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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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3 Staffel/Kampfgeschwader 51 Junkers Ju 88A-1 Obr. Bier

Operation: Crewe

Date: 28th July 1940 (Sunday)

Time: 17:00 hrs

Unit: 3 Staffel/Kampfgeschwader 51

Type: Junkers Ju 88A-1

Werke Nr. 7036

Coded: 9K + HL (Spinners and H both yellow)

Location: Buckholt Farm, Bexhill, East Sussex.

Pilot: Oberfeldwebel. Josef Bier PoW

Navigator: Leutnant. Willi Ruckdreschel PoW

Radio/Op: Unteroffizier Heinz Ohls PoW

Gunner: Unteroffizier Martin Multhammer PoW


This aircraft started from Melun at 22:30 hours alone! 4 x 250 kg bombs were carried for their operation to Crewe.

Something went wrong with the D/F, and the crew found themselves completely lost, after contacting base they were given a new bearing to fly. They flew out over the Channel when the pilot Ofw Bier realised that there was very little fuel left and he decided to scuttle the bombs and turn towards the coast again.

They flew around looking for a suitable landing ground, and for the first time were fired upon when gliding in. One-shot passed through the pilot's flying boot, amazingly without injuring him. Josef Bier made a reasonably good landing, with the undercarriage retracted, on landing the crew did not set fire to the aircraft. With the aircraft virtually undamaged the RAF took over new ownership and renumbered AX919. It ended its days with the Enemy Aircraft Flight at Duxford as a source of spare parts to keep another of the Flights Ju 88's airworthy.

Josef Bier was born on the 18th September 1913 at Struempfelbronn near Eberbach/Germany. Entered Luftwaffe service on the 01st November 1935 and trained at the following places; Schweinfurt, Fuerth, Illesheim, Unterschlauersbach, Landsberg, and Lechfeld where Josef joined the 3rd Staffel/KG51 as a pilot. Josef Bier made 1,490 flights and flew 19 missions over France and 6 to England. Targets in France were Belfort, Dijon, Montbeliard, Mulhouse, Soissons, Dieppe, Compiegne, Moulins, Ville-en-Tardenois. Targets in England were Bristol, Portland, Gloucester, Liverpool, Southampton (oil tanks), and Crewe. Operational bases used were Lechfeld, Germany then Paris-Orly, and Melun-Villaroche in France.

Courtesy Kracker Archive

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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