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Mission: Mine laying in the Thames Estuary, England.

Date: 17/18 January 1943.

Unit: 4 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 2

Type: Dornier Do 217E- 4

Werke Nr.5466

Code: U5 + LM

Location: Kapelle near Goes, Netherlands.

Pilot: Leutnant. Karl Hense. 57358/287 Injured. Born 03.02.1916 in Badenweiler.

Observer: Gefreiter. Erhard Weis. 58213/159 Killed. Born 15.01.1921 in Oberneukirch.

Radio/Op: Oberfeldwebel. Karl Hochstuhl. 57358/278 Injured. Born 01.02.1913 in Steinbach.

Gunner: Feldwebel. Mathias Eberl. 57358/277 Killed. Born 22.04.1916 in Gauting.


This aircraft crashed on return due to engine damage sustained from a mine-laying mission of the Thames Estuary. The two survivors from the crash were taken to the Kriegslazerett (War hospital) at Goes for treatment of their injuries.The two who sadly lost their lives were originally buried at the Gemeinde friedhof Vlissingen, Grave numbers 206 and 207.
Personal account from Mr. van der Endt via Stichting Wings to Victory website:
Sunday January 17th 1943 Jo and Marie van de Endt are out the whole day visiting relatives in Yerseke They have been married for 22 and a half years. In Kapelle they run a bakery on the Ooststraat number 8 and Sunday is the only day the bakery does not work. It is the middle of the winter so they leave the stone oven in the bakery on. It is comfortable when they come home later that day and early monday morning the oven should be operational. That Sunday evening they come home quite late and before going to bed they forget to heat up the oven. That night the oven dies out completely, also they oversleep themselves and they are not baking bread at 6 a.m as usual.
The same night at 4 a.m many German bombers return from an attack on London. One of these bombers, a Do 217 has problems and is off course. At 6 AM it comes from the South closing in on Kapelle and it hits the backside of Jo and Marie’s house, it goes straight through to the street. One wing cuts through the neighbouring house number 6. The two roofs are more or less lifted up and the first floor remains intact (the level upstairs) Here Jo and Marie are still asleep. The two are frightened very much and are stuck under a beam from the roof. Finally they manage to free themselves.
Thanks to the fact that the oven is not burning the house does not catch fire. Barefoot in total darkness they climb down over the rubble. Miraculously also at the neigbour’s nobody is hurt.
Due to the curfew they cannot get away over the street so they flee through the many backyards before the soldiers arrive.They receive a warm welcome in the house of their uncle Jan at the Biezelinge straat. The location of the accident is off limits for everybody also for Jo and Marie. German soldiers stand guard both day and night. Everything that was not destroyed by the crash is stolen by them. It will take 6 years before two new houses were built on this location. Translation supplied by Jaap Geensen (Stichting Wings to Victory) who kindly gave us permission to use the personal account of Mr. van de Endt.

wreck of Do 217 Wnt.5466 x1
Three views of Mr. van der Endt's bakery on the Ooststraat number 8 destroyed by the crashing Dornier,
this photo showing locals viewing one of the BMW 801 engines still in its cowling.(Via Wings to victory).

wreck of Do 217 Wnt.5466x2
Another BMW engine can be seen amongst the debris. (Via Wings to victory)

wreck of Do 217 Wnt.5466 x3
This poignant photo clearly shows a Dutch clog amongst the dwelling debris (Via Wings to Victory)

Gefr Erhard WeisscccFw. Mathias Eberl
Gefr. Erhard Weis killed just three days after his 22nd birthday (Hall/Brownless). Death card notice for Fw. Mathias Eberl.

German Cemetery in Ysselsteyn

Burial detail:

Mathias Eberl and Erhard Weiss now lies at the Kriegsgräberstätte in Ysselsteyn, Netherlands.

Mathias Eberl: Block BC Row 7 Grave 163 and Erhard Weiss Block BC Row 7 Grave 164.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless & Steven Hall, December 2011. Page updated January 2012 after receiving further photographs via Martien van Dijk from the Stichting Wings to Victory website: Many thanks to Martien van Dijk and Jaap Geensen plus the rest of the team of Stichting Wings to Victory for all their help.