Dornier Do 17 List

Stab II. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 76 - Stab II./KG76 code F1+

Dornier Do 17Z Stab II./KG76 (F1+AC) warming up it's engines France 'Battle of Britain' 1940

Profile Source: Flugzeug Classic 2010-07

Dornier Do 17 I./KG76 Robert Zehbke rammed by 504Sqn Hurricane Sep 15, 1940 01

Photo 01: Attacked by fighters, set on fire and eventually rammed by a Hurricane, Oblt. Robert Zehbke's Do 17 of I./KG76 broke up in the air over London and pieces were distributed over a large area. This part of the tail unit landed near Victoria Station.

With the promise of fine weather on 15 September, the Luftwaffe planned to deliver another heavy blow against London, a repeat of 7 September, which would finally demonstrate the desperate state of Fighter Command and perhaps have a decisive effect on British morale. Abandoning its earlier strategy of feints and diversions, the Luftwaffe launched two major attacks which struck straight for their targets in London. The first attack was detected at 11.00 hrs when enemy aircraft began to assemble in the Calais/Boulogne area. Thirty minutes later the leading wave, consisting of 25 Do 17s from KG76 and 21 Bf 109 Jabos from II.(Schlacht)/LG2, escorted by 150 fighters, crossed the Kent coast. Almost immediately the formation was attacked by the first of 16 RAF fighter squadrons. Battling against strong headwinds which dispersed much of the escort, the German formation came under constant attack and although the escorts put up a determined defence, the bombers were soon forced to jettison their loads over southern London and make good their escape. It was during this attack that Oblt. Robert Zehbe's Do17 of I./KG76 was brought down, arguably the Battle's most publicised victim. Attacked by various fighters and set alight over central London, the Dornier was finally rammed by a 504Sqn. Hurricane flown by Sgt. Ray Holmes who had run out of ammunition and intended to clip its tail. However, the Hurricane lost one wing in the collision and went out of control, forcing Holmes to bale out. Meanwhile, the Do 17 broke up and the main wreckage crashed with spectacular force into the forecourt of London's Victoria Station.

"The first thing I saw where railway lines which were running into Victoria Station and I though I was going to be electrocuted. I swung across the road and hit the roof of houses down below, slithering down the roof and landing in a dustbin with my parachute draped over a drainpipe. I jumped out of the dustbin and saw two girls in the garden next door. I was feeling very relieved to be on the ground safely, so I jumped over the fence and kissed them both!"

Sgt. Ray Holmes, 504Sqn., after ramming Oblt. Zehbe's Do 17, 15 September 1940.

Dornier Do 17Z 1.KG76 flown by Oblt Robert Zehbe rammed by 504Sqn Ray Holmes painting by Geoff Nutkins 0A

Painting: 'Battle over London', a superb depiction by Geoff Nutkins of Sgt Ray Holmes of 504 Squadron ramming the Do 17 flown by 1/KG 76’s Oblt Robert Zehbe.

“It is not fair to fly like a fighter and then drop bombs like a bomber. I should say that we didn’t do it because we were unfair; it was just a new development as is usual in war!”

“The Germans flew more than 1,000 sorties that day and, although the RAF claimed to have shot down 183, the losses actually numbered 56 bombers and fighters...”

Sunday, September 15, 1940 saw the climax of the Battle of Britain when the Luftwaffe launched a massive series of attacks against London in the hope of finally defeating the Hurricanes and Spitfires of RAF Fighter Command. The Germans flew more than 1,000 sorties that day and, although the RAF claimed to have shot down 183, the losses actually numbered 56 bombers and fighters while many aircraft returned to occupied Europe badly damaged.

The first attack of the day came at about 11:00 when fighter-bombers of II/LG 2 struck the capital. This was a relatively new idea for the Germans which, as Oblt Viktor Krafft of Stab II/LG 2 recalled, was not regarded as fair: 'A British newspaper wrote when our Gruppe flew for the first time over Kent: ‘Today flew a group of German fighters over Kent and London. Nobody had expected they were carrying bombs but they did so. It is not fair to fly like a fighter and then drop bombs like a bomber.'

“I should say that we didn’t do it because we were unfair; it was just a new development as is usual in war!’


Twenty minutes after the fighter-bombers departed, Dornier Do 17s of I and II/KG 76 appeared over London’s suburbs. Their target was either the docks or the railway junction at Latchmere End but, owing to the massive number of Hurricanes and Spitfires sent to intercept them, damage was slight and as they turned for home their casualties began to rise.

One of the most spectacular and well known losses was a Do 17 flown by Oblt Robert Zehbe of 1/KG 76. Attacked by swarms of RAF fighters, it was claimed shot down by at least six RAF pilots. Sgt Ray Holmes of 504 Squadron rammed the bomber with his Hurricane. The Dornier broke up, most of the wreckage falling on Victoria Railway Station.

The German crew tried to bale out of the disintegrating bomber. Two of them, Obgf Ludwig Armbruster and Uffz Leo Hammermeister, were captured. Robert Zehbe managed to land by parachute. He died of his injuries the following day. Uffz Gustav Hubel and Uffz Hans Goschenhofer were both killed.

Fw Rolf Heitsch of 8/KG 76 was on the right of his formation of bombers and, after a turn, found himself at the rear – much easier prey for RAF fighters. “They attacked us from behind. Trying to take evasive action by flying up and down, they hit us with three bursts with the result that we only had limited power from the engines. The right engine was totally destroyed and the left one just idling. We managed to get between two clouds and had to force-land in a field which was occupied by cows at their midday rest. When the plane came to a halt, we could not get out as the exits had been so badly damaged by gunfire.” Credit for shooting Rolf down was given to Fg Off John Dundas and Plt Off Eugene Tobin of 609 Squadron (see page 18). KG 76 lost six bombers on this sortie with another two badly damaged. Twelve aircrew were killed, ten captured and three wounded.


The escorts also fared badly. Fw Herbert Tzschoppe of 1./JG 53 had already flown in the Battle of France, his Messerschmitt Bf 109 being damaged in combat with Hurricanes of 1 Squadron at 15:45 on May 14, forcing him to crash-land near Sedan. Herbert’s first ‘kill’ was not until the Battle of Britain had well and truly started when, on August 25, he shot down two Hurricanes off Portland, Dorset. His third and last victory was on September 9 when he shot down another Hurricane to the east of London.

Six days later Tzschoppe’s luck ran out as he recalled: “On September 15, 1940, I, with Uffz Heinrich Kopperschläger, was one of the last of the Staffel to take off. We were to fly as the lookout pair. We flew at the back of the escort formation. “The Staffel Kapitän, Oblt Hans Ohly, had to turn back with radio trouble and the lead was then given to Obfw Alfred Müller. We were flying at about 3,500m and had to fly with our flaps down so that we could stay close to the slower bombers. “During a turn we were attacked by Spitfires which came out of the sun. Müller was hit in the arm and broke away and my ’plane was hit in both wings. I wanted to get back to France and tried to hide in the clouds which were at 1,500m. “When I came out of the clouds I was hit by a second burst, so I threw off the cabin roof and undid my seat belt. I now think the drills I learned in flying training then saved my life. We were often woken up at night and had to say what to do if we were hit: throw off the roof, undo the seat belts, jump out and pull ripcord. A third burst hit home – from the instrument panel came flames like an oxyacetylene torch and my hands and face were severely burned. An explosion followed and I found myself hanging on a parachute.”

Source: Flypast Special Battle of Britain Luftwaffe Eagles

Dornier Do 17 KG76 over West Ham September 7, 1940 01

Photo 01: Do 17s, almost certainly from KG76, during their bombing run to West Ham on the evening of 7 September 1940


1. Staffel I. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 76 - 1./KG76 code F1+

Dornier Do 17 Z-1 1./JG76 F1+FH Robert Zehbe WNr 2361 over West Ham London 7th Sep 1940 IWM C5423

Two German Dornier 17 bombers over West Ham in London during a raid on the first day of the Blitz, 7 September 1940. We have identified the Dornier on the right, as Dornier Do 17.Z1 F1+FH (Werk Nr.2361) of 1 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 76 which was piloted by Oberleutnant Robert Zehbe and was based at Beauvais-Tillé in France. On the 15th September 1940, The same bomber and it's crew were back over London. It left from just south of Beauvais at 10.50 hrs. for Central London, via Cap Griz Nez, Dungeness. The aircraft came over at 15,000 ft. with many others and during the journey they were under moderate A.A. fire, one engine was pulling badly, which caused the aircraft to lag 500 yards behind the main formation. The aircraft is reported to have broken up in mid air following fighter attacks, one engine falling at the corner of Victoria Station and part of a wing about ¼ mile away. Parts and pieces were distributed over a wide area bounded by Putney on one side and Horticultural Hall on the other. The rear gunner and his part of the aircraft landed at Fulham and the tail unit ended up on a house in Vauxhall Bridge Road. The pilot (Oblt. Zehbe) bailed out and came down at Kennington, where he was fiercely attacked by the crowds, who tore his parachute and harness to shreds (he died of his wounds the following day). The wireless operator bailed out and landed in Sydenham Wells Park. The flight engineer bailed out and landed at Dulwich. Various papers fell out and were found over the whole of South East London.

Post war research revealed that this aircraft was attacked by several pilots which included Sergeants Hubacek, Kaucky, Puda and Flight Lieutenant Jeffries of No.310 Squadron together with Sergeant Holmes of No.504 Squadron and Flying Officer Ogilvie of No.609 Squadron. The Combat Report of Sergeant Holmes reads as follows;
"In the attack made by No.504 Squadron I attacked the right flank machine from quarter to astern. Pieces flew from the wings and a flame appeared in the port wing but went out again. After breaking away I climbed up to a single Do 215 and made two quarter attacks. Pieces flew off, my windscreen was now slashed with black oil. I attacked a third time and a member of the crew bailed out. On my fourth attack from the port beam a jar shook my starboard wing as I passed over the e/a and I went into an uncontrollable spin. I think the e/a must have exploded beneath me. I bailed out and as I landed I saw the Dornier hit the ground by Victoria Station, half a mile away." (Source - aircrewremembrancesociety)

Holme’s Hurricane P2725 crashed in the Buckingham Palace Road, Holmes landed in Hugh Street.
(Photo source - © IWM C 5423)
(Colourised by Richard James Molloy)

Dornier Do 17 1./KG76 (F1+FH) Robert Zehbe Battle of Britain 1940

Profile 01: Dornier Do 17 1./KG76 (F1+BL) Battle of Britain 1940. F1+FH: 1. / KG 76, September, 1940. This aircraft was piloted by Oblt. Robert Zehbe. This is the Do 17 that has become the subject of a great and glamorous myth as a result of a T.V. show.

Intending to bomb Buckingham Palace, Zehbe's aircraft was rammed at the last minute by a Hawker Hurricane piloted by Sgt. Raymond Holmes. Zehbe and Homes both floated to earth on parachutes and Buckingham Palace was spared and the King and Queen saved. "Long live the King!" Now for the actual history. On 15 September 1940, Zehbe was on his way to bomb Central London, approaching from the South-East, and then a dog-leg west. On route he encountered engine trouble and lagged behind the formation by about a half-mile. The Hurricanes of 310 Squadron quickly jumped the straggler, but failed to shot down Zehbe's aircraft. As Zehbe approached South London his left engine was on fire. He was jumped by Hurricanes of 609 Squadron and 504 Squadron. The effort to bring Zehbe down was so intense that it seems 609 Squadron complained that 504 Squadron was interfering in its efforts. Two of Zehbe's crewman bailed out, the gunner was dead. Zehebe's aircraft was then attacked by Holme's Hurricane, and Zehbe bailed out. Holme's wing may have struck the Dornier at that point. Holmes bailed out of the damaged Hurricane. The Dornier, engulfed in flames, began to spin wildly out of control. The outer wing panels broke off and the fuselage broke in two. A good part of the aircraft came down in Fulham, with other parts falling on Victoria Station. It is believed that one of the bombs flung out of the spinning aircraft, landed on the grounds of Bucking ham Palace. Robert Zehbe died from his wounds the next day.

2. Staffel I. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 76 - 2./KG76 code F1+

Dornier Do 17Z 2.KG76 (F1+JK) Hans Figge and crew force landed France 1940

Uffz Hans Figge managed to get his crippled Do 17 of 2/KG 76 almost as far as the French city of Poix. With one engine stopped after a fighter attack, he successfully crash landed and the crew clambered out.

Source: Flypast Special Battle of Britain Luftwaffe Eagles

Dornier Do 17Z 2./KG76 (F1+KK) during the Battle of Britain autumn 1940

An extremely weathered Do 17 Z of 2./KG 76 photographed from another aircraft during the autumn of 1940. The individual letter of the unit’s code, F1+KK, was carried above both wings, outboard of the Balkenkreuz. Shortly after this picture was taken I./KG 76 began to re-equip with the Ju 88. (Photo courtesy of EN-Archive)

3. Staffel I. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 76 - 1./KG76 code F1+

Dornier Do 17 3./KG76 (F1+AL) Battle of Britain 1940

Profile 01: Dornier Do 17 3./KG76 (F1+BL) Battle of Britain 1940

Dornier Do 17 3./KG76 (F1+BL) Battle of Britain 1940

Profile 01: Dornier Do 17 3./KG76 (F1+BL) Battle of Britain 1940

Dornier Do 17Z 3.KG76 (F1+FL) Karl Niebler WNr 2651 prior to being sd over Kent 15th Sep 1940

The crew of Dornier ‘F1+FL’ of 3/KG 76 immediately before take-off on September 15, 1940. A few hours later, the bomber crashed at Sturry in Kent. Left to right: Fw Karl Niebler (pilot – killed); Oblt Karl-Ernst Wilke (observer - PoW), Fw Karl-Heinz Wissmann (gunner – killed), a ground crewman, Uffz Johann-Friedrich Schatz (gunner – killed) and Uffz Hans Zenner (radio operator – PoW).

Source: Flypast Special Battle of Britain Luftwaffe Eagles


4. Staffel II. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 76 - 4./KG76 code F1+

6. Staffel II. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 76 - 6./KG76 code F1+


III. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 76 - 8./KG76 code F1+


8. Staffel III. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 76 - 8./KG76 code F1+

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


9. Staffel III. Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 76 - 9./KG76 code F1+

Dornier Do 17 9./KG76 passing Beachy Head, BOB August 18, 1940 01

Photo 01: In this photograph, taken by Luftwaffe war correspondent Rolf von Pebal a few minutes after 13.00 hrs on 18 August, the Do 17s of 9./KG76 are just passing Beachy Head at almost wave-top level. A few moments later they would turn inland to head for their target, RAF Kenley.

Dornier Do 17Z 9./KG76 (F1+DT) shot down by Hurricanes over Biggin Hill England Battle of Britain 1940

Photo's: Dornier Do 17 9./KG76 (F1+DT) Battle of Britain 1940 additional info from Flugzeug Classic 2010-07

Dornier Do 17Z 9./KG76 (F1+ET) Battle of Britain 1940

Profile 01: Dornier Do 17 9./KG76 (F1+ET) Battle of Britain 1940

Dornier Do 17Z photo gallery list

    IL-2 Sturmovik 'Cliff's of Dover' Blitz

Keith Checkmysix C6 -

   IL-2 Sturmovik Battle of Stalingrad - has no 3D model

   DCS World - has no 3D model


 Warnemünde Germany Map

 Mosjoen harbor Norway Map


    Bibliography: +

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  • de Zeng, H.L., D.G. Stanket and E.J. Creek. Bomber Units of the Luftwaffe 1933-1945: A Reference Source, Volume 1. London: Ian Allen Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85780-279-5.
  • 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 Allen Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-1-903223-87-1.
  • Ciglic, Boris and Dragan Savic. Dornier Do 17 - The Yugoslav Story: Operational Record 1937-1947. Belgrade: Jeroplan Books, 2007. ISBN 978-8-69097270-8.
  • Dressel, Joachim and Manfred Griehl. Bombers of the Luftwaffe. London: DAG Publications, 1994. ISBN 1-85409-140-9.
  • Goss, Chris. Dornier 17: In Focus. Surrey, UK: Red Kite Books, 2005. ISBN 0-9546201-4-3.
  • Green, William. Warplanes of the Second World War, Volume Eight, Bombers and Reconnaissance Aircraft. London: MacDonald. 1967.
  • Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. 'The Annals of the 'Pencil': The Story of the First-Generation Dornier Do 17'. Air Enthusiast. Issue 30, March—June 1986. Bromley, Kent, UK: Pilot Press, pp. 38–53. ISSN 0143-5450.
  • Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. 'Balkan Interlude - The Bulgarian Air Force in WWII'. Air Enthusiast. Issue 39, May–August 1989. Bromley, Kent: Tri-Service Press, pp. 58–74. ISSN 0143-5450.
  • Griehl, Manfred. Dornier Do 17E-Z, Do 215B; The Flying Pencil in Luftwaffe Service. World War Two Combat Aircraft Archive No. 03. Air Coc, Erlangen, Germany, 2005. ISBN 3-935687-42-7.
  • Hooton, E.R. Luftwaffe at War; Gathering Storm 1933-39: Volume 1. London: Chervron/Ian Allen, 2007. ISBN 978-1-903223-71-7.
  • Hooton, E.R. Luftwaffe at War; Blitzkrieg in the West: Volume 2. London: Chervron/Ian Allen, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85780-272-6.
  • Keskinen, Kalevi and Kari Stenman. Suomen Ilmavoimien historia 2: Dornier Do 17Z, Junkers Ju 88A-4. Hobby-Kustannus Oy, 1999. ISBN 952-5334-01-5.
  • March, Daniel J. British Warplanes of World War II. London: Aerospace Publishing. 1998. ISBN 1-874023-92-1.
  • Munson, Kenneth. Fighters and Bombers of World War II. London: Peerage Books. 1983. ISBN 0-9-0740-837-0
  • Nedyalkov, Dimitar. Air Power of the Kingdom of Bulgaria. Volume IV. FARK OOD, Sofia, 2001. ISBN 978-9549669794.
  • Neulen, Hans Werner. In the Skies of Europe: Air Forces Allied to the Luftwaffe 1939–1945. London: Crowood, 2000 ISBN 1-86126-326-0.
  • Nowarra, Heinz J.The Flying Pencil. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 1990. ISBN 0-88740-236-4.
  • Schlaug, Georg. Die deutschen Lastensegler Verbände 1937–1945. Stuttgart: Motorbuch, 1985. ISBN 3-613-01065-8.
  • Smith, J.R. The Do 17 and Do 215 (No. 164). London: Profile Publications, 1967.
  • Smith, J.R. and Antony L. Kay. German Aircraft of the Second World War. London: Putnam, 1990. ISBN 85177-836-4.
  • Staerck, Christopher and Paul Sinnott. Luftwaffe: The Allied Intelligence Files. Washington, DC: Potomac Books, 2002. ISBN 978-1-57488-387-9.
  • Wrobel Arkadiusz. Dornier DO 17/DO 215. Monograph Series 39. Kagero Oficyna Wydawnicza. 2008. ISBN 978-8361220107

    Magazine References: +

  • Airfix Magazines (English) -
  • Avions (French) -
  • FlyPast (English) -
  • Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) -
  • Flugzeug Classic (German) -
  • Klassiker (German) -
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) -
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) -
  • Osprey (English) -
  • Revi Magazines (Czech) -

    Web References: +

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This webpage was updated 28th June 2021