Sunderland vs. eight Ju 88's

comiso90

Senior Master Sergeant
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Dec 19, 2006
FL
There were 11 crewmen on board the Sunderland, including nine Australians and two British. The crew was on an anti-submarine patrol and also searching for remains of BOAC Flight 777, an airliner that had left Gibraltar the day before and subsequently had been shot down over the Bay of Biscay.

In the late afternoon, one of the crew spotted the eight Ju 88s. Bombs and depth charges were dumped while the pilot, Walker, "redlined" the engines. Two Ju 88s made passes at the flying boat, one from each side, scoring hits while the Sunderland went through wild "corkscrew" evasive manoeuvres. The fighters managed to knock out one engine. On the third pass of the fighters, the top-turret gunner managed to shoot one down. Another Ju 88 disabled the tail turret but the next fighter that made a pass was bracketed by the top and nose turrets and shot down as well.

Still another fighter attacked, smashing the Sunderland's radio gear, wounding most of the crew in varying degrees and mortally wounding one of the side gunners. A Ju 88 tried to attack from the rear but the tail turret gunner had managed to regain some control over the turret and shot it down. The surviving fighters pressed home their attacks despite the losses. The nose gunner damaged one of the fighters and set one of its engines on fire. Two more of the attackers were also hit and the other two finally disengaged and departed. Luftwaffe records indicate these were the only two that made it back to base.

The Sunderland was a wreck. The crew threw everything they could overboard and nursed the aircraft back to the Cornish coast where Walker managed to land and beach it. The crew waded ashore, carrying their dead comrade, while the surf broke the Sunderland up. Walker received the Distinguished Service Order and several of the other crew received medals as well. Walker went on to a ground job while the rest of the crew was given a new Sunderland. That Sunderland and its crew disappeared without a trace over the Bay of Biscay two months later after reporting by radio that they were under attack by six Ju 88s.

Short Sunderland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

rogthedodge

Airman 1st Class
155
0
May 9, 2007
Nice to see the 'Flying Porcupine' get a mention - I remember as a lad seeing the launching cradles for the Sunderlands still on the slipway at Beaumaris on Anglesey (North Wales) and being amazed at the size of the thing (cradle).

I thought all traces of the factory had gone but apparently the slipways and some of the buildings remain
 

comiso90

Senior Master Sergeant
3,583
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Dec 19, 2006
FL
I'm glad u guys liked it.

The B-17 gets the lion’s share of accolades when it comes to epic aerial engagements. It's good to read about the Sunderland... does anybody have any other examples where multi-engine aircraft fight off attackers with memorable style?
 

Njaco

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Opening attack during Big Week, February 20, 1944:

A B-17 flown by Lt. Guy Reed and specially equipped for recon and weather reporting, took off to determine the weather conditions over Germany and the North Sea before the mission. While enroute, Lt. Reed picked up a ghost radio signal and decided to investigate. A ghost signal had been causing havoc among the bomber groups and misdirecting many bombers away from airfields until their fuel was exhausted and they ditched their B-17s. Dropping through cloud cover, the B-17 found the source of the signal; a He 177 recon plane. Coming up alongside the big bomber, the B-17 started firing at the Heinkel begining a battle across the North Sea as the lumbering giants battled each other. Lt. Reed brought the Fortress around the Heinkel and the crew fired at almost point-blank range. The Heinkel dove and then appeared to stall alongside the B-17. As the American bomber came alongside, the German gunners opened up on the B-17, killing the right waist gunner, knocking the cover off the top turret and jamming the rudder. A .50 cal. shell from the Fortress nearly killed the German pilot and he decided to break off the battle. As he banked away a volley of machine gun fire from the B-17 damaged one of the Heinkel's engines and the He 177 tumbled out of the sky, out of control. Nobody survived the crash. Lt. Reed was able to bring his damaged plane back to Scotland for a crash landing.
 

comiso90

Senior Master Sergeant
3,583
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Dec 19, 2006
FL
Cool!

Like two Man-O-Wars giving each other a broadside...

Whats the source? I didn't know the HE-177 was used in that capacity... sounds like someone coulda made that up.
 

Negative Creep

Staff Sergeant
877
8
Apr 1, 2007
New Zealand
Nice to see the 'Flying Porcupine' get a mention - I remember as a lad seeing the launching cradles for the Sunderlands still on the slipway at Beaumaris on Anglesey (North Wales) and being amazed at the size of the thing (cradle).

I thought all traces of the factory had gone but apparently the slipways and some of the buildings remain

I used to live about a mile away from their Rochester factory. Sadly all traces seem to have gone quite some time ago
 

Njaco

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Comiso beat me to it. I've also seen it refrenced somewhere else but don't have that at this time.
 

renrich

Chief Master Sergeant
3,882
60
Jan 19, 2007
Montrose, Colorado
Good post Comis. Isn't it amazing that the British gunners could do all that damage with rifle caliber machine guns. Am reading a book about the US bombing campaign in Europe during WW2 and Ira Eaker(who was to organise the campaign) was flying to England in early 1942 by way of Lisbon. Apparently, the Gestapo that was very active in Lisbon were aware that American officers were on a commercial airliner traveling from Portugal to England and a JU88 attacked the DC3 that Eaker was in. The DC3 pilot evaded the first attack with only a few hits and as the JU88 lined up for another run, suddenly one of the 88s engines caught on fire and the German pulled off and went home. The pilots and passengers on the DC3 were petrified.
 

comiso90

Senior Master Sergeant
3,583
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Dec 19, 2006
FL
Good post Comis. Isn't it amazing that the British gunners could do all that damage with rifle caliber machine guns.

Yeah I was struck by the same thing...


[/QUOTE]The DC3 pilot evaded the first attack with only a few hits and as the JU88 lined up for another run, suddenly one of the 88s engines caught on fire and the German pulled off and went home. The pilots and passengers on the DC3 were petrified.[/QUOTE]

Reminds me of the Saburo Sakai Story were he showed mercy to the Red Cross C-47
 

Njaco

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November 21, 1943 - 25 He 177s of II./KG 40 took off to attack the Allied convoy "SL139 / MKS30". 20 aircraft attacked the convoy at 17.00 hours with 40 HS 293s from between 400 and 600m. One ship, the "Delius" was hit and set on fire and another ship, the "Marsa" was sunk. During the attack, a Coastal Command Liberator from 224 Sqdn arrived from an Anti-U-Boat patrol and not only interrupted the attack but took on the bombers with its own defensive guns, forcing the bombers to flee for home. The attack was also thwarted by heavy AA fire from the ship escorts. The crew of Oblt. von Berg from 5./KG 40 were reported missing with 2 bodied later recovered, while 5 of the crew of Ofw. Freyer, belonging to 4./KG 40 were killed in a crash at St. Christoly.
 

RATHED

Airman
24
4
Jan 23, 2007
... does anybody have any other examples where multi-engine aircraft fight off attackers with memorable style?

Well, on the night of 15/16 March of 1944 a Lancaster from No. 617 was on a mission to bomb Metz when it was attacked by 3 Me-110 night fighters.

The rear gunner on the Lancaster was Flight Sergent T. J. McLeans, a scot in his second tour who already had five kill to his credit at that point. He was using his favorite mix of 45% tracer and 55% armour piercing instead the regular mix whit would also contain ball and incediary. The Lancaster was hit, but not seriously, and McLeans shot down all the 3 attackers.

At leats this is the information I get from 'Great Aircraft of WWII", by Alfred Spice and Mike Spick...

Regards
 

net_sailor

Senior Airman
337
88
Nov 2, 2006
Elbląg/Poland
www.dws.org.pl
There was famous combat of single Wellington from 304 (Polish) Sqn on 16th September 1942 over Biskay Bay. The Wellington was carrying out antisubmarine patrol when was intercepted by six (!) Ju 88C. One of them was shoot down and another calimed as probably destroyed by Polish gunners. Rest Germans flew away when pilot hided a/c in the clouds. Welington got about 40 hits (the most dangerous were holes in fuel tanks and oil ducts) but there were no injures. The a/c landed after 8 hours and 20 minutes in the air.

Another Polish story, the Wellington vs four Ju 88 on February 9, 1943:
February 9
 

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