Memories of Sheringham
|In answer to your request for more
information about the plane, my father Mr Henry Bishop was a volunteer coastguard at the
time, and was on night duty at the Coastguard Station. He heard this plane circling around
just before dawn, but it was too dark and there was low cloud.
So when he came off duty he did his usual patrol of the beach, and found a boot at the sea
edge. It was a knee length boot, sheepskin lined, and he didn't think our Airforce had
such things, and then he spotted the plane in the sea, almost covered by the water.
He waded out to see if there was anyone in the cockpit, and finding the door open and no
one about he went to inform the Army and Police.
They put guards round the beach and the photograph shows my father, (second from left)
with the Army and officials' looking at the plane which was very little damaged. The two
airmen were found drowned and it was assumed that they had tried to land on beach but the
tide was in.
The plane would have been in quite deep water when it landed and thick clothing and those
heavy boots hampered them. I believe that they were buried in our cemetery but can't be
sure of this.
This plane was a reconnaissance plane only and a map on board clearly showed the route,
which was to cross the coast between Beeston Hill and the Golflinks Hill.
At the time Beckham pylons were new and very secret. People used to say that they would
give out death rays to stop and invasion, and this plane coming down did nothing to stop
the rumours. No one at that time understood what radar was!
A.E.Chapman. New Street, Sheringham
|In reference to the photograph on page 10
issue 30/31 'Wartime History of Sheringham'. It is a photo of the Ju88A-5 that crashed
about 1 mile west of the Lifeboat Station on Saturday May 3rd 1941. The following
information may be of interest: Background: It is thought that the aircraft was hit by
gunfire from a Defiant night fighter of 151 Squadron, flown by Pilot Officer Guy
A.Edminson and Sgt. A.G.Beale (gunner) over Skegness. No apparent damage was inflicted but
shortly afterwards the port engine lost power and the compass became unserviceable. The
bomb load was jettisoned and they turned south. Over Norfolk the starboard engine failed
and a belly landing was made on the beach to the west of Sheringham. The crew were taken
prisoner by soldiers of the 11th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. One injured
member was taken to Cromer Hospital. He was collected the next day and taken under escort
to the Military Hospital at Colchester.
The crewmembers were Major W.Seeburg, Fw E.Geiger, Fw H.Laser and Fw R.Altmayer. Major
Seeburg was on his first operational flight and was acting as gunner. Source of
information from: "Blitz - Then and Now", Vol. 2, "Coastal Towns at
War" by Peter Brooks and "air Raid" by Michael Bowyer. Doug Willies,
Campion Way, Sheringham
With reference to the photograph, I feel the aircraft concerned is JU-88A coded 4D+BH of
1/KG 30 which was shot down by a night fighter on 3rd May 1941. It looks like Beeston Bump
in the background, which would position the aeroplane at Weybourne.
||Just for the record, the first German aircraft to crash on UK soil and not the sea was
another JU-88 from the same unit as described earlier which crashed at Hoy,
|The Orkneys when shot down by AA fire on 17th
October 1939. Again as a local aviation historian I would happily accept any other
comments on this particular crash as the location is way off from Norfolk.
Norfolk Aviation Society, Ridge Way, Cromer.
The Junkers 88 began its service in 1939 and was used up to the end of the Second World
War. It was fast, nimble and was one of the main bombers used by the Luftwaffe. Almost
7,000 were built during the war.