Since late June Hauptmann von Kornatzki’s II./JG 52 have been deployed along Germany’s North Sea coastal belt, during which time it has been able to claim two RAF Blenheim IVs off the Friesian Islands.
It joins Major von Bernegg's Geschwaderstab (based at Le Touquet) on the Channel coast.
Intended to cover the withdrawal of bombers attacking a convoy in the Thames Estuary they cross over Dover and proceed north over Kent. Reaching the estuary they encounter a Squadron of Spitfires (54 Sqn. or 65 Sqn.). In the clash off Margate four Bf 109s are shot down. Among the casualties are Gruppenkommandeur Wolf-Heinrich von Houwald and two of his Staffelkapitäne, Oberleutnants Herbert Fermer and Lothar Ehrlich (of 7. and 8./JG 52 respectively). Only one of the three Spitfires claimed was confirmed.
- Uffz J Zwernemann (7/JG 52): Spitfire north-east Margate
- Uffz E Rossmann (7/JG 52): Spitfire north-east Margate (disallowed)
- Lt J Keidel (7/JG 52): Spitfire north-east Margate (disallowed)
Attacked by 610 Sqn. (Spitfires) which come out of the clouds they lose four more Bf 109s.
Three disappear into the Channel are Oberleutnant Willy Bielefeld - the interim Staffelführer of 7./JG 52, Fermer’s designated replacement Oberleutnant Wilhelm Keidel and Ltn Hans Schmidt of Stab III./JG 52.
8./JG 52's Unteroffizier Max Reiss' Bf 109 E-1 6 + ~ takes a hit to the radiator and about twenty bullet strikes to the fuselage and starboard wing. He makes a good forced landing at Elvington Court, Deal.
7./JG 52 Unteroffizier Edmund Rossmann's claim for a French Breguet Bre 690 east of Margate is disallowed.
In 24 hours III./JG 52 has lost its Gruppenkommandeur and the equivalent of four Staffelkapitäne.
- Uffz Bernhard Braun (8/JG 52): Hurricane
- Uffz Karl Steffen (9/JG 52): Spitfire
Under acting-Kommandeur Hauptmann Wilhelm Ensslen the Gruppe is withdrawn to Leeuwarden, and subsequently from there back to Zerbst to recuperate and resume its homeland defence role.
After III. Gruppe's departure three days' earlier, I Gruppe lead by Hauptmann von Eschwege arrives from Bönninghardt. Throughout the previous month they had been engaged in defence of the Reich duties under the control of JG 77.
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)|
|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
Probably destroyed 1 Me.109
|Our Casualties Aircraft||(L)||Nil|
|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
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
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
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.
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.
The Brenzett Aeronautical Museum investigated the site and recovered many small parts.