website statistics
Mission: England, Escort for fighter bombers of 4./LG2

Date: 7th October 1940

Time: 4.40 p.m.

Unit: 5 Staffel./Jagdgeschwader 27

Type: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1


Coded: 10 + (Black)

Location: Bedgebury Wood, SW of Cranbrook, Kent , England.

Pilot: Unteroffizier. Paul Lederer 53537/ - Captured wounded.


This aircraft was took off from Calais at 16.00 hours and flew in Schwarm formation, the Schwarm being led by the Staffelkapitän, Oberleutnant. Düllberg. Before reaching the objective, flying at 2,200 feet, they were surprised by No. 605 Squadron Hurricanes attacking from above and behind. Uffz. Lederer dived and banked sharply to the left chased by three Hurricanes, one above, one on his tail, and one below. His radiator was shot up, and the engine overheated. The Hurricanes followed him down, and he made a forced landing in a wood. The aircraft was fairly badly damaged, but had not caught fire when the pilot left it.

This was Paul Lederers third sortie of the day. The first was in the morning. He did a patrol at about 16,000 feet, but saw no English fighters at all. In the early afternoon he was on bomber escort duty, flying considerably higher than the bombers, and again the sortie was uneventful. This pilot has made 42 war flights over England, and considers that of late many of our pilots seem young and un-experienced, although there are obviously a lot of old hands amongst them.

Markings: 10 in white. Yellow spinner, nose and rudder. Red stripe on tail. Shield; a bear. Aircraft made by Erla.

Engine: DB 601 A.1.

Armament: two 20 mm cannon and two MG 17. No bomb racks or gear fitted. Armour; cross bulkhead in fuselage, pilot's head protection and curved head piece.

This was the pilot's third sortie this day, the first being in the morning; this was a patrol at about 16,000 ft. but saw no opposition. In the early afternoon he was on bomber escort duty, flying considerably higher than the bombers, again being uneventful. He had done forty two War Flights over England.

Bf 109E Wnr.3665 Bedgebury Wood 07.10.40
The wreck of Paul Lederer's Messerschmitt in Bedgebury Wood.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless with thanks to Nigel Parker for additional information, August 2013.