*** Taken from "In Enemy Hands" by Brian Philpott ***
A PRIZE FOR THE LUFTWAFFE...
On the morning of 16 aug 1942, a Stirling of 7 squadron Serial N3705 coded MG-F went on a mission to mine German coastal waters. It would appear that the aircrafts engines started to run rough soon after the mine laying had been accomplished. Rather then risk a lengthy sea crossing, its pilot Sgt S.C. Orrel, decided to land his aircraft in Holland. At 06:58 the crew took up thier crash stations and the pilot put the aircraft down close to the castle at Loevestein near the small town of Gorkum. Locally based German troops captured the crew and the luftwaffe were quickly advised that a practically undamaged Stirling was available for their inspection.
Examination showed that there was only minor damage to its nose and undercarriage, so it was decided to carry out a salvage operation. a team of technicians from the nearby Luftwaffe base of Gilze Rijen was sent to the crash site, and after carrying out temporary reapirs it was flown from its improvised landing ground by a German pilot on the evening of september 5th.
The aircraft was airborne again the following morning escorted by a JU88. both aircraft climbed to altitude where the German Stirling pilot tentatively carried out manoeuvres before allowing the JU88 to carry out simulated attacks. it was to the German pilots credit that he was able to co-operate after such a brief period of handling the unfamiliar bomber. and his confidence was proved by a low level beat-up of Gilze Rijen before he landed.
The Stirling stayed at Gilze Rijen, often parked under a camouflage net alongside the Breda-Tilburg road, until the afternoon of september 18, when it was escorted by a Do217 from KG2 the the testing establishment of Rechlin.
Unfortunately it has been impossible to determine the fate of N3705 after that.
At the time of its last operational flight with the RAF, it was finished in the standard bomber command dark earth/green camuflage top surfaces, night black beneath. codes Serial were all dull red, with the 7 squadron codes being slightly smaller than the aircrafts individual letter.
In Luftwaffe hands, The roundels codes were overpainted Dunkelgrun (71) and crosses painted over them. the under surfaces and two thirds of the fuselage were painted in Yellow (04).
Repairs to the aircrafts nose were carried out by covering the damaged area with canvas then stuffing it with straw. its interesting to reflect on how this would have affected its handling characteristics.
The following three pics show how the Germans effected the temporary repairs...