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They were shot down in the Lammermoors

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They were shot down in the Lammermoors

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They were shot down in the Lammermoors.
A Heinkel He 111 attempting reconnaissance in the Firth of Forth area on 28 October 1939, was intercepted by British fighters and forced down, the first to crash on British soil. Here firsthand impressions, reprinted from the Observer, and the News Chronicle, of this dramatic encounter.

Scottish countryfolk, and particularly the 600 inhabitants of Humbie saw British fighters chase the German plane, which tried hard to shake them off. They saw a display of aerobatics, which held them spellbound, and finally the German machine forced to earth. Over 100 people gathered on the high piece of ground to watch the grim contest. One of them stated, The plane was brought down about 2 miles away. It came down on a hillside, struck a stone wall, and even then the pilot would not give up. He tried to get the machine into the air again, and ran along the ground for about half a mile before he had to stop. In the air it was a fine sight. British planes chased the raider for several miles, and the way they looped and turned and twisted in the air as the German tried to get away was marvellous.

Another eyewitness said that a German plane came very low over the houses at Humbie. I heard machine gun fire and saw a plane streak across the sky with British fighters in close pursuit, He added. The enemy plane was forced down and taxied across a field and then went up again very low and made for the Lammermoorr Hills, where he was again forced down the plane went through a wall and then taxied along the heather and crashed into a hillside. And the verdict of the British experts was, A fine achievement in circumstances. When the machine came to a halt the pilot (Kurt Lehmkuhl) was assisted out by his navigator (Rolf Niehoff ) the only uninjured member of the crew. A policeman appeared shortly afterwards, and the pilot speaking good English, said, We surrender as prisoners of war. Please see to my gunners in the back of the aircraft. Both the gunners were dead. The German pilot and his companion were taken as prisoners to Edinburgh.

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Sources

The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton

2194 Days Of War.
ISBN-10: 086136614X

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