Still looking you know…
|Walter Evers||1912||Fw.||0||31.08.40||gefallen, Luftkampf (Themsemündung)|
|Günther Kramer||1918||Fw.||0||31.08.40||gefallen, Luftkampf (Themsemündung)|
I found some interesting information on the third pilot on the list. He was shot down also on August 31st, 1940. Hans Petrenko could be in fact Lieutenant Bruno Petrenko.
This is what I found on Bruno Petrenko.
It’s like being in the cockpit with him on August 31st, 1940.
When the bullets flew, there was some disbelief among pilots without combat training.
“It was a kind of ticky, ticky, tick,” recalled ex Me-109 pilot Bruno Petrenko.
The small caliber British bullets were hitting, but his aircraft’s armor saved him.
“Anyway, what I did was evade whoever was firing at me by nose-diving. Now, I thought, I’ve got rid of it, so I climbed up again trying to catch up with the unit. “I remember thinking, Well, this isn’t so bad. The protection had held, but I was still climbing and suddenly there was a second attack from behind. It was so fast that I couldn’t evade before it came; at least, I as a beginner couldn’t. Suddenly he was there and immediately I went down again. While I was diving I thought, Well, what do I do now? Some pilots said that in such a case you just go down to tree-top level and go home. But I thought, Well, that sounds too easy, so I decided to climb up again which was a big mistake that an experienced manwould not have made.”
Bruno escaped with his life, chased by two Spitfires “shooting occasionally” until he crash landed his Me-109.
But even the young Luftwaffe pilots admitted that their early combat duties often disclosed their inexperience. A young pilot, on one of his very early combat missions came under attack from RAF fighters:
It was the first time I had experienced this. . . it was a kind of ticky, ticky, tick. . but it made me feel good that it had protected me. Anyway, what I did was evade whoever was firing at me by nose-diving. Now, I thought, I’ve got rid of it, so I climbed up again trying to catch up with the unit. I remember thinking, Well, this isn’t so bad . . . The protection had held . . . but I was still climbing and suddenly there was a second attack from behind. It was so fast that I couldn’t evade before it came . . . at least, I as a beginner couldn’t. Suddenly he was there and immediately I went down again. While I was diving I thought, Well, what do I do now?
Some pilots said that in such a case you just go down to tree-top level and go home . . . but I thought, Well, that sounds too easy, so I decided to climb up again.., which was a big mistake that an experienced man would not have made.Then as I was climbing again suddenly I was attacked from below to the right-hand side. Someone who was more at home playing these games had come from below from the right-hand side. In this area there was no protective armour so it was a real problem.
The glass from the cockpit was splintering, the instrument panel splattered and now I was really hit. . . or many hits. Somehow at that point I blacked out.
When I came to I found myself in a vertical dive and what I noticed was lots of noise, a kind of fluid coming from the side of the plane and what struck me was that the ground was approaching very fast. I realized that I had to catch the plane immediately and get it out of the dive. I did and in doing so my blood rushed from my head and I blacked out again. When I came to I found I was at tree-top level with little power left in the machine. It could still fly but with no power. I was now very, very low and had to look for somewhere to land.
At this stage I looked around and found that there were two Spitfires behind me and they were shooting occasionally, but I guess it was difficult to shoot at me because I was going so slow and was not flying in a straight line. I don’t know whether they didn’t shoot me because they saw I was in a difficult situation….anyway, I just saw an English park-like landscape, some bushes and trees. There was a group of trees ahead of me and I said to myself, Well, gee, what I have to do is to try to get enough speed by flying directly at the trees and then hope that I have enough speed to jump over them and then go down. I did this and then blacked out once more.
Bruno Petrenko ex Bf 109 pilot now living in Canada
[Ben Wicks Waiting For The All Clear Bloomsbury Publishing 1990 p26-27]
More information on the plane he flew, and with which unit: Gruppe I/JG77.
Petrenko, Bruno, 1/JG-77 (Channel).
Bf 109E-1 Werk # 4448? “White 4” (lost 8/31/40)
Fighter Operational Clasp,
POW 31 August, 1940 after aerial combat, crashing at Brook House Farm, Navestock.
It begins October 10, 1942.
Ottawa orders Camp 30 to shackle 100 PoWs. It is tit for tat. The Krauts shackled our guys at Dieppe. Camp 30’s colonel tells PoW commanders:
“To hell with you, they say”
And the Germans take over the place. They sing Deutschland, Deutschland uber Alles in the mess hall, and bar the doors. Others barricade themselves in barricks. Loenig is in Haus 4, Petrenko in Haus 1. Toll call comes. Not one German answers.
They arm themselves with whatever. Hockey sticks, bags fulls of stones. They tie pillows and cardboard to their bodies. Our side calls for reinforcements for the Veteran Guards. In roll 100 troops from the Royal Canadian Ordnance corps near Kingston.
Among them Jack Kingston, He will spend the Battle of Bowmanville in reserve outside the barbed wire. He is really ticked. He is supposed to be in Port Hope on weekend leave before heading overseas. He will not see Port Hope for three years.
Our battle plan is pure Canadian. Try not to hurt anyone. So camp brass tell the RCOC boys, except the reserves to lay down their rifles. They give them baseball bats.
The RCOC boys attack the mess. For two hours, the Germans fight ferociously. They hurl marmalade and jam jars, food tins, bags of pepper. The Canadians fall back. Night falls on Camp 30. The RCOC chages again, bats swinging the Germans take two prisoners. A Red Cross truck runs between the fight and the camp hospital. Broken bones, bruises and cracked skulls.
At last, mess falls. So does Haus V. It inmates flushed out with a hose. But Haus IV holds. Two Luftwaffe majors and two Navy men capture a Canadian captain and his guard. Koenig ties up the captain and steps outside. From a watchtower, 15 meters away, a guard opens up with his .303. Three shots. The only three fired in the Battle of Bowmanville. One splinters the doorframe. One goes through Koenig’s leg. (The scars are just visible). One hits his hip. (He still carries a fragment).
“We need a doctor.” another PoW screams. And the Battle of Bowmanville is pretty much over. The next day , other attacks, bayonets but no bullets, oust the holdouts. A Luftwaffe lieutenant loses an eye.
Jack Garnett watches the Germans parade out. “They were laughing at us,” he tells me “Like in PoW movies, I guess you have to laugh about everything, I”ll never forget it.”
But all is forgiven.
By Mike Strobel (the Toronto Sun)