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  #1  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:08 PM
James Atkinson James Atkinson is offline
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Default JG 27 Combat reports for 29/12/44

Hello all,

I am looking for information about my grandfather whom was flying a Hawker Tempest over Rheine on 29/12/44 and his section was attacked by Me 109s from JG 27. I would like to find out if there are any reports of that day ,as I am trying to piece together what happened. My grandfathers name was Flight Lieutenant Malcolm F Edwards, and he was killed on this day, his Tempest crashed into moorland next to the railway line just outside the German town of Spelle. I'd be forever grateful if anyone had or knew any information about this combat.

My grandfather was flying JF-V , EJ803 at the time of his death.

Many thanks
James Atkinson

Last edited by James Atkinson; 10-07-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2012, 02:51 AM
Andrew Arthy Andrew Arthy is offline
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Hello James,

There seem to be two possible combats, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Do you know what time your grandfather was shot down?

The morning combat involved the III. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 54. At 10:52 Unteroffizier Günther Rey of 11./Jagdgeschwader 54 claimed a Typhoon shot down in the area of Ochtrup-Wettringen, only eighteen kilometres south-south-west of Spelle. At 11:00 Hauptmann Robert Weiß, commander of III./Jagdgeschwader 54, claimed a Spitfire shot down at Gersten, 25 kilometres north of Spelle.

The afternoon combat involved the III. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 27. At 15:35 Feldwebel Walter Arnold of 9./Jagdgeschwader 27 claimed a Tempest shot down three kilometres north of Hesepe, about 40 kilometres north-north-west of Spelle.

Cheers,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - www.facebook.com/airwarpublications
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:26 AM
James Atkinson James Atkinson is offline
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Default Hawker Tempest Crash 29/12/44

Hello Andrew ,

Thank you for replying,

In the records I have seen it says that at 11am 4 Tempests took off from Volkel, these were lead by F/Lt K F Thiele DSO DFC . The other pilots were my grandfather F/Lt M F Edwards, F/O K Slade-Betts, P/O R S Adcock all of 3(f) Squadron. While flying north of Rheine at 8000 ft a gaggle of 20 plus aircraft were seen up in the sun about 1500 ft above. The unidenified a/c jettisoned their long range tanks and broke down towards our aircraft. F/Lt Thiele identified these a/c as Me 109s and FW 190s, the section of 4 Tempests broke right into the enemy aircraft as they reached the same level. F/Lt Thiele then saw another gaggle of 20 plus a/c coming out of the sun,and in the ensuing mix up lost the rest of his section.

F/Lt Thiele claimed a Me 109 , and then returned to base alone, shortly after P/O Adcock returned alone. These Tempests are said to have landed around 11.52am. F/O K Slade-Betts and my grandfather F/Lt M F Edwards were not seen after the second German attack.

I have been to Edwards crash site at Spelle and was told by a eyewitness that he was 1 of 3 a/c flying from the west and Edwards was the centre a/c , he started to sink towards the ground but was not smoking ,looking as if the Tempest was under control, it flew under the telegraph poles and lost it's wings and came to rest in the moorland next to the railway line just outside Spelle. The time was around 11.30 am.

Who were these other a/c ? And was he shot down or something else, it's a bit of a mystry so there must be a report of something. I think the Tempest that came down near Hespe was F/O Slade-Betts.

Many thanks and I hope I can find the answer,

James
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:39 AM
James Atkinson James Atkinson is offline
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Default Hawker Tempest 29/12/44

Hello Andrew ,

If it helps my grandfathers Tempest was JF-V EJ803.

Cheers James
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:14 AM
Andrew Arthy Andrew Arthy is offline
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Hello James,

Given the times you provided, it seems that your grandfather's flight was bounced by III./Jagdgeschwader 54. A German report states that seventeen Focke-Wulf 190 D-9s of III./J.G. 54 took off from Varrelbusch or Diessel (probably Varrelbusch) at 11:07 on an anti-fighter-bomber mission to the Rheine area.

Keep in mind that pilots of both sides had trouble identifying enemy aircraft in the heat of battle, so Tempests were sometimes confused as Spitfires, Bf 109s as FW 190s etc.

Air combat on the Western Front is not a subject I know much about, so unfortunately I can't add much more. Perhaps you could post your question on the Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces discussion forum: http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/, where there are many experts on the subject.


All the best,
Andrew A.
Air War Publications - www.facebook.com/airwarpublications
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