Ju 88 shot down by AA over Hoy

4D+EK of 1/KG25 Crashes at Pegal Burn and is the first enemy aircraft to fall to anti-aircraft fire as it is claimed by gunners of 226 Battery on Hoy before it can release its bombs - William Rendall Seatter, was one of the gunners.

UFF2 Fritz Ambrosius, Wireless Operator, the only surviving member of the crew is taken prisoner. Pilot OB/Lt. Walter Flaemig, and Air Gunners UFF2 Attenburger and Obergefr. G R Faust are killed. They are reputedly buried in Lyness Cemetery on Hoy in graves marked as unknown German combatants, although as their names were known at the time, this seems odd.

The aircraft was one of a number taking part in an attack on the fleet anchorage of Scapa Flow, the crews had been briefed to attack only ships at anchor in open water, one of these was HMS Iron Duke which was attacked. Very early in the attack, before dropping any bombs this aircraft was fired upon by anti aircraft guns on Rysa Little (a small island off Hoy). The aircraft was hit and caught fire almost immediately, the rear gunner was almost certainly killed by this AA fire as his compartment was virtually destroyed. Unteroffizier Ambrosius released the upper escape hatch which was dragged away from the aircraft by the slip stream, with him still holding onto the release handle. Once clear of the aircraft he was able to open his parachute.

Battery No 1 gun fired and its 4.5 inch shell blew the glazed nose clean off. The nose landed by the gun crew

In his statement made to RAF Air Intelligence personnel he said that he could not understand why the Pilot and Observer had not abandoned the aircraft as he thought they had sufficient time to do so. The crew had taken part in the previous day's attack on the Firth of Forth.

Camouflage: brown and green on upper surfaces, light blue underside.

Armament: three MG15 and 21 drums of ammunition: six top rear, 11 lower rear, four observer. Two 500 kg bombs, no armour or bombsight.

Fritz Ambrosius had been a telegraphist at the General Post Office in Berlin and had signed up for twelve years' service. He had attended the wireless school at Halle then to KG257 before being posted to Rechlin where he joined KG25.

According to the RAF Museum, the bombs exploding on Hoy were considered to be the first enemy bombs to explode on British soil.

Denys Felkin records of Ambrosius: "The interrogator realised that this man was a born talker and kept him under interrogation – with excellent results for 103 days."

(AIR 40/2636 quoted in "The Walls Have Ears")

On 12 January 1940 Ambrosius was asked about photographs of military installations. When returned to a (bugged) room with fellow Luftwaffe PoW Erich May he told him:

"They must have poor apparatus. I told them so. They were taken from a height of 7 to 8 thousand metres. Our photos are better: when they are taken from, say, 4,000 metres, you can see every house on them." He then went on to speculate that the R.A.F. would not be able to bomb German installations and runways based on photos of this quality.

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