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#358051 - 16th Oct 2009 9:07pm And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots
Trearan Offline
Member

Registered: 16th Oct 2009
Posts: 66
Loc: New Ferry
As well as putting a new website together for New Ferry, I also need help with something else. I am a WWII re-enactor and militaria collector. I spend most weekends at events around the country appearing either as a 1940s civilian, RAF pilot, German Army soldier, and as Luftwaffe bomber pilot. You can find out more about me at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/northernforties/Meet%20Some%20Members/5b%20-%20Mark.htm

I belong to the only group in the country that re-enacts as German bomber crew, and have spent the last 5 years collecting original gear. A few years ago, a colleague of mine in the house clearance/house renovation business bought an old terraced house in Birkenhead (sorry, can't remember the address). An old man had died there. When my friend went into the loft, he fould quite a collection of militaria which included an original Luftwaffe bomber pilots lifejacket. Cutting a long story short, he let me buy it from him. I asked him to try to find out where it came from. When he asked the family, all they said was that their grandfather had been a boy during the war, and had told the story of how he picked it up off the beach (presumably Wirral-side) after witnessing a German pilot being arrested following a raid during which he had baled out of a damaged aircraft.

So far, I have not had much success in tracing which pilot this may have been. The lifejacket has a date stamp inside dating it at April 1941, so the pilot can only have baled out between then and January 1942 when the last air raid over Merseyside took place. The only detailed accounts of German pilots coming down over Merseyside I have found so far have been before April 1941 (mostly accounts between February and March 1941 which are too early).

Can anyone help? (When I get the chance, I will be paying a visit to the Cheshire Lines building to see the archive there = visit planned soon).


Edited by Trearan (16th Oct 2009 9:10pm)

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#358055 - 16th Oct 2009 9:21pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: Trearan]
PaulWirral
Unregistered


If he had been a boy at the time of the blitz then would he not of been evacuated? Maybe picking up the lifejacket on a Welsh Beach?

Thinking outside the box in case you need to look further a field...

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#358065 - 16th Oct 2009 10:17pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: ]
davew3 Offline
Forum Guide

Registered: 16th Jun 2009
Posts: 1024
Loc: Wirral
They have at Perch Rock Battery,an aircraft recovery group,have you asked those people.

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#358099 - 17th Oct 2009 1:41am Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: davew3]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19144
Loc: Here.
What an interesting story! Plz keep us updated and good luck.
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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#358101 - 17th Oct 2009 1:54am Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: RUDEBOX]
RUDEBOX Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Aug 2008
Posts: 19144
Loc: Here.
Read your 'autobiography' + i gotta say- i learnt a few things there about german soldiers/ nazis etc so thanks
_________________________
Mia Mabel


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#358152 - 17th Oct 2009 3:13pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: ]
Trearan Offline
Member

Registered: 16th Oct 2009
Posts: 66
Loc: New Ferry
Originally Posted By: PaulWirral
If he had been a boy at the time of the blitz then would he not of been evacuated? Maybe picking up the lifejacket on a Welsh Beach?


Actually, only 100,000 Merseyside children were evacuated out of a total of 300,000. Most parents did not want to let their children go, and many believed that German bombers would NOT be able to reach as far as here. Of those who were evacuated in September 1939, over half had returned home within two months because no bombing had started. Many children had been homesick, and a few walked along railway lines from Wrexham back to the Wirral. For others who were evacuated to North Wales, the government did not give enough money to the people who they were billeted on, and Welsh families resented having them there and made them feel unwelcome (I hasten to add this was not the common experience - there were many children who did stay in Wales who built very good relationships with the families they stayed with and kept in touch for decades afterwards).

Some children were re-evacuated from Merseyside to Wales and Cheshire again when bombing did start here in August 1940, but it is estimated that - despite the now obvious attacks - two thirds of children remained on Merseyside throughout the conflict.

So - the fact that the "young boy" who picked up the lifejacket is not uncommon at all.

And yes - I will indeed try to speak to Doug Darroch at Fort Perch Rock. smile


Edited by Trearan (17th Oct 2009 3:14pm)

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#358153 - 17th Oct 2009 3:19pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: Trearan]
Trearan Offline
Member

Registered: 16th Oct 2009
Posts: 66
Loc: New Ferry
For anyone who is interested, myself and about 30 other members of our group will be appearing as living exhibits in Warrington Museum, Saturday 24th October 10am till 3pm, and again in St Georges Hall, Liverpool on Sunday 8th November, 9am till 1pm as part of an exhibition for the remembrance sunday event in the city. I will be wearing the Luftwaffe pilot gear at both events, but I will be the only one in German gear - the others will be a mixture of British Airborne, American 101st, Land Army, RAF, evacuees, etc.

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#358167 - 17th Oct 2009 4:16pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: Trearan]
bri445 Offline

Veteran

Registered: 27th Apr 2009
Posts: 679
Loc: Isle of Wight
I was 6 at the outbreak of war in 1939 but don't ever remember anything about being evacuated from Lower Bebington. Was the evacuation confined to the main towns areas? Thus I experienced the landmine in Bolton Road, Port sunlight, and a bomb 100yards away in Bromborough Road, and survive to tell the tale!

Bri

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#358170 - 17th Oct 2009 4:35pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: bri445]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7921
Loc: tranmere


Edited by bert1 (17th Oct 2009 4:49pm)
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#358177 - 17th Oct 2009 5:39pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: bert1]
Trearan Offline
Member

Registered: 16th Oct 2009
Posts: 66
Loc: New Ferry
Have just been to Fort Perch Rock museum and spoken to Doug Darroch. We think it is possible the lifejacket may have come from one of the pilots in a Heinkel HE111H from 2/KG53. On 4th May 1941 the plane is believed to have hit a barrage balloon cable and crashed into the River Mersey at 12.01am. Lt. K Baller, Uffz L. Palubicki, Uffz K. Fleichmann, Uffz G. Stolper and Gefr. E. Donner were all killed. Doug thinks it is possible that the lifejacket may have come from the aircraft or one of the bodies when it was recovered. This would mean it did "come from a German pilot" - but not necessarily one who was alive and surrendered himself on the beach as we had assumed the family meant (and as they thought their grandfather had told them). However, we are not entirely sure and Doug is going to try to research it to find out more. This looks like an interesting project.

He has one of the wheels of that aircraft on display in the museum at Fort Perch Rock.

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#358185 - 17th Oct 2009 6:19pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: Trearan]
davew3 Offline
Forum Guide

Registered: 16th Jun 2009
Posts: 1024
Loc: Wirral
Well done sir,seen the wheel at Fort Perch Rock museum well worth a trip.

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#358295 - 18th Oct 2009 1:40pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: Trearan]
hoseman Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 30th Sep 2007
Posts: 2346
Loc: Bromborough
Very onteresting story, i also have been collecting militeria most of my life, starting with the usual badges, buttons medals etc. Now progressed to uniforms and weapons, allied and axis.
Always been keen on the re-enactment scene but never knew about a local club, my main interests being Wermacht and Luftwaffe. Never realy knew how these would come across to the public until i read your story, but im sure you still get "frowned" upon in your German uniforms. Some people are just too ignorant of facts. happy
_________________________
IF IT HAS A HOSE THEN IM YOUR MAN

BETTER TO BURN OUT THAN FADE AWAY!

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#358373 - 18th Oct 2009 8:48pm Re: And another request for help - Luftwaffe pilots [Re: hoseman]
marty99fred Offline

Smartchild

Registered: 11th Mar 2009
Posts: 470
Loc: Pensby
Another possibility - though a remote one as it happened on the other side of Wirral - might be an incident on 8th May 1941 when a crewman from a damaged German bomber bailed out over the River Dee. He was arrested as he came ashore by the Boathouse Cafe in Parkgate and taken to the Home Guard room ay Leighton School, from where he was collected and taken away by the Military Police (see Neston at War 1939-1945 published by the Burton & Neston History Society).

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