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Mission: Reconnaissance – 15 West -3623 – 2647.

Date: 9
th February 1940

Unit: 5 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 26

Type: Heinkel He 111H-3


Coded: 1H + EN

Location: Rhodes Farm,North Berwick Law, East Lothian, Scotland.

Pilot: Unteroffizier. Helmut Meyer. II./KG26 M.Nr.62 – Captured. Born 12.04.1915 in Herford/Westf.

Observer: Unteroffizier. Josef Sangl. II./KG26 M.Nr.38 – Captured. Born 26.03.1913 in Etting/Krs. Ingolstadt.

Radio/Op: Unteroffizier. Franz Wieners. II./KG26 M.Nr.62 – Killed. Born 21.04.1915 in Himminghausen/Weser.

Flt/Eng: Obergefreiter. Heinz Hegemann. II./KG26 M.Nr.27 – Captured. Born 19.06.1917 in Wieschenhifen/Unna.


This aircraft was damaged by S/Ldr A. D. Farquhar in a Spitfire of No.602 Squadron and was forced to land.

This aircraft took off from Westerland at about 09.30 hrs. Flying at 650 ft. the crew made landfall just south of the Firth of Forth at May Island. They sighted a ship of about 6,000 tons which they were about to attack when they realised it was Danish, flying seven flags. The crew then saw a cruiser which opened fire on them and decided that it must be part of a convoy, so prepared to bomb the Danish ship.

The wireless operator then spotted some fighters so they made for clouds but when they tried to attack again they were once more driven off by fighters and a warship. After flying for a few minutes towards home, the crew decided they should try again and turned back towards the coast and while flying south at 2,300 ft. they were attacked by three Spitfires which mortally wounded the wireless operator who was manning the top gun position, also the attack damaged the oil sumps and radiators of both engines.
Turning out over the Bass Rock Lighthouse, the pilot decided to land, being followed by the three fighters and jettisoned the bomb load. They landed with the undercarriage down but both tyres were punctured and the aircraft ran into a hedge, tipping up onto its nose.
This aircraft carried two incendiary bombs for destroying the aircraft but the crew were prevented from doing so by the police, although one of the crew dropped a cigarette end into a pool of leaking petrol but this did not catch light. Markings: E in red.

This aircraft was saved and evaluated, later became AW177 and was flown by the No.1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight until it crashed at Polebrook on November 10
th 1943, killing seven of the eleven on board.

1 He 111 Berwick
Well known photos of the 1H + EN on its nose.

2 He 111 Berwick

3 Rhodes Farm, near North Berwick on 9 February 1940

4 He-111-Crash-Landing
The aircraft now partly dismantled being transported down the street on its main wheels.

5 The cockpit of a captured Heinkel He 111 undergoing examination, 2 October 1940.
The cockpit of Heinkel He 111 undergoing examination, 2nd October 1940.

6 HE-111 Wnr.6853 Captured Ser No.AW177
“Under new management” AW177 in flight, now in R.A.F. livery.

7 Cannock Chase Cemetery

Burial detail:

Franz Wieners now rests in the Deutsche Soldatenfriedhof, Cannock Chase, England.

Block 8 Grave 94.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless