Downed German Fighters Orne Bridgehead June 1944

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Charles Steiner
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Downed German Fighters Orne Bridgehead June 1944

Post by Charles Steiner » 16 Aug 2021 15:33

Hello all,

I must admit that I don’t know much about the air war so I come for some help to this subforum. I am trying to identify a downed german pilot, who crashed his plane south of the sector Escoville - Sainte-Honorine-la-Chardonnerette close to the Orne Bridgehead. The German pilot, an NCO, survived the crash and spent some time with the German troops who rescued him. According to the testimony of a German veteran, who was present at the time, this occured during the first days of the Invasion, more likely during the period June 7th - June 10th, 1944… unfortunately nothing is known on the unit of this pilot, nor what type of plane he flew. Some of his comrades claimed it was a Fockewulf, others said a Messerschmidt 109…

Can someone help me with providing a list of German planes downed in that region during the specific timeframe?

Many thanks in advance.

Cheers,

Charles

Larry D.
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Re: Downed German Fighters Orne Bridgehead June 1944

Post by Larry D. » 18 Aug 2021 22:11

Having the pilot's name would make things much easier and quicker. Many of the members here specialize in the Jagdwaffe and have the resources to identify this pilot, his unit and the circumstances of the incident provided you have his name.

L.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Downed German Fighters Orne Bridgehead June 1944

Post by Sheldrake » 20 Aug 2021 11:15

The 21 Army Group Air Defence Review June 1944 reported that most daytime low level attacks had been made by Fw 190 aircraft. The bridges over the Orne canal and river was a popular target. It was initially defended by a troop of six 40mm bofors guns from F Troop 318 Battery LAA on 7 JUne then reinforced on 9th with twelve more guns from 318 Battery and then a troop of six triple 20mm Polsten AA and two Landing barges Flak and a further battery of 18 Bofors Guns from 105 battery from 40 Light AA on 10th June. (Gunners in Normandy p.188-191) By 10 June the Benouville Ranville Bridges were defended by 48 x 40mm and 12 x triple barreled 20mm guns

F Troop claimed to have beaten off eight determined attacks by formations of aircraft and numerous single aircraft attacks and claimed seventeen kills in the week following D Day. Maybe your man was one of their victims.

Charles Steiner
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Re: Downed German Fighters Orne Bridgehead June 1944

Post by Charles Steiner » 25 Aug 2021 14:15

Hello Larry and Sheldrake,

Thanks for both your responses.

@ Larry: unfortunately, except the testimony of a german veteran, who was present at the time when this German pilot was shot down, I don't have much information other than what has been given.

All I know is that his plane (a Messerschmidt 109 or - as Sheldrake put it - more likely a Fockewulf Fw 190) was shot down and the pilot managed to rescue himself by parachute. With this parachute he managed to land just within the lines held by my veteran and his comrades and he spent some time talking with the soldiers who rescued him. Apparently, he didn't have much good to say about how the Luftwaffe was handling the Invasion... After some time he was picked up and returned to his unit.

As I am trying to identify the pilot and his unit, this was the reason why I posted my request in this forum.

@ Sheldrake: most likely this pilot indeed became a victim of the strong british anti-aircraft defence near the Ranville and Bénouville bridges. Although, my veteran recalled that they witnessed several dog fights in the sky above them. At one point an allied fighter pilot was shot down in the same area, but he was killed when avoiding to be captured. Just before, he managed to kill one of the soldiers who tried to capture him. I have been able to identify this poor pilot and to pinpoint his death in time...

Cheers,

Charles

Charles Steiner
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Re: Downed German Fighters Orne Bridgehead June 1944

Post by Charles Steiner » 28 Aug 2021 20:15

Do any of you happen to know which units of the Jagdwaffe were equiped with the Fockewulf Fw 190 and were fighting on the Invasionfront in the period June 7th to June 10th, 1944 ?

Many thanks,

Charles

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Sheldrake
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Re: Downed German Fighters Orne Bridgehead June 1944

Post by Sheldrake » 29 Aug 2021 00:36

Charles Steiner wrote:
28 Aug 2021 20:15
Do any of you happen to know which units of the Jagdwaffe were equiped with the Fockewulf Fw 190 and were fighting on the Invasionfront in the period June 7th to June 10th, 1944 ?

Many thanks,

Charles
According to this web site http://www.oocities.org/sturmvogel_66/LW_OBs.html

I/SKG 10 equipped with Fw 190F was established for 42 a/c and held 34 a/c of which 18 were serviceable

This was organised, equipped and trained as a ground attack force

Other units with Fw190 A in Luftflotte 3 were JG 2 and I and II JG 26. These use the F190 A optimised for air to air fighting.

On 6th June several day fighter units equipped with the Fw190 A were transferred to bases in France. You can trawl through this site to find the full list. https://www.feldgrau.com/WW2-German-Fighter-Wing-Units/

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