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Who Shot 'J-Johnnie' Down ?

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Martin Bull, Mar 2, 2003.

  1. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    I was just checking the NFLA site and it is indeed. I should have some newspaper clippings about that.

    Has nobody from NFLA ever tried to find out the German Nachjaeger? I'll try them and my contact.
     
  2. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Thanks to Les Butler's website, 'GK5' can be seen exactly.

    'GK' is just West of Amsterdam, with Amsterdam itself just below centre-right ( East ).

    The number-system looks like this : -

    1 2 3
    4 5 6
    7 8 9

    The spot where JB-659 came down is almost midway between Amsterdam and the coast, and does certainly fall within the '5' square of 'GK'. Had the aircraft fallen into the sea as Hinchliffe records, then it would most likely have been reported as 'GK4'. So the crash-site of this aircraft corresponds with the reported 'kill' of Schnaufer.

    It still seems highly unlikely that Vinke would have shot a Lancaster down at the same time and place....doesn't it ? :confused:
     
  3. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    Indeed, Vinke's kill was recorded about the same time, but more north, in what would be grid EK (Just south of Den Helder...) which is still roughly 50 km to J-Johnny's crash site. This was also a 97 sqn a/c.

    I seems Schnauffer is your guy. Still strange about the statement that the plane crashed into the sea though...
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Schnaufer did not tend to 'hang around' to watch the result of his attacks. The Lancaster obviously suffered catastrophic damage ( the nose breaking off, and no survivors ) so it was reasonable for the Schnaufer crew to assume that the aircraft would have gone into the sea which is quite close to where the interception took place.Also it would not have been feasible for Peter Hinchliffe, when writing Schnaufer's biography, to minutely examine every the circumstances of every claim.

    So - it really does at last look as though my little mystery is solved, and that the pile of wreckage lying in a hangar at Wickenby airfield represents one victory for the most successful nightfighter pilot of all time.

    ( But you know what it's like with research - I'm waiting for someone to contradict me.... ;) )
     
  5. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    Oh, they will....just wait till Friedrich will come on-line later today!! :rolleyes: :D

    As to verifying claims so long after the event; Of course it will prove impossible to positively ID all claims and such. Sources do prove not always reliable. For example, 381BG lost 8 planes on January 11, 1944. These came down in a wide area. But the MACR's all state that the time they were last seen by any other in the formation was 11.22. For all 8! So, yes, research never ends... The records for 447BG are virtually non-exsistant. They lost three planes but all their operations officer could write down was the fact that three planes were MIA. And he added a list with claims of LW fighters. If this list is correct the 447th gunners were responsible for the downing of all LW fighters that day and then some....

    As to Schnaufer's claim; I wonder what you would need/what would constitute sufficient evidence, but I am positive that you are closer to ID-ing this claim than whoever. I feel that it is "with a probability bordering certainty" that Schnaufer downed J-Johnnie. (Although I know there are people who will contradict me... ;) )
     
  6. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    And still the research goes on.....

    An independent researcher in Belgium recently contacted me - he has been researching Schnaufer's career. The 'crashing into the sea' noted in Hinchliffe's book is an error ; the crew's Leistungbuchs refer to a Lancaster being shot down in GK5 ' Auf. Land westl. Amsterdam' .

    So, finally, there can be no reasonable doubt - the crew of JB-659 'J-Johnnie' were unfortunate enough on their first Pathfinder operation, to encounter the most successful nightfighter pilot of all time.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Positive Martin ?

    Vinke scored 2 Lancs this night and so did Oblt. Augenstein as well as Leutnant Krupinski whom scored one. It is a huge pity that more information has not come forth on the NJG histories of practially it is nil.

    In any case good detective work
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    This one is a positive as we can get, Erich. Vinke's victories were scored further north.

    Schnaufer's crew were quite definite in their reporting of the Nachtjagd grid reference ; and this is exactly where JB-659's wreckage was recovered. The doubt was mainly caused by Peter Hinchliffe's minor mistake in citing that the aircraft crashed at sea. Date, time and place tally.
     
  9. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    Congrats on that Martin. Well done! Took a lot of research, but you "nailed" it!

    Now, when is that book coming out? [​IMG]
     
  10. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Yes when is that all encompassing Mossie book coming out Martin ?!

    I think you proably right but what about Augenstein's 2 kills. I also note that it was not uncommon for twin engine NF's to overlap each others kills, and what I mean by that is that on more than 10 occassions nf's have stepped in front of other nf's that were almost certain of a kill. Being in the same grid reference is not uncommon, and if we look at the references in the Freibrug archives we can note the same grid used by several crews, the possible times might be different, but remember the time is what the crew notes in their logs when the RAF a/c is shot down not the time of the crash itself. yeah I know more gliches.....

    good job
     
  11. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Hmmmm .... good points, Erich. But I'd reckon the odds against Augenstein shooting down a Lancaster in the exact same grid segment at the same time to be most unlikely.

    No other Lancaster fell in the immediate vicinity of GK5 that night ; JB-659 is in that precise location......
     
  12. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    ....and for sure I'm looking forward to Theo Boiten's long-awaited 'Nachtjagd War Diaries' now due out early 2008.......
     
  13. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    ..and to add to this ongoing story....

    Visited the basement of the IWM in London today to view the tail-fin of Schnaufer's last Bf110G-4...

    [​IMG]

    And in close-up, there is his victory for '30.1.44' which was, as is now known, JB659 'J-For-Johnnie'.....

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    ah Martin are we 100 % positive that it was Schnaufer ?
     
  15. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Well, I'd go 99.9% ( figuring as always that only those who were there can know for sure ).

    But the grid reference ( GK5 )logged by the Schnaufer crew tallies exactly with where the Lancaster's wreckage was recovered and I have now been contacted by two different Continental researchers who have arrived at the conclusion that JB-659 was indeed Schnaufer's 44th victim ( and a Dutch Aviation Recovery group last year displayed relics from the aircraft in an exhibition about Schnaufer...).........
     
  16. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    This thread brings me back to the anti shipping raid that happened in ├śrsta in 1944. The Reservists put up a marker for the fallen Australian pilots. Ever since we have had a guard of honour for them. There was a book printed after consulting surviving raid members etc. The book "Alarm i Nordvest" sparked an instant controversy over the time of the raid. I was studying in Aberdeen (Scotland) at the time, and I quickly understood why there was problems with the time of the raid. Norway is one hour ahead of Britain. I was surprised at the amount of mud that had been flung in the local paper. But things settled quickly after the timing was sorted out.

    The Australians were Hakewell and Sides.
     
  17. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I just realised that this thread has no pics of 'J--Johnnie' relics.

    So here's a sad little vestige of that aircraft - a shettered fragment of intake manifold from a Packard Merlin, still with original paint...

    [​IMG]

    And a close-up reveals the all-important aircraft code, 'P683', denoting an Avro Lancaster...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    How come I miss all the interesting stuff? Is this an old thread that has been reactivated or did I really miss it?
    I have to disagree with the 22.10 claim made by Vinke as this one was made over Kolhorn. I'd rather focuss on Augenstein and Krupinsky. One thing is certain this aircraft was shot down by NJG1 . I have a confirmed claim (Source: Cornelissen) for Augensteins 21.49 claim (JA702 from 156 squadron at Markenisse). This proves he was flying over Holland for his 22.00 claim. Therefore Augenstein is my favourite but I can't disqualify Krupinsky at this point.
     
  19. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I made reference to Vinke ..................when ? yes some time ago, things have changed, think we better wait for a certain book to come out in 08 guys as it will be covered.....
    thanks for putting in those very important a/c pieces Martin as this alwasy adds double to the posts.

    Skipper I hate to say this but it might be good to go back to square one from the beginning and go through the archives, as there is some good stuff stuck in never never land

    E ~
     
  20. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    So it was an old thread! You are right Erich, I'm not sure that any book or archives would be the absolute bible about this mystery. Searchers will always come up with new theories. I will still stick to Augenstein for the time being but again I may be wrong. At least he flew over Holland at the time of the crash.
     

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