Dornier Do-17Z 8./KG76 (F1+FS) Heitsch crew made a forced landing near Castle Farm, Shoreham, England Battle of Britain 15th September 1940 after a low level chase by two by Spitfires from No.609 Squadron Flight Lieutenant Dundas and Pilot Officer Tobin.
The tremendous air battle fought between Fighter Command and the Luftwaffe on 15th September 1940 represented the climax of the Battle of Britain, and it has been celebrated as Battle of Britain Day ever since. The 8/KG 76 Dornier 17Z piloted by Feldwebel Heitsch was part of a force of about 100 German bombers which approached London over North Kent shortly before noon. The formation was intercepted simultaneously by nine RAF Squadrons. The battle developed into a series of individual fights. During one of these encounters, Heitsch's Dornier was attacked by Flight Lieutenant Dundas and Pilot Officer Tobin of 609 Squadron. After a low-level chase, Heitsch was forced to bring his machine down in a field at Castle Farm, Shoreham, narrowly missing the high tension cables that ran over the field. The Dornier's crew were taken prisoner by the local Home Guard. Heitsch and Feldwebel Pfeiffer, the observer, were uninjured. Feldwebel Sauter, the gunner, had been wounded in the ankle and was taken to Maidstone Hospital. Feldwebel Stephan Schmidt, the wireless operator, died of a chest wound before reaching hospital. One other casualty was a hop picker who had been shot in the leg by a bullet from one of the two low-flying Spitfires. Flight Lieutenant Dundas went on to shoot down the German ace Major Helmut Wick on 28th November 1940. Dundas was then immediately shot down and killed by Wick's wingman. Pilot Officer Tobin was an American volunteer from Los Angeles. He saw service throughout the Battle of Britain, and was a core member of the first Eagle Squadron (No.71). He died during a fighter sweep over Boulogne on 7th September 1941.
Do.17Z-1 Unit: 8./KG 76. Luftflotte 2 Serial: F1+FS Cormeilles-en-Vexin, circa 1940. Shot down at Shoreham, Kent, UK. 15th September 1940
Profile Artist: © Richard Ward Source: "Luftwaffe: Bomber Camouflage and Markings 1940 - Heinkel He.111, Junkers Ju.88, Dornier Do.17" text by Christopher F.Shores, compiled by Peter G.Cooksley and Richard Ward, Aircam Aviation Series No.S10, vol.1, Osprey Publishing Limited, England. SBN 85045-074-8. Editional Office: P.O.Box 5, Canterbury, Kent, England
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