Stirling Pilot

The Hunters

NOTE - Since this initial write up the loss of EE872 has now been credited to Flak Batteries. See 'The Last Operation' for details.

The Hunters in this case were Lieutenant Heinz-Wolfgang Höppner and his observer, Unteroffizier Alfons Löw. They were members of 6. Staffel/NJG 1, flying out of Erbenheim airfield, between Mainz and Wiesbaden. His aircraft was a Messerschmitt Me 110, G-4. Code G9 - IP, serial number 5356. When shooting down Andrew's aircraft the Me sustained hits in the wings and left engine, presumably from return fire from "Nuts". Whilst trying to make an emergency landing, the aircraft crashed and was destroyed at the back of their home Airfield. Höppner and Löw survived but were injured. Höppner does not appear in any subsequent German air victories lists. Höppner and Löw were subsequently shot down and KIA on the night 20/21 January 1944, near Herne. They were shot down by their own Flak gunners. The Illustrations show a Messersmidtt Me 110 Variant G-4, which was normally fitted with "Lichtenstein" Radar and a belly pack containing the Cannons. I was originally told that Ltnt Höppner's aircraft was fitted with the "Schrage Musik" weapons pack, which in the Me 110 was a twin cannon layout, as opposed to the four gun pack carried in Me 410 and Ju 88 aircraft. However, it now appears that the aircraft had the standard cannon pack and used the "approach from below" attack method favored by the night fighters.

Me110

Me110 Me110 Me110

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Me 110 G-4 with Lichtenstein Radar array.

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G-4 showing "Shrage Musik" layout and Radar.

 

Me110

German Claims file for Stirling Aircraft.

 

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