Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
quemerford

1917 Gotha Airmen Killed Over UK

Recommended Posts

quemerford

I’m trying to trace the final resting place of a number of German airmen lost over England (or close by) during 1917 and would appreciate any pointers on the following:

On 22nd August 1917, Gotha G.IV/663/16 of Kasta 15/Kagohl 3 was shot down in the sea off Margate. The aircraft’s gunner, Uffz. Bruno Schneider was captured, but the other two crew members were killed:

Lt d R Werner Joschkowitz (born 31 July 1889 in Magdeburg) – pilot

Lt Walter Latowsky (born 22 February 1893 in Rüdelsdorf) – observer

Neither appears to have been buried at Cannock Chase – does anyone know where these men were interred?

On 5th September 1917, A Gotha (G.IV? serial number?) of Kasta 13/Kagohl 3 was shot down into the Thames Estuary by the Borstal AA gun near Rochester.

Uffz. Theodor Fries (Born in Schweinfurt on 3 April 1894) was the pilot, and is reported killed in action aboard this Gotha, but I can’t locate a place of burial (again, not recorded at Cannock Chase), or of the names of his gunner and observer – both also supposedly killed. Can anyone help?

Finally, on 18th December 1917, a Gotha (G.III?) of Bosta 15/Bogohl 3 was shot down off Folkestone by Capt GW Murlis-Green of 44 Sqn.

Two of the crew were rescued, but Lt Friedrich Ketelsen (Born 10 January 1896 in Pellworm) drowned. I’d imagine that his body was recovered and interred, but does anyone have a record of the location?

I’d appreciate any further info on these men.

Many thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephen Nulty

Not sure of this is relevant, but it appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News on 27th August 1917

post-1356-0-79043300-1405797651_thumb.pn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quemerford

Very useful - many thanks! A good starting point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aspern

It may be that the lack of information about where these men were interred may be due that they were all lost at sea.

22nd August 1917

The report that Stephen Nulty put up refers to the other Gotha that was brought down – on land - the same day. I have seen a number of references to this funeral, but nothing regarding the crew of the Gotha that came down at sea. It would seem likely to me therefore that Joschkowitz and Latowsky drowned and their bodies were never found.

5th September 1917

Again, I feel this crew was also lost at sea and not recovered.

The report of the man commanding the Borstal Gun states:

“Target was crossing from R to L. When

attacked it changed course and approached the gun. It then gradually receded. It was apparently disabled by our gun fire and became practically stationary. A direct hit was then scored and it was observed to fall almost perpendicularly for a short distance turning over and over. It then fell to the ground at an angle of descent of about 70°. Where it actually fell could not be observed from the gun position.”

A dredging operation followed in the Medway but no wreckage was ever found – and it would appear likely no bodies either.

18th December 1917

Once more, I have not come across any mention of Ketelsen’s body being recovered after he fell from the wreckage of the Gotha into the sea. I presume it would be mentioned somewhere if they managed to recover it.

Hope this is of some use to you.

Aspern

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quemerford

Aspern,

Many thanks - seems perfectly logical. Appreciate the input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sdparker

I have a book by Deal historian David Collyer called Flying- The First World War In Kent which covers the raid on 22/8/1917. In it he states that 3 Gothas were shot down -one plunging into the sea at Botany Bay Margate watched by hundreds of people on the seafront.A second bomber was shot down probably by anti aircraft fire and crashed near Manston. There is an amazing picture of a Gotha falling vertically with half its wings torn off ! No details about the third bomber.

post-96494-0-96037500-1406118268_thumb.j

The words on the postcard read-Behold the end of a raiding Gotha,a prey to Kentish fire,

Our boys at the guns have finished the Huns,and lit their funeral pyre.

Other photos show RNAS personel with the remains of the Gotha recovered from the sea,and the funeral guard of honour for one of the crews.

There are men from both RNAS and army attending the funeral -only one crew were buried-presumably from the aircraft that crashed on land,but no

mention of which cemetery.My instinct tells me Margate but could it be Manston because of the presence of RNAS officers-?

I may go and have a look since i live quite near.

Hope this helps

Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quemerford

Very interesting - thanks. Not the one mentioned above hen, so another funeral, likely at Margate (and now at Cannock). I think some of these airmen were identified simply as 'male' at the time of issuing their death certificate and possibly the subsequent funeral. There are a few unknown soldiers at Cannock, though most do at least have a date of death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sdparker

I think I agree with Aspern that the bodies of the German airmen listed as drowned were never found.

The raid on 22/8/1917-Gotha shot down and crashed into sea off Margate-wreckage recovered and Uffz Bruno Schneider picked up by destroyer HMS Kestrel

no mention of Werner Joschkowitz orWalter Latowski apart from drowned.

The raid on5/9/1917-probably hit by anti aircraft fire near Gravesend-and crashed at sea as acknowledged by the Germans themselves.

The raid on 18/12/1917-Gotha hit and crippled by Murlis Green-crashed into sea off Folkestone and exploded while being towed in by a trawler

1crew recovered no mention of other bodies.

Regards

Geoff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wout smit

joschkowitz is burried in den helder (holland) 28-08-1917.

Edited by Alan Curragh
Photo removed at request of poster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wout smit

The body of Joschkowitz, burried in Den Helder 28-8-1917, is after World War II, together with other German victims, interred at the German Military Cemetery Ysselsteyn near Venray in Holland. On the website of this cemetery you can find a picture of his gravestone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aspern

Hi Wout

That is interesting. So I presume that means his body was washed ashore on the Dutch coast.

Many thanks for posting the photo.

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wout smit

I found two articles in the local paper of Den Helder, 'Heldersche Courant'. Den Helder is the marinebase of Holland.

27 sept. 1917: Lijk aangebracht (body ashored). On his underwear men found his initials J.W.

29 sept. 1917 Begrafenis Duitsch vlieger-officier (Funeral German flyer-lieutenant). Now you can read his full name. Joschkowitz was burried with military honour. A lot of people visited the ceremony.

post-117908-0-58767100-1416041488_thumb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aspern

Many thanks for this Wout - it is very interesting.

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jos

Hello,

A couple of years ago I visited the German Military Cemetery in Ysselsteyn. I was looking for the grave of Friedrich Gröschke of Seefrontstaffel 1.

I also took pictures of other graves. One of these pictures was from the grave of Joschkowitz.

Ysselsteyn46WernerJoschkowitz_zps196e643

Regards,

Jos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aspern

Many thanks for posting the photo Jos.

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jos

Hello,

This is a page of the flightbook of Reinhold Joschkowitz, brother of Werner. Reinhold served in Kagohl 1 Staffel 2 and on 19 September 1917 he was transferred to Jasta 4.

Below the obituary he wrote:

Am 21 -8 nachmittags beim K.G. 3 gelandet und Werner zum letzten mal gesprochen.

22-8 Bomben südlich Bailleul. Beim zurückkommen die Nachricht vom Werners Ausbleiben vom

K.G. 3 erhalten.

On 21-8 landed at K.G. 3 and talked to Werner for the last time.

22-8 Bombed south of Bailleul. When I got back I received a message from K.G. 3 that Werner had not returned.

Jos

JoschkowitzWernerTodesanzeigeImBordbuch_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Regulus 1

5 September 1917

In the night of the 4th on the 5th new attack on Britain. Ten machines went to London while sixteen others were attacking the Thames mouth. Bombs fell on Orfordness, in Essex, on London, Margate, Dover. In London bombs fell in Agar
Street, Strand, outside of the Charing Cross Hospital it’s main entrance, on the back of the Little Theatre, on the Victoria Embankment Gardens, and one near Cleopatra’s needle. In this last place, a tramwaycar was wrecked, three passengers of it were killed and three others injured. Also 6 other people were injured on the street. London suffered a total of 16 killed and 56 injured. In Dover and Margate also casualties, 3 killed and 15 injured in total. In Dover it was reported that two bombs fell on Priory Hill but failed to explode.

British claims : One machine by the Borstal AA gun, which said they had registered a hit on a Gotha between Cobham and Gravesend.
Eighteen planes got into the air but without result.

This are the German losses :

+ Unteroffizier Friess Theodor, pilot of Kasta 13 KIA at Margate (D)

The place of loss of this crew makes it very bizarre :

+ Vizefeldwebel Hansen-Neck Hans, gunner of Kasta 13 KIA at Emden , according to von Eberhardt name is Hansen-Beck (D)
+ Lt.d.R. Raulfs Robert, observer with Kasta 13 KIA near Emden (D)
+ Oblt. von Zanthier Helmuth, observer with Kasta 13, KIA at Emden (D)

Clearly wrong but no correct location found so far

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nils d

Margate cemetery contains the graves of several German airmen, but these are 1940 casualties from the Battle of Britain.

They are hidden behind a hedge screened from the RAF fallen of the BoB.

So its not impossible some 1917 airmen lie in this  pleasant spot. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...