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Mission: Attack on Portsmouth, England.

Date: 18th April 1941

Time: 2.15 a.m.

Unit: 2 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 54

Type: Junkers Ju 88A-5

Werke/Nr. 6025

Coded: B3 + GK

Location: Thorney Island airfield, Sussex, England.

Pilot: Oberfeldwebel. Heinrich Meier. – Killed. Born 10.11.1912 in Rolfshagen.

Observer: Unteroffizier. Werner Dietzel. – Killed. Born 27.05.1915 in Chemnitz.

Radio/Op: Unteroffizier. Richard Rothenpieler. – Killed. Born 16.03.1915 in Rüppershausen.

Gunner: Oberfeldwebel. Georg Hocke. – Killed. Born 11.01.1915 in Niedervorschütz.


This aircraft is reported to have been shot down by A.A. fire during an attack on Portsmouth. It dived into the ground with engines full on, blew up on impact and the remnants caught fire. The crew were inside the aircraft, and only small pieces were recovered. (Source A.I.1(k) Report No.166/1941)

Armament: two MG15's recovered. Remains of external 250 kg bomb carriers found.

Markings; aircraft made by Nerddeutsche Dornier Werke on January 1940. A plate gave the manufacturer as Junkers, Dessau and bore the number 48115.

Heinrich Meier Ju 88 pilot, Thorney Island
Heinrich Meier, the Junkers pilot pictured here whilst serving in the Army (Meier via Kaufmann)

18.04.41 Burial of Ju 88 crew Thorney Island
R.A.F. burial party leaving Thorney Island aerodrome en-route to St. Nicholas Churchyard (Hall).

Heinrich Meier & crew grave

Burial details:

This crew are all laid to rest in St. Nicholas Churchyard, West Thorney, Sussex, England.

Researched & compiled by Melvin Brownless A R Society with thanks to the family Meier, Ruediger Kaufmann & Clive Ellis, and Steven Hall. (March 2013)