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Mission: Attack on London, England.

Date: 23rd February 1944

Unit: 3 Staffel./Kampfgeschwader 100

Time: 00.12 a.m

Type: Heinkel He 177A-3

Werke Nr.332227

Coded: 5J + QL

Location: Wolsey Farm, Yoxford, Suffolk. England.

Pilot: Oberfeldwebel. Wolfgang Ruppe. 62727/33 – Killed. Born 02.05.1917 in Charlottenburg/Berlin.

Observer: Unteroffizier. Georg Lobenz. 55531/83 – Killed. Born 14.01.1922 in Moosbach.

Radio/Op: Unteroffizier. Friedrich Beck. 53577/1227 – Killed. Born 17.02.1921 in Wuerzburg.

Flt/Engineer: Gefreiter. Georg Markgraf. 55531/117 – Killed. Born 12.11.1923 in Bahrdorf.

Gunner: Unteroffizier. Ernst Werner. 55531/113 – Killed. Born 20.01.1923 in Saarbruecken.

Gunner: Obergefreiter. Emil Imm. 55531/115 - Injured/POW. Born 26.03.1922 in Freiburg.

1 He 177 ready for operations
A Bundesarchiv photo showing a He 177 being prepared for an operation over England in 1944 (BA)


This aircraft was shot down by F/Lt Bailie and F/O Simpson in a Mosquito Mk XVII of No.25 Squadron. Aircraft broke up in the air and was scattered over a large area. The tail gunner, Emil Imm was found some ten hours after the crash still strapped in the tail section by farm labourers, Kenneth William Kiddle and John Chapman. The tail section of the aircraft was found in a field at Park Gate Farm, Kelsale which is situated nearly two miles from the main wreckage. Mr Kiddle gave Imm some tea from his flask and revived him. He was later taken to Colchester Military Hospital suffering from shock, two broken legs and a back injury. The funeral of the five men who lost their lives took place at the Yoxford Cemetery, at 2 p.m. on
Friday the 25
th February 1944. The Rev W. N. Matthews of Yoxford officiated with the senior chaplin, Major Wheelan of the Military, Saxmundham.

The bodies were conveyed from Wolsey Farm to the Cemetery, Yoxford by two R.A.F. tenders from the R.A.F. Station, Darsham. A contingent of Officers and men under the command of P/O Jones, Officer Commanding Station, acted as bearers. After the bodies had been lowered into the grave the Officers stepped up and saluted, they and the men then marched away.

2 Emil Imm
Tail gunner Obergefreiter Emil Imm, the only survivor (Hall).

3 German graves Cannock
German Military Cemetery, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, England.

Burial detail:

Those who perished in the crash now lie in the German Military Cementry at Cannock Chase, Staffs

Wolfgang Ruppe Block 1. Grave 294, Georg Lobenz Block 1. Grave 292, Friedrich Beck Block 1. Grave 295

Georg Markgraf Block 1. Grave 293, Ernst Werner Block 1. Grave 291.

Researched and compiled by Melvin Brownless, thanks to Bob Collis and Steve Hall. Updated July 2014.