ZG 76, probably taken during the period of the French Campaign or the Battle of Britain. The details of the shark's mouth on the nose indicates that this is not the a/c shot down on Sept. 4, 1940, with Oblt. Wrede, the Gr. TO, flying Grothe's a/c (M8+AC). The Nauroth/Held book, "Messerschmitt Bf110 Zerstörer an allen Fronten 1939-45," P. 114, also done by Schiffer in an English translation (P. 115), shows a front view of a Bf-110 with a caption indicating that this is Hptm. Groth's a/c after crash-landing in France after a raid on London during the Battle of Britain. It may have a yellow gun deck cover. The detailing on this shark's mouth indicates that this is the a/c in my photo. Referring to the loss tables in the Vasco/Cornwell book on the Bf-110 during 1940 does not provide a candidate for this crash-landing. Was this an incident that happened, for instance, on August 15, 1940, when the Stab of II./ZG 76 was badly mauled over England, and a new 110, subsequently lost by Wrede on 4.9.40, was assigned. Or is the crash-landed a/c the replacement for the plane lost on 4.9.40? This would be expected if the aircraft in the Nauroth/Held book in fact carries a yellow gun bay cover. Can anybody pinpoint the date of the a/c pictured in the Nauroth/Held book to solve this mystery? Some photos in this book are mis-captioned, and perhaps the crash-landing took place sometime in 1941, rather than during the BoB. Does anyone have any other photos of this Bf-110 after the crash-landing?

Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
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