Aircraft Type Photo
Aircraft Type and Background
Deutsche Luftwaffe Heinkel He111 H-4 / 1H+JA
Aircraft Type Nickname: "Pedro" (Condor Legion)
Originally designed as a civil airliner for Lufthansa, the Heinkel He111 was to become the Luftwaffe's main medium bomber. Early types were equipped with BMW VI or Daimler-Benz 601A engines. Later, however, the He111 H-4 version was equipped with two 1,100hp (820kW) Junkers Jumo 211D engines. Later still, this was changed to type 211F —a 1,350hp liquid-cooled inverted V12 powerplant.
This aircraft could carry a crew of five: pilot, navigator/ bombadier, nose gunner, ventral gunner, and dorsal gunner.
The Heinkel He111 could carry 2,000kgs bombs internally, plus additional munitions in an external bomb rack. It had a top speed of 436km/h (271mph), although this reduced to 405km/h (251.5mph) when the aircraft was fully loaded.
Some of these aircraft were built under licence by the Spanish manufacturer, CASA (EADS-CASA). During the war, these aircraft were equipped with Junkers engines supplied from Germany. Post-war, however, the Spanish-built Heinkels (designated CASA 2.111) were fitted with Rolls-Royce Merlin 500-29 engines.
BELOW: A CASA 2.111 bomber (Spanish-built version of the Heinkel He111) on display. (Museum unknown).
Aircraft Incident Details
Luftwaffe Heinkel He111 H-4, coded 1H+JA, had been briefed to carry out a reconnaissance mission over the Firth of Clyde, and then to continue homeward over the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh. However, the aircraft was detected while en route to the Firth of Forth.
When the Heinkel pilot realised that he was being pursued, he began a turn to the south-east in an attempt to escape the RAF fighters. However, despite employing extensive evasive tactics, the Heinkel was hit numerous times by machine gun fire, sustaining serious damage.
(One of the RAF airmen involved was 25-year-old Flight Lieutenant Archie McKellar of 602 Squadron. Sadly, Archie McKellar was killed a few hours after the official end of the Battle of Britain.)
During the encounter the two air gunners in the rear of the Heinkel were killed, and the pilot was wounded.
The pilot managed to force land his aircraft in a nearby field, where—together with his navigator—he surrendered to a local policeman. The police officer was the first person to arrive at the crash scene.
Both the German pilot and the navigator spent the rest of the war in captivity. The two Luftwaffe air gunners who were killed were buried with full military honours.
602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron.
On the 23rd of August 1939 orders were received that would embody 602 Squadron into the regular RAF. [Cited from 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron Museum Association.]
NOTE: Although, previously, a Luftwaffe aircraft had been brought down over water, the Heinkel He111 on this page is reported as the first German aircraft to have been brought down over land.
Aircraft Crew Casualties / Survivors
Those who perished in this engagement were:
(Both airmen were buried at Cannock Chase)
[Above names kindly provided by Alan Leishman]
Those who survived were:
Kurt Lehmkuhl, Pilot, Luftwaffe. (Sustained injuries.)
Rolf Niehoff, Navigator, Luftwaffe. (Uninjured.)
Crash Site Photos
BELOW: Heinkel He111 H-4, coded 1H+JA.
This is the aircraft which crashed at Kidlaw Hill near Kidlaw / Longnewton Farms on the Lammermuir Hills. This aircraft was known locally as the 'Humbie Heinkel' due to its proximity to the village of that name.
(Newsreel video here (no sound)).
1939 Stock photo
BELOW: The wrecked cockpit of the crashed Heinkel bomber.
1939 Stock photo
Crash Date / Site
Incident Date: 28 Oct 1939
(In the vicinity of Kidlaw Farm and Long Newton Farm (PDF layout))
Region: East Lothian.
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref. N/A
Registration or Serial: 1H+JA
Operating Base: Westerland (detached from Schleswig)
Base Location: Westerland, island of Sylt.
Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport.
Current Airport Name: Westerland—Sylt Airport. (GWT / EDXW)
Accident Specific Links
Luftwaffe Heinkel 111 at Luchtoorlog.be ((Belgian website).
German Language Links
Flugzeugforum (German Aviation Forum)
Wettererkundungsstaffel 1 / O.b.d. Luftwaffe (Luftwaffe Weather Reconnaissance Detachments)
Luftwaffenmuseum (Luftwaffe Museum / German & English)
RAF Museum (Cosford and London)
RAF and Related Links
Heinkel He111 engine on flickr (photographed at Duxford)
Detailed colour photos of Heinkel He111 type at:
Hill Walking Links
(Hillwalking and Mountaineering)
Hillwalking (The Scottish Mountaineering Club)
Hillwalking.org.uk (Equipment, etc.)
Mountain Guides (Routes, maps, advice and guidance compiled by Steven Fallon)
OutdoorScotland.co.uk (Directory of Clubs, Associations, and Mountain Rescue Teams)
WalkingScotland (The official Walking site of Scotland's national tourism organisation)
Emergency Services Link
If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone.
Heinkel He111 1H+JA
Kidlaw Hill, Gifford, E. Lothian