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Thread: German & British air crew shoot each other down, then meet to help each other survive

  1. #1
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    Default German & British air crew shoot each other down, then meet to help each other survive

    A great story posted today on Facebook. At the beginning of WW2, two aircraft have a hostile encounter over harsh Norwegian wilderness, and both aircraft are forced down. Three British Navy Skuas attack a Heinkel HE111 and shoot out it's port engine. The German aircraft crashed 1,000 meter above sea level in a remote mountain area, miles from a major road. The German tail gunner Hans Hauck was dead when the plane crashed.
    Captain R.T. Partridge, squadron leader of the Royal Marines 800 Naval Air Squadron Fleet Air Arm experienced a failing engine in his Skua and glided down to land on a frozen lake. He had seen a small hut nearby and he and his radio operator, Lieutenant Bostock, hiked through heavy snow to the deserted reindeer hunters’ cabin. A few minutes later, they were alerted by a whistle and saw the three survivors of the German Heinkel armed with pistols and knives.
    Speaking broken German and English, the British managed to persuade the Germans that they were the crew of a Vickers Wellington bomber, rather than the fighter that had shot them down. The Germans believed that they had been shot down by a Supermarine Spitfire.
    As it was getting dark Captain Partridge suggested that the Germans stay in the hut. The two British officers left and found a small chalet, which turned out to be the Grotli Hotel, which was closed for the winter. The German crew arrived the next morning and shared breakfast. It was agreed that the Captain R. T. Partridge and the German Karl-Heinz Strunk would try to locate other people. They met a Norwegian ski patrol. Strunk shouted out “Ingleesh”. The Norwegian patrol fired a warning shot at which Partridge fell to the ground and Strunk placed his hands on his head. Lieutenant Bostock emerged from the hotel, suspecting that the German had shot Partridge, but instead saw Strunk apparently reaching for his pistol. One of the Norwegians, seeing this, shot him.
    The two Germans survivors—Hauptmann Schopis and mechanic Joseph Auchtor—were taken over the mountains to Stryn as prisoners. Later they were sent to Britain and on to a prison camp in Canada, where they remained until 1947. The German tail gunner Hans Hauck was given a memorial stone which still stands near the Grotli Hotel. Strunk was initially buried in Skjåk cemetery, then later transferred to the war cemetery in Trondheim.
    The British had some difficulty in convincing the Norwegians of their nationality until they showed the tailor’s label on their uniforms and found a half crown British coin. By sheer coincidence the commander of the Norwegian patrol turned out to be a brother-in-law of a friend of Captain Partridge. The two freed British airmen hiked into Ålesund, which was being defended by Royal Marines under heavy Luftwaffe bombing. As the destroyer scheduled to evacuate the British force failed to arrive, they commandeered a car and drove to the port of Åndalsnes, where they were eventually returned to the United Kingdom by HMS Manchester.

    To read the entire story: http://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-...p-survive.html
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Royal Navy Skua

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: German & British air crew shoot each other down, then meet to help each other sur

    Captain Partridge ? Uncle of Alan Partridge ?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/partridge/wallpaper.shtml

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: German & British air crew shoot each other down, then meet to help each other sur

    Great story, thanks for posting it.

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