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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 193059
Last updated: 26 August 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic ju88 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Junkers Ju 88D-1
Owner/operator:1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr.120 Luftwaffe
Registration: 1377
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:Norwegian Sea, by 59° 57‘ 30‘‘ N 1° 25‘ E -   Norway
Phase: Combat
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
In the early hours of 23 January 1943, the Lerwick based Norwegian MTB flotilla set out on one of its most successful and important operations - "Operation Cartoon". The target was the German pyrite mines at Litlabø on the island of Stord. Two Norwegian, former refugee boats, Gullborg and Sjølivet, had for some time blended with the local fishing boats in the area, and gathered information about the German activity.

All the MTBs, except 619, which was under repair, took part in the operation. 50 men of 12 Commando, many of them Norwegians, under the command of Major Flynn, were on board the 7 boats. MTB 626, under the command of Lt. Bøgeberg, was the leading vessel, with Commander in Chief, Lt. Tamber on board.

The flotilla were soon spotted by German airplanes, Lt. Tamber ordered a more southerly course to mislead the Germans. The plan was to land most of the men in the little harbour of Sagvåg, on the southwest side of Stord, not far from the pyrite mine. MTB 626 and MTB 627 were to attack the harbour and land the Commandos, the other boats would take care of any kind of German interruption. 618 and 623 were to cover the northern flank, while 620, 625 and 631 covered the south and east areas.

626 and 627 fired torpedoes into the harbour and blew up the pier and a cannon, and then followed up the attack with fire from all their weapons. At midnight 626 landed their commandos on what was left of the pier, while 627 found a small pier on the other side of the harbour to land theirs. The Germans had of course returned the fire, so they were under constant fire during the landing, one commando was hit and killed. The two MTBs used all their firearms to give covering fire. Then they just had to wait.

Meanwhile, the other boats did all they could to confuse the Germans, to make them believe that something else was the main target. They attracted a lot of German attention, and were fired at from the coastal forts.620 and 631 went into the harbour of Leirvik, while 625 laid mines around the east side of the island. 620 also fired on the German ship "Ilse M. Russ", the ship caught fire and grounded.

On land, the commandos had done their job; the mine was destroyed, and did not become operational again for more than a year, many Germans were killed, three Germans were taken prisoner, and the harbour defences were destroyed. But the victory had taken it‘s toll, one commando killed and two wounded, on the MTB 626, seven of the crew were wounded. 618 and 623, which were going northward before the attack on the pyrite mine, came under fire from a German coastal battery on Store Karlsøy, both boats were damaged, and three of the crew were wounded.

On the return, 625 was attacked by a German Ju 88, but they returned the fire, and the plane went down in flames. This was the Ju 88 D-1 WNr 1377 A6+KH of 1.(F)/120 that crashed in Pl.Qu 06 Ost/1013 (by 59° 57‘ 30‘‘ N 1° 25‘ E). All four crew were missing:
Lt. Julius Kienlin (pilot)
Oblt. Rudolf Schabert (observer)
Fw. Wilhelm Bosse (radio)
Uffz. Günther Weinrebe (flight engineer)

Finally all MTBs made it safely back to Lerwick.


Revision history:

24-Jan-2017 17:52 Laurent Rizzotti Added
18-Dec-2019 19:06 nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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