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The German medium bomber the Heinkel He111 was designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter. The first He111 flew on 24th of February 1935, piloted by chief test pilot Gerhard Nitschke. The Heinkel He111 was the primary medium bomber of the Luftwaffe during the opening years of World War Two and the major bomber during the Battle of Britain. It was also used as a torpedo bomber during the Battle of the Atlantic. The Heinkel He111 was used in all theatres, Western, Eastern, Middle East and Northern Africa. He111 continued in production into 1944 and by the end of the war it was used primarily as a transport. Its origins came from a pre war airliner design.
|He111 Battle of Britain Aviation Art Prints, Paintings and Drawings|
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|Signatures for : He111|
|A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking their name.|
Oberleutnant Joachim Berking
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| Oberleutnant Joachim Berking |
Joining the Luftwafte in November 1939, Joachim Berking was commissioned and trained as a pilot on Ju52s and He111s as part of KG53 based at Lille in northern France. In May 1942 he was posted to KG55 Grief in Russia, joining the 4th Staffel based in Djepropetrowsk, where he completed 291 combat missions, of which 60 were night operations. In November 1943 he returned to France to become head of training of 1 L/KG5 5 at Dijon. After this posting he converted to fighters, training on the Me109, and in April 1945 was posted to command 4./JG27 Marseille. He received the Iron Cross I and II, the German Cross in Gold, and a special honorary trophy from Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering for outstanding services in air combat.
Unteroffizier Fahnenjunker Walter Bogdan
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| Unteroffizier Fahnenjunker Walter Bogdan |
Walter Bogdan joined the Luftwaffe in March 1941, and after completing his training as a radio operator, was posted to join KG55 flying Heinkel He111s. He flew over 110 combat missions in He111s as radio operator to Leutnant Kessler. On their seventh mission they were forced to make an emergency landing during the siege of Stalingrad, and in April 1944 encountered a second emergency landing on his 75th mission. His final and 110th mission occured in July 1944 when, attacking Brjansk railway station, his aircraft was hit 122 times, but he and his pilot managed to get their aircraft safely home.
Oberleutnant Karl-Horst Meyer zum Felde
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| Oberleutnant Karl-Horst Meyer zum Felde |
With a passion for flying Karl-Horst joined the Luftwafte in October 1938, and following the outbreak of war he flew night operations as a pilot with KG55 over France before taking part in the great Blitz raids over England. After the invasion of Russia he transferred to the Eastern Front and fought at Stalingrad, making several emergency landings including one major incident when, having lost an engine to enemy action, he made a forced landing on one engine in the countryside of south Russia, where he had to join German ground units. He flew both He111s and Ju88s during the war, and was awarded the German Cross in Gold.
Oberst Hajo Hermann
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| Oberst Hajo Hermann |
Hans-Joachim Hermann was born on August 1st 1913 in Kiel, Germany. Hans-Joachim Hermann began his military career as an infantry officer, but after his introduction to gliding – and an invitation from Herman Göring, he transferred to the newly-created Luftwaffe and was commissioned in 1935. In August 1936, Herrmann was in the first group of Germans to arrive in Spain to support General Franco's Nationalist forces. Initially Hans-Joachim Hermann flew bombing operations in the Junkers 52 before becoming a founder member of the Condor Legion, whosemain mission was to attack airfields and defensive positions near Madrid. Many more bombing operations followed, and in April 1937 he returned to Germany. When Germany invading Poland Hermann took off in his Heinkel He111 to bomb railway lines in Poland on the first day. This was the first of 18 targets that Hermann attacked before his unit moved to support the German invasion of Norway. His unit was deployed to bomb targets near Oslo and Stavanger and after the fall of Norway, Hermann's unit was re-equipped with the Junkers 88 and moved to support the German army during the blitzkrieg across the Low Countries and France. During the battle of Britain Hermann was the commander of the 7th Staffel of KG-4, and he led many bombing attacks on England. His first target was oil refineries at Thames Haven and on the night of the 7th / 8th of September 1940 he attacked London. This was his 69th operation against England, when he bombed the India Dock. By the end of the Battle of Britian Hajo Hermann had flown 21 missions over London. A formidable figure in the Luftwaffe, Hajo Hermann was originally awarded the Knight's Cross in 1940 as a bomber pilot. In February 1941 while based in Sicily, Hermann led dive-bombing attacks against airfields on Malta. He was also ordered to hold the British Fleet in check. Attacks against the Royal Navy's heaviest ships followed. On April 7th 1941 following the German advance into Greece, Hermann's unit started mining and bombing operations in the eastern Mediterranean. On one attack, against shipping in Piraeus harbour, Hermann's bomb hit Clan Fraser, which was carrying 350 tons of high explosive. The resulting explosion sank 10 other ships and closed the port for many months. Hermann flew over 320 operations with KG4. In July 1941 Hermann was appointed commander of a bomber group, initially based in France to attack targets in England, before moving to a new base in the far north of Norway. His unit attacked Allied convoys heading for Murmansk with supplies for the Russians - these artic convoys included PQ-17, which was continously attacked. PQ -17 would lose a total of 24 merchantmen and only 11 ships made it through. With II./JG30, Hermann sank a total of 12 ships and in 1942 Hermann was assigned to the general staff in Germany, where he became a close confidant of Göring. In July 1942 he was appointed to the Luftwaffe operational staff. During the summer of 1943 as the Royal Air Force carried out night bombing raids, Hermann devised the tactic of using day fighters to hunt alone rather than in packs. As a bomber man himself, his ideas initially gained little support from the Luftwaffe's night fighter staff, but Göring supported the idea. Flown by experienced night fighter pilots and ex-instructors, the fighters waited in the darkness above their Allied targets, using the light of fires below to illuminate the bombers before attacking. He was responsible for the formation of JG300 and founded the highly successful Wilde Sau (Wild Boar) tactics of free roaming Fw190 night fighters. Hermann himself flew more than 50 wild boar missions and was twice forced to bail out of his stricken fighter. In December 1943 he was appointed Luftwaffe Inspector of Aerial Defence. At the end of 1944 he led the 9th Flieger division and created the famous Rammkommando. Hermann was credited with shooting down nine RAF bombers. After being Inspector General of night fighters, Hermann was appointed to command the First Fighter Division, when he continued to fly on operations. At the end of the war he was captured by the Russians. He spent 10 years in Soviet camps and was one of the last to be released, returning to Germany on October 12th 1955. Hajo Hermann awarded the Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves and Swords. Sadly, we have learned that Hajo Hermann passed away on 5th November 2010.
Unteroffizier Kurt Kesten
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| Unteroffizier Kurt Kesten |
Kurt Kesten was born in 1922 and entered the Luftwaffe in 1941. He flew many types of training aircraft, and later flew the He-111, Do-17, and ju-88. Kesten served with SG 3, KG 30, and KG (j) 30 where he flew the FW190 F Mistel combination. His last assignment prior to the end of the War was at Rostcock-Marienehe, a former Heinkel factory airfield, where he flew the Mistel combination. After Mistel operations had ended Kesten flew a number of fighter-bomber missions in the FW-190 F. Kesten was awarded the Iron Cross Class 2. He currently resides in Hannoversch-Munden, Germany.
Oberleutnant Herbert E Knaebel
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| Oberleutnant Herbert E Knaebel |
Born on February 21, 1918 in Wolmirstedt, Germany, Herbert Knaebel was interested in aviation as a youngster. He joined the Luftwaffe in 1936, was trained as a pilot, earned his wings, and joined the Kampfgeschwader Hindenburg. Knaebel volunteered for combat duty and joined the Condor Legion in Spain, where he flew the Heinkel 111 on 62 missions during the Spanish Civil War. At the end of this conflict Knaebel rejoined his old unit. As World War 11 erupted Knaebel was pressed into duty during the attacks on Poland, France, and eventually during the Battle of Britain. Knaebel became the first Luftwaffe bomber pilot to fly his 100th mission. Herbert was fortunate to fly many of these mission without incident. However, on April 9,1941 Knaebel flew his 162nd and most eventful mission, which was to prove to be his last. While attacking a British convoy in the North Sea, Knaebel's Heinkel 111 was hit by anti-aircraft fire from two destroyers. With two of his crew critically injured, Knaebel was attempting to return to base when an RAF Hurricane targeted Knaebel's aircraft. The Hurricane ultimately brought down Knaebel's craft, and Knaebel and his navigator, the only other surviving crewman, bailed out. Demonstrating the gallantry and respect often exhibited by fellow airmen, even if on opposing sides, the Hurricane pilot dropped a yellow marker, and flew back and forth to a destroyer, which finally picked up the two survivors from the cold waters. Knaebel became, as he describes it, a guest of the King (i.e.- prisoner of war) following his rescue. He spent one year of captivity in England, but was later transferred to Canada. As a POW Knaebel took advantage of the opportunity to further educate himself, as he had access in the camp to many books. He was released in Canada in 1947. Returning to Germany to complete his education, Herbert married his wife Mary in 1951. The young couple immigrated to Canada where Herbert worked for the International Nickel Company and later U.S. Steel in Northern Quebec. In 1962 the Knaebels decided to look for a warmer climate, and they immigrated to the Central Coast of California. Herbert worked for a time at Vandenburg AF13 near Santa Maria, California. Bitten by the California bug, he decided to pass up the opportunity for a permanent position which would have necessitated a move to Arkansas. Instead Knaebel joined a local company as its Chief Chemist, a position he retained for twenty-two years prior to his retirement. Herbert and his wife Mary were resident in Santa Maria, where Herbert enjoyed a daily swim under the warm California skys. Sadley, Herbert Knaebel passed away on 17th October 2009.
Feldwebel Karl Rubmeyer
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| Feldwebel Karl Rubmeyer |
Karl Rubmeyer was born in 1918 at Roche near UeIzen, Germany. He entered the Luftwaffe in 1940. He flew the standard types of training aircraft and the He-111, ju~86, Ju-88, captured French Saiman 202, Caudron 405, and the Mistel combination. He served with Uberfuhrunggsgeschader West and KG 30 and KG 200 where he flew the Mistel. His last assignment was at the former Heinkel factory airfield at Rostock-Marienehe. Rubmeyer attained the rank of Feldwebel and received the Iron Cross Class 2. Following the War Rubmeyer served as the Secretary in a printing business. He currently resides in Germany.
Oberleutnant Heinrich Sudel
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| Oberleutnant Heinrich Sudel |
Having joined the Luftwaffe in 1937, Heinrich Sudel was an experienced Observer in He111s by the time war broke out. He flew a total of 408 combat missions in Heinkels, both in the West over France and England, and on the Eastern Front. In September 1940 whilst over England, his aircraft was badly damaged by RAF fighters, but his pilot managed to reach the safety of the French coast on one engine. He finished the war commanding L/KG55, and had been awarded the Knights Cross, the Iron Cross I and II, and the German Cross in Gold. Heinrich Sudel passed away on 12th August 2011.
Flight Lieutenant John Frederick Wickins DFC
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| Flight Lieutenant John Frederick Wickins DFC |
Nos44, 106 and 241 Squadrons. RAFVR 1939. Trained as AG 26/8/40. Qualified 26/9/40. Rank-Sgt. Posted to 241 Squadron Army Co - op Nov. 1940. Apr 1941 - 241 Sqd -Joined the Fifth Army Division at Bury St Edmunds - Lysanders were thcaircraft. Oct 1941 Commissioned and posted to Scampton -Waddington 44 squadron. No Ops but one flightvdth S/L/ NettletonV.C. W/C LeroydV.C. was Flight Commander. April 1942 posted to Coningsby 106 Squadron and joined W/C Gibson's crew as Rear Gunner and started my Ops tour. Started in Manchesters then Lancasters completed 24 ops trips with W/C (Gibson) which was more than anyone else. Then went on my pilots course. Aircraft flown: Tiger Moth - Solo in Shrs. 10mins. Canada Curnell - Solo. Anson 11 - Solo. 25 Aug 1944. Passed above average and got wings, UK 1945 - Oxford. UK 1945 Nov - then posted to Farnborough Experimental & Research Dept re Gurinery. Operational record, date. target, pilot, comment. 22/4/42, Baltic, W/C Gibson, Mine Laying. 23/4/42, Rustock, S/LNelms, Mine Laying. 23/4/42, Rustock, W/C Gibson, Mine Laying. 8/5/42, WarDemunde, W/C Gibson. 30/5/42, Cologne, S/L Wooldridge, first 1000 +raid. 1/6/42, Essen, S/L Wooldridge, 1000 +raid. 2516/42, Bremen, 1000 + raid. 29/6/42, Bremen, S/LWooldridge, 1000 + raid. 8/7/42, Wilemishaven, W/C Gibson. 1117/42, Danzig, W/C Gibson, Daylight 10.15 hrs. 18/7/42, Essen, W/CGibson, Recalled. 26/7/42, Hamburg, W/C Gibson. 29/7/42, Dusseldorf, W1C Gibson. 27/8/42, Gdynia, W/C Gibson, Graf Zeppelin - Sub Docks 9.50 hrs. 1/9/42, Saarbucken, WIC Gibson, First 8000 Ibs bombs on Germany. 13/9/42, Bremen, WICGIbson. 1919/42, Munich. P/O1Butterworth. 23/9142, Wismar, W/CGibson, DorrilerWorks. 5110/42, Aachen, P/01,Vellington. 15/10/42, Cologne, WICGibson. 17/10/42, LeCreusot, W/CGibson, Daylight 94 A/C 10.25 hrs target Montchanin Power Station. 22/10/42, Genoa, W/C Gibson, Largest on Italy at that time 9.30 hrs 8000 Ibs bomb. 24/10/42, Milan, W/C Gibson, Daylight 10.25 hrs. 7/11142, Genoa, W/C Gibson. 18/11142, Turin, W/C Gibson, Flat works. 20/11/42, Turin, P/0 Cooper, Lost an engine. 28/11/42, Turin, W/C Gibson, 8000 Ibs first ever Italy. 11/11/42, Essen, W/C Gibson. 18/1/43, Berlin, W/C Gibson, lst 8000 Ibs bomb Berlin took Major Dimbelby (BBC News). 14/2/43, Milan, W/C Gibson. 25/2/43, Nurenberg, W/C Gibson, 8000 Ibs bomb. 26/2/43, W/C Gibson. 28/2/43, St.Nazarle, F/Lt Shannon (Dam Buster)
|Squadrons for : He111|
|A list of all squadrons from known to have used this aircraft. A profile page is available by clicking the squadron name.|
Country : Germany
Founded : May 1939
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of KG27
Formed May 1939 KG 27 was part of Luftflotte 3 during the Battle of Britain, with their Headquarters and I Gruppe based at Tours, II Gruppe at Dinard and Bourges, and III Gruppe at Rennes. KG 27 was equipped with Henikel III before and during the Battle, using this type for most of the War - including operational service on the Eastern Front.
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of KG4
Full profile not yet available.
Country : Germany
Click the name above to see prints featuring aircraft of KG53
Full profile not yet available.
|Battle of Britain Timeline of Related Info : 24th November|
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