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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 50628
Last updated: 25 August 2021
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Date:22-JAN-1945
Time:evening
Type:Silhouette image of generic ju88 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Junkers Ju 88 A-4
Owner/operator:3./LG 1 Luftwaffe
Registration: 550841
MSN: L1+KL
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Schelde area, Zeeland -   Netherlands
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Varel airfield (G)
Destination airport:
Narrative:
At 15:45 hrs GMT on 22 January 1945, Flak units were warned that 45 Ju 88 would be taking off from Ahlhorn and Varel from 1630 hrs, returning three hours later. At an altitude of 0–200 metres they would cross the coast outbound at Noordwijk-aan-Zee and — with one exception — return over Den Helder. At 19:08 hrs AA guns at Ostend were reported to be engaging German aircraft attacking a convoy off Zeebrugge, claiming three destroyed, one in sea off Ostend and two in Scheldt area. The remainder retired east via Walcheren and Breda and a Mosquito of 409 Sqn RCAF chased one for 60 miles but was unable to identify it before losing its quarry in cloud. The British picked up radio traffic from five different machines, two from LG 1 landing at Marx.

Rather than a direct attack on shipping, this was probably a new mining operation and it cost LG 1 four aircraft and their crews, all posted missing on an operation to the Scheldt Estuary. The same night 16 S-Boats of four different flotillas sailed to attack Allied convoys in the Scheldt Estuary and the Channel. In a confuse series of engagements, the freight steamer Halo (2.365 BRT) was sunk after straggling from his convoy, the British MTB 495 was seriously damaged, the S 199 was scuttled after a collision and several other S-boats were damage. Those actions may explain why the Allied believed that the Ju 88s were attacking a convoy. Later reports said that some 20 aircraft raided Ostend and neighborhood in the evening, and that minelaying was suspected between NF 13 and NF 15 buoys.
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One of the four losses of LG 1 that night was the Ju 88 A-4 WNr 550841 L1+KL of I./LG 1 that went missing without survivors over or near the Scheldt Estuary.

Crew (all lost):
Ofw. Herbert Helbig (pilot)
Ogefr. Hubert Wassenberg (observer)
Ogefr. Karl-Heinz Müller (wireless operator)
Gefr. Wilhelm Brand (air gunner)

Sources:

http://www.ghostbombers.com/kf4/West/zeisig1.html
http://wingstovictory.nl/database/pdf/486-story.pdf
https://www.defensie.nl/binaries/defensie/documenten/brochures/2008/04/08/verliesregister-1945/verliesregister-1945.pdf
British Admiraly war diary, January 1945 (available online at https://www.fold3.com/image/1/301321015)
http://s-boot.net/sboats-km-channel45.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Scheldt
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=51.400000&lon=3.716667&z=9
https://verliesregister.studiegroepluchtoorlog.nl/rs.php?aircraft=&sglo=T5155&date=&location=&pn=&unit=&name=&cemetry=&airforce=&target=&area=&airfield=


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
17-Dec-2008 11:45 ASN archive Added
22-Jan-2016 15:38 Laurent Rizzotti Updated [Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Phase, Source, Narrative]
15-Dec-2019 10:57 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]
20-Jan-2020 18:20 TigerTimon Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source]
28-Jan-2020 11:36 stehlik49 Updated [Operator, Departure airport, Narrative, Operator]

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