Junkers Ju88A5 Werk No. 6213 F1+AD of III/KG76, crashed on the Roaches on the night of the 7th / 8th May 1941
|Dietrich Heistermann Von Ziehlberg||Major||Pilot||Killed|
|Rudolf Schwalbe||Oberfeldweber||Radio Operator||Killed|
The aircraft, from KG 76, was one of a number of aircraft tasked with bombing Liverpool on the night of the 7th / 8th May 1941. The aircraft was being flown by the O.C. of the unit, Major D.H. Von Ziehlberg who had flown nearly 70 missions and had been awarded the Iron Cross. The crew arrived over the target, where the weather was fine with good visibility, and dropped their bomb load before turning back for France. After turning back towards base the aircraft’s wireless operator broadcast a message to the other aircraft saying they had been hit and were on fire. Immediately after that he reported they were going to abandon the aircraft. The crew jettisoned the lower gondola but they had lost too much height and seconds after the first man left the aircraft it ploughed into the top of a steep valley side and was completely destroyed by fire. The one man who did exit the aircraft hit the ground before he could open his parachute and was killed instantly, the remainder of the crew were killed when the aircraft crashed into the side of the valley below Goldstitch Moss.
What had hit the aircraft is unknown, the RAF Air Intelligence report suggests that it may have been night-fighter action as one of the crew had sustained a bullet wound consistent with a .303″ round. Other sources suggest it was possibly ground fire which brought the aircraft down.
The crew of the aircraft were all initially buried locally, and post war were moved to the German Military Cemetery at Cannock Chase.