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In this last day report on air-force activities, we shall also look beyond the 17th and look at crashes in the period 18-29 May 1940 in the Zeeland region

The 17th of May

Three German planes crashed at Walcheren on the 17th, whilst five French fighters were claimed to be shot down by the Luftwaffe.

A He-111P of the staff squadron of KG.4 crashed at Ellewoutsdijk, ten km east of Flushing. Three of the four crew members were killed; the fourth man was taken prisoner. KG.4 was the wing that was responsible for the extensive raiding of the Walcheren area the past few days. The cause of the crash is unknown. A second plane was shot down near Kapelle, also of the staff squadron of KG.4. Although both planes are reported as individual crashes, there is a chance that this was one and the same plane booked twice. The crash locations are not too far apart.

In the morning at around 0800 hrs a Ju-88 of III./KG.30 crashed at Renesse, Schouwen Duivenland. Probably after a confrontation with Allied fighters.

Two German Bf-109E fighters were shot down by French Hawk-75 fighters around 1600 hours. One of 1/JG20, flown by Unteroffizier W. Otterbeck. It crashed into a food-depot in Middelburg. The other one of 5/JG20 - flown by Unteroffizier M. Kazmeier - crashed at Nieuw and St Joostland [a suburb of Middelburg]. Both pilots perished. A third Bf-109-E was shot down at Ossendrecht. It was of 2./JG20.

The 1/JG20 and 2/JG20 claimed five French Hawk-75 fighters, all but one shot down around Walcheren. The fifth Hawk was downed at St. Niklaas, just over the border with Belgium. Crash times were logged at 1554, 1555, 1556, 1556 and 1558 [Dutch time]. Certain is that two Hawks came down on Dutch soil. One north of Middelburg (Sergeant D. Bompain) and one crashed into the Westerschelde (Lieutenant J. Hirschauer. Both planes were of the French GCI/4.

A last ditch in Zeeland on this eighth day of the war was the one of a French Chance Vought V-156-F [a French version of the SB2U-2 Vindicator, the American design carrier plane]. These planes had been procured by France to serve on board the to be launched French aircraft carrier FS Béarn, but the war intervened. Two units had been equipped with these American planes, AB-1 and AB-3 [Aeronavale Bombardier, 12 planes each]. The crashed plane [serial no. 84/X-884] was of AB-3 [Alprech AFB, France] that had been called in by Admiral Platon himself in the morning of the 17th. It was a carrier-strike plane [max speed 400 km/hr two MG's] and not a fighter plane, as one would think after it had been called in to aid the French at Walcheren in their struggle with the German striking planes overhead. It is unknown which ground targets were raided by these French bombers.

18 - 29 of May

On the 18th, 19th and 20th of May no crashes have been recorderd in Zeeland, but on the 21st a Ju-88A-1 of 1./LG1 crashed near Breskens, probably from AA fire.

On the 27th it was again south of Breskens that a German plane was downed. Around 1500 hrs a Do-17 of 9./KG2 crashed, flown by Leutnant W. Stöcker. Cause is unknown, but most likely AA fire.

On the 29th again south of Breskens a Ju-88 of 1./LG1 crashed. Feldwebel Giessen was the pilot.