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Mission: Attack on Middlesborough, Cleveland, England.

Date: 15
th January 1942

Time: 6.20 p.m.

Unit: 8 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 2

Type: Dornier Do 217E-4


Coded: U5 + HS

Location: Railway marshalling yard at South Bank, Middlesborough, Cleveland, England.

Base: Schiphol (Amsterdam) Netherlands.

Pilot: Feldwebel. Joachim Lehnis.
69642/32 – Killed. Born 18.08.1918 in Danzig.

Observer: Leutnant. Rudolf Matern. 58209/15 – Killed.
Born 20.08.1917 in Paderborn.

Radio/Op: Unteroffizier. Hans Maneke. 57359/75 – Killed.
Born 26.04.1918 in Tegel/Berlin.

Gunner: Oberfeldwebel. Heinrich Richter
. 7.U.G.3/63 – Killed.
Born 16.07.1911 in Herischdorf Kr. Hirschberg.


This aircraft approached the river Tees from the north east and hit a barrage balloon cable at 4,000 ft. on the north side of the river. The cable parted and the aircraft dived into the ground at great speed, caught fire and was almost entirely buried and burnt in a crater 20 ft. across and 10 ft. deep. The outer portion of the starboard wing about 10 ft. in fell on the balloon site, over a mile from the crash and this is believed to have broken off after impact. There was very little wreckage above ground and most of this was burnt and as the aircraft dived onto an important double-track railway, which was needed immediately for work of national importance it was impossible to excavate the wreckage.

Plate found with: Dornierwerke München, Type Do217 E.2, Rustirt DWM, Sach Nr.217.519/93, Werk Nr. 314.Engines: entirely buried but wooden props fitted. Armament: one Oerlikon 20mm, one MG 151, one MG 131 and several MG 15's. The 20mm ammunition was carried in a small drum magazine holding about 30 rounds. Two 250 kg bombs fell near to the crash site.Armour: normal size and thickness. No bullet strikes could be traced in the wreckage.

(1) Crash Site
All that is left of a Dornier, most of wreckage buried in crater (via Bill Norman)

(2) Do 217 crash site, Middlesborough

(3) Eye witness
Local newspaper report eye witness accounts (via Bill Norman)

(4) Heinrich Richter
Oberfeldwebel. Heinrich Richter
(via Bill Norman).

Burial Detail:

Lehnis, Matern, Maneke and Richter all lie in the Acklam Road Cemetery, Thornaby.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless, with special thanks to Bill Norman, Aviation
historian for his contribution in creating this page of remembrance for Heinrich Richter and his
crew. December 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.