Canterbury Raid, October 31st 1942, JG2/JG26

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Maximowitz, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    I'm seeking information and photographs pertaining to the October 31st retaliatory raid on Canterbury in 1942 by JG2 and JG26. I'll be looking through microfilm of the local newspapers in the next few weeks and hope to find some details for a definitive essay on this raid. Any details concerning the death of Paul Galland on this mission would be of particular interest.

    Thanks in anticipation. :D
     
  2. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Mission 4 - 31/10/42 : Cantorbury raid

    Aircraft : Spit Vb BL413
    Mission : FW190 Interception
    Airfield : Hawkinge
    Weather : clouds base at 600ft

    A massive fighter bomber raid hit Cantorbury at 1700 hrs : 68 FW190A fighter-bombers (19 A4/U4 Jabos + 49 FW190A equipped with bombs racks from I. and II./JG26), escorted by 62 FW190 from II./JG2 and III./JG26. The german force crosses the channels at very low altitude.
    Balloons are deployed along the shoreline and above the city, preventing further damage to the city.
    Ten aircrafts from n°91 sqn are scrambled. Other squadrons involved ? Fierce dogfights over the channel.
    Demozay downs 2+1 FW190. Le Roux bags another two. JM down a FW190A4 (his second victory) and damages another.
    Paul Galland was shot down this day, attributed either to Jean Maridor or R. Gibbs.
    Flg Off R. Gibbs fails to return from the sortie.


    References : JG26 p9
    Osprey p 52
    Frenchaces

    Alliance Francophone - Maridor - proposition de scnario
     
  3. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    from "The JG 26 War Diary" by Donald Caldwell pg 299-300

    "In the continuing bad weather Bomber Command's No. 2 Group scheduled another of its infrequent low-level daylight Boston raids. At noon a dozen of the light bombers were dispatched in pairs to attack power stations in northern France. An 8./JG 26 patrol was able to catch the two that had just bombed Comines, and Lt. Paul Galland shot one down for his 17th victory in 107 combat sorties.
    ....The I./JG 26 and part of III./JG 26 were grounded until late afternoon for a very unusual reason: bomb racks and bombs were being mounted beneath their Fw 190A-4s. Adolf Hitler had ordered more attacks on England in retailiation for Bomber Command's night offensive. A full-strength daylight "Vergeltungsangriff" or vengence attack had been planned for Canterbury as soon as the right weather conditions prevailed. Unfortunately for the Luftflotte 3 planners, the only day bombers available in France were the Fw 190A-/U4s of the two Jabostaffeln, which had only nineteen servicable aircraft between them. Thus 49 fighters were turned into bombers for the raid, which developed into the largest daylight attack on England since 1940. The attack was timed for dusk. II./JG 2 joined the II./JG 26 at Abbeville; the addition of part of III./JG 26 brought the total number of escorts to 62 Fw 190s. Six more fighters were detailed to fly a diversionary sweep.
    ....The large fighter force roared across the Channel five feet above the waves, well beneath a cloud deck at 600 feet. Complete surprise was attained. The barrage balloons were raised swiftly and caused some fighters to drop their bombs prematurely. Uffz. Immervoll lost three feet of his wing to a balloon cable, but his was the only Jabo aircraft to sustain damage. Thirty-one bombs exploded in Canterbury, killing 32 people and damaging many buildings. The fighters wheeled about and returned to the coast as rapidly as they had arrived. The British fighter defenses, hampered by the low cloud cover, caught only one fighter over England. This was a II./JG 2 airplane, which was shot down; its pilot was captured.
    ....One JG 26 pilot was lost on the return flight. Lt. Paul Galland and his wingman lost their unit among the many Focke-Wulfs in the low clouds. While nine miles from Calais, Galland heard a German pilot calling for assistance. After flying two search curves he saw in the distance a Fw 190 close above the water, pursued by a Spitfire. He went to the aid of the German pilot, 1./JG 26's Lt. Beese, but the Spitfire pilot spotted him and pulled up sharply into the cloud deck. Galland entered a tight climbing turn, but stalled out, and had to dive away to regain flying speed. At that instant the Spitfire broke from the clouds in firing position and shot him down in flames; Galland's wingman Fw. Edmann immediately shot down the Spitfire. This combat was probably with a lone RAF No. 91 Sqdrn Spitfire that went missing at this time and location."
     
  5. KentSturry

    KentSturry New Member

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    It is probably not the sort of thing you are interested in, but my friend can recall hiding from 2 0f the attacking planes in a doorway in the historic Watling Street Canterbury. they were shielded by their aunt while they were shielding their Teddy bear.

    they recall the planes were flying very low and they could see a pilot in his helmet. Originally they thought one was a Foucke Wulf and the other was a British fighter chasing it, but with hindsight presumably they were actually both Jerry Fighter Bombers. Their friend also lost his father during this raid when a Bus was strafed.

    Their House was blown up in an earlier raid surviving thanks to the solid oak table.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    68 CAS aircraft might be massive by 1942 German standards but it's almost trivial compared to 1942 RAF Bomber Command raids.
     
  7. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    There should be good information in Chris Goss' excellent "Luftwaffe Fighter-Bombers Over Britain". I don't have the book in front of me as I donated my copy to the local library.
     
  8. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    dave, that is a daft thing to say. It was anything but 'trivial' for the people of Canterbury, one of which was my maternal Grandmother.
     
  9. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Max,

    BBC - WW2 People's War - Air Raid Warnings in Canterbury

    CANTERBURY BOMBED - British Pathé

    Canterbury: Luftwaffe 1940s WW2 bombing photographs

    CANTERBURY KENT WW2 BLITZ AIR-RAIDS Luftwaffe bombing - VERY FEW ISSUED | eBay

    City commemorates the Baedeker raid

    Canterbury Blitz, 1942

    Canterbury is my family home town and I remember the horrible grey concrete rebuilt area by the Roman pavement. Those were then demolished and re constructed in the correct style in the 1980's. Luckily the Cathedral was missed.

    Cheers
    John
     
  10. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

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    Phew - a necro thread from 2008! Nice to see the added information though. Since 2008 I've found out quite a bit from the Chris Goss book and local newspaper files. Thanks to all those who helped.
     
  11. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    Demozay now has a street named after him in Hawkinge which is where 91 Sq was based
     
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