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Old 18th May 2005, 16:21
peterf peterf is offline
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Post Please Help - Lancaster EE138

I am new to this forum. I am hoping that I can gain help with some research that I am doing. So far this is what I know.

1. On the night of the 3rd/4th of September 1943 a Lancaster from RAAF 460 Squadron Binbrook EE138 while on its shortened return run home from Berlin crashed just out side of the small village of Stadil Denmark.(all crew lost & remain at the site) but the site is preserved by the local Stadil people.


2. Eye witness accounts of a farmer Ingemann Halkjær whose property the Lancaster eventually crashed on, has described a series of events involving the Lancaster and a German Nightfighter


Ingemann Halkjær experienced it like this:

- “ We woke up by hearing motor noise from two air planes, and at the same time we could hear shooting. I got up and heard the planes coming from the South and passing above our heads while fire tongues from the German night fighter showed that there was shooting. Shortly afterwards the planes came back. The British plane had been hit, and just South of Fuglbjerg the plane tipped over halfway and went down vertically. The height probably was a couple of hundreds meter, and the crew might not have dared jump out. When the plane hit the ground, it exploded in an enormous crash. It was so violent that people in Husby (14 km away) were awakened, and I remember that I instinctively jumped away from the window because it felt so close.”


3. At the crash site an information plaque describes that nights events of September 3rd 1943 as follows and how the crew of the Lancaster…

“ were forced to fly across Denmark on it’s return route because it was running short of fuel, Lancaster EE138 came from the east and flew over the coast at Houvig, and the crew probably breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the North Sea below. In the German fortifications Kryle and Ringelnatter in Houvig the German anti aircraft guns opened fire, and the large four engine Lancaster bomber must have been hit, for it returned shortly after, probably to avoid crashing into the sea. When Lancaster EE138 returned it was hit again and catching fire, it crashed to the ground like a blazing flare and exploded on impact.”


The explanation goes on, but that paragraph is the information that I need some answers to. I have traced through web site http://www.rafandluftwaffe.info/ the Night fighter Pilot to be a Ltn Karl Rechberger

04.09.43 Ltn. Karl Rechberger 12./NJG 3 Lancaster  MR-2.5g: 4.300 m. 02.32 FilmC. 2026/I Anerk: Nr.-


I have plotted the location claimed by Ltn Rechberger to be just North East of Stadil which is maybe where they first engaged one another.

This information is also confirmed by a Tony Woods web site as well but, he also has the following cooperative claim by what I believe to be that of the Anti Aircraft station at Houvig:


04.09.43 Ltn. Karl Rechberger 12./NJG 3 Lancaster  - 02.32 Film-C. 2031/I XII. Flg.Kps.


You will see that the difference is the different film numbers and the XII Flg. Kps. I have tried to find a Daily Report for the Anti Aicraft station at Houvig but have drawn many blanks.


Ltn Rechberger was based at Grove airfield Denmark and continued until he was later wounded but landed back at Grove on the 4th of November 1943, the details are from the same site


04-11-1943 Junkers Ju 88 C-6 Nachtjagdstaffel 12./IV./NJG 3 Grove 2D WNr. 0750 500 D5 + AX British A/C 75 SQN STIR 35% Ltn. Karl Rechberger (w) 0-0-1-2 DENMARK Lan/Dam/on airfield Grove

So after a very long scenario my questions of the members of this forum are;
  • Can any one point me to the Daily Reports for the Anti Aicraft station at Houvig ?
  • Where could I find further info on Ltn. Karl Rechberger – and did he survive the war?
My German language interpretations so far have been made from using internet interpretation sites and I thought that maybe I should ask for some help from those that are better informed than myself.


So if any one can help me, please do.

Best regards,


Peter F
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Old 18th May 2005, 17:24
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ju55dk ju55dk is offline
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Re: Please Help - Lancaster EE138

"04.09.43 Ltn. Karl Rechberger 12./NJG 3 Lancaster  - 02.32 Film-C. 2031/I XII. Flg.Kps."
This is not a double claim by Rechberger and AA. XII Fliegerkorps was in command of the nightfighters, so the claim was submitted through XII. FlKorps.


Ltn Rechberger was based at Grove airfield Denmark and continued until he was later wounded but landed back at Grove on the 4th of November 1943, the details are from the same site
04-11-1943 Junkers Ju 88 C-6 Nachtjagdstaffel 12./IV./NJG 3 Grove 2D WNr. 0750 500 D5 + AX British A/C 75 SQN STIR 35% Ltn. Karl Rechberger (w) 0-0-1-2 DENMARK Lan/Dam/on airfield Grove.
Rechbergers Ju 88 was hit by returnfire from the bomber, damaging the Ju and wounding Rechberger. He did survive the war.

Junker
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Old 18th May 2005, 17:52
peterf peterf is offline
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Smile Re: Please Help - Lancaster EE138

Hi Junker,

Thankyou for your reply I do appreciate it very much. And I now understand that the second report was not that of the Flak unit. Can you tell me how you know Ltn Karl Rechberger survived the war ? I had understood he was wounded in a later incident but not killed, and thought that he could have been discharged. Are there military or civilian records available showing this ? If so could you tell me where?

Once again thankyou for your help.

Regards

Peterf
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Old 18th May 2005, 18:21
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ju55dk ju55dk is offline
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Re: Please Help - Lancaster EE138

I do not have anything on this later incident, only that he was wounded in this engagement, beeing admitted to the Luftwaffe-hospital in Aarhus. He was not heavely wounded. According to WASt-Berlin he survived the war. You might try to get hold of his service-record, if they still exist, through BA/MA Freiburg!


Junker
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Old 31st January 2007, 10:34
RossGmann RossGmann is offline
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Re: Please Help - Lancaster EE138

Type Lancaster
Serial Number EE138
Squadron 460
X1D AR-?
Operation Berlin
Date 1 3rd September 1943
Date 2 4th September 1943

Airborne 1958 3Sep43 from Binbrook. Homebound, shot down by a night- fighter and crashed 0241 4Sep43 into marshy ground at Vestager, 11 km WNW of Ringkobing, Denmark. Despite an extensive search of the area, the only discernible evidence found was a notebook belonging to S/L Kelaher. They are all commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. S/L C.R.Kelaher RAAF KIA F/O S.M.Forrester (P2) RAAF KIA Sgt H.F.Jowett KIA W/O E.G.Garthew KIA W/O C.A.Walsh RAAF KIA Sgt J.C.Combes KIA Sgt E.A.C.Thirkettle KIA Sgt A.Rolfe KIA "

EE138 Served with 460 Sqn under RAF Control 03/07/43 to 03/09/43. Total Missions 7. Shot down by a night fighter and crashed at Stadil 4/9/43.

Kind regards

Ross
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Old 31st January 2007, 15:15
peterf peterf is offline
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Re: Please Help - Lancaster EE138

Hi Ross,
Firstly thankyou for your reply - I do appreciate that you have taken the time to scan through your records.

Since I first posted my " please help" back in May 05 I have had help from Junkers - who was able to confirm some specific detail for me. As well I have had an ongoing discussion with Soren Flensted, Larry Wright has also helped and been very patient!

I can now say to this forum that I have found a number of facts which begin to fill in a few of the gaps surounding EE138, as a result of time that I have spent at our National Archives in Canberra - Australia searching through official documentation.

The AR code was AR-E2 call sign E for Easy. (E for Edward JA683 was also flown that night 3/9/43 by Marshall). My Uncle had a pocket book which, like Sqldr Kelaher was also recovered from the crash site the next day near Stadil Denmark, this pocket book recovery was reported in the The Air Ministry "Casualty Report" as being provided to the Red Cross and as a result my Grandmother later ended up with it, a search by my sole remaining Aunt ( SM Forresters sister) last year unearthed a small case containing many of his possesions returned from Binbrook including this particular notebook and accompanying correspondence.
I had also been attempting to find a pictire of AR-E2 of which I do think I have one of the nose art of the plane possibly taken following repairs after its early operation 26/6/43 to Glushenbench, when it was hit by Flak and sustained 77 Flack hits ( Regular crew Jeff Oakshott).
The Photo from the Archives in Canberra has a photo donated by G Hayes and described as the....

"Nose art on bomber aircraft of 460 Squadron RAAF. A large billed water bird wears a sporran and tam o' shanter cap and underneath is written 'cobber'. Two kangaroos indicate the aircraft has flown two missions. On the back of this photograph is written the word 'Gremlin'.

The photo shows the picture as described above as well as it has smudged and patchy repaired paint and showing just 2 operations. In all EE138 completed 23 ops and was returning from its 24th when lost.

My most recent information gathering surrounds the Authenticity/comparrison of a photo image of Ltn. Karl Rechberger and that of Rudi Magelsdorfe and his crew, but at this stage that is very much an ongoing saga - a story for another day !!! Unless someone can further assist me,
Any way thankyou for you interest and if any one can provide any thing further please.... Please let me know.
Best Regards

Pete


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Old 13th February 2007, 08:27
peterf peterf is offline
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Re: Please Help - Lancaster EE138

I have just noticed that in my previous reply I incorrectly (by mistake ) said that EE138 was damaged by flack on the 26/6/43 , This should have read 28/6/43 Operation Cologne. Below is an extract from the 541 report.

Regards

Peter F

28.6.43
E.E.138
AUS F/S G.J. OAKESHOTT
Operations
23.06
03.50
Bomb load 1 x 4000 lb HC 2 x 500 lbs GP.TD .025 1 x 500 lbs


AUS F/O W.J. CAMERON
COLOGNE


TD (72 hours) 48 x 30 lbs INC 570 x 4 lbs INC 30 x 4 lbs


AUS F/S W.P. BRANNELLY



“X” filled INC. Target was attacked at 01.45 hours


AUS F/L R.M. MOULD



from 19.500 ft. Bombs were dropped about 2 miles short


SGT B.J. WISBY



of R.P. flares. F/Turret damaged. Graviner switch on I.F.F.


SGT B.C. DURRANT



blown off – hole in bomb doors and many other holes in fuselage


AUS F/S F.R. GOLDSWORTHY



caused by heavy flak. P.F.F. were very late.





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Old 13th February 2007, 10:30
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Please Help - Lancaster EE138

Mr Soren Flensted has a very good website about air losses over Denmark in WWII.

EE138 is described at this page: http://www.flensted.eu.com/19430089.shtml

Hope it helps

Laurent
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Old 13th February 2007, 19:01
Delmenhorst Delmenhorst is offline
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Re: Please Help - Lancaster EE138

Rechberger shot down EE138 - no doubt about it. The wrong story on the plaque is due to local rumors. We did not have the information about Rechberger at the time and nobody came forward about the air combat. We had three eyewitnesses that claimed that they saw the plane being shot down from Kryle. It later turned out, that they mixed up two different stories.
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Old 14th February 2007, 01:32
peterf peterf is offline
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Re: Please Help - Lancaster EE138

Hi Delmenhorst,
Thankyou for your post - Yes I am aware that the incident refered to on the plaque is a mixup, and that particular Lancaster crashed near the Church in Stadil. Definitely Ltn Karl Rechberger shot down EE138 and was awarded the claim. Recently I have been attempting to identify and piece together the full Rechberger crew of the JU88, any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

Regards

Pete
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