Luftwaffe Bomber Crash in West Tisted August 1940
The 15th August 1940 was a very busy evening during the Blitz and, on a sortie to bomb RAF airfields at Tangmere and Westhampnett, two Luftwaffe bombers from Lehrgeschwader 1 (LG 1) were shot down by the RAF and the two Ju88s bombers fell very close together and crash-landed in a field at “The Jumps” near the A32 in West Tisted. LG1 was a multi-purpose Luftwaffe unit during World War II, operating fighter, bomber and dive-bomber Gruppen. The unit was formed in July 1936 and operated the Messerschmitt Bf 109, Messerschmitt Bf 110, Dornier Do 17, Heinkel He 111, Junkers Ju 88 and Junkers Ju 87.
One of the bombers, a Junkers Ju88A. from LG1 was shot down by Flying Officer C.R. Davis of No.601 Squadron and it crashed and exploded by Ashen Wood, near The Jumps, West Tisted at 6.05 p.m. The crew; FF Fw Herbert Pauck, BO Uffz Kurt Glitzner, BF Fw Dieter Rogge and BS Uffz Erich Woldt were missing believed killed and the aircraft was completely destroyed. What little remained of this crew was quietly disposed of locally – unfortunately they were not afforded a proper burial. Flying Officer Davis was from Storrington in West Sussex, he was awarded the Distinguised Flying Cross on the 30th August 1940, but he was killed on the 6th September when his Hurricane was shot down near Tunbridge Wells, he was just 29 years old.
The second bomber – another Junkers Ju88A-1, was shot down by the down by Flight Lieutenant Sir A.P. Hope and Sgt L.N. Guy of No.601 Squadron and belly-landed at The Jumps, West Tisted at 6.10 p.m. Of the crew FF Oberlt Stephan Suin de Boutemard (Gruppe TO) was captured unhurt and was given a cup of tea by Fred Ings at Oakleigh Farm, West Tisted (now a private house), BO Oberfw Heinz Grund, BS Fw Wilhelm Lüder, and BF Uffz Kurt Weigang all baled out and were also captured unhurt. The photos here are believed to show this aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Hope was the 17th Baronet of Craighall. He was shot down at Dunkirk, crash landing on a beach, setting fire to his Hurricane and spending the night in the sand dunes at Dunkirk, being evacuated by HMS Wakeful the next day. On the 19th August he was promoted to acting Squadron Leader, taking command of 601 Squadron. Group Captain Hope as he later became, survived the war and died in 1987.
The site of the crashes was examined by the Southern Area Wartime Aircraft Preservation Society in November 1972 when remains of engines, propeller blades, undercarriage, gravity knife, scraps of uniform, and an unexploded bomb were found. It was reported that the rear canopy of one of the bombers was given to the Shoreham Aviation Museum near Sevenoks in Kent, but the Museum has no knowledge of this.
Below are reproduced transcripts of the RAF pilot’s Combat Reports regarding the action against the two Luftwaffe Bombers;
Combat Report – Flt Lt A P Hope 15th August 1940
I was leading 601 Squadron (A Flight) when ordered to patrol base at 20000’. We took off at 17.05 and shortly after we were told to patrol Selsey – Tangmere & that bandits were approaching the former at 16000’. I kept a mile or two west of this line so as to be in the sun at 19000’. There was haze about & a little cloud at 5000’ but visibility was mostly 10 – 15 miles. While going south over Chichester I saw 12 a/c crossing the coast about 3 miles W of Selsey & turning WNW at 17500’. They were 4 sections of 3 in vic (vicinity) with the 4th section above the box. There was one other machine 3000’ below alone. I thought at first they might be friendly fighters from their formation but as I closed I recognised Ju88s. There was an escort behind them & they were in a defensive circle over Selsey. So we turned & followed the bombers. Over Bishops Waltham Blue Section, who had been on my right, attacked first with a beam attack. I tried to lead my section so as to deliver a head-on attack, but seeing I was nearing Southampton I was afraid the E/A (enemy aircraft) would dive to attack. I straightened up to line astern & fired a second burst at an E/A which broke away obviously damaged & losing height. I broke right and made another attack without visible effect & as I broke away saw another machine below on my right, I dived after it & saw Red 3 attacking it. When he broke away, I went in and fired at the starboard engine as I thought there must be a lot of armour as the rear gunner was still firing after Red 3 in attack. The engine gave out white smoke & after a second attack on the same engine, the machine lost a lot of height & started circling. As I was out of bullets, I made passes at the E/A to try & frighten him& stop him going south. Finally, as the rear gunner was still firing 2 parachutes came out and with the machine lost, a third which just opened as it reached a tree. The machine flew on straight & level & pancaked into a corn field ½ a mile from a burning Ju88. (F/O Davis ) just west of West Tisted. I returned & landed 18.05. (at Tangmere airfield).
A P Hope F/Lt OC A Flight 601
Flight Lieutenant Hope was the 17th Baronet of Craighall and educated at Eton and Baliol College Oxford. He was commissioned into the Auxiliary Air Force in 1935 in 601 Squadron Hendon. He was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader on 19th August 1940 and took command of 601 Squadron and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and posted to RAF Middle Wallop and then RAF Catterick in January 1941. By 1945 he was Group Captain commanding RAF Peterhead and that year was also made an OBE. After the war he went on to have a career in Airwork Ltd and later English Electric and GEC. He died in 1987 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
Combat Report – F/O C R Davis 15th August 1940
I was Yellow 1. Squadron took off at 17.05 hrs and climbed to 20000’ over base. After some time 12 Ju88s were seen in 4 sections line astern at 18000’. One straggler from the back section was about 1 mile astern. They were 2000’ below on our left, Blue Section attacked beam and astern, Red attacked beam & astern. E/A then turned right & Yellow did a quarter head on attack. I attacked leader of the top (back?) section and observed a flash and puff of black smoke from his st’bd engine. He broke away from the me to my right, I followed and did stern attacks from 250 yds to 100 yds, mostly at engines after silencing the gunner. St’bd engine cowling flew off and oil came out followed by a shower of white and shiny sparks. Ju88 went into gradual diving turn to right getting steeper as he approached ground. He hit between Kilmeston and West Meon at the corner of a wood and burst into flames. A camera film of this combat and the burning wreck was taken.
The quarter head-on attack was very effective in braking up formation of E/As.
I landed at 18.00 hrs.
Confirmation by Red 1 (F/L Hope) & Red 3 (Sgt Grey). I saw them shoot down another Ju88 within 400 yds of where mine crashed.
C R Davis F/O
Flight Lieutenant Davis was born in South Africa and went to Sherborne College, later studying at Trinity College Cambridge and McGill University Montreal, where he qualified as a mining engineer. He joined 601 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force during the 1930s, being commissioned in August 1938. He a was called to full-time service on 27th August 1939 and flew 601 Squadron Blenheim aircraft. After the destruction of the Ju88 at West Tisted he was awarded the DFC on 30th August. His Hurricane was shot down on 6th September and he was killed instantly by the enemy gunfire, his aircraft crashing into the garden of a cottage near Tunbridge Wells. He was buried near his home in Storrington West Sussex.
More information on this event from World War II will be published in the future as more information comes to light.
Luftwaffe Crash Archive Volume 2 – Nigel Parker
The Blitz Then and Now Volume 1 – Battle of Britain Prints International