March 30, 1945

On March 30th, 1945, the Royal Air Force is attacking two targets in central German – first, 43 Mosquitos are sent to Berlin, they are bombing the city between 21:35 hrs and 21:45 hrs. Only briefly afterwards, a second force of 43 Mosquitos is attacking Erfurt, they are reaching their target between 23:35 hrs. and 23:50 hrs[1]Middlebrook, Martin et al.; The Bomber Command War Diaries; Page 690.

The Berlin-Force follows a route to the Zuider Zee, then Osnabrück – Hannover – Braunschweig – Brandenburg and on to Berlin. The Erfurt-Force is taking a southerly approach via Koblenz – Gießen – Eisenach to Erfurt[2]Mehner, Kurt (Hrsg.): Die geheimen Tagesberichte der Deutschen Wehrmachtführung; Page 338.

Einflug 1945-03-30

Unfortunately, there is no copy of the morning report of the Luftwaffeführungsstab Ic available, hence there is no information about any missions from this source. But 10./NJG 11 was active to counter the attack on Berlin: Karl-Heinz Becker is recording a nocturnal mission, leaving Burg at 21:29 hrs. and returning 22:25 hrs. – his 10th nocturnal mission.

FB Becker - Page 4

And once more, Karl-Heinz Becker submits an Abschussmeldung – claims a victory over a Mosquito:

1945-03-30 - ASM 7 Becker

It takes him two approaches on the fast-flying bomber, his second attempt hits the Mosquito in body and wings. This time, there is no combat report by Karl-Heinz Becker but a written statement of Fw. Fritz Reichenbach, who also serves as the witness in this claim:

“At 21:51 hrs I picked up a Mosquito at 8.500 meters which I moved into position for. I suddenly noticed an own aircraft to my left. Over radio, I heard Fw. Becker: do not fire, I am on him already. Briefly afterwards, I witnessed two cannon bursts with send the Mosquito down at once. The aircraft was coned by searchlights till it hit the ground”

A copy of this statement is available for reference:

1945-03-30 - ASM 7 Becker - Zeugen

So what about the Royal Air Force side of things: as usual, the first check goes to the Summaries of Aircraft damaged on Operations. From the Mission to Berlin, one Mosquito of No. 692 Sqn. is listed as missing – RV341. A second Mosquito from No. 608 Sqn. is listed as damaged by fighter, KB358.

1945-03-30 - RV341

Besides the actual loss of RV341, there is documented evidence in the Records of Events showing that other Mosquito crews also encountered the jets of 10./NJG 11:

  • No. 128 Sqn. states “suspected fighter saw at Mageburg”, probably should say “suspected fighter seen at Magdeburg”[3]Records of Events, No. 128 Sqn. (AIR 27/932) .
  • No. 139 Sqn. states that “one aircraft was attacked by a jet” – without mentioning which aircraft of the unit had the encounter[4]Records of Events, No. 139 Sqn. (AIR 27/961) .
  • No. 692 Sqn. states that “one pilot saw tracer shortly after leaving target”[5]Records of Events, No. 692 Sqn. (AIR 27/2216) .

References   [ + ]

1. Middlebrook, Martin et al.; The Bomber Command War Diaries; Page 690
2. Mehner, Kurt (Hrsg.): Die geheimen Tagesberichte der Deutschen Wehrmachtführung; Page 338
3. Records of Events, No. 128 Sqn. (AIR 27/932)
4. Records of Events, No. 139 Sqn. (AIR 27/961)
5. Records of Events, No. 692 Sqn. (AIR 27/2216)
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