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Mission: Attack on London Docks, England.

Date: 11
th May 1941

Time: 00.45 hours.

Unit: 5 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 53

Type: Heinkel He 111H-5


Coded: A1 + IN

Location: Hemmington, 1 mile north of Ashford, Kent, England.

Pilot: Feldwebel. Richard Furthmann – Captured wounded.

Observer: Hauptmann. Albert Hufenreuter – Captured with broken leg.

Radio/Op: Unteroffizier. Karol Gerhardt – Captured wounded.

Flt/Eng: Gefreiter. Josef Berzbach – Captured wounded.

Gunner: Gefreiter. Edgar Weber – Captured wounded.


Started from Lille-Vendeville at 22.30 hrs. along with all available aircraft from II/KG 53 to attack the London Docks. Making landfall at Dover at 14,000 ft. they followed the course of the Thames to their objective which they bombed. On the return journey they were attacked from behind by a single engined night fighter which made six attacks in all. The port engine was disabled and the starboard damaged, so the pilot dived down to 150 ft. to try and escape but finally made a belly landing.

Markings: IN in black with white edges. Aircraft marked no.3976, made by Ernst Heinkel, Rostock, dated 27/2/41. Engines: Jumo 211 H-1, starboard no.MZK 211/H1-238, made by Motorenbau Zeigwerke Kochen/Anhalt, port motor no. MZK.211H-1/667 made by Motorenbau Zeigwerk, Magdeburg.

Armament: one MG 17 in the tail, five MG 15; one dorsal, one front, two lateral, one lower rear gunner. Position prepared for the fitting of a 20 mm cannon but none fitted. Sixty MG 15 ammunition drums found. Part of a PVC 1006 bomb rack found; the 250 kg starboard internal racks fitted with incendiary bombs. Fuel tank fitted on starboard side of internal bomb bay. One 1,000 kg bomb and four containers of incendiary bombs carried.
Equipment: Lotfe 7c bombsight and FuG.10 wireless.
The observer had been shot down over Holland on 10th May 1940 but had been repatriated in July.


Heinkel He 111H5 5.KG53 (A1+IN) Furthmann shot down Kent May 10 1941
Suffering some damage, the wreck of Richard Furthmann’s Heinkel (IWM)

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless with thanks to Nigel Parker and the IWM. August 2013