FW 190 D-9 over lake schwerin

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Jun 7, 2022
during 1945 heinz marquardt claimed one spitfire XIV as his 121st victory, is that true?

although RAF claims no spitfires have been lost over lake schwerin
May also have been Thunderbolt or Tempest. Identifications of opponent's aircraft type were often wrong.
according to wikipedia heinz marquardt claimed that he shot down a spitfire as his 121st victory
Wiki shows Marquardt's only victory of a Spitfire was on 1 May 45 with the text saying it was No 41 Squadron with Spitfire XIVs that were involved. 41 Squadron's Operations Record Book does not conform to that claim. Shores and Thomas's 2nd Tactical Air Force show no Spitfire losses near Schwerin for 1 May 45.



The Combat Reports from the 41 Squadron pilot's which may have been involved in Marquardt's claim and subsequent shoot down:

P/O P. J. Coleman of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 May 1945:

I was flying as Kudos Red 4, but became separated from my section whilst identifying an aircraft. I decided to scout round Schwerin airfield before returning to base. I climbed to about 24,000 ft and worked around to the East along the Baltic coast, turning South at Rostock and finally decending to below the 7,000 cloud base and approaching Schwerin from the East after jettisoning my 45 gallon tank. There was a 1000 ft blanket of thick, dark cloud over the lake area. Flying at 6,000 ft I observed nine plus FW 190's in no orderly formation, nipping in and out of the cloud above. I climbed to attack to rearmost of the gaggle, but found the two leaders on my tail firing at me. I evaded the formost in a climbing turn through the cloud, then swiftly descended again and found one FW in view. I attacked this one using the gyro sight, he climbed and my gyro sight disappeared below my vision, however I continued to pull my nose straight through whilst firing and observed strikes about the cockpit. The e/a went into a tight spiral towards the ground but I didn't attempt to follow up my attack until I saw it straighten out on an easterly course. I then pursued closing rapidly saw him jettison his hood, losing height all the time and finally bale out, I believe too low for the parachute to open fully. The e/a crashed in flames and I observed the pilot a motionless figure on the ground beside his chute. I used the independent camera switch and took film of the e/a on dive towards the ground and also burning on the ground S.W. of Plau. I climbed up above the cloud once again, making towards Schwerinen. Flying at about 200 ft above the layer I was attacked from astern by a FW.190 who I presume had been lurking just below the top of the cloud. I evaded by diving through cloud, the e/a did not follow. Whilst still diving I found myself over Schwerinen lake and observed two aircraft below flying N. in close line abreast, low over the water. I continued my dive towards them and recognised them as FW.190s, preparing to fire at them at 800 yards behind them I saw the left hand e/a turn sharply into the other. The two e/a, interlocked and plunged into the northerly waters of the lake, the cause, presumably, panic. I had informed Kenway control and also my C.O. leading another Kudos section of the Hun's position. I found the maltese cross markings on the first batch of e/a very difficult to discern against the dark green camouflage.
I claim three F.W.190s destroyed. 158

F/Lt. P. Cowell of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 May 1945:

I was leading Kudos Red section of six aircraft on a sweep round the Schwerin Lake and aerodrome in search of enemy aircraft. We had done one orbit round the aerodrome at about 4,000 ft when Kudos Red 4 reported an aircraft flying in the opposite direction on the deck. Kudos Red 3 and 4 then broke away to attack it and Red 5 and 6 chased another aircraft also flying on the deck. I turned back over the lake with my No 2, having climbed through a thick patch of cumulus cloud to 6,000 ft, and spotted two long nosed FW 190s flying East at zero ft over the lake. I told Red 2 to follow me down as I attacked the e/a flying on the starboard side opening fire at about 300 yds. Strikes were observed and the aircraft streamed smoke and pulled up almost vertically. I closed to about 50 yds and gave it another burst observing strikes on the cockpit and the port wing. The aircraft flicked over on its back and went straight in near the S.E. corner of the lake.
I then observed the other 190 orbiting to the North of me so I attacked him opening fire at 300 yds and closed to 50 yds. A large piece flew off his port wing and the pilot baled out, the aircraft crashing near the first one. Red 1 and 2 then returned to base.
I claim 2 FW 190's Destroyed. 159

W/O I. T. Stevenson 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 1 May 1945:

When on patrol over the bridges at Launberg we saw 1 FW 190 pop out of a cloud at 2 o'clock. I opened up and approached him from 5 o'clock. He saw us and half rolled into cloud. I went round to the other side and engaged him as he came out he went into cloud and came out between Red 1 and 2. On seeing them he went into cloud again and repeated the manouever once or twice laterly rolling and going straight down to the deck. I followed and when about 600 yds away gave a short burst which made him weave. When approaching Wittenburg I had closed to 300 yds and gave a short burst observing strikes. The E/A throttled back and I had to pull up. The E/A got on my tail and a dog fight ensued for about two minutes. During the dog fight I pulled up and did a stall turn getting on to the E/A's tail. He did a tight turn dropped his bombs, flicked over and went straight in, exploding at the edge of a wood S.W. of Wittenburg. The pilot did not bale out.
I claim 1 FW 190 destroyed. 160

Looks to me it was possibly P/O P. J. Coleman who Marquardt claimed shot down, with Coleman subsequently turning the tables and shooting down Marquardt.
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Did he specifically claim a Mk XIV or just a 'Spitfire'? (I suspect the latter)

RAF lost three Spitfire on 01-May-1945 (per Foreman's Fighter Command War Diaries)
  • 401 Squadron: 1 Spitfire. 401 Squadron was transitioning from LF IXs to MK XIVs in May-1945, and claimed a single 190D-9 as damaged near Schwerin. Foreman has 1 aircraft lost (sub-type not given) to flak, with F/L G.D. Cameon crash landing in enemy territory (and brought back to British lines by a German doctor). Caygill in Ultimate Spitfire has no Mk XIV loss to 401 Squadron on that day, so I'm going to assume it was a Mk IX.
  • 411 Squadron: 1 Spitfire. 411 Squadron was flying LF IXs, and didn't start to transition to Mk XIVs until June. Loss was F/O D.B. Young on a sweep between Cuxhaven and Lubeck. Reason given was crashed due to disorientation in clouds. Loss was TA839, reportedly "North of Hagenow".
  • 430 Squadron: 1 Spitfire. 430 Squadron had been flying Mk XIVs since November. However, the loss was of F/O G. Bouck who was missing north of Hamburg and is believed to have been downed by Flak.

Caygill has a single Mk XIV lost on 01-May-1945, serial number RM850 and piloted by F/O G.W. Bouck of 430 Squadron. Loss is given as "FTR [failed to return] ops near Hamburg".
Supporting this, the Spitfire pilots website (Spitfire pilots and aircraft database -) has G.W. Bouck missing on 01-May-1945, piloting RM850. He is listed as lost in cloud 3 miles north of Hamburg. Later declared killed.

I'd say that Marquardt's claim doesn't actually line up with any RAF Spitfire losses (not surprising, mis-identification and overclaiming happened all the time in WW2 aerial combat).

Per Foreman, Marquardt was flying with 15/JG 51 and engaged 41 Squadron Mk XIVs over Schwerin Lake at about 13:00 (the section was flying towards Allied lines to surrender). 41 Squadron claimed 8 destroyed and 2 damaged for no loss of their own. According to Marquardt, F/L Peter Cowell was the one who shot him down. Cowell claimed two FW190s destroyed in the combat. Marquardt and Cowell became friends in the 1990s.
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