377Bty 119HAA Regt. 41-43 Enemy Shot Down

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by DanMorris1989, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. DanMorris1989

    DanMorris1989 Active Member

    Hi all,

    Looking for some information from war diaries if anyone can help.

    Trying to find any entry placing this Battery engaging enemy aircraft in the Exeter area between 1941 and 1943.

    Grandad served with them and distinctly remembered when talking that an enemy aircraft was shot down by Bofors gun hidden in trees in the south west of England believe it was Exeter area.

    Jerry dropped his load on 3 land army girls and killed them outright.

    Would love to pinpoint a rough diary entry with date that this could've happened as I'd like to find out who the girls were.

    His whole life and 8 years in the army ... that's the memory that haunted him the most.

    Can't get to kew for a good few months so would appreciate any help with this.

    Many thanks

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Here is a link to the CWGC details for Exeter Higher Cemetery, the link is specifically for all the Germans buried there, so perhaps if you check out approximate dates it might narrow it down somewhat - also I guess it would have been a Luftwaffe bomber of some sort so there is the possibility of say 3 or more in the crew so looking for the same dates for 3 plus would possibly narrow it down further.


    However nothing has been said in the recollections if the aircraft crashed near the point of the AA fire or was able to fly away so could have crashed elsewhere or even made it home. From Devon across the channel to the Northern airfields of Brittany would have been possible

  4. DanMorris1989

    DanMorris1989 Active Member

    Cheers TrickyDicky

    Yes just want to get the diary entry as I'm sure that when I looked in the diaries briefly in 2015 (made the trip to Grandads 119 HAA emplacements on Orkney) that there was an entry made that corresponded with his story.

    Yes ... thing is over the years it's very likely that grandads story could've been added or taken away from ... he was in a lot of places like most men on AA and also it could've been a single pilot or indeed 3 ... wish I'd have gone through it with him more whilst he was alive. Luckily I have an old video where I interviewed him and he mentions it on the tape.

    I know he mentioned the pilot as his eyes used to glaze over when talking about it but now come to think of it he didn't ever confirm that there was or wasn't more than 1 man on board the plane. All I can say is is that he didn't attend the sight of the plane crashing but he did confirm that he definitely DIDN'T get away

    Best wishes

  5. hutt

    hutt Member

    There are 3 possible diaries for 119 HAA at Kew plus for this battery I would start with them. After that try the 8th AA Division headquarters diaries. They will probably have daily reports that would cover an incident like this.

    But a 40mm Bofors is not HAA but LAA?
    ozzy16 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    If it was dropping bombs then it is highly unlikely to be a single piloted aircraft, they werent built for that job

    DanMorris1989 likes this.
  7. bofors

    bofors Senior Member

    Sorry but ME 109 was used as a fighter-bomber-
    Messerschmitt Bf 109 - Wikipedia
    Maybe not in this situation though. Would be more a bomber escort.
    How about trying local newspapers?


  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I did say highly unlikely

    Blutto likes this.
  9. hutt

    hutt Member

    Here is a report from 5th AA Division HQ for 25th - 26th April 1942. I am pretty sure I could find similar references to FW190s but would need to trawl throughoutthe whole diary to see how bomb carrying aircraft were split between single engine types and larger. These raids were a particular nuisance to the south coast towns Hampshire then east round to Kent and I believe did spread further west to Devon and Cornwall (there might be something on the forum about a serious incident in Torbay). Unfortunately I don't have any 8th AA Division diaries.

    Attached Files:

    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  10. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    Depending on variant, Fw-190s could carry single centre-line mounted bombs of between approx 500 to 1000kg. A Bf-109 would be closer to 500kg. The issue with carrying large bomb loads would be its impact on reduced fuel range, hence predominately coastal or near-coastal operations.

    Germany didn't really have anything close to a heavy bomber, with JU-88s only carrying up to 1400 kgs, the He-111 2000 kgs and even the post 1940 Do-17 replacement, the Do-217 could only manage 3000 kgs. Note these are internal bomb bay loads and theoretically they could (but seldom did) carry more externally. Rather fortunate really.
    bofors and Tricky Dicky like this.
  11. hutt

    hutt Member

    Here is the first reference to the use of the FW190 that I could find, in a raid on Brighton, again in 5th AA Division diary. Dated 22nd - 23rd July 1942. To quote ' bomb is reported to be 50kg'.

    Attached Files:

    Tricky Dicky likes this.

Share This Page