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Mission: Mine-laying between the Isle of Wight and Selsey Bill, England.

Date: 7th February 1943

Time: 22.10 hours.

Unit: 6 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 2

Type: Dornier Do 217 E-4


Coded: U5 + GP

Location: Wroxall Farm, St. Martin's Down, near Ventnor, Isle of Wight.

Pilot: Feldwebel. Rudolf Salz. 58215/188 – Killed.
Born 12.09.1919 in Gross Wirschleben.

Observer: Unteroffizier. Walter Jendis. 58215/189 – Killed.
Born 13.02.1920 in Bochum.

Radio/Op: Gefreiter. Hugo Gröschel. 58215/190 – Killed.
Born 30.10.1921 in Siebeldingen.

Gunner: Gefreiter. Fritz Teubner. 58215/191 – Killed.
Born 13.10.1922 in Königsberg.


This aircraft took off from Eindhoven on mine laying operations. It is understood that the aircraft flew low over Cowes, heading in a South-Easterly direction. It then hit the top of a high hill, slid about 500 yards down the slope, breaking up as it went, and finally caught fire. The bodies of the four members of crew were found near the wreckage. A minute or two before the crash a mine, presumably jettisoned by this aircraft, fell at Z.9799, but did no damage.

Source: A.I.(k) Report No.69/1943.

From the book (Battle in the skies over the Isle of Wight) by H. J. T. Leal the following is reported regarding the loss:
February 7th. Mid-evening. A Dornier Do 217E-4 of 6./KG2 was on a mine laying mission near Chale and St. Catherine's Point. Flying low for some unknown reason, the pilot came inland. As it went over Rew Down it dropped its remaining mine. This exploded near Appuldurcombe House, Wroxall, causing considerable damage. The house at the time was occupied by troops. The 217 came down still lower, almost to rooftop height, flew up the valley over Wroxall Farm and crashed into St. Martin's Down, killing the crew of four. Mr. Keith Humber has described to me how his aunt & uncle were sitting indoors at the time. First they heard the bang of the exploding mine, followed by the roar as the aircraft flew over, followed by the crash. Four bodies were lying on the ground. Fearing that there might be someone trapped in the aircraft and that it might suddenly burst into flames, Mr. Humber's uncle crawled into the wreckage to see if there was anyone left inside. There was no-one!

1 St Martins Down by Graham Horn
An excellent view of the sea from St.Martins Down,Isle of Wight. (Graham Horn)


3 Dornier 217 crew Fw. Salz
The crew of the Dornier Do 217, Fw Salz stands 3rd from left, do not know in which order the other crew members are named. (Hall)

4 Rudolf Salzcc5 Salz O7-02-43 und ein Unbekannter
cccThe ill-fated pilot Rudolf Salz (Hall) cccc cccccccccccccThe last resting place of Rudolf (Croft)

6 Beeg 25.08.42 Jendis 07.02.43cc7 Groeschel 07.02.43 Schwarz 22.08.42

8 Zelzer 15.06.44 Teubner 07.02.43

Burial detail:

All four crew members now rest at the Deutsche Soldatenfriedhof Cannock Chase, Staffs.

Rudolf Salz. Block 8. Row 1. Grave 24.

Walter Jendis. Block 8. Row 1. Grave 2.

Hugo Gröschel. Block 7. Row 10. Grave 249

Fritz Teubner. Block 7. Row 10. Grave 248.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless with special thanks to Steven Hall and Mike Croft, September 2013.