View Full Version : Question about German Pilots over England

06-14-2005, 06:30 AM
All this talk about BOB has got me thinking. I've read stories of pilots bailing out over enemy territory and making it back to their lines. But did any German pilots ever bail out over England and successfully make it back to France, Germany, Belgium, etc?

06-14-2005, 06:37 AM

only ONE pilot maneged to escape english captivity: Franz von Werra


By the way, great side this is http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Best Regards,


06-14-2005, 06:44 AM
Quite. Escaped from Canada into the then neutral USA, returned to combat and was posted MIA, last seen in trouble over the channel. That's if I remember the movie correctly (the one who got away). Not that movies in anyway reflect what really happened. As you'll find if you read the link.

06-14-2005, 07:20 AM
Thanks. Tha was a really interesting little tale. Quite a guy.

06-15-2005, 08:55 PM
I thought he crashed on the easter front.

06-15-2005, 09:14 PM
It does seem odd initially that the German pilots were unable to make it back to their lines during the BOB- and after. What has to be remembered however is that often the allied pilots were over 'occupied' territory rather than 'enemy' territory. The British populace was very much focused on capturing the 'invaders' and there was no elaborate network of resistance fighters such as existed in occupied europe. Most allied pilots who made it back were either relatively close to the channel when they bailed/crash landed or fell into areas of Belgium, Holland or France where the resistance groups were well organised. Pilots such as Chuck Yeager were not allowed to fly operations over europe once they had been assisted back across the channel for fear if they were downed again and this time captured they would reveal the secrets about the networks.
Its also reflected in the relative lack of success among the German spies in Britain- the vast majority were captured very soon after being landed or parachuted into the country and were very quickly used as double-agents. A lot of credit for the success of the Normandy landings can be directly attributed to the counterintelligence work done by the British.
(However after ww2 the British secret service leaked like a sieve during the cold war- a reflection of the prevailing communist sympathies of the time versus the lack of facist sympathies in Britain after the outbreak of WW2)

06-16-2005, 05:24 AM
A miserable farmer with a pitchfork was the likely outcome for a downed LW pilot.

"Good afternoon, my ****!"

There were some notable escape attempts later in the war though:


06-16-2005, 05:52 AM
I grew up in South Lincolnshire, in the Fens. My dad lived a farm on the edge of the Wash and can remember my grandfather helping rescue a group of German airmen whose plane had crashed onto the marsh. He has a vivid memory of hiding under the kitchen table with the Germans drinking tea waiting for the local PC to arrive to collect them.

This the incedent, I think..

Jakob RIED Unteroffizier (Cpl) Died 14 June 41. Aged 25

Crew member on Junkers Ju 88C-4 (werk nummer 0335, coded R4+AM) of 4/NJG2, shot down over Wingland Marsh, near King's Lynn, at 01.00hrs 14 Jun 1941, by a Beaufighter of 25 Sqn. RAF (Pilot Officers D.W. Thompson and L.D. Britain). Jakob Ried baled out, but his parachute failed to open. It is surmised that his body was not discovered until 7 Jul 1941, which is the date inscribed on his headstone. He was buried on 9 July 1941

A fellow crew member - Fw H. Schulz - was killed when the aircraft crashed and is buried in the Churchyard at Sutton Bridge, Lincs.

We also had a POW camp in the village (Sutton Bridge), many of the prisoners working on local farms. After the war many decided not to go home, Sutton bridge had a very large population of Ukrainians for some time.

One man in particular Hans Hieb a German Pow stayed in the village, married a local girl and became our village barber, until he retired a few weeks ago.

Hans has been the barber for 5 generations of my family and many in our village

06-16-2005, 06:10 AM
Great stories guys. Thanks for the replys!

06-16-2005, 02:04 PM
Von Werra arrived in the USA crossing a lake between Canada and the USA in a tiny boot he "borrowed". He had frozen ears since it was mid winter. He quickly came back to Germany thanks to the help of the German ambassady.
He went back to front service spending some time on the Russian front. His unit later moved back to Holland and from here he flew his last mission.
A fellow pilot on that mission remembers him saying over the radio..."i have to take a bath now( meaning:ditching )see you guys later. This last thing never happened, he disapeared.