Mission Date: 08-28-40
Aerodrome: Calais Marck
|-||Manston||3 parked Hurricanes||-||Yes|
For centuries my family have been harassed by pesky British invaders, it all started in France around 1337 when king Eduard of England had sent an invasion force upon France to claim it’s throne.
In 1346 my ancestor was defeated by Welch and British bowmen at Crecy, his grandson knight Charles Grey (it was Grisé back then), shared the same faith at Agincourt in 1415. But by 1453 his grandson kicked them off the main land back to their island after the battle of Castillion. We thought it was over..
But it was far from over for the Grey’s, in 1805 another one in the line of the Grey’s, Captain Louis Grey, lost his ship in a decisive battle at Trafalgar. He was captured and later drowned trying to escape from a hulk ship on the river Thames in 1808. His son was a captain in Napoleon’s guard and in his turn was captured, but this time by the Prussians in 1815 at Waterloo and sent in captivity for 10 years in Prussia. After his release he was forced to join the Prussian army and this is how the Grey’s ended up in the German empire.
Dad wasn’t so lucky either in ’16 at the Somme, while he was firing a machinegun at the British infantry who walked out of their trenches, he was struck by shrapnel.
General Fritz Wilhelm von Below himself walked him to his grave.
Now I, Ulrich Grey, last in line to set things straight, will take care of those islanders in our magnificent 110’s once and for all!
As I’m starting to look back from the last mission, I really believe the German high command had pinned their hopes on us. They even gave us our own separate airfield, so none of the incompetent 109 pilots could fly into us while taking off. When I was in the dispersal after parachuting in from the last time, as I had to leave my 110 with Hans still in it, I shared my thoughts with the men and they all agreed on this matter.
Everybody suddenly changed the subject and started a debate on daily matters, but I had to shut them up, cause this was going nowhere; Fellas, from now on we must do our utmost best to keep those bombers safe! But sir, Biggles had replied, do you know the guys from the 26th treat us like bomber pilots these days? They look at us like we’re born in a brothel! Shut up I’d said, I’ve seen the bunk you sleep in, so they have a point there.
But in any case I’ll have a chat, set things right so they’ll treat us like real fighter pilots again. All these young men’s eyes were now filled with nothing but respect, you could sense it and hear a mouse whisper in that room. Too bad dad fell at the Somme, he would’ve been so proud!
By now it was time to meet my new gunner that listens to the name of Otto, this guy spoke with 2 words only; yes sir, no sir. This is going to be a long ride over the channel I said, why sir? Was his reply…. I sure hope he shoots better than he talks!
After the briefing I gave in front of our aircraft, I couldn’t help reading the worried faces of those men I share my sorrow with, we were all used to fly the 109’s before the conversion, so I had to lift everyone’s moral up with pep-talk, they all felt better and confident with these words. There was only one cocky pilot who just stood there, who didn’t show any emotion at all and was smoking a cigarette. I even caught him watching the birds while I was going through the Standard Operation Procedures, I think the British will soon know this young fighter pilots name very well; Wolf!
It was time; Pilots! To your engines, start up, roll out, and let’s show them our way of playing music, I’d yelled while everyone was on their way to his 110. The only answer I got was: great sir! From Otto, my new rear gunner…
As soon as I was ready to start up my engine, Major Heinz Nacke, the new appointed Gruppenkommandeure for II.ZG76 stopped his kubelwagen right in front my aircraft so I couldn’t go anywhere. what’s the matter sir, I asked, well he said, change of plans you need to strafe Manston, Goering has ordered this so I’ll go through this with you.
After the plans were out on the table I had to bring this crashing news to the lads… Sir, Archie interrupted me, strafing? That’s technically the same as bombing isn’t it?!! Are we’re becoming a bombergruppe now, for what? We don’t have air superiority yet, so it’s no use. Listen I said, there’s 2 things I won’t tolerated in this unit, defeatism and jazz music, so go to your crates and do this!
Once we took off, the usual rather busy Luftwaffe chatter there always is over the R/T went quiet… What was I or anyone else to say…
The rendezvous with the guys from erp. gruppe 210 didn’t go according to plan, I didn’t knew where they were. I’d made the decision of having a look at JG26’s air base.
Wolf took lead but he couldn’t find the place. I told him to look for the black smoke markers they usually have on each side of the runway and yes there it was!
Some were still in the process off going through the SOP’s, so we turned back for refueling.
As we warmed up our engines for the second time, some pilots were next to the 110's talking, the Gruppenkommandeure of JG26 came in our radio channel asking where the hell we were, he was looking for us in the Manston area. Huh.. Almost there sir! C'mon lads, jump back in your kites and take off.
With a flawless take off and tremendous speed and we finally met over our rally point.
In the corner off my eye I’d spotted a 109 being chased by a Hurricane. Pauke pauke! get him off that 109! Wolf was the first one who got shots on him. The bundle of firepower was too much for the canvas crate and it plummeted towards mother earth before any of us had a chance of taking an aim at this Englander. Abschuss!
By now we got the all clear over the R/T from the 109’s, the area was secure they said, so it was time to carry out our mission, strafe Manston.
I was the first one at the airfield. Rakarakatak , 2 hurries went up in flames, a third one who just got back from his sortie and was just standing in the middle of that golf course was the next victim, Rakarakatak, this sitting duck was hit by deadly precision and put out of action!
But our good luck was running out, both the Wolf brothers and Archie were picked up by Hurries, Zalzam and I got separated, too low on altitude to help out.
As soon we passed Ramsgate, a Spitfire squad was on our heels. This was a death trap we were in now, but I wasn’t going to sell my hide cheap!
Zalzam got hit and was put out of action.
Otto in the back reported: Flugzeugfuhrer, Piraten! Damn you man, suppressive Fire! I replied.
As I saw the Spit coming in with tremendous energy in a certain angle, I’d made a quick calculation on how to get him in my sights.
With a couple of jerks on the stick, I went in a cork screw maneuver while going up and down for the search of energy and it worked; hits on him! Hooray!! But it wasn’t any lethal so I knew my last minutes were counting down.
So I’d started an other cork screw 109 style maneuver and got more hits on him, but my energy was draining out fast. Stall! No! At this altitude it could be deadly. Otto!! Bail o………..
These comforting words were sent home
Dear Nina Grey, your husband fell today at Ramsgate. His last words were: for the fuhrer and for fatherland!
Major Heinz Nacke