23.09.1944 2./JG26 Focke-Wulf 190A-8 Wnr. 171576 Fhr. Busch
Date: 23rd September 1944 (Saturday)
Unit: 6./Staffel./Gruppe II./JG.26
Type: Focke-Wulf 190A-8
Code: Black 12
Location: Toten Hügel (Death Hill), Appeldorn, Germany
Pilot: Fhr. Maximilian Busch - Killed.
REASON FOR LOSS:
The weather over England remained bad.
The skies over the Dutch drop zones were relatively clear, however , and a large resupply mission was mounted, escorted by 519 8th Fighter Command fighters and forty 9th Air Force P-38s.
Luftflotte Reich responded with two combined missions to Arnhem, totalling 135 fighter sorties.
Most of the German fighter units were dispersed easily by the Americans, who were engaged in serious combat only twice - once each by the First and Second Gruppe of JG.26, the two Focke-Wulf Gruppen flew a total of 52 sorties.
Around 17:00 it was the turn of the Second Gruppe to patrol the Goch-Wesel area over Goch the German pilots caught sight of four P-51s far below them.
Death card for Fhr. Maximilian Busch (all images courtesy Eric-Jan Bakker)
The Mustangs, a flight from the 352nd Fighter Group's 487th Squadron, were flying straight and level, at an altitude of only 1200 meters (4000 feet), on the return leg of their patrol. The rest of the squadron heard only the single radioed word, 'Break' from the flight leader.
The four P-51s and pilots then simply disappeared, the victims of a perfect bounce.
The only German casualty was Fhr. Maximilian Busch, who collided with a P-51 that he had just shot down. He served with JG.26 since 17th July 1944, made 5 combat flights, and was credited with this one kill.
Notes: Busch was in battle with Captain Clarence Oscar 'Tuffy' Johnson 0-733904, from 'Red Flight' 352. Fighter Group - 487. Fighter Squadron, P-51D serial number 44-14078, with the name 'Bula B VI'.
Captain Johnson was credited with seven victories, could one say that Fähnrich Busch was his eighth....
In his flight he operated with Lt. Ayers, Lt. Waters, and Lt. Clark. The official American Missing Aircraft Report (MACR) shows that he was shot down at 17:30, 100% damaged, downed by fighter 4 km SW Kalkar at Toten Hügel.
Johnson was buried at Kalkar, as was 1/Lt J.B. Ayers who crashed at Alt Louisendorf. 1/Lt J.F. Clark crashed at Heidkamp and was taken prisoner by an 'unknown paratrooper unit'. It is not known where 2/Lt P.B. Waters came down, there is no information on MACR.
Fhr. Maximilian Busch. Alp Cemetery, Niederrhein. Grave 11
Researched and compiled by Eric-Jan Bakker for Aircrew Remembered July 2013.