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Mission: Armed reconnaissance along the coast of East Anglia, England.

Date: 1
st April 1941.

Time: 5.30 p.m.

Unit: 5 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 77

Type: Junkers Ju 88A-5

Werke Nr.0614

Coded: 3Z + LN

Location: Near “The Grange”, Henstead, Suffolk, England.

Pilot: Leutnant. Paul Meyer. 71039/73 – Missing. Born 23.12.1919 in Neukuhren.

Observer: Unteroffizier. Werner Heidrich 71039/76 – Captured POW. Born 03.12.1918 in Liegnitz. (Schles).

Radio/Op: Unteroffizier.Klaus Petermann 71039/74 – Captured POW. Born 13.09.1919 in Koenigsberg.

Gunner: Unteroffizier. Hermann Riechmann. 71039/75 – Missing.. Born 17.10.1920 in Hartum, (Minden)


This aircraft was shot down over Lowestoft by two Hurricanes piloted by S/Ldr. Treacy and
F/O Grassick of No.242 Squadron. Enemy aircraft dived into the ground and exploded leaving a crater 40 ft wide. Two of the crew managed to bale out as witnessed by Mr Charles Aldred but the pilot and his air-gunner were still in the aircraft when it plunged into the soft ground. There is a possibility these two airmen could have been killed during the attack.


On 1st April 1941 two Hurricanes of 242 Squadron engaged a Junkers 88 over Worlingham and shot it down. Two of the crew baled out and landed on Worlingham Marshes. The local policeman, who was of a rather rotund build and who we said couldn't catch cold having chased us boys for various small offences, captured both of them single handed despite being threatened with revolvers. After that he was a bit of a hero. The plane and the rest of the crew carried on for about 4 more miles before diving into Henstead Marsh. The plane blew up into small pieces. This may have been because a stick of bombs had been dropped into the marsh a few nights before. The time was about 5.15pm.I was watching from about 5 miles away and saw the two crew come out onto the wing, jump clear and open their parachutes, they then drift down into Worlingham Marsh. It was leaving off time at the farm so I got onto my cycle and proceeded to where I thought the plane had come down as I had some first aid training and used to do 2 or 3 night shifts a week. I was then almost 16 years old. When I got to Henstead I saw people going to the crash site, but the plane was in very small pieces and I knew nobody had survived. I decided to pick up some souvenirs. Another man doing the same suddenly said, "This is my lucky day", he had picked up part of a hand with a very ornate gold ring with precious stones on one finger. It would not come off so he took out a pocket knife and cut it off. I looked away not feeling too good, but thought afterwards the nails were manicured. I suggested that the man hand in the ring to the authorities. All he said was remember this ring came of a good German as the only good German was a dead one. That was war. A few days later I was told that parts of wine decanters with silver labels were found and it was thought that someone special was in charge of the plane. Also feet were found that also had manicured nails. Now 64 years later I suddenly had a thought; did the plane have a female crew member and was that the secret

Ju88Henstead010441 via BC
A huge crater made by the impact of the Ju 88 at Henstead. (Collis)

Grassick Combat Report

Ju88Henstead 01.04.41 x2


Ju 88 crash site near Beccles


Four HE bombs fell from the Ju 88, which was flying NE to SW at 3,000-4,000 ft and pursued by Hurricane fighters, at 1717 hours.
2 HEs landed in a field of growing corn at Pleasurewood Farm, 150 yds W of Yarmouth Road, 35 yds apart. One made a crater 27 ft x 10 ft, the other 24 ft x 10 ft. Damage was caused to growing corn and 25 yards of barbed wire. 2 HEs landed on ESCC (East Suffolk County Council) allotments at Park Hill, Gorleston Road, 300 yds N of Red House Corner, 60 yds W of Gorleston Road. The craters were 30 ft apart, one was 35 ft x 15 ft, the other 35 ft x 9 ft. Crops and garden sheds were damaged.
No danger warning was on at the time, but one was given at 1719 hours."Shortly after dropping these bombs the Junkers 88 was shot down in the parish of Henstead by the Hurricanes."

From Bob Collis, Author, Lowestoft;
The two Germans you cite have no recognised graves in the UK as both were blown to pieces in the crash of their aircraft. The Ju 88 dived vertically into the ground at Fisher's Marsh, Basey Fisher Farm, Henstead, Suffolk and exploded, making a crater 40 ft across.
I found a little more info last year in a file at the Suffolk Record Office in Lowestoft relating to "Deaths Due To War Operations". It was principally concerned with air-raid victims and bodies washed ashore, but the two at Henstead were mentioned. Mr L P Wilson, M O of Health, was informed by F/O Squires, IO RAF Horsham St Faith that the two were Lt Paul MEYER, aged 21, and Under Officer (sic) Hermann RIECHMANN, aged 20. The reports on both men have at the bottom "There were no remains for burial".
Over the years MANY groups and individuals have sought permission to dig the site, but the owner - who is aware of the missing German crewmen and considers it a "War Grave" - will have none of it.
Hope this helps.

The crash site pictured 0n the 2
nd July 2009

More from Bob Collis .......
The owner - whose name I do not recall, but be very wary about approaching him - is rather fanatical about the site not being disturbed. It was reported a few years ago that he almost accosted two BT men who were replacing a telegraph pole next to the road opposite the crash site. His wife worked as a nurse/First Aider at Boulton & Paul in Lowestoft, and one of my N&SAM colleagues supplied her with all the gen on the crash (via me) in the hope we could arrange a visit to the site to look for a few pieces, but he was having none of it. When Barry Lain of the N&SAM visited him in the late 70's to ask about it, he was greeted with the following rhetoric:"Oh no !  Not another one !  I've got a letter in there from a group in London who reckon they can dig it out, fill it in and clear it all up in two hours.  I'll tell you what I told them - it's out there in that meadow near the dead tree, it is under 60 feet of rubbish, and you're not digging it up !"The "rubbish" he mentioned apparently referred to several tons of refuse and old corrugated sheets which were used to fill in the crater.The eye-witnesses I've spoken to down the years say one crewman was dragged down with his parachute caught on the tail of the Ju 88, and others say the Home Guard went round the meadow with a sack and picked up pieces of the two dead crewmen with their bayonets. Pretty grim stuff.


In remembrance of the two missing airmen at Henstead, our society purchased a simple wood cross with a brass plaque which we hoped to erect near to the crash site. Kelvin Youngs was then our webmaster and offered to go to the crash site to speak with Mr Aldred the eye witness and take some photos of the crash location today. I was hoping that the memorial cross would eventually end up erected at the edge of the field, near to where the crew lost their lives. Kelvin later advised me that they thought the memorial plaque should be in the church, problem being it was already attached to the cross! To cut a very long story short, I sent the cross to Kelvin in 2012 and have heard no more about it! Perhaps someone can ask him directly through his new website. Hopefully, we hope that this cross of remembrance will eventually arrive at its destination – church or field!

Copy of riechmann_one-p1-1ccc2050_123110095
Hermann Riechmann – Missing in action (Brownless/Riechmann)

Burial Detail: Not known. Both crew members who lost their lives have no official graves.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless with special thanks to Bob Collis for his help in constructing this page of remembrance May 2013.