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Mission: Reconnaissance – English Channel.

Date: 11
th May 1942

Unit: 1 Staffel / Fernaufklärungsgruppe 123

Type: Junkers Ju 88D-1


Coded: 4U + GH

Location: Crashed into the Channel, 30 miles south of Selsey Bill, England.

Pilot: Oberfeldwebel. Wilhelm Hollerweger. 69004/245 – Missing. Born 19.09.1913 in Siny – Dalmatien.

Observer: Leutnant. Albert Sauter. 69004/244 – Missing. Born 20.04.1916 in Utting am Ammersee.

Radio/Op: Unteroffizier. Günther Gross. 69004/247 – Missing. Born 23.06.1921 in Troppau.

Gunner: Gefreiter. Albert Tatan. 69004/246 – Missing. Born 26.03.1922 in Sielow.


This aircraft is believed to have been shot down by a Spitfire of No.340 Squadron, 30 miles south of Selsey Bill.

Extract from the personal diaries of Hptm. Armin Goebel, 1./(F)123

A May day, more beautiful than one could imagine, lay over the home base. The cloudless sky above me was bright blue. The chestnut trees are in flower. Out of the park of the nearby castle a many-voiced concert of feathered singers could be heard. How one had yearned for sun and spring after the hard winter.
Soon it would be mid-day. A long-distance call had summoned me to the command post. From far I could see that, during their break, they were also appreciating this sunny day. Two deck chairs stand in front of the wide-open doors. I get closer. Lt. Sauter, who had recently joined the Staffel, had made himself comfortable in one of them and was sunning himself. He calls, inviting me to take a seat next to him. Soon we are engaged in a stimulating chat.

The conversation turns to the mission he had flown a few days before with his crew, Pilot Ofw. Hollerweger, Radio/Op, Uffz. Gross and Gunner Gefr. Tatan. His blue eyes lit up with his enthusiasm for flying. Once again the image of the last enemy flight arises. He had been ordered to scout enemy shipping targets in the Channel. At nightfall, when the crew was approaching the coast, the weather had noticeably worsened. Deep clouds and thick mist lay over the French coast. Unteroffizier Gross tried to get in radio contact with the detector. The long-wave transmitter had failed.
The night threatened to close in completely. According to the calculations of the Observer, the machine should be over the airfield. Still no ground lights were burning. With the visibility, a landing without lights would no longer be possible.
The Radio Operator called the Staffel’s Bodenfunkstelle and asked for the landing lights to be lit. It worked. A little while later the red lights depicted the contours of the runway. Ofw. Hollerweger set the machine down smoothly. Once again it had gone well.
Lt. Sauter speaks in a lively manner and finds sincere words of appreciation for the help of the Staffel’s Bodenfunkstelle at the right time. He is called away by a long-distance call. A warm handshake and I am dismissed.

In the evening hours, Leutnant Sauter once again starts towards the enemy with his comrades in the „Gustav“. A Junkers Ju 88D-1 Wnr.1173 coded 4U + GH. Just that afternoon, the Radio Operator had visited the Bodenfunkstelle for a quarter of an hour. Experiences had been exchanged and the men were pleased that there was also good contact with the machine tonight. The Funktruppführer Unteroffizier M stands in front of the map and follows the flight path. A glance at the clock. It is 19:30. The machine should already be over the sea.
The telephone rings. An important message for the machine arrives. The one on the button calls. There is no answer. What is wrong? Can the machine no longer hear the Bodenfunkstelle?

That is hard to believe. Only a minute ago they had been in touch! The message had to reach the machine! Once again it is repeated without looking. A minute has passed. “The machine is there“ comes from the set. “She calls“. “Send the message again immediately“ ordered the Funktruppführer. Thank God! The machine acknowledges. The clock shows 19:37. “The machine has fighters“ shouts one in the radio room. Silent, anxious minutes follow. We listen tensely and carefully. Slowly, second after second passes.

In the meantime, two minutes have passed. The telephone rings and abruptly breaks the silence in the room. Unteroffizier M takes the receiver and speaks briefly. His face becomes serious. A short „Jawohl, Herr Oberleutnant“ ends the conversation. He speaks slowly: “A call has just been received by the command post. The machine has been shot down in flames over the Channel.” Is it possible? The Radio Operators can still hardly believe it. They call the machine, the comrades. Call once again. No answer comes ---.

1 Albert Sautercc 2 Wilhelm Hollerweger
Observer; Albert Sauter – Missing.
ccccccccccccccccccccc Pilot: Wilhelm Hollerweger – Missing.

3 Gunther Gross cc4 Albert Tatan
Radio/Op: Günther Gross – Missing
cccvcccccccccccccccccccc Gunner: Albert Tatan - Missing

5 -Portland-in-Stormy-Weather Ian West
A stunning view of Portland (Ian West)

Burial detail: None – Lost in Channel off Portland, Dorset.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless
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