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Archive Report: Axis Forces
1914-1918   1935-1945

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.


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Claims by Hans-Joachim Marseille

Hans-Joachim Marseille

Hans-Joachim Marseille 13 December 1919 – 30 September 1942 was a German Luftwaffe fighter pilot and flying ace during World War II. He is noted for his aerial battles during the North African Campaign and his Bohemian lifestyle. One of the most successful fighter pilots, he was nicknamed the 'Star of Africa'. Marseille claimed all but seven of his 158 victories against the British Commonwealth's Desert Air Force over North Africa, flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter for his entire combat career. No other pilot claimed as many Western Allied aircraft as Marseille.

Marseille, of French Huguenot ancestry, joined the Luftwaffe in 1938. At the age of 20 he graduated from one of the Luftwaffe's fighter pilot schools just in time to participate in the Battle of Britain, without notable success. A charming person, he had such a busy nightlife that sometimes he was too tired to be allowed to fly the next morning. As a result of poor discipline, he was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 27 (Fighter Wing 27, JG 27), which relocated to North Africa in April 1941.

Under the guidance of his new commander, who recognised the latent potential in the young officer, Marseille quickly developed his abilities as a fighter pilot. He reached the zenith of his fighter pilot career on 1 September 1942, when during the course of three combat sorties he claimed 17 enemy fighters shot down, earning him the Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten (Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds). Only 29 days later, Marseille was killed in a flying accident, when he was forced to abandon his fighter owing to engine failure. After he exited the smoke-filled cockpit, Marseille's chest struck the vertical stabiliser of his aircraft. The blow either killed him instantly or incapacitated him so that he was unable to open his parachute.

There is scepticism among many researchers as to the veracity of Marseille's claims. It was not unusual in the Luftwaffe for victories scored by other pilots to be attributed for propaganda purposes to a unit commander or other noteworthy person in the unit, and as with many other records of victories, both Allied and Axis, there is no doubt that many recorded as kills were, in fact, duplicates made by several pilot or other claims made in error in the heat of battle.

Victories, Date and Time Notes Hans-Joachim Marseille

– 1940 –

l(J)/LG 2 Lehrgeschwader 2 crest

I. (Jagd)/LG 2

Lehrgeschwader 2 (LG 2) (Demonstration Wing 2) was a Luftwaffe unit during World War II, operating three fighter, night fighter, reconnaissance and ground support Gruppen (groups). Lehrgeschwader were in general mixed-formation units tasked with the operational evaluation of new types of aircraft and/or with the development/evaluation of new operational tactics or practices. Each Gruppe within the unit was equipped with a different type of aircraft. Each Gruppe consisted of several Staffeln (squadrons). The Gruppe was identified by Roman numbers (I./LG 2) and the Staffel by Arabic numbers (10./LG 2). In 1939 Lehrgeschwader 2 thus consisted of a Bf 109 fighter Gruppe (designated I.(J)/LG 2), a Henschel Hs 123 ground assault Gruppe (II.(Schl.)/LG 2), and a reconnaissance Gruppe (III.(Aufkl.)/LG 2). (courtesy asbiz.com)

Formed on 1 October 1937, the unit took part in the Polish Campaign, claiming six kills for three losses from 1-20 September 1939. The unit also participated in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. One base in this period was Saint Inglevert, Pas-de-Calais. Its commander Oberlt. Herbert Ihlefeld, was its most successful ace, claiming 24 victories by September 1940 and earning the Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes. On 10 August 1940 future ace Hans-Joachim Marseille was assigned to I./LG 2, then based in Calais-Marck and flying sorties against England. The Gruppe claimed 92 victories during the Battle, for 22 aircraft lost and 16 damaged. It lost 10 pilots killed and missing and four as PoW.

Kill 1 24 August 1940

Hurricane/Spitfire over Kent.

Kill 2 2 September 1940

Spitfire over Detling, Kent.

Marseille's aircraft was severely hit so he had to crash-land near Calais-Marck. Bf 109 E-7 W.Nr. 3579 was 50% damaged.

Kill 3 11 September 1940 17.05

Spitfire over southern England.

Marseille flew as wingman to Hauptfeldwebel Helmut Goedert. Marseille's aircraft was severely damaged by a Hurricane pilot forcing him to crash-land at the French coast near Wissant. Bf 109 E-7 W.Nr. 5597 was 75% damaged.

Kill 4 15 September 1940 Hurricane over the River Thames, England.

Kill 5 18 September 1940 Spitfire over southern England.

Kill 6 27 September 1940 Hurricane over London.

Kill 7 28 September 1940 Spitfire over southern England.

– 1941 –

I./JG 27

Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG 27) 'Afrika' was a fighter wing of the Luftwaffe during World War II. The wing was given the name 'Afrika' for serving in the North African Campaign predominantly alone in the period from April 1941 to September 1942. Elements of JG 27 fought in every major theatre of operations in which the Wehrmacht operated. Stab JG 27 was created in October 1939 and assigned two Gruppen (groups) in the Phoney War. The wing's first campaign was Fall Gelb, the battles of the Low Countries and France. In the second half of 1940 JG 27 received a third Gruppe and fought in the Battle of Britain. In 1941 it returned to Germany then fought in the German invasion of Yugoslavia and Battle of Greece in April 1941. The wing was then separated with two Gruppen sent to support Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. I. Gruppe was sent to Italian Libya beginning JG 27s North African Campaign from mid-April 1941. It was joined by II. Gruppe which was withdrawn from the Eastern Front after less than two weeks and transferred to Africa. III. Gruppe joined the other Gruppen in North Africa in late 1941. JG 27 fought as a complete wing in Africa and Battle of the Mediterranean, supporting the Siege of Malta, until December 1942. I. Gruppe returned to France and spent the rest of the war serving in the Defence of the Reich, Channel Front, and Western Front theatres. III. and the newly created IV. Gruppe remained operating in Yugoslavia and Greece until March 1944. In the final year of the war, JG 27 fought the Normandy landings in June 1944 and supported the last major German offensive in the West in December. As the Ardennes Offensive failed, it took part in the disastrous Operation Bodenplatte on 1 January 1945. For the remaining months of the war, it separated again, with elements surrendering to the British in northern Germany while the bulk surrendered to the Americans in Austria, on 8 May 1945.

Kill 8 23 April 1941 12.50

Hurricane over Tobruk.

Marseille's Bf 109 E-7 (W.Nr. 5160) sustained 100% damage after combat and belly-landed at Tobruk.

Kill 9 28 April 1941 09.25

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV over the sea north of Tobruk.

The Blenheim was T2429, from 45 Sqd RAF, piloted by Pilot Officer B. C. de G. Allan. The crew and passengers were killed in the crash.

Kills 10 – 11 1 May 1941 09.15 and 09.25

Two Hurricanes south of Tobruk.

His adversaries were 274 Sqd RAF and 6 Sqd RAF. I./JG 27 claimed four victories. Pilot Officer Stanley Godden, an ace with seven victories, was killed in action.

Kills 12 – 13 17 June 1941 17.15 and 18.45

Two Hurricanes, the first northeast of Tobruk and the second east of Sidi Omar.

Germans pilots claimed 13 Hurricanes in numerous engagements, the German authorities confirmed 11 claims, of which seven were credited to I./JG 27. The Allies lost at least 10 aircraft. Around noon, seven Hurricanes of 1 Sqd SAAF (South African Air Force) engaged Bf 109s and lost four aircraft, one of which was lost to ground fire. In the afternoon 73 Sqd RAF lost one aircraft to flak, 229 Sqd RAF lost two Hurricanes in aerial combat with Bf 109s and 274 Sqd RAF also lost two aircraft to German fighters. 33 Sqd RAF lost one Hurricane to an Italian Fiat G.50 and a German Ju 87. The Italians claimed three aerial victories. Marseille’s adversaries therefore most likely belonged to 229 Sqd and/or 274 Sqd RAF.

Kill 14 28 August 1941 18.00

Hurricane northwest of Sidi Barrani over the sea.

Marseille’s adversaries were 12 Hurricanes of 1 Sqd SAAF. Lieutenant V.F. Williams fighter crashed into the sea. Although injured, he was rescued.

Kills 15–16 17 June 1941 17.12

Kills 17-18 Two Hurricanes southeast of Bardia.

Kill 17 13 September 1941 17.25 Hurricane south of Bardia.

KIll 18 14 September 1941 17.46 Hurricane southeast of Sofafi.

Marseille’s opponents were Hurricanes from 33 Sqd RAF on an escort mission for Martin Marylands from 24 Sqd SAAF. Three Hurricanes were lost in combat with 12 Bf 109s and six Fiat G.50s. The Italians and Germans combined claims were three Hurricanes in this encounter.

Kill 19 24 September 1941 13.30 Four Hurricanes and a Martin Maryland of 203 Sqd RAF.

Marseille’s opponents were nine Hurricanes of 1 Sqd SAAF and nine aircraft of an unidentified unit. The South Africans lost a total of three Hurricanes. Captain C. A. van Vliet and 2nd Lieutenant J. MacRobert returned unhurt while Lieutenant B.E. Dold remains missing. I./JG 27 claimed six aerial victories in this engagement. It is possible that the unidentified aircraft were Mk IIB Tomahawks of 112 Sqd RAF. This unit was bounced by a Bf 109 while returning from a shipping escort mission. Pilot Officer D. F. 'Jerry' Westenra, a New Zealander and a future ace, baled out.

Kills 20 – 23 16.45

16.47

16.51

17.00

Kills 24 – 25 12 October 1941 08.12

08.15 Two P-40s from 112 Sqd RAF near Bir Sheferzan.

JG 27 aircraft encountered 24 Mk IIB Tomahawks of 2 Sqd SAAF and 3 Sqd RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force). The Australians lost three aircraft, while the South Africans reported one loss plus one severely damaged. I./JG 27 claimed four aerial victories in this engagement.

Kill 26 5 December 1941 15.25 Hurricane.

The adversaries were 20 Hurricanes of 274 Sqd RAF No. 1 Sqd SAAF. Both squadrons reported the loss of one aircraft. I./JG 27 reported two aerial victories in this engagement.

Kills 27 - 28 6 December 1941 12.10

12.25 Two Hurricanes south of El Adem.

Kill 29 7 December 1941 09.30 Hurricane west of Sidi Omar.

JG 27 fought Hurricanes from 274 Sqd RAF, which lost three fighters in combat with 15 Ju 87s, six Bf 109s, 12 MC 202s and MC 200s. The Italians and Germans claimed three aerial victories in this engagement.

Kill 30 8 December 1941 08.15 P-40 southeast of El Adem.

Marseille’s opponents were misidentified Hurricanes of 274 Sqd RAF. This unit lost three fighters in aerial combat with 30 Bf 109s, MC 200s and MC 202s.

Kill 31 10 December 1941 08.50 'P-40' southeast of El Adem.

The victory was over a Tomahawk IIB from 2 Sqd SAAF. The pilot, Lieutenant B. G. S. Enslin, bailed out uninjured.

Kill 32 11 December 1941 09.30 P-40 southeast of Tmimi.

A Tomahawk IIB, AK457, of 250 Sqd RAF. The pilot, Flight Sergeant M.A. Canty, remains missing in action.

Kills 33 – 34 13 December 1941 16.00

16.10 Two P-40s northeast of Martuba and north east of Tmimi.

One of his victories was a Tomahawk IIB, AM384 of 3 Sqd RAAF, piloted by Flying Officer Tommy Trimble, who was wounded and had to crash-land his aircraft.

Kills 35 – 36 17 December 1941 11.10

11.28 Two P-40s west-northwest of Martuba and southeast of Derna.

Marseille’s opponents were eight misidentified Hurricanes of 1 Sqd SAAF on an escort mission for eight Bristol Blenheim from 14 Sqd RAF and 84 Sqd RAF. The South Africans suffered heavy losses to 12 Bf 109s. Three Hurricanes were reported missing; a fourth was shot down, a fifth crash-landed and a sixth sustained heavy damage. I./JG 27 claimed five aerial victories in this engagement.

– 1942 –

Kills 37 – 38 8 February 1942 08.22

08.25 Four P-40s east-northeast of Martuba, north of Martuba, northwest of Bomba Bay and over the sea northeast of Bomba Bay.

The first action took place directly over the airfield at Martuba. The first victory was a Flight Sergeant Hargreaves, who belly-landed his fighter and was taken prisoner.

It seems that Marseille's third victory was mistakenly identified as a P-40. The victim was most likely a Hurricane IIB Z5312 of 73 Sqd RAF, piloted by Flight Sergeant Alwyn Sands (RAAF), who also crash-landed. Marseille's 40th claim was probably Sgt A. T. Tonkin of 112 Sqd, who was killed.

KIlls 39 – 40 14.20

14.30

Kills 41 – 44 12 February 1942 13.30

13.32

13.33

13.36 Three P-40s and a Hurricane northwest of Tobruk.

The Hurricanes came from 274 Sqd RAF. This unit lost in aerial combat with four Bf 109 fighters in the vicinity of Tobruk: Sergeant R. W. Henderson crashed south of Tobruk and Sergeant Parbury bailed out with his parachute; both of them were uninjured. Pilot Officer S. E. van der Kuhle crashed his Hurricane IIA DG616 into the sea. Flight Lieutenant Smith (Hurricane IIB BD821) did not return from this mission and remains missing in action.

Kills 45 – 46 13 February 1942 09.20

09.25 Two Hurricanes southeast of Tobruk.

Marseille's adversaries were seven Hurricanes from 1 Sqd SAAF and 274 Sqd RAF. These units lost in aerial combat with three Bf 109 fighters in the vicinity of Tobruk. I./JG 27 claimed three aerial victories in this engagement. Marseille's first victory was Lieutenant Le Roux; the South African crashed his burning Hurricane but escaped the wreck, although he was injured.

Kills 47 – 48 15 February 1942 13.00

13.03 Two P-40s southwest of Gambut

Kittyhawk Is from 3 Sqd RAAF, near Gambut airfield. The Kittyhawks were bounced by two Bf 109s during takeoff. Marseille's first victory was Kittyhawk I AK594; the pilot, Tommy Briggs, bailed out at an altitude of 100m and was injured. The second victory was Kittyhawk I AK605; Flight Sergeant Frank Reid was killed in action.

Kills 49 – 50 21 February 1942 12.10

12.18 Two P-40s west of Fort Acroma, probably from 112 Sqd, who lost three aircraft.

Marseille's opponents were 11 Kittyhawks I from 112 Sqd RAF, which lost three aircraft in aerial combat with six Bf 109s. I./JG 27 reported three aerial victories in this engagement.

Kills 51 – 52 27 February 1942 12.00

12.12 Two P-40s east-northeast of Fort Acroma. Probably Mk I Kittyhawks belonging to 3 Sqd RAAF: Sergeant Roger Jennings, in AK665 was killed; Dick Hart in AK689 bailed out and returned to his unit.

Kills 53 – 54 25 April 1942 10.06

10.09 Two P-40s north of the Italian airfield at Ain el Gazala and over the sea north of Ain el Gazala.

Opponents were Kittyhawks I from 260 Sqd RAF and Tomahawks IIB from 2 Sqd SAAF and 4 Sqd SAAF. These units had the following losses in this engagement: Three Tomahawks and one Kittyhawk missing (one pilot later returned wounded), two Kittyhawks and two Tomahawks crash-landed after aerial combat, and one heavily damaged and one lightly damaged Kittyhawk. On the German side I.JG 27 reported five P-40s, II./JG 27 three P-40s shot down. The combat reports indicate that Marseille's opponents were Kittyhawks from 260 Sqd RAF.

Kills 55 – 56 10 May 1942 09.13

09.15 Two Mk I Hurricanes, southeast of Martuba airfield.

The Hurricanes belonged to 40 Sqd SAAF and were on a patrol mission. Both pilots, Captain Cobbledick and Lieutenant Flesker, are missing in action. The first victory was a Hurricane I, serial number Z4377.

Kills 57 – 58 13 May 1942 10.10

10.15 Two P-40s: southeast of Ain el Gazala and over Gazala Bay.

On this occasion, 12 Mk I Kittyhawks from 3 Sqd RAAF were bounced by two Bf 109s coming from the sun. Flying Officer Harrold Graham Pace, flying Kittyhawk I AL172, was killed by a bullet in the head. Sergeant Colin McDiarmid bailed out, injured from his Kittyhawk I AK855. Flying Officer Geoff Chinchen reported that he damaged a Messerchmitt and Marseille's aircraft was hit in the oil tank and propeller on this occasion.

Kills 59 – 60 16 May 1942 18.05

18.15 Two P-40s, east of Ain el Gazala and east of Fort Acroma.

Following the first action, Flight Sergeant Teade of 3 Sqd RAAF crash-landed his burning Mk I Kittyhawk AL120 west of El Adem and returned to his unit uninjured. The second combat involved four Mk I Kittyhawks of 450 Sqd RAAF. Pilot Officer Parker AK697 bailed out uninjured. His pilotless fighter crashed into the Kittyhawk AK604 of Sergeant A. J. Metherall. Both Kittyhawks were lost in the crash and Metherall was killed in action. Marseille only observed Parker bailing out and therefore claimed only two victories.

Kills 61 – 62 19 May 1942 07.20

07.30 Two P-40s south and southwest of Fort Acroma.

These were Kittyhawks from 450 Sqd RAAF. The Kittyhawk I AK842, piloted by Flight Sergeant Ivan Young, was hit in the engine. Young crash-landed without injury to himself; his fighter was destroyed by a resultant fire. Young managed to make it back to Allied lines.

Kills 63 – 64 23 May 1942 11.05

11.06 Two Douglas Boston southeast of Tobruk harbour.

These were really Mk I Martin Baltimores, of 223 Sqd RAF. Four Baltimores attacked the airport at Derna, without a fighter escort and three (AG703, AG708 and AG717) were shot down. The fourth bomber crash-landed on its return flight. I./JG 27 claimed four aerial victories that day.

Kill 65 30 May 1942 06.05 P-40 northwest of El Adem.

Marseille’s adversaries were 20 Mk I Kittyhawks of 250 Sqd RAF and 450 Sqd RAAF, who were attacked by four Bf 109s between Tobruk and El Adem. The Kittyhawk I AK705 of 250 Sqd RAF started burning and crashed. Sergeant Graham Buckland (RAAF) bailed out, but his parachute failed to open.

Kills 66 – 68 31 May 1942 07.26

07.28

07.34 Three P-40s west of Bir-el Harmat and south-west of Fort Acroma, probably belonging to 5 Sqd SAAF; one of the pilots was Maj. Andrew Duncan (5.5 claims), who was killed.

Kill 69 1 June 1942 19.15 A P-40 southwest of Mteifel Chebir.

Potentially the involved Allied adversaries were Kittyhawks I from 112 Sqd RAF. This unit lost Pilot Officer Collet on this day (exact time and location is unknown). I./JG 27 claimed two aerial victories on this evening mission.

Kills 70 – 75 3 June 1942 12.22

12.25

12.27

12.28

12.29

12.33 Credited with six kills in 11 minutes against nine Mk IIB Tomahawks of 5 Sqd SAAF, which were engaged in aerial combat with Ju 87s and Bf 109s near Bir Hacheim. Among the South African losses were four shot down Tomahawks (Tomahawk IIB AK384, AK421, AM401 and AN262) and two heavily damaged Tomahawks. Robin Pare was killed in this action; Captain Morrison, Lieutenant Muir and 2nd Lieutenant Douglas Golding were wounded. 2nd Lieutenant Martin crash landed in the fortress of Bir Hacheim and returned. Captain Adrian Jacobus Botha made an emergency landing at Gambut.

Three of these adversaries were the aces Douglas Golding, Robin Pare and Adrian Jacobus Botha.

Kills 76 – 77 7 June 1942 16.10

16.13 Two P-40s southwest and northeast of El Adem.

Marseille’s adversaries were two Kittyhawk Mk Is, from 2 Sqd SAAF. The two fighters (AK611 and AK628) were lost in combat. Lieutenant Frewen bailed out from his burning aircraft and was uninjured. Lieutenant Leonard James Peter Berrangé was killed in the action.

Kills 78 – 81 10 June 1942 07.35

07.41

07.45

07.50 Four P-40s near Mteifel Chebir.

Among the opponents were 24 Hurricanes from 73 Sqd RAF and 213 Sqd RAF. These two units lost four Hurricanes in aerial combat with Bf 109s in the vicinity of Bir Hacheim. Since II./JG 27 reported aerial combat with 40 to 50 P-40s, further Allied units are likely to have been involved. It seems certain that Marseille's fourth victory was Hurricane IIB BM966 from 213 Sqd RAF. Pilot Officer A. J. Hancock crash-landed near El Gubbi, after he was chased for more than 30km. On the German side I./JG 27 reported the destruction of seven P-40s while II./JG 27 claimed one Hurricane.

Kills 82 – 83 11 June 1942 16.25

16.35 One P-40 southeast of Fort Acroma and one Hurricane northwest of El Adem. Both were from 112 Sqd RAF, which lost two Kittyhawks.

Kills 84 – 87 13 June 1942 18.10

18.11

18.14

18.15 I./JG 27 claimed four P-40s and one Hurricane near El Adem/Gazala. Marseille claimed four and Leutnant Hans Remmer one.[69] These were P-40s from 450 Sqd RAAF; no Hurricanes were involved and only four aircraft were lost. Flight Sergeant Bill Halliday and Flt Sgt Roy Stone (RAF) were both killed in action.

Kills 88 – 91 15 June 1942 18.01

18.02

18.04

18.06 Marseille was credited with four kills in five minutes, including a P-40 near El Adem.

The Allied unit remains unidentified. I./JG 27 claimed six aerial victories in combat with 12 P-40s. An indication for the veracity of this claim is 204 Group RAF Intelligence Report which reported the loss of four aircraft that day.

Kills 92 – 95 16 June 1942 18.02

18.10

18.11

18.13 Four claims accepted; all fighters. 5 Sqd SAAF lost two: Lt. R. C. Denham was killed and the highest-scoring member of an SAAF squadron during the war, Major John 'Jack' Frost, remains missing in action.

Kills 96 – 101 17 June 1942 12.02

12.04

12.05

12.08

12.09

12.12 Marseille was credited with six kills in seven minutes over Gambut (becoming the 11th pilot to score 100 kills).

His adversaries were Mk I Kittyhawks of 112 Sqd RAF and 250 Sqd RAF, as well as 12 Mk IIC Hurricanes of 73 Sqd RAF. The first two victories were misidentified Mk IIC Hurricanes (BN121 and BN157) of 73 Sqd. The pilots, Pilot Officer Stone and Flight Sergeant Goodwin, bailed out uninjured. The next two victories were Mk IIC Hurricanes (BN277 and BN456) also of 73 Sqd. Both pilots, Squadron Leader Derek Harland Ward and Pilot Officer Woolley, were killed in action. Marseille's century appears to have been Sergeant Roy Drew (RAAF) of 112 Sqd in Kittyhawk I, AK586. Drew was separated from his flight and did not return. The Spitfire was a Mk IV reconnaissance aircraft, BP916, flown by Pilot Officer Squires.

Kills 102 – 103 31 August 1942 10.03

10.04 Two Hurricanes, south-south-east of El Alamein in the morning and one Spitfire east of Alam Halfa at 6:25 PM.

It seems that one of Marseille's opponents was Pilot Officer L. E. Barnes. Barnes bailed out of his Hurricane IIC (BP451), but was severely wounded and died in a field hospital on 12 September 1942.

Kill 104 18.25

Kills 105 – 108 1 September 1942 08.26

08.28

08.35

08.39 Marseille was credited with 17 kills in three separate sorties over El Taqua, Alam Halfa and Deir el Raghat.

His adversaries on the early morning missions were Mk II Hurricanes (1 Sqd SAAF and 238 Sqd RAF) and Mk V Spitfires (92 Sqd RAF). One South African, Lieutenant Bailey, was injured in a crash landing, while Major P. R. C. Metelerkamp managed to fly his heavily damaged fighter back to his base. Flying Officer Matthews of 238 Sqd was posted as missing in action. Pilot Officer Bradley-Smith (92 Sqd) bailed out of his burning Spitfire VC BR474. Bradley-Smith was uninjured.

Among Marseille’s adversaries during the midday combat were Mk IIB Tomahawks of 5 Sqd SAAF and Mk I Kittyhawks of 2 Sqd SAAF, to which was attached pilots of the 57th Fighter Group USAAF. Lieutenant Stearns was wounded in the crash-landing of his P-40, Lieutenant Morrison (Kittyhawk I, ET575) remains missing in action, Lieutenant W. L. O. Moon bailed out of his Kittyhawk I, EV366 and was uninjured. Lieutenant G. B. Jack also remains missing in action.

Marseille's 117th official victory was over a Hurricane Mk IIB, BN273. The pilot, Sergeant A. Garrod, bailed out uninjured.

Kills 109 – 116 10.55

10.56

10.58

10.59

11.01

11.02

11.03

11.05

Kills 117 – 121 17.47

17.48

17.49

17.50

17.53

Kills 122 – 124 2 September 1942 09.16

09.18

09.24 Two P-40s and a Spitfire south of Imayid in the morning and two P-40s southeast of El Alamein in the afternoon.

Marseille's adversaries on the early morning mission were Mk I Kittyhawks of 2 Sqd SAAF, including pilots from the US 57th Fighter Group and Mk II Hurricanes of 33 Sqd RAF. One of Marseille's victories was Lieutenant Mac M. McMarrell (USAAF) who crash-landed his fighter and was wounded in this engagement. Lieutenant Reyneke crash-landed his Kittyhawk I. It seems certain that one of Marseille's kills was over a misidentified Hurricane II, piloted by Pilot Officer G. R. Dibbs, who remains missing in action.

Marseille's opponents in the afternoon combat were IIB Mk IIB Tomahawks of 5 Sqd SAAF. Marseille also shot down Lieutenant E. H. O. Carman (Tomahawk IIB AM390) and Lieutenant J. Lindber (Tomahawk Mk IIB, AM349) who remain missing in action.

Kills 125 – 126 15.18

15.21

Kills 127 – 129 3 September 1942 07.20

07.23

07.28 Marseille claimed two Spitfires and a P-40 near El Hammam, early in the morning, two P-40s near El Imayid in the afternoon and one more P-40 south-southeast of El Alamein in the late afternoon.

Marseille's adversaries in the early morning action were 24 Mk II Hurricanes, of 127 Sqd RAF and 274 Sqd RAF, 15 Mk I Kittyhawks of 260 Sqd RAF, 2 Sqd SAAF and 4 Sqd SAAF and eight Mk V Spitfires of 145 Sqd RAF. Pilots of the US 57th Fighter Group were attached to some of the above units. The pilot of the first aircraft destroyed by Marseille bailed out and appears to have been Sergeant M. Powers of 145 Sqd (Spitfire VB AB349), who was wounded in the engagement.

Kills 130 – 131 15.08

15.10

Kill 132 15.42

Kills 133 – 136 5 September 1942 10.48

10.49

10.51

11.00 Marseille was credited with four kills, despite a cannon malfunction, near Ruweisat and El Taqua.

Flight Lieutenant Canham and Pilot Officer Bicksler of 145 Sqd RAF both bailed out of their Spitfire V. It seems that one of them was Marseille's first victory. Mk I Kittyhawks of 112 Sqd RAF and 450 Sqd RAAF were also involved in this engagement.

Kills 137 – 140 6 September 1942 17.03

17.14

17.16

17.20 Three P-40s and a Spitfire south of El Alamein.

Among Marseille's opponents were eight Mk I Kittyhawks of 260 Sqd RAF, Mk IIB Tomahawks of 5 Sqd SAAF to which was attached pilots of the US 57th Fighter Group. 260 Sqd lost one Kittyhawk and a second fighter was damaged. 5 Sqd SAAF reported three losses and a fourth Tomahawk was damaged beyond repair. 7 Sqd SAAF lost five Hurricanes. It is unknown whether the Americans reported losses I./JG 27 claimed five aerial victories in action against 20 P-40s; II./JG 27 reported aerial combat with 12 DAF P-40s and 11 American fighters, claiming one victory. III./JG 53 claimed one P-40 in combat with12 P-40s and six Spitfires.

Kills 141 – 142 7 September 1942 17.43

17.45 Two P-40s southeast of El Alamein and southwest of El Hammam.

Marseille’s opponents were Mk I Kittyhawks of 4 Sqd SAAF and Mk IIB Tomahawks from 5 Sqd SAAF. The South Africans lost two Tomahawks and one Kittyhawk. Two further Tomahawks and one Kittyhawk sustained battle damage. I./JG 27 claimed four aerial victories in this engagement.

Kills 143 – 144 11 September 1942 07.40

07.42 Two P-40s southeast of El Alamein and west-southwest of Imayid.

Marseille's opponents were likely Hurricanes II from 33 Sqd RAF and 213 Sqd RAF. 213 Sqd RAF reported the loss of Hurricane IIC BP381. Flight Sergeant S.R. Fry was shot down. I./JG 27 reported combat with 20 fighter bombers, an indication which points more to Hurricanes rather than Spitfires V from 145 Sqd RAF and 601 Sqd RAF, these were engaged with Ju 87s and Bf 109s at the same time.

Kills 145 – 151 15 September 1942 16.51

16.53

16.54

16.57

16.59

17.01

17.02 Marseille was credited with seven kills against P-40s from 239 Wing (3 Sqd RAAF, 112 Sqd RAF and 450 Sqd RAAF) in 11 minutes. However, RAAF and RAF squadron records indicate that their total losses to enemy action that day were only five P-40s, while German claims were 19 or 20 destroyed.

One of the P-40s shot down was piloted by Flight Sergeant Peter Ewing of 450 Sqd, who bailed out, was captured and spent a day as a guest of I./JG 27.

Kills 152 – 155 26 September 1942 09.10

09.13

09.15

09.16 Seven kills near El Daba and south of El Hammam, including three Spitfires.

Marseille's adversaries on an early morning mission were Mk II Hurricanes of 33 Sqd RAF and 213 Sqd RAF, plus eight Mk V Spitfires of 92 Sqd RAF. It seems certain that Marseille's first victory was over a misidentified Hurricane IIC, BN186, flown by Pilot Officer Luxton, who crash-landed his aircraft. Marseille's last victory was Pilot Officer Turvey, who bailed out of his Spitfire VC, BR494.

Marseille's adversaries in his last aerial combat, that afternoon, included 11 Spitfires from 145 Sqd RAF and 601 Sqd RAF.

Kills 156 – 158 15.56

15.59

16.10

Sources: Luftwaffe Victories by Name/Date (on this site), ww2aircraft.net forum post, Wikipedia, Kracker Luftwaffe Archive (on this site), Allied Losses & Incidents Database (on this site), asbiz.com

SY 2022-03-09

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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