Stab Gruppe Lehrgeschwader 1 - Stab LG1
Aircrew Luftwaffe pilot Horst Liensberger from Stab I.LG1 (L1+XB) KIA
Photo: Hptm. Horst Liensberger, Gruppenkommandeur of V.(Z)/LG 1 who led the Gruppe throughout 1940 until being killed in action over England on September 27, 1940. (Photo courtesy of Clive Ellis)
Photo Source: Flight Journal AUGUST 2015
Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-2 Zerstorer Stab I.LG1 (L1+XB) flown by Horst Liensberger France 1940
Photo: Bf 110 C coded L1+XB was piloted by Hptm. Horst Liensberger, Gruppenkommandeur of V.(Z)/LG 1. This aircraft appears to have been given a light wash of the undersurface blue colour to the fuselage sides. The individual aircraft letter X can be seen under the starboard wing, and the Gruppe emblem of a wolf's head appears to have been crudely painted around. (Photo courtesy of EN-Archive)
Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-2 Zerstorer Stab I.LG1 (L1+XB) flown by Horst Liensberger on patrol 1940
Photo: Bf 110 C-2 belonging to 5./LG 1 coded L1+XB piloted by Hptm. Horst Liensberger. (Photo courtesy of EN-Archive)
Messerschmitt Bf 110 C-2 Zerstorer Stab I.LG1 (L1+XB) flown by Horst Liensberger tail section
Photo: Remains of the severed tail unit of Hptm. Horst Liensberger's Bf 110 C-2, showing the four victory markings on the fin (Photo courtesy of EN-Archive)
Photo Source: Flight Journal AUGUST 2015
I. Gruppe Lehrgeschwader 1 - I./LG1
Messerschmitt Bf 110 I./LG1 line up Schwere Jagd Barth 1939
Photo's 01-03: A line-up Bf 110s of I.(schwere Jagd)/LG1 sporting the early fuselage codes at Barth in the summer of 1939. Protective covers on the cockpits, the early style thin fuselage cross and the swastika across both fin and rudder can be seen.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C 1./LG1 (L1+IH) flown by Schob and gunner Landrock shot down Polish 111Sqn PZL Lt Palusinski over Zegrze 1st Sep 1939
Profile Source: Militaria XX wieku 2004-02 Page 09
Messerschmitt Bf 110C1 1.(Z)/LG1 (L1+A11) Fritz Schleiff Jesau Germany
Profile Source: Aero Journal No 33
Messerschmitt Bf 110C1 1.(Z)/LG1 (L1+A11) Fritz Schleiff Jesau Germany
Profile 00: Messerschmitt Bf 110C-1 of 1.(schwere Jagd)/LG1 Carrying the second style of fuselage code (initially only numbers had been carried on the Bf 110B-1s of the unit, L1+A11 carries the standard two-tone 70/71 upper surface camouflage down the sides of the fuselage. The small wolf's head emblem of the unit is carried on the nose. White spinners and letter 'A' are in the correct 1.Staffel colour. The early radio equipment is fitted, requiring two leads from the cockpit mast. Note the silhouette of a Bf 110 painted on the engine cowling, a still unexplained practice seen on early Bf 110s, and at least one propeller blade appearing to be in bare metal.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C1 1.(Z)/LG1 (L1+A11) Fritz Schleiff Jesau Germany
Photo's 01-02: This Bf 110C-1, L1+A11, of 1.(Schwere Jagd)/LG1 carries the earliest style of unit markings on the fuselage. Note the two antennae coming from the cockpit aerial mast, the Gruppe emblem on the nose and the thin underwing cross placed near the wingtip. This 'C' also has the rounded wingtips common to the 'B' variant which would change to 'squared-off' wingtips as the 'C' variant developed.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C1 1.(Z)/LG1 (L1+A11) Fritz Schleiff Jesau Germany
Photo 01: A close-up of the nose of L1+A11 showing the unit emblem and white spinner caps. The propeller blades appear to be wooden.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C 1./LG1 line up 01
Photo 01: Covers are still on the front canopies and noses of these Bf 110 'B' variants of ZG26. Of note is the early style camouflage, but the whole of the swastika on the fin was somewhat uncommon on 'B' series aircraft; it was more commonly seen across both fin and rudder.
Jesau Germany Map
V. Gruppe Lehrgeschwader 1 - V./LG1
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstorer Stab V./LG1 (L1+ZB) France 1940
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer V./LG1 (L1+ )
Photo 01: A rare view of the complete rear section of a Bf 110C being replaced. Note that the number of victory bars on the port fins are identical. This V.(Z)/LG1 machine carries the early style solid camouflage down the fuselage sides with the later-style full sized fuselage cross. The individual aircraft letter on the top surface of the wing appears to be 'F'.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer 13.(Z)/LG1 pilot Datz 01
Photo 01: Fw. Datz, centre, poses in front of his Bf 110 of 13.(Z)/LG1. Note the whole of the spinner, apart from the backplate, is white. Datz was shot down into captivity on 13 August 1940.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C2 Zerstörer Stab V./LG1 (L1+XB) pilot Horst Liensberger France 1940
Photo 01: The Bf 110C of Hptm Horst Liensberger Gruppen Kommandeur of V.(Z)/LG1. This aircraft appears to have been given a light wash of the undersurface blue colour to the fuselage sides. The individual aircraft letter X can be seen under the starboard wing, and the Gruppe emblem of a wolfs head appears to haye been crudely painted around.
Pilots LG1 pilot Horst Liensberger 1940 01
Photo 01: Hptm. Horst Liensberger, Gruppen kommandeur of V.(Z)/LG1 who led the Gruppe throughout 1940 until being killed in action over England on 27 September 1940.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer Stab V./LG1 (L1+YB) 01
Photo 01: Bf 110Cs L1+XB and L1+YB of the Gruppenstab of V.(Z)/LG1 can be seen, with 3M+AA of the Geschwader Kommodore of ZG2, Obstlt. Friedrich Vollbracht in the background.
14 Staffel V. Gruppe Lehrgeschwader 1 - 14.(Z)/LG1
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer 14.(Z)/LG1 (L1+AK) 01
Photo 01: L1+AK of 14.(Z)/LG1 following a crash landing. This C-1 carries the larger size fuselage cross and the individual aircraft letter 'A' is outlined in white.
Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerstörer 14.(Z)/LG1 (L1+AK) having its guns synchronised 01
Photo 01: L1+AK of 14.(Z)/LG1 on the firing butts having its guns synchronised. Note the paint used to cover the original factory codes is of a lighter shade than that on the rest of the fuselage sides. The letter 'A: is in black with apparently no outline.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C1 Zerstörer 14.(Z)/LG1 (L1+BK) Jesau East Prussia 1939
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer 14.(Z)/LG1 (L1+EK) 00
Profile 00: Messerschmitt Bf 110C-1 of 14.(Z)/LG1 Ll+EK displays the early style two-tone green camouflage with the later style fuselage cross. The small wolf's head Gruppe emblem can just be seen on the forward fuselage. This 'C' has the rounded wingtips of the earlier '8' variant.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer 14.(Z)/LG1 (L1+EK) 01
Photo 01: A card game in progress featuring, from left to right, Fw. Schob, Fw. Kobert, Ofw. Stegemann and Fw. Hoffmann, all from 13.Staffel, Lehrgeschwader 1. L1+EK of 14.Staffel forms a backdrop to the game. Schob survived the war; Kobert was shot down into captivity on I September 1940; Stegemann was killed when his Bf 110 Crashed on take-off on 21 May 1940 and Hoffmann was killed in action on 15 September 1940 flying as Bordfunker to Staffelkapitän Hptm. Helmut Müller.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer 14.(Z)/LG1 (L1+KK) pilot Bechthold Mannheim, Germany 01
Photo 01: On 13 May 1940 Uffz. Bechthold of 14.(Z)/LG1 overran the airfield at Mannheim upon landing after a combat mission in L1+KK, resulting in this classic 'Fliegerdenkmal' pose.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer 14.(Z)/LG1 (L1+LK) 1939 01
Photo 01: A similar scene showing aircraft of Lehrgeschwader 1. Although these aircraft carry the Staffelletter 'K' of 3(Jagd)./LG1, this Staffel was redesignated 15./LG1 in August 1939 but retained its Staffel letter. When the unit was again redesignated and became 3./NJG3 in October 1940, the original letter 'L' was again appropriate although the 'L1 ' code was retained for some time afterwards.
15 staffel V. Gruppe Lehrgeschwader 1 - 15.(Z)LG1
Messerschmitt Bf 110C-1 Zerstörer 15.(Z)LG1 (L1+AL) Jesau Airfield 1940.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C-1 Zerstörer 15.(Z)LG1 (L1+CL) France 1940.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer 15./LG1 (L1+IL) pilot Rudolf Altendorf, Caen-Rocquancourt France July 1940.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C Zerstörer flown by Leutnant Rudolf Altendorf, 15.(Z)/LG 1, Caen-Rocquancourt France, July 1940. Altendorf's aircraft is still in early-war camouflage at the start of the Battle of Britain. Note the combination of narrow-bordered fuselage cross with repositioned swastika. The small white locomotive below the cockpit is believed to refer to the then 3. Staffel's train-busting activities in Poland. Note also that the spinner tip colour matches the Staffel colour.
Messerschmitt Bf 110C-4 Zerstörer (L1+LL) flown by Oblt. Otto Weckeiser, V.(Z)/LG 1, crash-landed near Oxted, England,
Messerschmitt Bf 110 C 2 W.Nr 35xx, coded L1+LL of 15.(Z)/LG 1, crewed by Oblt. Otto Weckeiser pilot and Uffz. Horst Bügow (Bordfunker, . The aircraft is finished In RLM 70/71 on upper surfaces, and RLM 65 on the undersides, with low color division line. The aircraft's nose is painted. white. Four bars painted In white on tailfin record victories scored on 13th and 15th August (two on the later date) and On . Yellow code letter 'L' is repeated on lower wing surface in black. Spinner tip' are in the Staffel color of yellow. Of note is an armored glass panel mounted to the windshield. On 27th September 1940 the aircraft was forced to belly land near Oxted, Surrey (the crew were taken prisoners).
Luftwaffe LG1 Walter Rahlfs
Photo 01: The grave of Uffz. Walter Rahlfs Bordfunker of the Staffelkapitän of 13.Staffel, Oblt. Helmut Müller. Rahlfs was hit during an attack by a Polish fighter, and was the first member of the unit to be killed in action.
Luftwaffe LG1 pilot Herbert Schob and Willi Landrock
Photo 01: Fw. Herbert Schob poses in the cockpit of his Bf-110C-1 with his Bordfunker, Ogefr. Willi Landrock. Schob survived the war; Landrock was killed on a training flight on 4 January 1940 when two Bf-110s collided.
Luftwaffe LG1 pilot Gerhard Jentzsch (left) of l3.(Z)/LG1 and Fw. Friedrich Lindemann of l4.(Z)/LG1
Photo 01: Pilots Fw. Gerhard Jentzsch (left) of l3.(Z)/LG1 and Fw. Friedrich Lindemann of l4.(Z)/LG1. Jentzsch was killed in action on 8 August in L1+EH; Lindemann suffered the same fate in L1+CK on 27 September.
Luftwaffe LG1 pilot Friedrich Lindemann of l4.(Z)/LG1
Photo 01: Uffz. Friedrich Lindemann was shot down by Polish fighters on 3 September 1939. Evading capture, he and his Bordfunker, Uffz. Kurt Radeck, regained German lines and returned to their unit.
Units: 15(Z)/LG-1, 3/NJG-3(6/41, 2/NJG-3(8/42, Stfkpt 2/NJG-4(4/43, 12/NJG-5(10/43, Kdr IV/NJG-5(1/44)
Awards: DK-G, EP, EK 1 & 2, Wound Badge, Night Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 109E, Bf 110C, Ju 88G-6 '2Z+AC' (10/44)
Remarks: His first known victory, a Hurricane at Salisbury on 13 August, 1940. A 2nd, a Hurricane at Portland on 15 August, 1940. This may be Heinz Altendorf.
Remarks: One known victory, a Hurricane at Salisbury on 13 August, 1940. A Hurricane at Portland on 15 August, 1940, these first two in LG-1. A Wellington at Cloppenburg on 12 May, 1941. Another, a Whitley on 18-19 June, 1941, no location. A Hampden the night of 29-30 June, 1941. Another, a Wellington at Erika on 28 August, 1942. Another, a Halifax II of RAF No. 405 Sq. at Waterloo, 15 km SSE of Brussels, the night of 15-16 October, 1942. Two others, a Stirling and a Halifax on 15 April, 1943. A Lancaster of RAF No.61 Sq., 'W4317' 'QR-R' 500 m southwest of Givry on 17 April, 1943. A Wellington and a Halifax on 30 May, 1943. Another Halifax 10 km S of Maubeuge on 14 July, 1943. A Halifax N of Berlin on 24 August, 1943. Another Halifax at Nürnburg on 28 August, 1943. A Halifax 27 km E of Herford on 22 October, 1943. An Il-4 the night of 26-27 August, 1944. Two Lancasters; one at Wegeberg, the other in the Königsberg area, on 30 August, 1944. Shot down with injuries three times; 8/17/43 N of Gent, 1/3/44 by Buchholz and 1/20/44 by Strigleben/Terneberg. Alternate spelling: Altendorff.
Asisbiz database list of 2 aerial victories for Rudolf Altendorf
Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location Tuesday, August 13, 1940 Rudolf Altendorf 15.(Z)/LG1 Hurricane 4500m 13:15 Salisbury Thursday, August 15, 1940 Rudolf Altendorf 15.(Z)/LG1 Hurricane 5000m 18:25 Portland
Units: Legion Condor, Stfkpt 1/ZG-1 (Poland)
Awards: Spanish Cross, Destroyer Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 110
Remarks: KIA 6 September, 1939, during aerial combat with a PZL P-11, piloted by Lt Wiktor Strzembosz, NW of Warsaw in the early days of the Polish Campaign. His R/O was Ofw Walter Steffen.
In the days following, the Bf 110s were regularly in action, with varying degrees of success I./ZG1 filed relatively few claims while I.(Z)/LG1 claimed 30 victories. As the Polish campaign ground to its inevitable conclusion with German forces advancing inexorably through Poland, the role of the Zerstorer units changed. From bomber escort, their duties moved to that of ground support. Seeking out and attacking elements of Polish ground forces in their headlong retreat, this type of action was not universally liked by the Bf 110 pilots, who at that time saw their task as air-to-air combat and protection of their flying comrades in other units rather than in ground-attack missions. Among the losses suffered during the Polish campaign was Major Karl Hammes, the 43 year-old Staffelkapitän of 1./ZG1. Hammes had had a somewhat chequered life. Born in March 1896, he enlisted at the outbreak of the First World War and served initially as an artillery officer. Obtaining a transfer to the air force, he flew initially with a reconnaissance unit before transferring to Jasta 35. With that unit he claimed four aerial victories before being badly wounded in combat on 9 September 1917.
By this time he had attained the rank of Obit. and been awarded the Iron Cross, First Class. His wounds were so severe that he undertook no further front line flying before the end of the war. His life then took a completely new course, as he embarked upon a career as an opera singer. He reached the top of that profession 'as a baritone, appearing at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin and the State Opera in Vienna among other top venues. The lure of the Luftwaffe proved too much, however, and he enlisted again in June 1937. Promotion to Hptm. followed in March 1938. By the outbreak of war in September 1939 he held the rank of Major and led 1./ZG1, part of I. Gruppe under the overall control of Gruppen Kommandeur, Major Joachim-Friedrich Huth, another First World War veteran.
So it was that while leading 1. Staffel on the morning of 6 September on an escort mission for Stuka's, the German fighters came under attack from Polish P.11c fighters. Major Hammes' Bf 110C-l, coded 2N+IH, received hits and was seen to go down in a shallow glide. Although effecting a relatively good belly-landing, Major Hammes died of his wounds. His Bordfunker, Oberfeldwebel(Ofw.) Walter Steffen, was wounded and taken into captivity, returning to Germany when the Polish campaign was concluded. Thus ended the colourful life of Major Karl Hammes, opera singer and fighter pilot. His place as Staffelkapitänof 1./ZG1 was taken by Oblt. Martin Lutz, who would feature prominently during the Battle of Britain with Erprobungsgruppe 210 (Erpr. Gr. 210).
Units: 2/JGr-152 (9/39, Kdr V(Zerst)/LG-1 (8/40 Caen-Carpiquet)
Awards: EK 1 & 2, Destroyer Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 109D & E in JGr-152, Bf 110C-2,Do 17 & Ju 88 Recon Units,
Remarks: KIA Fall, 1940. One known victory, his 1st, a Hawk-75A near Merzig, 30 September, 1939. His 2nd, a Spitfire W of Bournemouth on 15 August, 1940. His 3rd, a Spitfire at Warmwell on 26 August, 1940. Channel pilot.
There Was No Winner
HURRICANE VS. BF 110: A ROOF TOP RACE TO DISASTER
BY CLIVE ELLIS
Percy Burton was born in Cape Province, South Africa, in 1917, and in 1935 at age 18 he joined the South African Coast Garrison and Citizen Forces. His family emigrated to Britain a couple of years later, and Percy attended Christ Church College in Oxford. In 1938 he was chosen as the reserve coxswain for the Oxford rowing crew in the annual University Boat Race.
After his family had settled in England, Percy was described as 'the son of a prominent government minister', and although his family was always prepared to praise the glories of their South African homeland, the Burtons forcefully declared their historical British connection and considered themselves totally loyal subjects to King George VI. Although Percy appeared small and slight, he was also considered to be funny and adopted the traditional student tobacco pipe, which he had started after entering Oxford. While there, Burton also joined the University Air Squadron and learned to fly. At the time he was studying for a doctorate in The Theory of Law but things changed rapidly for him at the outbreak of WWII.
And so it Begins: Into the Air
In October 1939, Burton was called up for military service, and after being accepted into the RAF he was sent to the Flying Training School at Cranwell. He soon qualified as a pilot and flew Hurricanes with No.6 Operational Training Unit at Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire. Then just before the outbreak of the Battle of Britain, Burton was posted to No.249 Squadron at Church Fenton in North Yorkshire.
After making several uneventful patrols, on the evening of August 26, 1940, Burton had to make a forced landing in Hurricane P3660 at Tangmere in Sussex because of a damaged tail wheel. Fortunately, he was not injured in the emergency landing and after his aircraft was repaired it was sent back into service.
On Monday, September 2, 1940, things began to get more serious for Burton and his comrades of No.249 Squadron. During the early morning, he was one of ten Hurricanes scrambled from their base to intercept an oncoming flight of Luftwaffe bombers. Once airborne the squadron was ordered to turn towards Rochester in Kent and patrol at 15,000 feet. Then at 0800 hours some Dornier Do 17 bombers were sighted flying towards their target.
On this occasion Burton was flying as 'Yellow Two' at the rear of the formation, and his combat report for this sortie is shown below:
The Official Word: First Blood
'I turned to look at my tail but had lost 'Yellow One', Flt. Lt. Parnall. I then spotted a straggler. I got on his tail and fired at his port engine from 300-250 yards, giving him several short bursts. He turned sharply to port and I then aimed at his cockpit, using deflection shooting, and I could see my ammunition hitting him. I then broke off as I was being attacked by some Bf 110s from behind and above. I evaded them and fired at one, which had overshot me, but without any visible result. I returned to the attack on the Dornier, aiming again at his port engine from astern at a distance of around 300-250 yards with two four-second bursts. Thick, black smoke came from his port engine and he started going down slowly-by this time he was well out of formation. I do not think he could have gotten back home. During the whole engagement I experienced intense return fire from the Dornier, coming apparently from four machine-guns firing simultaneously from the top rear of the cockpit. I was hit and glycol fumes filled the cockpit, followed by glycol fluid. As a result my engine cut out at 10,000 feet and I had to force-land at Meopham in Kent, in a field with my undercarriage up. I do not think my aircraft was very seriously damaged.' The Hurricane was P3384, and the Messerschmitt Bf 110s were from II./ZG 26.
Burton was flying as 'Red Two' between Gravesend and Folkestone in Kent. Flying Officer Beazley was leading the section when he spotted the enemy aircraft below flying about three miles ahead of their position, travelling south towards the coast to cross the English Channel back to France.
Flak began to burst into the air just before Beazley led Burton and Sergeant Charles 'Tich' Palliser into a diving attack flying out of the sun. Beazley delivered a quarter attack, which developed into a rear attack, from the starboard side of the bomber. He fired a five-second burst and was immediately followed by Burton and Palliser who also opened fire. Burton reported that he 'followed Red One', piloted by Beazley, giving a four-second burst from the starboard rear quarter, flying out of the sun. I allowed the enemy aircraft to fly into my fire and saw hits scored.'
I experienced intense return fire from the hornier, coming apparently from four machine-guns firing simultaneously from the top rear of the cockpit.
Palliser also scored hits, firing two long bursts at the bomber. He noted that the Dornier's starboard engine was emitting white smoke before it dived into some cloud. The results of the action have remained inconclusive although the Dorni-er Do 17 was claimed as 'badly damaged.'
Then the Bf 110s Arrived
The following morning, September 27, the squadron was again scrambled into action. Burton took off from North Weald in Essex, flying Hurricane V6683 at around 0850 hours with eleven other Hurricanes. After making a rendezvous with aircraft of No.46 Squadron, No. 249 began to patrol Wickford, in the county of Essex before being redirected to the Maidstone area in Kent, where Luftwaffe activity had been reported.
At around 9.00 am No.249 Squadron found itself engaged in a furious dogfight over the Surrey/ Sussex border when attacked by two defensive circles of Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter bombers of V./LG 1 (LG = Lehrgeschwader - Teaching Wing). Flight Lieutenant 'Butch' Barton led No.249 into a diving attack coming out of the sun that caused the Bf 110s to break up their flight, with individual combats forcing the Germans to return to their base.
Under pressure from the Hurricanes, which dove underneath the Bf 110 formation and then climbed up to attack the undersides of the Mess-erschmitts, the Germans had to break up and fly south toward the Channel. However, individual chases developed from a point in the Redhill/ Gatwick, Sussex area that fanned out towards the south coast between Eastbourne and Rye in Kent. Latching on to one of the Bf 110s, Percy Burton found himself in hot pursuit of a pilot who was obviously very experienced, and a low level 'hedge-hopping' pursuit resulted that lasted for a many minutes dodging land obstacles for much of the way.
Down to the Tree Tops
Although he was unaware of it at the time, Percy was engaged in a duel to the death with none other than the Gruppen Kommandeur of V./LG 1, 31-year-old Hauptmann Horst Liensberger piloting Bf 110 C-2, W.Nr.3560 coded L1+XB which had four RAF victory roundels painted on the fin. As they passed over Mayfield in Sussex, locals marvelled at the brilliant airmanship of the two pilots as they lifted their aircraft up just enough to clear the roofs of houses and trees.
They were flying so low that trees could be seen swaying in the slipstream of the passing aircraft with empty cartridge cases clattering through the branches and pinging off the tarmac roads. Although firing doggedly, Liensberg-er's rear gunner, Unteroffizier Albert Kopge, had great difficulty in getting an accurate bead on his determined assailant as Liensberger continued to throw the Bf 110 into a series of evasive maneuvers. Diving into valleys and jinking around hills and obstacles, Liensberger kept on course for home, passing the smoking remains of other aircraft from V./LG 1 at Chelwood Gate, Dallington and Horam across Sussexâ€”still with Percy Burton on his tail.
During the whole engagement Burton had vigorously continued to pursue the Bf 110 over a distance of about 40 miles, during which time witnesses on the ground watched in awe of their skill, as both pilots continued to lift their aircraft to clear houses and slide through valleys and dodge around hills and homes at rooftop height. All the while they exchanged gunfire and continued to discharge empty cartridge cases that rained upon the on-lookers.
A Desperate Move
Just north of Hailsham, Burton's guns ran out of ammunition. People in the town saw the two fighters pass over the rooftops, skim the gas works and pass each side of St. Mary's church spire, before continuing south toward a neighboring meadow. At that moment Burton was flying slightly above and behind the Bf 110, when he suddenly banked then dived into what appeared to be an attack. His Hurricane collided with the rear of the 110, slicing off the tail unit, which spun away. Both aircraft then lurched for a moment, hanging at 200 feet, then the Mess-erschmitt went down and hit the ground like a stone. So did Burton's port wingtip which dropped, causing the Hurricane to crash into a field closely followed by the remainder of the damaged enemy. The Messerschmitt crashed into Simmons Field between Mill Road and Station Road at Hailsham in Sussex. Both airmen in the Bf 110 were killed instantly upon impact.
Burton's Hurricane had veered away toward the other side of Station Road, crashing into a huge oak in Wellers field on New Barn Farm where it was left to burn out. The impact threw Burton clear, but as he was already seriously wounded by the gunfire he was killed instantly. He had fought a duel to the death and had made the ultimate sacrifice.
Eye-witness reports strongly indicated that Burton had deliberately rammed the Bf 110, in his final act of valor and that his body was said to be riddled with bullets. P/O Tich Palliser had also witnessed the collision and reported: 'I saw his contortions, then I saw him straighten out and fly straight into the German aircraft. I was close enough to see his letters (squadron markings), as other pilots must have been who also confirmed the incident, which in itself caused me to realize that my young life and its future, if any, had jumped into another dimension.' For recognition of this action, Percy Burton was recommended for the Victoria Cross, but much to the displeasure of his fellow pilots at North Weald he ended up only being 'Mentioned in Dispatches.'
When the squadron returned to North Weald, it claimed an impressive eight enemy aircraft destroyed and a further five probables. Surviving records show a trail of downed Bf 110s from LG 1 all in fairly close proximity at Oxted, Gatwick, Chelwood Gate, Heathfield Horam and Hailsham.
Actually, LG.1 lost seven Bf 110s to Nos. 249 and 46 Squadrons.
However, the victory did not come without a price as Flying Officer (P/O) Percy Burton, aged just twenty-three, had failed to return from the patrol.
Both Sides Paid a High Price
Surviving records from the 249 Squadron Operational Record Book shows that on September 27, three very successful sorties were carried out. 'Our casualties were Pilot Officers Burton and Meaker, both killed. Although two of our most gallant comrades were lost, today was a glorious day in the history of the Squadron.'
From reports later received it appears that (F/O) Meaker attacked a close formation of five Ju 88s on his own and his aircraft was completely shot up by the heavy cross fire.
Additionally, reports from the Hailsham district Observer Corps, indicate that F/O Burton had been attacking a Bf 110 for some time and was seen to climb above it and then dive down on it. He rammed it cutting off its tail causing both aircraft to crash. Pilot Officer A.G Lewis, DFC, of the Squadron on that day was credited with six aircraft and was subsequently awarded a bar to his DFC.
The RAF claims for that day were 153 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed. German records indicated losses to all causes ran between 42 and 55. F/O Percy Burton was buried in St. Andrew's churchyard, Tangmere in Sussex. Today, the shattered oak tree still remains and marks the spot where Percy died, and the site of where the main German Bf 110 wreckage fell is now a housing estate, which includes a road named Burton Walk in honor of the brave RAF pilot. One has to wonder how many who travel that road realize the price paid for it.
Asisbiz database list of 4 aerial victories for Horst Liensberger
Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location Saturday, September 30, 1939 Horst Liensberger 2./JGr.152 Hawk-75A 16:55 Merzig Tuesday, August 13, 1940 Horst Liensberger Stab V.(Z.)/LG1 Spitfire 5000m 13:17 W. Bournemouth Thursday, August 15, 1940 Horst Liensberger Stab V.(Z)/LG1 Spitfire 5000m 13:17 West of Bournemouth Monday, August 26, 1940 Horst Liensberger Stab V.(Z.)/LG1 Spitfire 4000m 18:40 Warmwell
Units: Stfkpt 2/JG-134 (aka JG-26 2/36-9/37, I/LG-1 (9/39, 4/NJG-2 (12/41)
Awards: EK 1 & 2, Night Fighter Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 109D, Bf 110C1
Remarks: His first victory, three Polish PZL P-24's at Warsaw on 1 September, 1939 (Perry Claims). A Blenheim over Malta, 18 December, 1941. Alternate spelling: Schlief.
Asisbiz database list of 2 aerial victories for Fritz Schleiff
Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location Friday, September 01, 1939 Fritz Schleiff I.(Z)/LG1 PZL P-24 17:10± Warschau Thursday, December 18, 1941 Fritz Schleiff I.(Z)/LG1 Blenheim Malta
Awards: EK 2, Destroyer Operational Clasp
Known Aircraft: Bf 110
Remarks: POW 27 September, 1940 (Magnus). His first victory, a Hurricane SW of Canterbury on 30 August, 1940. Magnus, 5 victories.
Asisbiz database list of 5 aerial victories for Otto Weckeiser
Date Pilot Name Unit Enemy A/C Type Height Time Location Thursday, August 15, 1940 Otto Weckeiser 15.(Z)/LG1 Hurricane 5000m 18:25 SW Portland Friday, August 30, 1940 Otto Weckeiser 15.(Z)/LG1 Hurricane 5000m 17:19 SW Canterbury Saturday, September 07, 1940 Otto Weckeiser 15.(Z)/LG1 Spitfire 6500m 16:57 SE London Wednesday, September 11, 1940 Otto Weckeiser 15.(Z)/LG1 Hurricane 6500m 16:57 SE London (Southampton) Friday, September 27, 1940 Otto Weckeiser 15.(Z)/LG1 Spitfire 5000m 10:19 SW London
Bf-110C. L1+XB of Stab-V LG1 Horst-Liensberger Lechfeld Germany. This Aircraft was shot down and crashed at Hailsham in Sussex on 27 September 1940 Killing Both the pilot Kommandeur Hptmn Horst Liensberger & his gunner Uffz Albert Koepge. I have also included a Unit Spare and a Blank Skin. Keith checkmysix C6 http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/showthread.php?t=33735
- Campbell, Jerry L. Messerschmitt BF 110 Zerstörer in Action. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 1977. ISBN 0-89747-029-X.
- Caldwell, Donald and Richard Muller. The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defence of the Reich. London: Greenhill Books, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85367-712-0.
- Ciampaglia, Giuseppe. 'Destroyers in Second World War'. Rome: IBN editore, 1996. ISBN 88-86815-47-6.
- Deighton, Len. Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain. London: Pimlico, 1996. ISBN 0-7126-7423-3.
- de Zeng, H. L., D. G. Stanket and E. J. Creek. Bomber Units of the Luftwaffe 1933-1945: A Reference Source, Volume 2. London: Ian Allan Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-903223-87-1.
- Donald, David, ed. Warplanes of the Luftwaffe. London: Aerospace, 1994. ISBN 1-874023-56-5.
- Geust, Carl-Fredrik and Gennadiy Petrov. Red Stars Vol 2: German Aircraft in the Soviet Union. Tampere, Finland: Apali Oy, 1998. ISBN 952-5026-06-X.
- Hirsch, R.S. and Uwe Feist. Messerschmitt Bf 110 (Aero Series 16). Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, Inc., 1967.
- Hooton, E.R.Luftwaffe at War; Blitzkrieg in the West: Volume 2. London: Chervron/Ian Allan, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85780-272-6.
- Hooton, E.R. Luftwaffe at War; Gathering Storm 1933-39: Volume 1. London: Chervron/Ian Allan, 2007. ISBN 978-1-903223-71-0.
- Ledwoch, Janusz. Messerschmitt Bf 110 (Aircraft Monograph 3). GdaÅ„sk, Poland: AJ-Press, 1994. ISBN 83-86208-12-0.
- Likso, T. and D. Canak. Hrvatsko Ratno Zrakoplovstvo u Drugome Svjetskom Ratu (The Croatian Airforce in the Second World War). Zagreb, 1998. ISBN 953-97698-0-9.
- Mankau, Heinz and Peter Petrick. Messerschmitt BF 110/Me 210/Me 410: An Illustrated History. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7643-1784-9.
- Murray, Willamson. Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1935-1945. Maxwell AFB, Al: Air Power Research Institute, 1983. ISBN 0-16-002160-X.
- Mackay, Ron. Messerschmitt Bf 110. Wiltshire, UK: The Crowood Press, 2000. ISBN 1-86126-313-9
- Middlebrook, Martin. The Peenemunde Raid: The Night of 17-18 August 1943. Barnsely, UK: Pen & Sword Aviation, 2004. ISBN 1-84415-336-3.
- Munson, Kenneth. Fighters and Bombers. New York: Peerage Books, 1983. ISBN 0-907408-37-0.
- Price, Alfred. Messerschmitt Bf 110 Night Fighters (Aircraft in Profile No. 207). Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Profile Publications Ltd., 1971.
- Savic, Dragan and Boris Ciglic. Croatian Aces of World War II (Osprey Aircraft of the Aces - 49). London: Oxford, 2002. ISBN 978-1-84176-435-1.
- Treadwell, Terry C. Messerschmitt Bf 110(Classic WWII Aviation). Bristol, Avon, UK: Cerberus Publishing Ltd., 2005. ISBN 1-84145-107-X.
- Van Ishoven, Armand. Messerschmitt Bf 110 at War. Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Ltd., 1985. ISBN 0-7110-1504-X.
- The Messerschmitt Bf 110 in Color Profile 1939-1945 John Vasco and Fernando Estanislau by Schieffer Publications. ISBN:0-7643-2254-0
- Wagner, Ray and Heinz J. Nowarra. German Combat Planes: A Comprehensive Survey and History of the Development of German Military Aircraft from 1914 to 1945. New York: Doubleday, 1971.
- Weal, John. Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerstörer Aces World War Two. London: Osprey, 1999. ISBN 1-85532-753-8.
Magazine References: +
- Airfix Magazines (English) - http://www.airfix.com/
- Avions (French) - http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/rubrique10.html
- FlyPast (English) - http://www.flypast.com/
- Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) - http://vdmedien.com/flugzeug-publikations-gmbh-hersteller_verlag-vdm-heinz-nickel-33.html
- Flugzeug Classic (German) - http://www.flugzeugclassic.de/
- Klassiker (German) - http://shop.flugrevue.de/abo/klassiker-der-luftfahrt
- Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://boutique.editions-lariviere.fr/site/abonnement-le-fana-de-l-aviation-626-4-6.html
- Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://www.pdfmagazines.org/tags/Le+Fana+De+L+Aviation/
- Osprey (English) - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/
- Revi Magazines (Czech) - http://www.revi.cz/
Web References: +
- Wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt
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