Translation by John Meurs
Dear Mr. Meurs,
to your correspondance with Mr. Zoremba of Blomberg and Mr. Wilfried
Hausmann in Brüntrup, who contacted me concerning an aircraft crash on
November 26. 1944 and inform you about the following:
particular day, I was almost 12 years old, I was near the house of my
parents in the village Brüntrup (I did not quite recall the date), the sky
was covered with low hanging clouds or perhaps a mist bank.
quite sure if I had perhaps already heard the sound of an aircraft when all
of a sudden an enormous plane dived with screaming engines straight through
through the clouds and seemed to head directly for the village.
arrived at a height of about 300 - 500 meters when it pulled up again and
disappeared in the clouds again. As far as I remember she made a curve to
the left after which she crashed coming from the east or south-east. I don't
recall the sound of the crash but I am of the opinion that I saw to the
south-west a cloud of dust.
same time my father and I saw various parachutes float down between Brüntrup
and the village Cappel. My father, frightened by the screaming engines, had
come running out of the house. As far as I recall I saw six or seven chutes
but according to you it must have been nine.
parachutes with the clearly visible airmen drifted off in the direction of
the hill "Mossenberger Himmel" and disappeared behind the woods. I did not
see them landing but they came down between the wood and the village
Mossenberg, at about 1.5 - 2 kilometers (1 - 1.3 miles - John Meurs)
as the crow flies from were I was standing.
bit later a single parachute jumper could be seen coming from the west. He
drifted in the direction of the village and came down immediately afterwards
at the edge of the village on a field behind a barn near a farm. I could not
see him landing as he was hidden by the high roof of the barn and some big
oak trees. Mr. Wilfried Hausmann saw this landing from another
last parachute had landed my father took his bicycle to go to the site.
Distance was about 600 - 800 meters (200 - 250 feet, JM), from where
I was standing and as the crow flies about 40 - 450 meters:
returned ( he had forbidden me to go there also) I learned that some men and
women were already there and that the airman had already been arrested on
the farm near by, waiting for the military that had been summoned from
Detmold. I have no more details in my own memory. I only learned that the
other airmen had been captured near the village Mossenberg and had been
transported, together with the airman who had landed in Brüntrub, to the air
base Detmold (about 10 - 12 km.) (about 6 - 8 miles, JM)
about the crash of the aircraft:
already mentioned I assumed the crash site to be situated in western
direction. Quikly it became known that the aircraft had crashed in
Oberschönhagen. Oberschönhagen consisted only of a few farms and fields
(with a few hundred meters between them) on the left side of the road to
day my friend (same age as me) and I tried to get near the crash site but
were turned away by German soldiers guarding the wreck. Distance between
where we lived and the crash site was about 3 kilometers (2 miles - J M)
over fields and through woods. Distance, as the crow flies, between Brüntrup
and the site about 2,2 to 2,5 kilometers. During the following days we could
get near the no longer guarded wreck that we could thoroughly study.
aircraft had come down on a steep meadow between two farms with about 800
meters (2400 feet - JM) between these two farms. She had made a 1.2 -
1.5 ( 4 to 5 feet - JM) deep gully in the slope. Only small fragments
could be found between the gully and an small stream that ran in the valley.
The fuselage, the wings (the tail was broken off), the engines and, nearer
to the road, the big wheels were lying behind the stream on a plowed field
that went again slightly up. Smaller fragments could be found between these
boys in our age did we took cartridges, a oxygen mask and a strong magnet of
about 8 kilos home.
weeks later we visited we visited the site again. All parts of the wreck had
been collected (presumably by the German military) and the whole field had
been plowed again. For years the gully the plane had made was still visible
from the road. Later this gully seems to have been filled by the owner of
the meadow. When I visited the site about 8 days ago I could easily (and
within a couple of meters exactly) find the meadow, the stream, the field
and the crash site, but the gully has disappeared.
read with much interest your correspondance and the accounts of the various
crew members, that an American lady, Mrs. Horen who lives here, was so kind
to translate for me.
completeness sake I add a drawing of the crash site as well as a copy of a
map 1:50.000, with the pencilled in crash site and the approximate landind
sites of the airmen.
Zoremba (the town archivist - JM) and Mr. Hausmann (the other eye
witness - JM) receive copy of this letter.
excuse my handwriting. I hope you can decipher same.