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ADMIRALTY REPORTS


TM Convoy Report 29 March 1940

 

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According to Middlesbrough's Evening Gazette dated 30 March 1940, a Junkers Ju.88 (4D+AP) of 6./KG30 was shot down at dusk by naval gunfire during an attack on a convoy off the Northumberland coast on 29 March 1940. The aircraft crashed into the sea off the village of Cresswell, Druridge Bay, Northumberland. There were no survivors among the crew of four comprising:

  • Oblt. Rudolf Quadt
  • Fw. Gustav Hartung
  • Uffz. Ernst Hesses
  • Andreas Wunderling

A woman living in a nearby village (probably Cresswell) said " I ran outside when I heard a roaring noise and saw a huge plane travelling towards the sea over my house. I don't know how it missed another street of houses before it went out over the sea. Then it dived down and struck the water with a terrific splash". A local lifeboat was launched and spent two hours searching for survivors but although patches of oil were found on the surface of the sea, there was no other trace of the aeroplane. The lifeboat continued its search at daybreak on 30 March but without success. The Germans admitted loss of the aircraft but also claimed that a cruiser protecting the convoy had been hit by several bombs and that one of the merchant ships in the convoy had been sunk. Both claims were denied by the Admiralty. The bodies of the German crew were subsequently recovered from the sea and were buried in Chevington Cemetery, near Broomhill, Northumberland.

It appears likely that this aircraft was salvaged from the sea. The Summary of Work done by No.60 Maintenance Unit at Shipton-on-Benningborough (Yorks) in April 1940 shows that on 9 April 1940 ‘In the case of the Junkers 88, assistance was given to the Naval Authority, Blyth, the aircraft being removed from salvage vessel, dismantled and transported by vehicles of this unit…’ 

My thanks to Bill Norman for supplying me with the above information.


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