Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Story of White 9

Sitting in the cockpit of his BF109E, called 'White 9', Oberleutnant Karl Fischer begun to bounce down the grass runway at Guines airfield. The date was the 30th of September, 1940. The Battle of Britain was all but over, and the Luftwaffe was exhausted. Olbt Fischer had been with his Jagdgeschwader 27, sometimes called "Afrika" for at least a month or two. On the 25 of August he was part of the covering force of 109's that had escorted some BF110's and bombers to attack Warmwell airfield near Portland. This mission had been flown late in the day, and about 1730 as the flight approached the British coast the usual scattering of Hurricanes had met them. The attack had been a failure only damaging a couple of hangars, however Olbt Fischer had scored his first kill that day by shooting down a Hurricane. Since then he had not had any more victories.
A 109 at Guines
Now came the period of the Battle of Britain where the Luftwaffe attempted to break British morale by bombing London. Today's mission was to escort the bomber stream over the city.
Oblt Fischer was soon above the smoke shrouded London, watching as the bombs burst through the curtains of black smoke, below him he could see the bombers going about their deadly business. Then the familiar shapes of British Hurricanes appeared and the 109's of III Gruppe, JG27 moved to block the Hurricanes from getting at the bombers. A swirling dogfight ensued, at the end of the battle both sides separated. Oblt Fischer had not scored any kills, but equally he had not been hit. Then his wingman called him on the radio, he was wrong, he had been hit. His 109 had a trail of white fuel vapour. Oblt Fischer looked at his controls, the gauges for his fuel tanks all read empty. All around him lay London, nothing but houses and no-where to land safely. Then suddenly Oblt Fischer saw a patch of green, a park, so he aimed for it.

At the last moment the long nose of the 109 blocked his view of the park, Oblt Fischer groped for the ground, suddenly bumping into contact. He braked as hard as he dared on the unsteady undercarriage as a huge castle loomed in the distance.
Then the plane pitched forward and the rotating propeller smashed into the ground, and the plane tipped forward and flipped onto its back. Oblt Fischer was promptly caught and became a POW.
Righting White 9.
The 109 had crashed in the Great Windsor park. At the time it was reported the dastardly German had attacked a pair of innocent unarmed Ansons who were conducting a training mission. The nasty bullying German pilot then got his comeuppance when he misjudged a turn and stalled.
White 9 being inspected by the authorities.
To add insult to injury the remains of White 9 were recovered, and then hidden behind a fence. Locals were then charged six pence to view the wreck, or a shilling to sit in the cockpit. The money raised was then donated to the local Spitfire fund. The latter was a way for the members of the British public to donate and raise money with the aim to buying a Spitfire, although the money didn't always go towards such an aircraft, by the war's end about £13 million had been raised (That's about £650m today).
White 9 on display at Windsor
Shortly after the display was placed, the novelist George Beardmore who lived nearby and his wife decided to visit the downed 109. At the time he was working as a dispatch rider for the BBC, as earlier in the year he had been listed as medically unfit for military service.  Thus, first thing one morning, after enduring the usual Blitz air raid overnight, the Beardmores walked to the enclosure, on the way they saw an odd tub-shaped thing, with a parachute. They asked the gatekeeper if that was part of the display. The gatekeeper was curious, he'd been on fire watch all night and was exhausted. Turning the corner, he sees a 1000kg German Luftmine that had been dropped during the previous night’s air raid!
The alarm was quickly raised, with the police arriving within ten minutes. The houses nearby were evacuated, with the people advised to leave their windows and doors open. Later in the day the mine was safely de-fused.
It's likely that Oblt Fischer survived the war as a POW, although his complete biography eludes me. White 9 was probably scrapped after her time as a display piece.

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