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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 226420
Last updated: 20 September 2021
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Date:22-JUN-1941
Time:01:25 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic ju88 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Junkers Ju 88 C-2
Owner/operator:1./NJG 2 Luftwaffe
Registration: 0827
MSN: R4+JH, weisse J
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Deeping St James, 'Haines Farm', Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Gilze-Rijen airfield (NL)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
The aircraft was shot down by a 25 Squadron RAF Beaufighter, flown by the Herrick & Yeomans crew.

Crew:
Flugzeugführer - Oberfeldwebel Otto Wiese - killed - 27 years old
Bordfunker - Unteroffizier Heinrich Beul - bailed out, prisoner of war
Bordmechaniker - Gefreiter - Hermann Mandel - killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

This aircraft took off from Gilze Rijen at 0015 hours (German time) on a night fighter patrol in the Lincolnshire area. Whilst flying to the patrol area their aircraft was attacked from dead astern by F/O M. J. Herrick DFC and P/O Yeomans in a Beaufighter Mk.IF (R2069) of No.25 Sqdn. The Beaufighter was spotted by the German crew but before action could be taken the Ju 88 was hit by cannon fire and burst into flames. The radio operator baled out and whilst descending saw another parachute which was in flames. The Ju 88 dived into the ground at a fine angle and was completely destroyed.

Personal account of Heinrich Beul, the sole survivor! (Extract from "Intruders over Britain" by Simon Parry).

'On June 22nd 1941, we left Gilze-Rijen at 00.15 hours, heading for England. Our route, as usual, took us over the North Sea to the Wash but the English flak did not appear as it usually did. From this we concluded that there must be night fighters in the area.

Our aircraft was coded R4 + JH, a Junkers Ju 88C-2, and carried eight 50kg bombs together with some incendiaries. The pilot was Oberfeldwebel Otto Weise and the Bordmechaniker Gefreiter Hermann Mandel. I was the Bordfunker, working the wireless, manning the rearward firing MG 15 machine gun and also keeping a look-out for British night fighters. Over England other aircraft could often be made out in the darkness. It was possible that they could have been from our own Staffel or German bombers as well as English bombers.'

Just 100 yards away from Heinrich Beul was one of No. 25 Squadron's Beaufighters. 'Cockle 22' was flown by F/O Michel Herrick, a New Zealander who had already destroyed four aircraft at night and had been awarded the DFC for shooting down two aircraft on September 5th the previous year. Herrick sat alongside the Ju 88 for some time as he contacted his ground control station at Orby to confirm that the aircraft was definitely 'hostile'. Satisfied with its identity, he dropped back behind and slightly below the four exhaust flames which were all that could be seen of his enemy. His first burst of fire missed by a narrow margin and Otto Weise threw the Ju 88 into a diving turn to starboard. Herrick went after it using his guns in the manner of a hosepipe as the pace of the combat was too great to make use of the reflector gun sight. Heinrich Beul recalled what followed:

'Our aircraft was hit from behind. Our right wing, with two 400litre fuel tanks caught fire. Otto went into a steep dive in an attempt to exstinguish the flames but to no avail, in fact the flames grew bigger. Otto gave the order to bale out and Hermann tried to open the bottom gondola but couldn't, the handle having been damaged by a cannon shell. We had to jettison the cockpit hood. I stepped on to my seat and rolled out. I was lucky to get out first and immediately tried to pull my parachute release. I was spinning over and over. I reached the handle on my chest and pulled. There was a tremendous jerk and I swung like a pendulum as I fell. I could see a streaking light like a question mark in the night sky. I thought that the fuel in the burning wing had exploded and that the aircraft had blown up but this was not the case. A little later I saw in front of me several explosions, both large and small. This was the aircraft crashing, the fuel tanks, bombs and ammunition exploding.

As I came nearer to the ground I could see a house and a stream. I thought I might land in the water so I inflated my life jacket. While I was still twenty to thirty metres from the ground I heard a whistle blow. The English were good - they had arrived whilst I was still in the air. The parachute fell in a small wheat field at the edge of the stream and I was dragged along. I hit my head hard, my arm hurt and I needed first aid. The army all carried their rifles and revolvers and took me to a house where the people were nice to me. They gave me some water as I was thirsty and I gave them my pocket knife in thanks.
After a time the police came to the house. I was handcuffed and made prisoner. The police took me to a detention room at an airfield and the handcuffs released. I hoped they would stay off. The room had no windows, just a door and above this a hatch. A wooden bunk was the only furniture. After about an hour the door opened and a soldier shouted,'Kommandant!.' I got off the bunk.

'Boche', the Kommandant said, 'deutscher Schweinehund.' And then I was introduced to the pilot who shot us down. He was very friendly to me. I was told what had become of my crew. Hermann had either jumped out over the burning wing or the fire had spread to the cockpit before he had time to bale out. His arachute had cought fire and he had fallen in flames. He had been the burning estion mark I had seen in the sky. Otto Wiese went down with the aircraft and body was found in the wreckage.'

The victor; Flt/Lt. Len Yeomans. (Yeomans).

Page from Len's flight book recording the incident. (Yeomans).

Len Yeomans, son Tim Yeomans reports the following;

When I was a young boy I remember my Dad having a small rather battered compass cum sundial. On the back of this the spread eagle symbol of the Third Reich could be clearly seen. All I knew at the time was that he had acquired this as a souvenir when a downed German airman was being detained in the guardroom at RAF Wittering where Dad was stationed. He had joined the RAF in 1936 and had by the outbreak of war.

Compass of the radio op, Heinrich Beul. (Yeomans).

Tim Yeomans with Silke Weise. (Weise).

Excavation of the crash site by Peter Stanley. (Stanley).

Bomb located and destroyed by the EOD. (Stanley).

MGFF Cannon recovered from crash site. (Stanley).

The family of Emil Wiese pictured in 1940, Otto is standing on the right in uniform. (Via Wiese).

Young Otto pictured during training (Wiese).

Otto on leave, now wearing his pilots badge (Wiese).

Family death notice (Wiese).

The last resting place of Otto Wiese and his gunner Hermann Mandel (Brownless).

Silke Wiese with her daughter visits her relatives grave. (Wiese).

RAF Combat Report of F/O M. J. Herrick DFC (NA).

Burial details:

Both those who perished now rest at the Deutsche Soldatenfriedhof Cannock Chase. England.

Otto can be found at Block 5 Grave 346 and Hermann Block 5 Grave 347.

Researched by Melvin Brownless with thanks to the family of Otto Wiese and Len Yeomans, Simon Parry and Peter Stanley, for all their help in creating this page of remembrance. Updated 2019).

Sources:

GQM (#3-5)+(27.6.41, Erg. "a"); Blitz T&N, s.47; Foreman, The Turning Point, II, s.353; Rökker, I./NJG 2, s.216
Nachtjagd Combat Archive The Early Years part one
Luftwaffe losses aircrewremembrancesociety3.com

Media:


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
22-Jun-2019 08:10 TigerTimon Added
10-Jul-2019 08:40 TigerTimon Updated [Cn, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
18-Mar-2020 14:38 DB Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Operator]

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