Now I have new informations. I talked with Mr. Jacobsen once again. The P-38 fly at an altitude of 60-80 meters.
It was coming from the east direction. The P-38 was shooting to the 8,8 cm Flak, but now German soldier died or injured. The young boy Jacobsen was shooting to the P-38. With the first magazine he shot with his 2cm Flak to the cockpit, after this he shot the second magazine to the engines. In this fight anything goes fast. After the combat the "Batterie-Chef" said to Jacobsen: "You had done good hits".
Then I ask Mr. Jacobsen " Are this 3 photos from the P-38 pilot?" He answerd, it could be another captured airman,
he don't know. The photographer was a friend of him.
Now, I think in this direction: The captured airman on the 3 photos is not the pilot of the P-38 who
was shot down from Mr. Jacobsen. The man on the photos could be a crewmember of a bomber
or another pilot of a fighter.
One pilot crashed crashed near Neu Wulmstorf. It was Lt. James H. Weisel, 21th May 1944. Hesslingen,
the crash site, is not far away from Neu Wulmstorf. I think, he was it.
Is Mr Jacobson in the pictures, if so which person is he?
If Mr Jacobson is not in the picture can he at least identify for sure that the picture was taken at Neu Wulmstorf. In the background you can see some buildings. What are those? Where were the flak batteries, I don't see any guns in the pictures?
If the P-38 was attacking a 88mm flak battery and the 2cm flak battery was also there, it seems more likely to me that this was happening at some airfield that was under attack. I don't think a person would have time to empty a magazine at a P-38 then change to a new magazine and fire again on a single pass of one P-38.
Did the P-38 make two passes or were there two different P-38s each making a single pass?
I don't think the picture is of Weisel. The face is quite different, particularly around the chin. Check the link I sent on Weisel There is a good picture of him and he is shown with a moustache.
When did Mr. Jacobson write the information on the pictures about Lt Brown/Braun. Was that when the pictures were taken in 1944 or much later?
Ask Mr Jacobson about his training to fire the guns. Didn't that take place at some school somewhere else? I remember reading something about a fighter attack at or near an AA school and a fighter was shot down. I am wondering if that is what happened.
Regards to you and Mr Jacobsen.
I wrote in my post, that Mr. Jacobsen could not say that the airman on the three photos are the pilot of the
P-38, he shot down. He had never seen the pilot.
The photos, I think, shows another situationen at another time and another unidentyfied airman. Mr. Jacobsen ist not on the photos. But the photos were taken in Neu Wulmstorf, that is sure. My opinion is we have two different stories, one with the P-38, and another with the unidentifyd airman on the pictures.
There's every reason to believe that the pilot of the P-38 was James H. Weisel.
It was the only P-38 who crashed near Neu Wulmstorf. (Heeslingen - Neu Wulmstorf 30 km, bee-line)
also the time 21th May 1944, and the locationen between Hamburg and Bremen.
I think we have reached a dead end on this until some new information turns up. We don't really have a good idea on the date of the picture or even who it might be. If you get some more info please post it. Maybe we will have better luck. All was not lost though, I learned a lot about P-38 operations in Northern Europe in May of 1944.
All the days I thougth something is wrong the name or the date. Now I know: the 3 photos are "wrong".
and the name of the pilot. The photos with the captured airman have no connections to the P-38 which shot down on 21th May 1944. The captured airman on the photos are not the pilot of the P-38. In that time 1943/1944 many bombers with target Hamburg or Harburg were shot down from the Flak around Hamburg. And some airmen who bailed out landed in the area of Neu Wulmstorf. It could be that the person of the pictures are a member of a
bombercrew. But sure is, Mr. Jacobsen shot down a P-38 in the second half of May 1944. And his information
that the P-38 crashed between Sittensen and Rotenburg are also right.
My opinion is and I repeat, the only Fighter-Pilot who crashed in this area and at that period was Lt. James H. Weisel, 21th May 1944 Mission: Chattanooga 1. For me it's now a sure thing!
I agree with Padu's assessment. The P-38 that Herr Jacobesen shot down could very well have been Weisel. As the photo does not show Weisel it is obviously a different pilot taken on a different date. I am sure Mr. Jacobsen figured, "that must be the pilot that I should down" and so automatically linked these to seperate events into one.
The aviator is obviously either a pilot, or an officer crewmember of a bomber. He is wearing a A2 jacket and those are normally worn by officers, while the rest of the crew in the unheated sections of the plane wore the heavier jackets, or heated suits.
Actually looking at the photo of Weisel, it could be him minus the mustache. His facial shape and ears are very similar and this photo looks like it was taken either in California, or Hawaii (palm trees in background). Well, hell it could also be Florida :)
I don't think the picture is of Weisel. Weisel has a very distinctive chin and jaw line. I don't see that in the unknown airman's photos.
As for Weisel being in the P-38 shot down by Mr Jacobson, there are actually some problems with that also. According to MACR 4979, Weisel told his flight leader, Captain May, he had a target. May told Weisel to attack and he (May) would following Weisel down. Wiesel went down to attack an airfield. When May realized what the target was and knowing it was heavily defended, May broke off his attack and he told Weisel to break off also, but it was too late. Weisel was apparently hit. When May saw Weisel next, Weisel was at 7 or 8 oclock behind him. He told Weisel to form up but got no response. Weisel crossed behind May and continued on a 90 degree course (to May) into the haze. This airfield was outside of Celle and the attack occurred sometime between 1230 and 1300. Celle is about 65 miles south of Hamburg.
Weisel was able to contact Captain Keneith Soroca a short time later on the radio to say he was crash landing.
The attached German reports to the MACR have the plane belly landing at Hesslingen and Weisel was captured at 1330. Hesslingen is NW of Celle maybe 50 mi away. Hesslingen is SW of Hamburg about 20+ miles away. It is hard to judge on the times, since they are rather vague. I.e, the airfield shoot up a Celle happens sometime between 12:30 and 1:00 and Weisel is CAPTURED (not crashed) at 1:30.
But just based on the logic, would a pilot, hit during a strafing run on an airport:
1. then fly due North all by himself toward a heavily defended city
2. attack a flack site on the suburbs of that city
3. get hit again and then fly SW to crash land?
Or is it more likely that Weisel, after being hit at Celle set a NW course toward home and crash landed at Hesslingen?
RSwank, alas I cannot find a Hesslingen near Hamburg, though I located one near hnnover and one near Braunschweig. Only reason I can imagine him flying north is either control issues, or he might have been gunning for neutral Sweden (far fetched, I know). The attack on the AA site could have been more of a, "oh man I gotta go right over this, let me pull my trigger and hope they duck" reaction :) I think this might remain a mystery, but still interesting to try. Danny
My typo. It is Heeslingen, right near Zeven.
You can see it on Google Maps. Between Bremen and Hamburg.
As for control issues, ....maybe... but he would have first gone pretty much due North then after passing over the flak battery (which was just in the SW suburbs of Hamburg) and firing and killing one German soldier he turned and flew SW down to belly in at Heeslingen.
The other part of the story I wonder about is how Mr Jacobson had time to fire off one magazine, reload and empty another. It sounds to me he may have fired at two different planes doing deliberate attacks. Not one single plane on a single pass. Those planes could really move (if both engines were at top speed). Of course, maybe Weisel was flying low and slow.
Another question would relate to the timing of the radio message that he was crash landing. This message was heard by another pilot in his original flight. I think the remaining pilots in his fight would have gone back to altitude and headed home (just as his flight leader did) after the incident at Celle. For one of them to have heard Weisel on the radio say he was crash landing would mean, I think, that it happen fairly shortly after the Celle attack. I don't think those radios had a real long range and it is possible that after Celle they were climbing back to altitude maybe almost directly over Weisel who was crash landing below them.
It is too bad that Mr Jacobson can't remember the exact date. It would be interesting to get this incident resolved.
It is possible to shoot two magazines in short time. After a new phone call with Mr.
Jens Jacobsen he told me: There were three soldiers at the 2cm-Flak (standard) .
1. The "Richtkanonier" who was shooting
2. The "Ladekanonier", who is putting the magazine into the Flak
3. Another soldier, who is given the magazine to the "Ladekanonier"
The magazine content 20 shells and was empty after 4 seconds.
Jens Jacobsen told me, that he shot one magazine when the P-38 to be approching,
the other magazine when the P-38 was over the Flak and than leave the spot.
Capt. May reported in his statment that he assumed that Lt. Weisel was hit by Flak at Celle, but it
is only a assumption. It could be that Lt. Weisel was not hit by the flak at Celle. Capt. May saw not
smoke or other indications of a hit. On his return back to England Lt. Weisel was searching to another target and found it. Neu Wulmstorf is not a suburb from Hamburg.
Now today Neu Wulmstorf looks like a suburb from Hamburg, but at that time 1944 it was a very small
village. also the other villages and towns around Hamburg were less strongly populated as now.
Good information, every little bit helps.
Was the soldier that was killed near Mr. Jacobson or was he on another gun. If it was another gun, was it also 2cm Flak or was it an 88 or something else.
Was this the first and only time that a fighter strafed the site, or were there other attacks at other times?
There was only one pass by a single fighter this time, is that correct? Were there other attacks in the area at this time, was there a warning of fighter activity in the area? Why was Mr Jacobson at his gun position at this time, was there a bombing attack on the city also going on?
Could Mr Jacobson see the hits he had on the fighter, or was he only told of the hits by the leader?
Did Mr. Jacobson see any smoke or flames on the fighter.
He has said the fighter came in from the East. Did it continue on to the West or did he see it turn toward the South.
Padu, there is an interesting statement from Weisel's daughter Patti Weisel Jones , on this link. http://www.merkki.com/guestbook2004page3.htm
She is talking about the head interrogator at Dalag Luft, where Weisel would have first been sent.
"My father, Lt. James Weisel, was a P-38 pilot shot down over Germany in May 1944. German interrogator Hans Scharff saved his life by proving that my father did not kill any civilians, as he was accused of doing. Our family met Mr. Scharff in Bakersfield, CA in 1984. What a gentleman! We are so grateful for his intervention in our father's situation so many years ago. I am trying to get information about my father's war experiences, since he would rarely talk about the war. He died in 1984."
So many questions. I try to give answers:
1. I don't understand your first question. What do you mean with the killed soldier?
I have not mentioned in my post a killed soldier.
2. Jens Jacobsen shot with a 2cm Flak. At hat time it was his function with the other two soldiers to look after
low-flighing aircrafts. The Germans were informed about the alliert action "Chattanooga 1" so the soldiers
of the Luftwaffe were in attendance.
3. Low-flying aircrafts were not shelled with 8,8cm Flak. The 8,8cm Flak was not qualified for this purpose.
4. It was only one pass by a single fighter this time, that is correct, there was no other attacks at this time in the
5. You must know the attack goes very fast and the "Richtkanonier" was very concentrated of shooting. Jens
Jacobsen saw no smoke, but the "Batterie-Chef" Oberleutnant Heinz Eckhoff told him the hits on the fighter.
I think, this hits forced Lt. Weisel for belly landing.
6. The P-38 came from eastern and flow to west. But a fighter could change his direction very quickly.
Let me tell about another similar case. In this area crashed at 5.8.1944 another P-38.
It was 2nd Lt. Carl W. Moore, 479th FG. The target was Magdeburg, Typ of Mission: Bomber Escort.
After a dog-fight with a Me-109 he crashed at Buxtehude-Ottensen, near Hamburg. (MACR 7425)
The problem with this case is the same like Lt. Weisel. Why was Lt. Moore near by Hamburg, it was not
the direction to Magdeburg. I think, after the escort the fighter pilots could decide self to attack targets: like railways, military cars, airfields, and so on.
That Lt. Weisel on his way home attack the Flak Battery at Neu Wulmstorf could be pure accident. I assume
it was not his plan.
Padu, sorry about the soldier confusion, my mistake. You are right about the P-38s. Often after the escort to the target was completed one or two flights were "released" to attack ground targets and they could range quite a distance. I have also read of 1 or 2 P-38s doing these attacks alone. Also, at this time of the war a large number of planned low level attacks were being carried out by P-38 groups. This was apparently the case with Weisel's group on that day, they were on a planned strafing mission. I am pursing a couple more ideas here, maybe something else will turn up.
I may be able to shed some light on this one.
Weisel was on the 55th's first Chattanooga mission of the war when he was hit by flak. He was one of six shot down on that day from the 55th. Ground strafing was a dangerous occupation!
He was part of the Griefswald incident and Hans Scharff did indeed save his life and others by convincing Goering with a gun camera film clearing the accused.
It does look remarkably like Weisel, so I emailed Frank Birtciel and this is the amazing reply I got back today!
"Reviewed the MACR and German map. We were in Sorace's flight (Sorace,
me, Jim May element leader and Jim Weisel) strafing westerly. Apparently
Weisel spotted the airfield at Celle where several of our guys got hit
and he also got hit. It appears to me that Weisel altered course to head
for Sweden and made it to the area of Zeven and got clobbered again. I
would say the guy in the picture is James Weisel.
His chin does not reflect the cleft, but that could be the light, ears,
cheek bones and eyes and that mustache all say Jim."
I think we have our man!
Son of 1LT Francis R. "Dick" Wilma (1920-2005)
Air Transport Command, Chabua, India, '44 - '45 www.DavidWilma.com
Yes, it may be true, but final assuranse could give the daugther Patti Weisel Jones.
I've tried to contact her, but I got no repley. It could be, that I used a wrong
e-mail adress or she recived not my post. Can anyone do it for me? It may you
have better fortune.
post edited by Padu -
many thanks for your help.
Greetings from Germany