Historian in bomber appeal

A WORLD War Two historian researching a crash which saw a German bomber fall to earth in Suffolk is appealing for people who remember the event to get in touch with him.

A WORLD War Two historian researching a crash which saw a German bomber fall to earth in Suffolk is appealing for people who remember the event to get in touch with him.

Peter Dimond is particularly interested in tracking down the men featured in this photo of the stricken plane, which crashed near Ness Point in Ewarton Bay at 1am on October 20, 1940.

The German Luftwaffe plane – a Dornier 17-Z – actually belly-dived into the mud without its crew, who had bailed out a long time before the crash.

It was one of two German planes to crash in Suffolk within the space of a week – a Dornier bomber also came down in Holbrook Bay a few days later.

Mr Dimond, who lives in Petersfield in Hampshire, said: "The plane actually landed on its own – the four-man crew got lost during a night raid heading for Liverpool.

"They turned east at Salisbury and eventually decided to go home, but they didn't make it. They bailed out, thinking they were over France but when they landed they were captured and made prisoners of war.

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"They left the plane on autopilot and it carried on flying before it ran out of fuel and belly-dived into the ground in the bay.

"When it came down everyone was searching all over the Ipswich area for the crew, without realising they were actually in Salisbury."

Mr Dimond added: "It's a fascinating aircraft and I would love to know what happened to it. I believe that it was towed out to sea but, according to local folklore, the towline broke and it sunk."

The only person who remembers the crash that Mr Dimond has managed to track down is Peter Page MBE, who was an 11-year-old schoolboy at the time.

Mr Page, who lives in Holbrook Hospital School Lodge, recalled: "Three of us lads went along to see it in the morning and we picked up some shell casings.

"I got in terrible trouble though. The police found out and I had to take all that I had and hand them in.

"I can remember it well. I'd never seen a plane that close before and I haven't seen a military plane that close again since."

Mr Dimond believes the picture of the stricken aircraft was taken by a local newspaper reporter and then handed on to national papers.

He added: "It's a fascinating think to look into and I would love to get the final history of what happened.

"The two men in the picture I think must be locals and it would be great to speak to them.

"You don't often see a crashed aeroplane in your life, so people tend to have brilliant memories of what happened and where they were – that's what I want to get."

If you remember the crash, get in touch with Mr Dimond on 07703 529811.

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