Enemy Plane Down

14th March 1944

Photo from the Mosquito’s gun camera
Photo from the Mosquito’s gun camera

At 23.12 hours Head and Andrews intercepted another Junkers Ju 88, bringing it down near Tonbridge. Shortly afterwards they were informed by radio that another ‘bandit’ had been spotted heading home in the locality. They set off the hope of spotting and intercepting it. The Blackbrook Junkers was spotted and followed until a visual could be obtained, with the Junkers silhouetted against the moon. The Mosquito crew opened fire from a distance of 400-500 feet. The Junkers ignited. The Mosquito wheeled away, watching as blazing pieces flew off the plane. Enveloped by fire, the Junkers turned sharply and dived vertically downwards, jettisoning its remaining bomb load as it fell. It collided with trees as it hit the ground on Holmwood Common, near Blackbrook.

Flight Lieutenant Head's Log Book
Flight Lieutenant Head’s Log Book

Flight Lieutenant Head’s flight log book recording a ‘scramble’ on the night of 14th March 1944 and 2 Junkers destroyed.

Image courtesy of Michael Head.

West Malling R.A.F Station Report
West Malling R.A.F Station Report

This early report records the incident and suggests cannon fire from the ground might have downed the plane. That is refuted by the British pilot’s report. The report also records that the German crew were ‘blown to bits’ and that only one, Straube, was identifiable.

Flight Lieutenant Head’s official report
Flight Lieutenant Head’s official report
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