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Mission: Attack on locomotives in Calais area, France.

Date: 26/27th December 1944

Time: 01.30 hours

Unit: 9 Staffel./Nachtjagdgeschwader 2

Type: Junkers Ju 88G-6


Coded: R4 + ET

Location: Crashed into the hillside of a Forest near Lorce, Belgium.

Pilot: Unteroffizier. Edmund Florian 208295/46 – Missing. Born 30.08.1921 in Rotthausen/Gelsenkirchen.

Radar/Op: Obergefreiter. Werner Neuenhaus 208295/60 – Missing. Born 27.05.1922 in Anrath/Krefeld.

Radio/Op: Feldwebel. Gerhard Reppe 62682/67 - Baled out. Born 25.11.1920 in Niedersteins/Dresden.

Gunner: Unteroffizier. Walter Kläser 208295/49 - Baled out. Born 16.07.1922 in Wadern.


Extracted from A.I.(k) Report No.73/1945

During the afternoon of December 26th, seven aircraft of 7./NJG2 flew from their base base at Jever to Münster/Handorf, where they were met by six aircraft of 9./NJG2 which had flown over from Broekzetel. In the briefing of the crews for the nights operation, each aircraft was allotted a separate area in which railway locomotives were to be attacked with forward armament. The 4R + ET was allotted the Calais area.

Crews were told that the weather over England and France was bad and that it was therefore unlikely that the R.A.F. would operate four-engined bombers on that night. The aircraft of the two Staffeln took off at intervals from 2200 hours onwards, with the 4R + ET starting at 22.25 hours, made for the Calais area at a height of 1500-2000 mts.

After a search in the estimated target area, the crew found two trains, one under way and the other standing. Both locomotives were attacked and claimed by this crew as destroyed. After these attacks only twenty rounds of ammunition remained in each cannon and the pilot therefore made for base. To the South of Brussels the crew was searching for a target for the rest of the ammunition when the aircraft was met by heavy AA fire, the starboard engine and rudder controls were hit, but the pilot attempted to reach the German lines on one engine. Soon afterwards the aircraft was attacked by a night fighter which was identified by the crew as a P-61 Black Widow. The fuselage tank caught fire and the crew baled out, two members of the crew are unaccounted for.

(1) Neuenhaus, Florian, Reppe & Klaser
Ogfr. Neuenhaus, Uffz. Florian, Fw. Reppe and Uffz. Kläser (Kläser)

(2) Neuenhaus, Reppe & Klaser April 44
Neuenhaus, Reppe and Kläser (April 1944)

(3) Walter Klaser 1944cc(4) Walter Klaser at crash site
Walter Kläser, Normandy, France 1944
cccccccccccccccccccccc Walter returns to the crash site in 1995ccccccc

(5) Klaeser at crash site 2

(6) Relic

(7) Relic
The remains of the aircrafts nose cone found in the forest (Brownless)

The Aviator Monument on the water dome in the Rhön was built in 1923 and is a memorial to First World War (1914-1918) fallen pilots. Every second Sunday in August, however, a memorial service for all deceased pilots of all nations takes place, this celebration was originally on the 9th August has been set. After the end of World War one various comrade associations were formed, later in 1922 the idea was born to a German aviator memorial. This was originally to be built in the resin and dedicated to all those "who have dared in peace and in war, in the battle for the conquest of the air”

(8) Fliegerdenkmal_Wasserkuppe

Burial detail: Pilot and radar operator still missing in action.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless 1996, updated August 2013 in memory of Edmund Florian and Werner Neuenhaus, missing in action.