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Old 24th November 2006, 00:49
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Mistel raid, 3 October 1944

I would like to have more details about a raid launched by 8./KG 66.

Here is what I have (from Aero-Journal n° 47, article by Robert Forsyth), translation is mine

"On 3 October 1944, five Mistel 1 of 8./KG 66 targeted again the Nijmegen bridge. But, on the way of the target, three crashed in Teutoburger Wald (a great forest south of Osnabrück) because of bad weather. All three pilots were killed, including the Staffelkapitän, Oblt Karl-Horst Polster. The two remaining pilots didn't find the target and finally released their bomber. One of the Bf 109 F-4 flown by Fw Franz Heckmann was shot down by an Allied fighter."

The Volskbund website has an Oblt Horst Polster that died on 3 October 1944 and is buried in Bramsche (two exist, both are NW of Osnabruck, around 20-30 km from Teutoburger Wald). It has no Franz Heckmann, but that didn't prove anything.

If anybody has other details, I will be interested. The part that is the most intriguing for me is the fate of Fw Heckmann. Mistel flew operations by night, so 3 Oct means either night of 2-3, or 3-4. In the evening of the 2nd, Nijmegen was raided by Fw 190 of III./KG 51 and Ju 87 of NSGr 2, and Mosquitoes claimed 3 Ju 87 and 1 Fw 190 shot down between 2040 and 2210, but I don't think the Bf 109 of KG 66 was one of these, as the Kapitän crashed on 3 Oct on the way of the target.

There was no other night claim, and in the night of 3-4 the only one was a Me410 claimed over Liege by a P-61 (both type (two engine) and location didn't match).

Another possibility was that it was shot down by an American fighter during the daylight hours of the 3rd, they claimed 9 victories (according to the Fighter Command War Diaries), but I have no details of these.

By the way, the two Mistel bomber released somewhere fell somewhere, and probably produced a big explosion, so maybe Allied or Dutch documents have something about them.

Thanks in advance

Laurent
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Old 24th November 2006, 10:56
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robert_schulte robert_schulte is offline
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Re: Mistel raid, 3 October 1944

Laurent,
some additional info from the Mistel-book:
Polster was flying Werk-Nr. 140572 and the attack was planned to attack the Nijmegen bridge at dusk. The "pathfinder" of the formation, Leutnant Balduin Pauli of 7./KG 66 flying a lone Bf 109, took off from Burg at 17.25 hrs.
Distance from Burg to the Teutoburger Wald (where I live) is about 270 km, so flight time to the crash site should be roughly 45 minutes, which would be about 18.10 hrs. So the crash of Heckmann would probably be not a night claim but a day claim.
Hope this helps
Robert
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Old 24th November 2006, 12:25
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Jaap Woortman Jaap Woortman is offline
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Re: Mistel raid, 3 October 1944

Laurent,

Are you sure about Heckmanns first name?
There is a Heckmann buried at Ysselsteyn in the Netherlands according to the VDK.
He is Obgefr. Walter Heckmann. Born at 07.03.1908 and died at 02.10.1944.
Walter Heckmann ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Ysselsteyn (Niederlande) .
Endgrablage: Block CG Reihe 11 Grab 262
A second difference is his rank. This person is a Obgefr. and not a Fw.
But, you never know.

As far is we know now there was one Ju 87 crash at Dutch territory at October 2nd, 1944.
A Ju 87D-5 of Stab/NSG 2 W.Nr. 100366 has made a crashlanding near Groesbeek.
Groesbeek is south of Nijmegen.
Crew with Ofw. H.Rudolph and Lt. W.Hoch. was wounded.

Jaap Woortman
Secr. Dutch Study Group Airwar 1939-1945.
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Old 25th November 2006, 11:12
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Jaap Woortman Jaap Woortman is offline
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Re: Mistel raid, 3 October 1944

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaap Woortman View Post
Laurent,
There is a Heckmann buried at Ysselsteyn in the Netherlands according to the VDK.
He is Obgefr. Walter Heckmann. Born at 07.03.1908 and died at 02.10.1944.
Walter Heckmann ruht auf der Kriegsgräberstätte in Ysselsteyn (Niederlande) .
Endgrablage: Block CG Reihe 11 Grab 262
I have checked the above mentioned person but he is not the Heckmann you are looking for. This Walter Heckmann was from the German Navy and buried at Groede in Zeeland in the Netherlands.

Jaap
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Old 25th November 2006, 12:34
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Mistel raid, 3 October 1944

Robert and Jaap, thanks for all this data.

I will try to find the Mistel book.

Jaap, about the Ju 87 loss you describe, it seems to me that Groesbeck was in Allied hands in October 1944, so should I understand that the German crew was wounded, and captured ? Or only wounded, and returned to German lines ?
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Old 2nd December 2006, 12:01
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Re: Mistel raid, 3 October 1944

Laurent,
just got some info from the cemetary in Bramsche, according to this Horst Polster died in Dissen, a small town about 20 km SE of Osnabrück.
BTW, would you be interested in a photo of the grave?
Best wishes
Robert
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Old 9th December 2006, 23:27
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Mistel raid, 3 October 1944

Hi robert, thanks for the offer, and sorry for the late reply, my Internet provider dropped me (totally) last week without any forewarning. It seems they are changing their network, and were not able to transfer me, so decide I was no more an interesting customer. Of course, they didn't send me anything (except the normal bill) and it was only when I complained that I had no more service that I learned that...

To come back to your offer, thanks, but I'm not interested in grave pictures.

Best regards

Laurent
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