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Mission: Bomber escort/Fighter sweep.

Date: 24th April 1941.

Time: 9.02 a.m.

Unit: 2 Staffel./Jagdgeschwader 52

Type: Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7


Coded: 6 + (Black)

Location: Black House Farm, Camber, Kent, England.

Pilot: Oberfeldwebel. Guenter Struck - Captured POW.


This aircraft was shot down by Sq/Ldr. J.E. Rankin and Fl/Lt. Brunier in Spitfire Mk.Vb's of No.92 Squadron. Ofw. Struck managed to abandon his aircraft, was captured and eventually sent to Canada as a POW. During captivity in Canada during April-May 1944, Struck feigned mental illness and was released as incurably ill, he returned to Germany via New York and Spain to become a test pilot for the Messerschmitt Company.

RAF Air Intelligence reveals the following;

This pilot started from Ostende - Middelkerke aerodrome in north Belgium at 07.55 hrs. accompanied by Feldwebel. Grassmuch flying 9+ to bomb any aerodrome in the Maidstone - Tunbridge Wells area. The two aircraft started off and flew together at 2,000 ft. to Calais, Cap Griz Nez, to north of Dungeness where the pilots lost touch with one another. On emerging from cloud this pilot released his bomb onto open ground near Rye railway station, believing it to be an aerodrome before making for clouds but on emerging was engaged by AA fire and two Spitfires which damaged the radiator and engine. The pilot bailed out and the aircraft dived vertically into the ground and was almost completely buried. This was the pilots’ first War Flight against England and the first time he had dropped a bomb in anger.

Markings: shield; black and red with a silver sword. Armament: the remains of two 20 mm cannon and two MG 17 found. Pilot's head armour and curved protection found. Traces of an external bomb rack. One 250 kg bomb carried.

Complete remains of aircraft recovered by the Brenzett Aeronautical Museum in 1974. (Source Blitz "Then and Now" Vol. 2).

Me 109 fin
The tail fin of Guenter Struck's Bf 109 emerges from the soil during the recovery of his aircraft in 1974.

24.04.41 Me 109E Wnr.5895 Oblt Struck
The tail fin clearly showing the aircrafts Wnr.5895 is now in a private collection (O'Brien)

Burial detail: None.

Researched by Melvin Brownless A R Society with thanks to Martin O' Brien, (Updated May 2013)