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Mission: Night attack on London

Date: 24th February 1944

Time: 10.33 p.m.

Unit: 3 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 2

Type: Dornier Do 217M


Coded: U5 + CL (C in Black outlined in yellow).

Location: Willesborough, near Ashford, Kent, England.

Pilot: Feldwebel. Werner Spiering. 57359/437 - Captured badly injured.

Observer: Feldwebel. Heinrich Boegholz. 57359/440 - Captured badly injured.

Radio/Op: Feldwebel. Martin Vogel. 57359/443 - Killed in crash.

Gunner: Unteroffizier. Siegfried Erschwig. 57359/422 - Captured injured.


This aircraft was first hit by A.A. fire and then attacked by F/Lt Berry and F/O Hopkins in a Mosquito Mk XII of No.29 Squadron. The starboard engine cut out and the aircraft went into a dive followed by the detachment of the tail unit. The remainder of the wreckage crashed almost vertically and burst into flames. Crew of four, one found dead in wreckage and three taken prisoner injured. This crew had been together since July 1943 and claimed to have made 21 operational flights over England. All four hold the Iron Cross 1st & 2nd Class. The surviving crew also state that they had reached their objective and released their bombs over London.

Markings: U5+CL, C in black outlined in yellow. A large 3 was painted on the fin. Undersurfaces sprayed black while the upper surfaces were a greenish blue, mottled with black. Engines: DB 603. Armament: one ABB 1,000 and two ABB 500's. One MG 131 in dorsal turret, one MG 131 in free mounting in nose, two MG 81 lateral.

Two views of the wreck of Fw. Werner Spiering’s Do 217 at Willesborough (via S. Parry)


Burial detail: Feldwebel. Martin Vogel now rests at Folkestone, Kent.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless with special thanks to Simon Parry, August 2013.

Source: Blitz “Then & Now” Vol.3, A.I.(k) Report No.93/1944 and A. I.(g) Report.