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Historic England Research Records

HE111 H-5 3677 1H+MH

Hob Uid: 1381894
Location :
Northumberland
Northumberland
Grid Ref : NU3154028590
Summary : 1941 wreck of German Heinkel He111 bomber shot down by HMS PATIA 7.5 miles ESE of Beadnell after a successful attack on that vessel, which foundered nearby [see 1001497/ NU 32 NE 2]. She had left her home base of Stavanger for a raid on Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
More information : Wreck site for HMS PATIA given as 7 miles ESE of Beadnell Point.

'On 27 April 1941 HMS PATIA had joined a convoy and was steaming north...She was about 4 miles off Boulmer, Northumberland, and was at cruising stations with a faulty radar set, when a low-flying German bomber suddenly loomed out of the sky. Her crew were unprepared for the onslaught that came from the aircraft, which first strafed the vessel with machine-gun fire and then dropped two bombs on its first run.

'The bombs both fell short of their target...The plane turned and came in for a second run, raining more bombs as it came, but by then the ship's ack-ack gunners had pulled out all the stops and their accuracy paid off when they sustained a direct hit, knocking the German bomber out of the sky...

'While the ship's crew were arriving on shore, the local lifeboat was called out with an armed escort to rescue three of the survivors from the German plane... (1)

Description of the attack on HMS PATIA and her subsequent attack on the aircraft:

'At around 2117 hours, some 35 miles north of Tynemouth, PATIA had passed 20G Buoy when an unidentified aircraft was spotted to the east. The vessel's Radio Direction Finding apparatus was unserviceable and in the twilight the approaching aircraft had not been spotted until it was almost on top of them. Flying at around 70 to 80 feet above the waves, a Heinkel He111 dropped a bomb on PATIA...As it flew over the vessel, the Heinkel dropped a second bomb...

'The bomber returned for a second attack some five minutes later, opening fire with its machine guns while flying at masthead height. PATIA's anti-aircraft guns were brought to bear when the Heinkel was in range; presumably this distracted the bombardier as two more bombs which were dropped fell well clear...The Heinkel returned once more at low altitude, making a stern attack and raking the vessel with machine-gun fire...

'Approaching again from extremely low altitude, the Heinkel again opened fire with its machine guns and dropped three bombs...Dropping a flare, the bomber again opened fire, this time using its rear-facing machine guns...

'The Luftwaffe aircraft did not survive intact long enough for her crew to celebrate their success, however. The Heinkel He111 was an H5 variant, werke nummer 3677 (and coded 1H+MH), belonging to the 1st Staffel of Kampfgeschwader 26 ("Lowen"). During the fateful attack on PATIA, w/n 3677 was hit by anti-aircraft fire from the vessel. Shortly after dropping the flare and starting to open fire with her machine guns once more, flames burst from the Heinkel's tail and the aircraft appeared to crash into the sea. Three of her crew, Oberfeldwebel Fenchel, Gefreiter Klamand and Unteroffizier Warko managed to bale out and were taken prisoner, while Gefreiter Schurgel was killed.' (2)

Heinkel He111 H-5 Werke Nummer 3677 1H+MH of 1/KG 26 was the aircraft involved in this action. (3)

Crew: Oberfeldwebel Erich Fenchal, pilot, POW; Gefreiter Rudolf Klamand, observer, POW; Unteroffizier Siegfried Warko, wireless op, POW; Gefreiter Johann Schuegerl, mechanic, killed.

'The Luftwaffe Loss Returns list this aircraft as having failed to return from operations against Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 27 April and give the probable cause as ship's gunfire...

'He111 1H+MH was one of 3 aircraft of 1/KG26 to participate in an anti-shipping reconnaissance operation along the north-east coast of England on the night of 27 April 1941. The bombers set off singly from their base at Stavanger...Fenchal's aircraft taking off last at 19.30 hours (German Summer Time). 1H+MH crossed the North Sea at an average height of 200 feet and after flying for some 2 and a half hours, the bomber was approaching the Northumberland coast when Fenchal and his crew saw the guns of a ship some way ahead seemingly engaged in battle with attacking aircraft.

'The vessel under attack was HMS PATIA...1H+MH joined in the attack on PATIA but the German crew did not see the other aircraft involved in the assault whilst they themselves were trying to sink their target...Fenchal made two attacks, using bombs and machine-gun fire in each case. The first attack was across the beam from the starboard quarter: two 250kg bombs were aimed at the ship on the initial run, but they missed their target. Fenchal then made a right-hand turn and attacked again, this time from the port quarter. The remaining two 250kg bombs were dropped on that occasion and at least one of them was seen to score a direct hit. However, Fenchal did not have it all his own way. The ship's guns scored strikes on one of the bomber's engines, causing sufficient damage to force the aircraft to ditch close by the vessel, which by that time was on fire.

'Fenchal and his crew escaped from the Heinkel with no difficulty and three of them managed to scramble into their rubber boat before their aircraft sank...the mechanic failed to get into the dinghy, and although he was supported in the water for some time, he eventually drowned.' (5)

Built: after 1939 (4)
Propulsion: 2 x Junkers Jumo 211 engines (4)
Unit: 1/Kampfgeschwader 26 (2)(3)(5)
Crew: 4 (1)(3)(5)
Crew Lost: 1 (2)(3)(5)
Owner: Luftwaffe [all sources]

Date of Loss Qualifier: Actual date of loss

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : The Comprehensive Guide to Shipwrecks of the North East Coast, Vol 2 1918-2000.
Source details :
Page(s) : 211-2
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Air North
Source details : The Loss of the Fighter Catapult Ship HMS Patia, April 1941, Graeme Carrott
Page(s) : 190-1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 41
Source Number : 3
Source : Northumberland Aviation Diary: Aviation Incidents from 1790 to 1999
Source details :
Page(s) : 73
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : The Vital Guide to Fighting Aircraft of World War II
Source details :
Page(s) : 52
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Broken Eagles 2: Luftwaffe Losses over Northumberland and Durham, 1939-1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 88-90
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : Second World War
Monument End Date : 1941-12-31
Monument Start Date : 1941-01-01
Monument Type :
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Admiralty Chart
External Cross Reference Number : 1192 16-09-77
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Admiralty Chart
External Cross Reference Number : 156 24-09-76
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NU 32 NW 55
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
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