Aircraft Type Photo
BELOW: A Luftwaffe Junkers Ju88A-14 bomber in flight.
Photo: Original source unknown.
Aircraft Type and Background
Deutsche Luftwaffe Junkers Ju88A-5 / M2+CK
The fastest of the German bombers, the twin-engine Junkers Ju88 was used to great effect by the Luftwaffe. It could be adapted for use as a medium bomber, a dive-bomber, a torpedo-bomber, a reconnaissance aircraft, and a nightfighter.
The Ju88 was equipped initially with Daimler-Benz DB 600A V-12 engines. In later versions, Junkers Jumo 211-J1 or 211-J2 types were used. The Ju88A-1 featured here was equipped with 1,200hp Jumo 211B-1 engines.
The aircraft was equipped with internal bomb bays, supplemented in later models with provision for bombs carried externally. Later variants were fitted with increased wingspans, strengthened landing gear and rocket-assisted take-off equipment.
The Ju88 accommodated a crew of four.
Aircraft Incident Details
[Aircraft Incident Details amended 5 May 2011 to reflect more accurate information kindly provided by Al Fleming and Ian Thurlbeck]
[The details below were further amended on 17 June 2011 to reflect the information provided by Sqn Ldr E C Wolfe in his Air Combat Report (q.v: page 2)]
This Ju88 bomber had been detailed to carry out an attack on the city of Glasgow. However, the bomber was spotted and attacked by an RAF Defiant night fighter patrolling over Clydebank on the outskirts of Glasgow.
The Defiant night fighter was T3926 from 141 Squadron based at Ayr / Heathfield (with a satellite airfield near Troon). The Defiant was piloted by Sqn Ldr E. C. Wolfe, with Sgt A. E. Ashcroft as the gunner.
As a result of this encounter with the Boulton Paul Defiant, the Ju88 sustained significant damage. The pilot of the Ju88, Oberleutnant Werner Coenen, attempted to fly his stricken bomber back to its operating base in Dinard, France.
To this end, the Junkers pilot headed across Glasgow, flying toward the northern outskirts of the city. However, as a result of the damage sustained from the attacking Defiant fighter, the Ju88 could not maintain sufficient power or altitude. Shortly afterward, the aircraft was seen descending toward the ground in flames. Just after clearing the Glasgow boundary, it crashed-dived into Blairskaith Muir in what is now Lennox Forest, SW of Lennoxtown.
Before crashing, two members of the four-man crew had bailed out over Balmore in the northern outskirts of Glasgow. These men were detained by the Home Guard.
Shortly afterward, observer Gerd Hansmann bailed out, but he did so while too low, and was killed.
The pilot Werner Coenen who was still on board, was killed when the aircraft crashed on Blairskaith Muir, midway between Torrance and Clachan of Campsie [map].
From Defiant Pilot's Report
(See also AIR 50/61 141 Sqn. Combat Report on page 2)
[The following information is from the Defiant pilot's Report, and was kindly made available for this page by John Corson via Al Fleming]
...The Defiant was over the Glasgow area [Clydebank] and spotted the Ju88 below. The pilot was able to drop the aircraft down and manoeuvre just below and to the side of the German. He closed to within 20 yards (18.2m) of the Junkers before the gunner opened fire. The report states that he was in the German pilot's blind spot (presumably caused by the engines).
The Defiant made 4 attacks in this way causing fire to be seen in the cockpit. The German suddenly veered off and plunged into the ground.
All 4 crew baled out and 2 survived. The other 2 delayed their bale-out (presumably keeping the aircraft on course to allow the first 2 to jump) and they were too late and both were killed when their parachutes failed to open in time. Apparently Hauptman Hansmann was 6' 2" (1.89m) and was found with only his head and neck protruding from the bog in which he had landed!
Hansmann was the captain of the Staffel and had no need to be on the plane. He had decided to go to "check-out" the performance of the crew. In his flight suit he was carrying his notebook which contained details of all the aircrew in his unit, along with his comments on their progress. This document was passed on to Intelligence who found it very useful; particularly in allowing interrogators to seriously un-nerve captured pilots by showing how much they knew about certain Lufwaffe units!
Aircraft Crew Casualties
The two airmen who died were:
Both men were buried initially at a church yard in Lennoxtown. Gerd Hansmann's grave is still in that locality today. (See page 3 for further details)
BELOW: Oberleutnant Werner Coenen's grave at Cannock Chase.
(See page 3 for photo of Hauptmann Gerd Hansmann grave at Lennoxtown)
Photo © 1999-2011 Steven Spink
(NOTE: Two names appear on the above headstone because there are no single burials at Cannock Chase.)
Two members of the four-man crew had bailed out over the northern outskirts of Glasgow and were soon captured. These were:
Ernst Langanki (Radio operator)
Willi Muller 1 (Air gunner)
(The following information was kindly provided by Keith McClosey.)
Story off the Luftwaffe & Axis Forces forum:
(By Brian Bines)
I came across a Canadian site which shows POW Uffz. Dr. Karl Lehmann 1-4-06 to 11-9-44 of the Africa Korps was killed by fellow prisoners. Four men were later hanged on the 18-12-1946 for his murder, the site shows the following I have put what I believe is when they were shot down / captured :-
Apparently Karl Lehmann a professor of languages had expressed anti-Nazi views.
[Brian Bines / 12 O'Clock High! Luftwaffe & Axis Forces forum]
Crash Site Photos
Appeal for missing prop boss:
Please see below under 'Appeal for Information'.
BELOW: Remaining wreckage fragments of Ju88 at Blairskaith Muir
(This and the following photo was taken in 2003)
Photo: © 2003-2011 Steven Spink
BELOW: The Ju88 crash site within the forest on Blairskaith Muir.
Photo: © 2003-2011 Steven Spink
(At the time of the accident, this area was not so heavily forested. Because of the expansion of the forest over the years, it can be difficult today to locate the Ju88 crash site.)
Junkers Ju88A-5 Parts Recovery Dig
BELOW: The following photo was taken in 1997, during recovery of aircraft parts. The few recovered parts, including an engine cylinder head, are now on display at the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum
Teams from Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum and Dundonald Museum worked together on this dig in 1997. The engine cylinder head and some other small parts from the Ju 88 were recovered during this official and carefully-controlled excavation.
Photo: 1997-2008 © Alan Leishman
BELOW: Part of an engine from the Junkers Ju88.
This item is now on display at Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum.
Photo © 2011 Steven Spink
Appeal for Information
BELOW: Propeller boss from the Ju88 crash at Blairskaith Muir.
Photo: 1997-2011 © Steven Spink
The above prop boss was recovered in 1997 and taken to Dundonald Museum. However, when this museum closed, the prop boss was removed. If anyone knows the present whereabouts of this item from the Ju88, we would appreciate if you could get in touch with Alan Leishman or Steven Spink at Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum. (D&GAM Contact page here)
Forward to Page 2 (RAF Air Combat Report)
Forward to Page 3 (Hauptman Gerd Hansmann)
Crash Date / Site
Accident Date: 6 May 1941
Blairskaith Muir (218m / 715ft)
(General proximity of Blairskaith Muir / Lennox Forest)
Region: East Dunbartonshire
Nearest town or village:
Torrance, Lennoxtown or Clachan of Campsie.
Nearest large towns:
Milngavie (SW), Kirkintilloch (SE) or Kilsyth (E)
OS Grid Ref. N/A
GPS Ref. N/A
Present Condition: A few fragments only remaining.
In 1987, a team from Yorkshire Air Museum carried out a dig at the site and recovered some very interesting artefacts.
Then, in1997, Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum and Dundonald Museum carried out another dig at the site; although the presence of fuel prevented them from excavating further.
A few interesting items were found during the 1997 dig, mainly from the aircraft's starboard side. The cylinder head from one of the Jumo engines is on display at Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum
Registration or Serial: Coded M2+CK
Manufacturer: Junkers Fw, Dressau
Construction Number (Werksnummer): 0662
Construction Date: November 1940
Operator: Deutsche Luftwaffe (2 Staffel; 1 Grouppe Kustenkliegergruppe 106 Luftflotte 3)
Operating Base: Dinard.
Base Location: Dinard, Cherbourg Peninsula, France.
Current Airport Status: Operational Civil Airport
Current Airport Name: Dinard St Malo Airport (DNR)
Accident Specific Links
Brief details on Hauptmann Gerd Hansmann at historicher-service.de (German language forum)
German Language Site Links
Flugzeugforum (German Aviation Forum)
Luftwaffe (Also in English)
Lufwaffe and Related Links
Junkers Ju88 Series at Bombs Away (information on each variant)
Luftflotte 5 Fliegerführer Nord (Order of Battle for the Luftwaffe)
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Junkers Ju88A-5 M2+CK
Blairskaith Muir, Lennoxtown