The search for the Messerschmit Me-109 of Lt. H-U. Jung – By Joop Hendrix – Planehunters Recovery Team

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Near Helmond - Aarle Rixtel a plane crashed to the ground during the attack after hitting an electricity wire.
 
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Near Helmond - Aarle Rixtel a plane crashed to the ground during the attack after hitting an electricity wire.
Near Helmond – Aarle Rixtel a plane crashed to the ground during the attack after hitting an electricity wire.

There is a lot of information about this particular crash of Me-109G-14, work number: 464162 from 10./JG3 based at Lippspringe Germany at 1-1-1945. The aircraft was involved in operation “Boddenplatte”, Luftwaffe’s last big air campaign against allied airfields in north/west Europe. He took off at Lippspringe and  the target was Eindhoven Air Force Base.

In the book “Boddenplatte” the following is written:

41WRYDHFW9L

The III.JG3 formation had to pass a power line that ran from Helmond in the direction of Gemert. Suddenly, the Messerschmitt of Lt. Hans Ulrich Jung burst into flames and disintegrated on the ground, killing the 22-year old Staffelkapitan instantly. Shock went through the formation as the pilots witnessed this awful scene. Uffz. Michael Vogel flew as Rottenflieger with Lt. Jung: “I was on the right-hand side of my Kapitan, a little behind him, when we had to pull up shortly to pass a power line. Suddenly I saw his aircraft burn fiercely, it nosed down and rolled over when it hit the ground. In a flash I saw the light AAA positioned at the edge of a small forest which fired at us. I was shocked and could barely hold the stick and hold my feet on the pedals.

My Staffelkapitan had no chance to escape this sea of flames alive. In fact most pilots believed that AAA had hit Lt.Jung’s aircraft, but this was not the case. According to a Dutch police report Lt.Jung hit the power line with his auxiliary fuel tank, and tore away a 10 mm thick cable and pulled one of the posts down. Engulfed in flames, the aircraft crossed the canal between Helmond and Aarle-Rixtel and crashed near Overbrug, just south of Aarle-Rixte. Lt. Hans-Ulrich Jung had been one of the most successful pilots in the Gruppe and had
recently been awarded the Deutsches Kreuz in Gold.”

2015-05-01_12-43-25The orange dottedline gives the position of the high tension wire, the red star the crash position. Bing Maps

Research I found out about this crash when querifying Mr. Jan Verbakel about a Wellington crash that happened in the same village. When he came at the end of his story, he told me about “this other crash” and mentioned a airplane that flew against the power line on 1-1-1945. When I further investigated it confirmed the data available. But nowhere the exact location was mentioned.

Jan Verbakel mentioned a few names of people in town that perhaps could help me. Further investigation with these people brought me to Mr. Fred Bogaards who knew the son of the landowner, where the Me-109 from Jung crashed on 1-1-1945, Mr Johan Verschuuren.

2015-05-01_12-36-29Mr. Johan Verschuuren explains what he saw on 1-1-1945 as a small boy.

Back in 1-1-1945 people were getting ready to attend church when the crash happened. As a small boy he went to the crash site. The skies were filled with airplanes and much noise from the engine’s. The plane had crashed in a field and was totally broken up. He showed me the crash area and told that he saw 2 boots lying with a part of a leg in one of them. A little further a propeller of the airplane was situated against a tree. Also he discovered a glove with still some fingers in it, a horrible sight. Nowadays a part of the crash site is still a grass field but another part is a little wooden area.

Archaeological research

The archaeological part was done in 4 separate sessions with a total of 3 researchers from Planehunters: Marcel, Thijs and myself. Very soon we discovered that the airplane was pretty much broken up by the impact. We only found about 60 little pieces predominately fuselage skin. The bigger parts we found where a part of the wingtip, a part of the canopy structure and the top piece was a part from the propeller that weights 55 Lbs. A personnel item from Lt.Jung was found close to where the witness told me he saw the
gloves. It was his watch, a Tutima (Glashutte).

Some pictures and impressions from the field work and relics found.

After interviewing some witnesses, these small relics are found. They could be identified as being from a late Bf-109 G or K.Several small parts

wing tip with navigation lightWing tip with navigation light

2015-05-01_11-52-01Horses made the work a little difficult

2015-05-01_12-38-18

2015-05-01_12-35-42Part of the cockpit structure of the Me-109

2015-05-01_12-32-26Example watch and the watch of the unfortunate pilot

2015-05-01_12-33-32After some restoration work from Marcel it looks great.

Lt. Hans-Ulrich Jung, an ace with 15 kills, was buried at Woensel Cemeter, Eindhoven. In 1949 reinterred at Ysselsteyn, Grave Z-6-141. His remains were idtentified in the early seventies.

His burial site:

Major Kuhle also crashed and died on almost the same spot. Bf 109G-14/AS WNr. 460339 « Stab III./JG 6
Major Kuhle also crashed and died on almost the same spot. Bf 109G-14/AS WNr. 460339 « Stab III./JG 6