Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2623
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 17 Aug 2021 19:54

Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone can help with German (or Italian?) sources on an attack by British Wellington bombers of 37 Squadron R.A.F. on Heraklion airfield, Crete, on 28 April 1942.

My understanding is that I./LG 1 were based there in April 1942.

The British reported (AIR27/390/7):
28 April 1942
OPERATIONS – HERAKLION.
On the night 28/29th April, thirteen aircraft were ordered for operations. The task was to destroy, by bombing, dispersed aircraft on HERAKLION Aerodrome.
The aircraft took off as ordered, and all aircraft located and bombed the target. The runways and dispersal areas were the main objectives, and several fires and explosions resulted. S/Ldr. Macfarlane, P/O. Birmingham and F/Sgt. Wickens dropped their bombs on the runway, the latter’s bombs being seen to cause a terrific explosion with bluish fire. The bombs dropped by P/O Downer, P/O. Mains-Smith, P/O. Scard and P/O. Pilley all started fires and explosions, and P/O. Scard reported that after bombing he observed twenty four to thirty explosions in the target area, which he believed to be more than those of incendiaries. W/O. Ellison made two attacks, the first against HERAKLION, and the second against TYMBAKI: the only result observed was a small explosion at TYMBAKI. Sgt. Temple also attacked TYMBAKI, dropping his bombs in one stick on a heading 130° from the sea across the road at the Southern end of the landing ground: as a result a fire was started.
The opposition encountered was not intense, although the heavy flak was quite accurate. There were no searchlights in operation.
The weather throughout the operation was very good, and the visibility was excellent.
All the aircraft returned safely to base.
I would be interested to see whether the Germans reported suffering any losses.

Regards

Tom

User avatar
Urmel
Member
Posts: 4320
Joined: 25 Aug 2008 09:34
Location: The late JBond

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Urmel » 18 Aug 2021 10:40

Have you tried contacting Peter Taghon on 12 O'Clock High? He has written a very detailed history of LG1.

http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthrea ... ght=taghon
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3910
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Larry D. » 18 Aug 2021 13:27

The only LG 1 loss on or around this date in the Mediterranean was:

28 Apr 42: 2.St. Ju 88A-4 (L1+AA) shot down by a Beaufighter night fighter during a heavy night raid on Alexandria during which hits were claimed on several cargo ships and a floating dock, 1 KIA and 3 MIA.

Iraklion (GR/Crete) (a.k.a. Iráklion, Heraklion) (35 20 15 N – 25 11 00 E) (AFHRA)
General: airfield in eastern Crete 4.5 km E of the Heraklion city center.
The only loss on the ground here in April 1942 was:
8 Apr 42: bombed – 1 x Ju 88 A-4 from I./LG 1 destroyed on the ground.

L.

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2623
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 18 Aug 2021 19:08

Urmel wrote:
18 Aug 2021 10:40
Have you tried contacting Peter Taghon on 12 O'Clock High? He has written a very detailed history of LG1.
Thanks, I'll try that.
Larry D. wrote:
18 Aug 2021 13:27
The only LG 1 loss on or around this date in the Mediterranean was:

28 Apr 42: 2.St. Ju 88A-4 (L1+AA) shot down by a Beaufighter night fighter during a heavy night raid on Alexandria during which hits were claimed on several cargo ships and a floating dock, 1 KIA and 3 MIA.

Iraklion (GR/Crete) (a.k.a. Iráklion, Heraklion) (35 20 15 N – 25 11 00 E) (AFHRA)
General: airfield in eastern Crete 4.5 km E of the Heraklion city center.
The only loss on the ground here in April 1942 was:
8 Apr 42: bombed – 1 x Ju 88 A-4 from I./LG 1 destroyed on the ground.
Larry,

Thanks, that's great detail. It looks like the 8 Apr 42 loss can be put down to 37 Sqn RAF Wellingtons. Again from AIR27/390:
8 April 1942 SHALLUFA, EGYPT
OPERATIONS – HERAKLION.
Another aircraft, captain P/O. Warriner, flew to LG.09 in the afternoon, to join the five aircraft which had remained there when the operation the previous night was cancelled. The target was again HERAKLION, but only four aircraft operated, as two machines had become unserviceable for operations.
These four aircraft located and bombed HERAKLION, though they did not see any dispersed aircraft. F/Sgt. Ibbott, who was first over the target at 2300 hours saw the flarepath: he dropped his bombs to the East of the intersection of the runways, and started a red fire which could be seen for half an hour. P/O. Warriner dropped a stick at the Eastern end of the long runway, but apart from the bursts, no other results were seen. Sgt. Mott, on arrival over the target, saw a fire near the Western end of the long runway: he dropped his bombs near it and saw the fire spread. Sgt. Plumstead dropped his bombs on a south heading down the short runway, and saw his bombs burst with two large explosions.
Weather and visibility were very good. Intense and accurate heavy A.A. came from North and South of the aerodrome and from STANDIA ISLAND, but no searchlights were operating whilst the first three machines were over the target. A single searchlight operated during Sgt. Plumstead’s attack, and held the aircraft.
All the aircraft returned safely to base. P/O. Warriner slightly damaged his aircraft when landing at LG.09, and had to fly to base at SHALLUFA with his undercarriage down, and had to make a flapless landing. He made a heavy landing, but no major damage to the aircraft resulted. The crew were unhurt.
Regards

Tom

Darius333
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 07 Jun 2006 21:31
Location: Germany

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Darius333 » 23 Sep 2021 20:15

Off topic:
Do you know what´s up with 12 O'Clock High forum? Can´t reach it for some days now.

Regards

Darius

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3910
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Larry D. » 23 Sep 2021 23:42

Purely an educated guess, but the owner and webmaster of TOCH, Ruy Horta from The Netherlands, does this a couple of times a year for maintenance purposes. It's usually down for 3 to 5 days at a time.

L.

Panzerspitze
Member
Posts: 269
Joined: 19 Aug 2009 23:53

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Panzerspitze » 24 Sep 2021 01:13

Larry D. wrote:
18 Aug 2021 13:27
The only LG 1 loss on or around this date in the Mediterranean was:

28 Apr 42: 2.St. Ju 88A-4 (L1+AA) shot down by a Beaufighter night fighter during a heavy night raid on Alexandria during which hits were claimed on several cargo ships and a floating dock, 1 KIA and 3 MIA.

L.
How was it concluded by the Germans that out of the crew of four, one was KIA and three MIA? Was it based on report from the crews of other attack participants and/or announcement by the British?

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3910
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Larry D. » 24 Sep 2021 13:47

Panzer -

I don't know in this specific case, but the Staffel/Gruppe always reported the crew's KIA, WIA and MIA status the same day as the loss.

L.

Darius333
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 07 Jun 2006 21:31
Location: Germany

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Darius333 » 24 Sep 2021 21:45

Larry D. wrote:
23 Sep 2021 23:42
Purely an educated guess, but the owner and webmaster of TOCH, Ruy Horta from The Netherlands, does this a couple of times a year for maintenance purposes. It's usually down for 3 to 5 days at a time.
O.k., let´s wait.


Regards

Darius

Larry D.
Financial supporter
Posts: 3910
Joined: 04 Aug 2004 23:03
Location: Winter Springs, FL (USA)

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Larry D. » 26 Sep 2021 14:41

Darius333 wrote:
24 Sep 2021 21:45
Larry D. wrote:
23 Sep 2021 23:42
Purely an educated guess, but the owner and webmaster of TOCH, Ruy Horta from The Netherlands, does this a couple of times a year for maintenance purposes. It's usually down for 3 to 5 days at a time.
O.k., let´s wait.
Regards
Darius
THE LATEST: as of Sunday morning 26 September, I'm told TOCH has serious problems and a technical support team is currently working on it, so this is much more than down time for routine maintenance. No one connected with TOCH is willing to estimate when it will be back up.

L.

Darius333
Member
Posts: 122
Joined: 07 Jun 2006 21:31
Location: Germany

Re: Raid on Heraklion Airfield - 28 April 1942

Post by Darius333 » 26 Sep 2021 15:14

Thank you Larry D.

I hope, they´ll make it running as before (or better)...

Regards

Darius

Return to “Luftwaffe air units and Luftwaffe in general”