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Mission: Fighter escort sortie.

Date: 11
th September 1940

Time: 16.00 hours.

Unit: 2 Staffel./Jagdgeschwader 51

Type: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4


Code: (not known)

Location: Brigith Road, Houndean Bottom, Lewes, Sussex. Q.8328.

Pilot: Hauptmann. Ernst Wiggers. 65152/17 (Staffelkapitaen) – Killed. (Badly burnt)


Believed that this aircraft was shot down in flames by Sgt W. B. Higgins in a Hurricane of No. 253 Squadron. Crashed after being attacked by three Spitfires and burnt out. Markings: Engine cowling painted yellow. The aircraft crashed into the ground and was completely smashed up. There was very little left, but half an identity disc was recovered (65152/17). The number has previously been identified as 2./JG 51. This is confirmed by other members of the Staffel now prisoners of war.

Eye witness; D. E. Britton (The Queens Own Regiment). I observed this incident. I was on the hill about a mile from the main road, when I heard the sound of aircraft and bursts of cannon fire. I then saw the German machine flying across Lewes from East to West, closely followed by three Hurricanes. At Houndean it was shot down and burst into flames. The Hurricanes circled round a while, then dipped in salute and flew off. Note: Sgt. Higgins was tragically killed in combat just three days later when he was shot down on the 14
th September 1940.

1 Wiggers left with Molders right cc 2 Mîlders with Hptm Wiggers
Ernst Wiggers and Werner Molders
cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc Molders with Wiggersccccc

3 Hptm. Ernst Wiggers 109 ,2.JG51cc4 Ernst Wiggers crash
The tail of Wiggers Bf 109 Wnr.1641 with at least 12 victories
ccccccccccccccccc The burning wreck of Wiggers 109ccc

5 Ernst Wiggers crash site today
A view looking towards the spot where Ernst Wiggers lost his life. (Pat Burgess Collection)

6 Werke nummer plate
Surviving relic from Wiggers Bf 109, Erla plate with Wnr.1641

7 Cannock Chase Cemetery
Burial detail: Deutsche Soldatenfriedhof Cannock Chase, Staffs, England.

8 Grave Ernst Wiggers
Block 4 Grave 106.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless with special thanks to the late Pat Burgess. March 2015

The British Library is preserving this site for the future in the UK Web Archive at All Aircrew Remembered on our Remembrance pages, are therefor not just remembered here, but also subsequently remembered and recorded as part of our nation’s history
and heritage at The British Library.