The re-launch of ACE and COM is here at last! We took a look at ACE 127: Polish Spitfire Aces on Friday, so now let’s take a peek inside COM 110: Dornier Do 24 Units.
This first extract relates to a successful rescue mission off the coast of Narva.
During the night of 17-18 August, while laying a fresh minefield off Narva, three German torpedo boats went adrift and were all blown up by their own mines. Do 24T S5+LK took off from Reval at 0420 hrs and found ‘some 250’ men squeezed together on rafts and floating in the water. Most of the sailors drowned, but by 1100 hrs the next day pilot Feldwebel Heinz-Ottokar Hildebrandt and his crew had rescued 90 survivors, 50 of which were carried in a single flight. The crew spent the next day cleaning their fuel oil-stained flying boat. Another seven men were apparently rescued by S5+EK, which had returned from Riga to join the operation.
In this second extract Hauptmann Siegfried Körner gives his account of the failed rescue mission after the sinking of Wilhelm Gustloff.
During the evening of 30 January, the notorious sinking of the cruise ship Wilhelm Gustloff by a Soviet submarine led to the death of 10,000 people. The Do 24s were unable to contribute to the rescue effort, as related by the Staffelkapitän, Hauptmann Siegfried Körner, in the booklet Seenotgruppe 81/Ostsee 1944/45;
‘According to my logbook I took off from Bug/Rügen at 0520 hrs, joined by two other Do 24s. The day broke slowly as we reached the search area. We conducted our search, flying at an altitude of about 20-25 metres. We could not risk landing as the sea was littered with wreckage. We returned to base at 0920 hrs, having accomplished nothing.’
And as a little extra treat, here is one of the aircraft profiles!
Do 24T-2 CM+IG (Wk-Nr 0041) of Seenotstaffel 8, flown by Unteroffizier Ludwig Gosepath, Ak-Metschet (Chornomorske), Crimea, July 1942
If you want to read more about arguably the most seaworthy flying boat ever built then take a look at Combat Aircraft 110: Dornier Do 24 Units. It is available as of today!