Luftwaffe Fighter Claims of Downed Aircraft

For someone researching the experiences of a downed Allied airman,  if the airman was shot down by the Luftwaffe rather than by anti-aircraft fire, the researcher may find it useful to look at records of downed aircraft as submitted by the Luftwaffe pilots.  These records give the date, the Allied mission objective, the name of the Luftwaffe pilot, his unit, the type of Allied plane shot down, the location on the German maps, time, and microfilm reference.  Go to: http://lesliesawyer.com/claims/tonywood.htm, then scroll down to O.K.L. Fighter Claims and select the year the airman went down.  In my case, I selected “Reich and Western Front 1943.  Vol IV.”  You will have a choice of a getting the full list for that year in a Word document or a PDF file.  I found the latter more readable.

My search objective was to learn the name of the Luftwaffe pilot who claimed to have shot down “The Wild Hare” on which Tom Applewhite was the bombardier.  Since I knew the date (11 Nov. 1943) when Tom Applewhite went down, the location, and that he was on a B-17, not a P-38 or P-47, my search was considerably narrowed.  In addition, several of the map references for Allied planes shot down that day were nowhere near the part of The Netherlands where Tom Applewhite was shot down.

For Tom Applewhite, I found the following:

  • Date: 11 November 1943
  • Mission: U.S. VIII Bomber Command: MUNSTER & WESEL
  • Name of Luftwaffe pilot: Hptm. Emil-Rudolf Schnoor
  • Unit: Stab I./JG 1
  • Type of Aircraft: B-17
  • Location (map reference): KL-1 Echten: 5.000 m. [E. Meppel]
  • Time: 14.47
  • Microfilm reference: C. 2031/II Anerk: Nr. 5

Previously I advised visitors to this website that for the an explanation of the Luftwaffe Map Reference System, Gradnetzmeldeverfahren, and how it evolved during the war, one should go to the website http://www.stormbirds.com/, specializing in the Luftwaffe, and its page at http://www.stormbirds.com/eagles/research/gradnetz/gradnetz.html on the mapping system.  But these links are no longer working.  If anyone has any current information on the availability of these resources, please let me know.  See my contact page.

For a reproduction of the Jaegergradnetz (Fighter Grid Map) for central-western Europe, go to http://don-caldwell.we.bs/jg26/schlageter.htm.  Scroll down to “RLV Jägergradnetzkarte” and click on it, or go directly to http://don-caldwell.we.bs/jg26/gradnetz.htm.  It also appears in Donald Caldwell’s book, The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defense of the Reich.  An improved version of the map will appear in Mr. Caldwell’s new book, Day Fighters in Defence of the Reich: A War Diary 1942-1945, due out in mid-2011, a companion volume to The Luftwaffe over Germany.

I subsequently learned that Hptm. Schnoor was badly injured in an accidental crash before the end of the war but survived.  After the war he worked for the Allianz Insurance Company in Hamburg.

You may also want to explore the National Archives II Captured German and Related Records on Microfilm in the National Archives.

2 responses to “Luftwaffe Fighter Claims of Downed Aircraft

  1. Hi how are you ?
    great info through the website.
    My name is Daniel Thornback
    And have been researching my great uncle Vincent Cleveland who with his crew was shot down August 31 1943
    Over the and apparently into the Black Forest on their way back to their base
    After a night bombing mission over Berlin , they were flying a Halifax # JD -464.
    I would like to know if there is any info or tips that I can go to to find out where and if his plane was ever discovered.

    Dear Mr. Thornback,

    I suggest you look at the websites listed under the “Germany” heading on the following page of the website: https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/research/aircraft-crash-sites/. One of them might be useful to you. If you know the names of the other members of the crew and if you think any of them evaded capture or were captured and escaped, you might want to check the Index to Evaders mentioned in the newsletters of the Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society at https://airforceescape.org/newsletters/index-to-newsletters/index-to-airmen/. You might also want to check the USAAF websites on the following page: https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/links-to-other-escape-and-evasion-websites/united-states-army-air-forces-usaaf/. Assuming that he was in the 8th AF, I would look at the general websites at https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/links-to-other-escape-and-evasion-websites/united-states-army-air-forces-usaaf/world-war-ii-bomb-groups/. And if you have or can get the number of his Bomb Group, I would look at whatever website there is for that bomb group listed on the same page. I also suggest you look at https://wwii-netherlands-escape-lines.com/faqs/how-do-i-learn-about-an-allied-airman-who-was-shot-down/ for any other suggestions that might be helpful.

    Best wishes,
    Bruce Bolinger

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