JG 26 Arrive in the Pas-de-Calais

JG 26 Stab and First Gruppe arrive at a former grain field at Audembert on the Channel coast near Calais.

They are equipped with Bf 109E-4s but many older Bf 109E-1s with additional seat and back armour are still on strength.

The remainder of JG 26 arrive in the Pas-de-Calais

The remaining two Gruppen of JG 26 join the Geschwader in the Pas-de-Calais. The Second Gruppe is based at Marquise and the Third Gruppe is at Caffiers - both former British airbases during WWI. Whilst they have no permanent installations, they have large, well drained landing fields. As there are no revetments the aircraft are dispersed under trees or under netting. Maintenance is handled outside, operations are conducted from trailers and men are quartered in tents or nearby towns.

Big dogfight over Elham

Nine Bf 109s of II/JG 52 pass over Dover and steer the fight with 12 of 610 Sqn's Spitfires east to clear the way for ErprGr 210.

Harvest of Messerschmitts:

One Squadron of 1/JG 26's Bf 109s crossed the coast wast of Dungeness and circled round nort-east of Dover. They are intercepted by Spitfires of 54 Sqn. One of the Bf 109E-1s with lowered undercarriage, whose pilot Oblt. Friedrich Butterweck - later found dead six miles away - had bailed out, flew in circles over the village chased by Spitfires. It finally zoomed low over the village before crashing into Running hill. Over the next few days the unguarded wreck was a source of souvenirs for locals. The kill was claimed by P/O HKF Matthews of A Flt, 54 Sqn.

Battle of Britain - Then and Now and JG 26 War Diary:

Shot down over Ashford and exploded over Standard Hill Farm, Elham.

P/O Matthews Form "F" combat report reads:

Sector Serial No (A) D.1
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 12/8/40.
Flight, Squadron (D) "A" Flt. 54 Sqn.
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E) 12
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) Me. 109's
Time Attack was delivered (G) 0830 - 0840 hours approx
Place attack was delivered (H) 5-6 Miles South of Dover
7-8 Miles N.W. of Dover
Height of Enemy (J) 16,000-17000 feet
Enemy Casualties (K) Confirmed. destroyed 1 Me.109
Unconfirmed -
Probably destroyed 1 Me.109
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Nil
Personnel (M) Nil
Searchlights (N) (i) N/a
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) Slight A.A. over Dover
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) Range opened. 250 - 150 yards
Length of Burst 7-8 secs 6-7 secs
Rage closed 200 yds.
No. of rounds per gun fired 2358
General Report (R)
The squadron was patrolling Manston and was ordered to investigate aircraft in the Dungeness area. I saw about 12 aircraft at between 1300 and 1500 feet West of Dungeness. There were in Sections (4) line astern, as as we approached the whole enemy Squadron went into line astern.

They came inland and circled round North East of Dover, going into the sun which was very strong. AS we went into attack we became split up owing to this strong sun, and I got on to the tail of one 109 over the sea and gave it a 7 to 8 second burst from astern opening at 250 yards. I saw my bullets entering and the 109 made a very steep dive from about 1200 feet towards the sea. I think mulst out of control although I did not actually see it crash. I then came across 3 or 4 109's in a scattered vic formation. I got on the tail of the rear one and from dead astern opened fire at 250 yards, closing to 150 yards using deflection. This machine went straight down and crashed into the water land about ten miles North West of Dover. The enemy aircraft was camouflaged in the usual way and took no special evasive action.

The pilot of the a/c bailed out.

The destruction of this 109 is confirmed by the guns who reported the crash.

H Matthews. P/O

Mary Smith records in her diary:

Raids nearly all day. Nazi plane down on Running Hill about 8.30am. Horrid add AA bangs all morning.

A Bf 109 was also shot down over New Romney. (Possibly Oblt. H-Werner Regenauer, Bf 109E-4 of 2/JG 26 @ 1220)

Obltn Frieidrich Butterweck

Wreckage of Bf 109, Standard Hill Farm, Elham

Wreckage of Bf 109, Standard Hill Farm, Elham

Wreckage of Bf 109, Standard Hill Farm, Elham

From the pilot's Ausweis it was established that he was probably from JG26, although his pay-book showed he was with I/JG26 on 26th September 1939. He had been in the GAF for two years, previously serving in the German Army

AW: white, Dortmund, 15/1/40, FP: L 35464 Münster.

Frieidrich Butterweck (60014/3) was born on 28/1/1916 in Breslau. He had one known victory, a French Potez 63 at Poppel, south of Tilburg in the Netherlands, 13 May, 1940. He is burred in grave 15 of row 1 of the German section of Hawkinge cemetery.

Grave of Oblt. Friedrich Butterweck, Hawkinge

In August 2018 I took a trip up to Standard Hill farm, which sits on the high ground to the east of the Elham Valley. However, as there are no clear landmarks in the photos so, absent of more information, I was not able to definitively identify the crash site. However, in the photo of the remains of the fuselage from the starboard side the west edge of the valley is visible in the distance which means it must be close to east edge of the valley.

Standard Hill farm, Elham, Kent

The Brenzett Aeronautical Museum investigated the site and recovered many small parts.

Bf 109 crashes near Denton

Uffz Hans Wemhöner of II/JG 26 (Unit 5) Bails out of his Bf 109E-1 over Elham landing near Henbury, with a wounded (broken) leg. His Bf 109 crashes outside Denton. Shot down by a "Spitfire" over Folkestone which opened up at 500 yards scoring a lucky hit in the engine. JG 26 were intercepted by 56 Sqn. (Hurricanes).

Mary Smith records in her diary:

Air battle at 4pm. Nazi airman down at Parker's by parachute. Leg wound.

JG 26 bounce 501 Sqn. as they try to gain height over Canterbury

Twelve Hurricanes of 501 Sqn. are gaining height over Canterbury when they are sighted by III/JG 26 in their Bf 109s.

With the rest of the Bf 109s covering from above, Oberleutnant Gerhart Shöpfel, leading the Gruppe in the absence of Adolf Galland, closed in on the formation of Hurricanes. The two weavers are dispatched with one quick burst each from close range, he then slides into position behind the rear vic and dispatches two more before debris from his fourth victim (P/O Kenneth Lee) causes him to break off his attack. The rest of the Bf 109s, which had been covering from above, now join in and an inconclusive dog fight ensues.

Shöpfel recalls:

They were using the English tactics of that period, flying in close formation of threes, climbing up in a wide spiral. About 1,000m above, I turned with them and managed to get behind the two covering Hurricanes which were weaving continuously. I waited until they were once more heading away from Folkestone and had turned northwest and then pulled round out of the sun and attacked from below. The Englishmen continued on, having noticed nothing. So I pulled in behind a forth machine and took care of him but this time I went in too close. When I pressed the firing button the Englishman was so close in front of my nose that pieces of wreckage struck my propeller.

The 501 Squadron Intelligence Report states:

Engagement of No 501 Squadron with large force of Me 109s and Me 100s on the 18th August, 1940 at 13:00 hours.

No 501 Squadron, consisting of 12 Hurricanes, took off from Hawkinge at 12:30 approximately, and patrolled the east Kent area at 12,000 feet. When flying north-west near Sandwich they sighted a large force of bombers with and escort of Me 110s and 109s (about 20 plus) approaching from the east. 'A' Flight on the left attempted to attack the fighters, while 'B' Flight became involved in a general dog-fight with the Me 109s and 110s. P/O Zenker in Green Section managed to damadge the Me 109s which was straggling. Enemy casualties were 1 Me 109 damaged. Our own losses were K N T Lee bailed out (wounded). P/O F.Kzłowski (Polish) baled out (seriously wounded). Sgt D A S Mc Kay baled out (slightly wounded). P/O J W Bland killed.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 501 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Gravesend 1940 AUGUST
PM The squadron was at 15 mins[?]. Available from Dawn to 0830 hours when the aircraft took off for Hawkinge. An engagement took place in the Canterbury area in broken cloud and haze. The engagement developed into a general dog-fight and the following casualties were sustained - P/O.K.N.T.Lee wounded in the leg; P/O.Kozlowski seriously injured; Sgt.McKay slight burns; P/O.J.W.Bland killed. The Squadron returned to Gravesend. All aircraft were ordered off the ground. They were vectored to Biggin Hill which was being attacked. Pilot Officer Dafforn bailed out but was injured.
Seven Hurricanes took off for Hawkinge at 1650 hours to patrol forward Base. An enemy force of 50 bombers and fighters was encountered. Red section attacked 2 Me 110's were shot down. Flight Lieutenant G.E.B.Stonay was killed in this engagement. Red Section were ordered to Night Readiness.

32 Sqn patrol Hawkinge - combat over Folkestone

Oblt. Kurt Ruppert of 3./JG26 Clams his third kill, a 32 Sqn. Hurricane NE of Dover at 16:05.

Fw. W. Mueller of 3./JG26 claims an unknown Hurricane NE of Manston and Uffz. B. Adam of 2./JG26 claims an unknown Hurricane W of Dover.

32 Squadron Intelligence Report

Ten Hurricanes of 32 Squadron left Hawkinge at 15.49 hours to patrol round Dover, they intercepted approximately 15 Me109s who were flying at 10,000 feet off Folkestone at 16.00 hours. Each pilot selected an enemy and a dog fight ensued.
P/O Gillman in his report to the Intelligence Officer at Hawkinge stated that he had fired at an Me109 which blew up and fell into the sea. He was missing next day to it was not possible to get a combat report from him.
P/O Barton, Yellow section, after the initial attack had been in progress about 5 minutes, chased on of the Me109s across the channel, he was diving and came down from 15,000 feet to 7,000 feet when he began to catch up with the e/a/ He was taking fairly skilful avoiding action, but he was able to get in four bursts of 2 seconds at from 300 to 200 yards range. When his ammunition was exhausted the Me109 was flying straight and level at 150 m.p.h. at 1,000 feet. He flew round him but he showed no interest. He left him before he crossed the French coast. Only four of P/O Barton's guns were firing the remainder were stopped with separated cases.
P/O Seghers was shot up and bailed out but was uninjured. Aircraft landed at Hawkinge between 16.00 and 16.33 hours.

Quoted in Battle of Britain Combat Archive v.6

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