website statistics
Mission: Fighter sweep Southern England.

Date: 5
th September 1940

Time: 10.10 a.m.

Unit: Stab II./Jagdgeschwader 3

Type: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4


Coded: < + -

Location: Winchet Hill, Love's Farm, Marden, Kent, England.

Pilot: Oberleutnant. Franz von Werra. (Gruppe Adjutant) - Captured unhurt.


This aircraft was damaged in combat possibly by P/O G. H. Bennions of No. 41 Squadron, during diversionary fighter sweep over Kent. Disengaged but pursued and eventually brought down by P/O B. G. Stapleton of No. 603 Squadron. Me 109 forced landed at Winchet Hill. The pilot,Oblt. Franz von Werra successfully returned to Germany after his escape from Canada to the United States in 1941. Famously known as the "ONE THAT GOT AWAY”.

1 Bf 109E Wnr.1480 von Werra 05.09.40
Messerschmitt of von Werra under guard at Love’s Farm, Marden, Kent.

Pasted Graphic
Franz von Werra in the cockpit of his Messerschmitt.

A.I.2.(g) Report 1940

Me 109. Forced landed at Love's Farm, Marden, Kent on 05.09.40. Markings < + - black, outlined in white. Crest: Shield U-shaped, outlined in red, divided into 8 segments coloured black and white. Wing tip and rudder painted white, camouflage all blue, fuselage all blue. Spinner divided into alternate black and white sectors. Fitted with Bd601A engine made by Mercedes Benz Werke Nr.10598. Aircraft forced landed following fighter action. Condition reported to be very good. Standard armament; x 2 20 mm cannon and x 2 MG 17 machine guns. No head armour. Starboard wing shows many .303 strikes.

A.I.(k) Report (RAF Air Intelligence) 465/1940 states;

The pilot landed in the aircraft, and has refused to give any details whatsoever. From interrogation of other P/W (Prisoners) from the same Gruppe it has been established that he is the Adjutant of the II./JG 3. This is confirmed by the fact that his Identity Disc is three below that of 6./JG 3. Other P/W state that, according to the german wireless, this pilot carried out an attack on an aerodrome near Rochester about ten days ago, when he shot down 4 Hurricanes which were about to land, set fire to a hangar with incendiary ammunition, and riddled 5 more Hurricanes which were on the ground.

Morale: Very high and confident. Iron Cross 1
st Class.

“Simba” the Squadron Lion

4 von Werra
Franz von Werra pictured in his cockpit with “simba” the lion.

5 von Werra&#39;s kills! - Copy
Victories on the tail of von Werra's Messerschmitt

6 von Werracc7 Hardy Krueger as von Werra
cccccccccccccFranz von Werra pictured with Knights Crossccccccccccc cccGerman actor Hardy Krueger played him in the filmccccccccccccccccccc
cccccccccccccccccccccccccccc“The one that got away”

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless. October 2014.
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.

Aircrew Remembrance Society 2013 © David King, Melvin Brownless & Alexander King.