Posted: Tue 10th Nov 2015

The German Luftwaffe Heinkel 111 brought down by Hawarden Spitfire’s

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Nov 10th, 2015


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This amazing ‘colourised’ picture of that infamous Luftwaffe Heinkel 111 bomber which bombed RAF Sealand in 1940 is the work of colourisation expert Doug Banks from colourisehistory.com

The German Heinkel was attacked by three Spitfires from nearby RAF Hawarden as it was completing a third bombing run over Sealand.

At one point the bomber flew just 20ft above Salisbury Street in Shotton where a young Syd Lawrence, he of  Orchestra fame watched the plane fly over according to an extract in a book about one of the Spitfire pilots Peter Ayerst.

The five crew from the Heinkel all survived and were taken prisoner, Ayerst claimed the ‘kill’ after seeing it come down near Border House Farm on Bumpers Lane near the River Dee.

Here’s an extract from the book Spirit of the Blue: Peter Ayerst – A Fighter Pilot’s Story by Hugh Thomas

“It occurred at approx. 1930 hrs, weather good, 14/08/40.

Peter Ayerst, Hallings-Pott & McLean all heard explosions and saw an (only one) aircraft “5 miles away”. The bombs were being dropped on the training school at RAF Sealand. All 3 scrambled (the aircraft were just being put away for the day).

Salisbury Street, Shotton

Heinkel He111 was spotted at 2000′ over Sealand, about to start a second run. Hollings-Pott & Mclean attacked and scored minor hits.

Peter attacked and must have hit engines as it rapidly lost height.

The other 2 Spits returned home, Peter stayed with Heinkel to watch it crash land. It was witnessed by 16 year-old Syd Lawrence (the band-leader).

The aircraft shot past the bottom of Salisbury Street, Shotton at about 9pm, no more than 20′ above the ground pursued by Peter’s spit.

saliburystreet

The Heinkel flew under some pylons, nice wheels up landing and stopped 50yds short of a farmhouse (on Bumpers Lane)

The 5 crew were made POW’s but had planted detonators which blew up and only the tail and half of the fuselage remained. The next day the 3 Spit pilots and others travelled the 5 miles to view the wreck.

German crew – Fw. Heinrich Rodder (Nav.); Oblt. Artur Wiesemann (pilot); Uffz. Walter Schaum (Flt. Mech.); Uffz. Heinz Kochy (Radio Op.); Uffz. Gustav Ullmann (Gunner).

Four of the Germans met up with Peter Ayerst in 1988 and the Germans also gave their side of events, confirming the above – target was RAF Sealand, damaged caused to Guardroom, Sgts. Mess; and Airmen’s block.

They said they didn’t see the Spitfire’s from Hawarden coming – they thought the shadow on the cloud was their own aircraft – D’OH!” 

 


Wing Commander Peter Ayerst, died in May 2014, he spent eight years as a fighter pilot with the Royal Air Force throughout the Second World War, before retiring as a wing commander.

Doug from colourisehistory.com is keen to hear from anyone who may have been at the t reunion they back in 1989 with Peter Ayerst the pilot and the four surviving German pilots.

 

 

 

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