Heinkel He111 Werk Number 2871, G1+LH of KG55 was shot down on the night of the 7th / 8th May 1941. The aircraft crashed close to Hazel Grove


Adolf Knorringer Oberleutnant Pilot Uninjured
Karl Kohlhepp Oberfeldwebel Bomb aimer Uninjured
Aloys Kloos Oberfeldweber Flight Engineer Uninjured
Ludwig Rathsam Unteroffizier Radio operator Injured


The aircraft had been taking part in a raid against the Trafford Park area. It had been flying at an altitude of 14000 feet also at that height was an RAF Defiant of No.256 squadron which was based at Squires Gate (Blackpool).  The Defiant was crewed by Fight Lieutenant Christopher Deanesley DFC, a Battle of Britain pilot, having previously flown Spitfires and been shot down twice, his gunner was Flight Sergeant Jack Scott DFM.

Crash site of Heinkel He111 G1+LH / 2871 at Hazel Grove near Stockport
The aircraft eventually crashed in a field near to Hazel Grove, the site is seen in the above photo

The aircraft had been spotted by anti-aircraft gunners who open fired on the aircraft, Deanesley had seen the bursting shells and headed over to investigate, knowing that where there were bursting shells there was probably an enemy aircraft. He spotted a bomber emerging from the bursting shells and pursued it. Scott held his fire until they were only 100 yards from the aircraft and then fired long bursts at the rear underside of the aircraft. The pilot of the bomber took evasive action going into a steep dive, Deanesley dived and overtook the bomber and Scott again fire at the aircraft scoring hits on both engines causing them to set on fire. At that point they broke away from the bomber and followed behind until 8,000ft.

Wreckage found at the crash site of Heinkel He111 G1+LH / 2871 at Hazel Grove, Stockport
Above are some of the pieces found when the field was ploughed.

The crew began to abandon their stricken aircraft, landing in a string from Cheadle (near to the modern-day M60 motorway) to within 500 yards of the crash site. The crew of four landed more or less safely. The pilot landed near to Boundary Road in Cheadle. The Bomb aimer on a rooftop in Bramhall. The Flight Engineer landed on playing fields in Hazel Grove owned by the engine manufacturers Mirrlees. And finally the Radio Operator came down 500 yards from where the plane crashed at Springfield Farm. The airmen where all quickly captured by ARP Wardens, Firewatchers and even two Solicitors.

Below is an article that was in the Stockport Express the following week.

Newspaper article about the shooting down of Heinkel He111 G1+LH / 2871

As well as the two aircraft aircraft that came down in the area to the south of Manchester two other Luftwaffe aircraft were shot down that night they were

He111 Werk Number 2908, GI+HP, crashed at Llwyn Knottia Farm, near Wrexham

He111 Werk Number 2874, GI+LL, crashed off Bagillt in the Dee Estuary

In the action No.256 Sqn lost one of its aircraft, this came down near St Helens.