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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 168920
Last updated: 27 November 2019
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Date:13-JAN-1939
Time:14:00
Type:Heinkel He 111E
Owner/operator:Stab II./KG 155, Luftwaffe
Registration:
C/n / msn: 42+A20
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Burgholzer Wald, between Rauschenberg and Burgholz -   Germany
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Giessen airfield, Hessen
Destination airport:Fritzlar airfield, Hessen
Narrative:
Crashed. The crew of three perished. According to a rough translation from Ger man into English of the link #1 below:

"Found after 65 years of the father's fall

Wilhelm Göbel junior from Londorf first learned from his investigations

Schwagerersohn's more detailed account of the fate of his father

RABENAU: 65 years ago a German military aircraft crashed between Rauschenberg and Burgholz in the district of Marburg-Biedenkopf. One of the fatal three crew of the Heinkel He 111 was beside aircraft leaders and observers of the then only 24-year-Old board mechanic Wilhelm Göbel from Londorf. The machine of the 2nd combat squadron No. 155 from Giessen (later KG 55 "Greif") was evidently on a flight from Fritzlar.

Dense snow drifts prevailed on this January 13, 1939, a Friday, when Helmut Hofmann from Rauschenberg to the Lepper mill around 2 pm Flour for the bakery of the family. As he walked along the station, he heard an aircraft noise, but could not make out through the dense snow.

"It circled several times over the city, as if the crew were searching for the airfield. Then the machine collapsed into the Burgholzer Wald, Hofmann recalled in 1997.

For him, the crash was a decisive experience for him even decades later: "The Big fireball of the explosion could even be seen from Rauschenberg. With Some others I hurried to the crash site, but the crew was dead, partially burnt and terribly mutilated," continued Hofmann.

"The plane crashed like a sickle into the forest and knocked down the trees like matches. It struck almost in the middle of the road and the explosion had it almost in its parts Decomposed"says Hofmann's report.

Shortly after the crash everything went very fast. Police, members of the airfield Bracht As well as a medical team from Fritzlar collected the rubble and the widely scattered Corpses of the crew. In the deep snow, however, the search team did not find any remains until some months later, due to macabre events around the crash site

"In the summer, some pieces of bone were placed near the site of the crash, and a lower jaw was found. These remains were at the next burial " said Hofmann.

Hobbyist wanted 65 years later. Wilhelm Göbel from Londorf, born on 27 January 1939, is the son of the unfortunate mechanic. He never knew his father. He learned, from stories he and his sister Irmgard, who was almost two years older, knew of the crash. But they did not know the exact place or circumstances. So the years passed.

It was not until the son-in-law of Wilhelm Göbel Horst Jeckel of the community in Rauschenberg found a hobbyist, more light came into the tragic story. Jeckel was inspired by the recently published book by the author Robert Keller "Luftkrieg Above the Vogelsberg"to the researches.

Jörg Merlau (35) from Rauschenberg had already tried several years to get a closer look at the crash as well as the crew. In 2002, he saw in a showcase in the Foyer of the Rauschenberg town hall. The Unfortunate "Heinkel He111" was first made accessible to the public.

The type of the accident machine can not be 100% by the found parts exactly, but the researcher simply varies between two different ones Aircraft type numbers. Most likely is type A (1937) of Heinkel He111.

The trained carpenter Merlau specializes in aircraft crashes in the region. In Kesselbach overthrew a Heinkel machine and a Liberator in Nordeck-Winnen Wartime, white Merlau. After Jeckel made the contact to Rauschenberg, everything went very fast. Merlau Expected the brothers and sisters Göbel on the road to Burgholz. After a short walk through the forest, he reported on the results of his visit at the site of the incident

Investigations and the events 65 years ago. The new ones were clearly visible Afforested trees, mounds and ditches, where the machine apparently opened And exploded. A metal detector actually promoted several fragments of the Plane. These metal parts made the children of the The mechanic of his destiny. Kracht (82) from Londorf, the niece of Wilhelm Göbel, can remember Still well at his wedding on March 6, 1938, but also at the funeral on January 17th 1939 remember. Feldwebel Wilhelm Beckmann, was together with Brother Phillip Göbel at the Wedding of Wilhelm Göbel with Susanne Margarethe. Strength in Londorfer Wallstraße 18.

With all military honors and among great participation of the population of Londorf and the surrounding area became the pilot a deep trench. She also knows that the sub-officer Wilhelm Göbel often used the Londorfer church tower as he flew around. "He often waved to us". Göbel is to be held until January 13, 1939

Already three minor crashes he had survived unscathed. The death message Presented men from Londorf, such as Albert Kraft, Karl Göbel, Valentin Lich and Karl Lich, who were all busy at the Gießen airport. "On the circumstances and causes One had almost nothing at that time. Also, there were hardly any cars in the village or Telephone,"says Elisabeth Kracht more than 65 years later.

Irmgard Vogt still knows how her mother, when the Americans invaded on March 29, 1945, Londorf uniforms and equipment of the crashed father for fear Reprisals buried in the garden. Thanks to the many years of research by the leisure historian from Rauschenberg and a small one. After 65 years the brothers and sisters Göbel not only found the exact place of the crash and Therefore, some more peace of mind, but could even take some parts of the aircraft back to Rabenau, which in the future remember the fate of her father.

Sources:

1. http://www.crashplace.de/Zeitungsberichte/He%20111%20Wilhelm%20Goebel%20%20Giessener%20Anzeiger.pdf
2. Artikel und Info H.Jeckel
3. Chronik Gmde. Bracht


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Aug-2014 14:16 gerard57 Added
20-Aug-2014 14:20 gerard57 Updated [Narrative]
08-Jan-2017 21:58 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
08-Jan-2017 22:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
08-Jan-2017 22:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location]
28-Apr-2019 15:38 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
28-Apr-2019 15:40 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
30-May-2019 07:05 TigerTimon Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]

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