new welney sign

The Welney Website

Junkers Ju88 crash, May 1941, Welney Washes

page created 31st July 2010, amended/updated Thursday, 31 March 2011
Junkers Ju 88
home contents news and views sports and social information centre local government links commerce other

See text, also:
Photo top right courtesy Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive)
A German Junkers Ju88 a-5 medium bomber crash landed on the washes near Welney at 4 am on Sunday 3rd May, 1941.

In July 2006 website visitor Rodney J Montague responded to an enquiry by another visitor, military historian Derek Hicks, citing an entry in Michael J.F Boyers's 1986 book "Air Raid". The entry on page 177 reads: "a Ju 88 came down intact on Welney Wash. Its arrival was due to double engine failure during a Liverpoool raid. Three crew ............. had bailed out, leaving the pilot to crash land and destroy the aircraft, which he was unable to do."  Liverpool is 140 miles from Welney, so the engine failure, if that was the problem, obviously occured over north Cambridgeshire. I'm puzzled by why the pilot would attempt to crash land and then destroy the aircraft. I understand that airforces do not want their aircraft to fall into enemy hands, but surely the object of crash-landing is to try to save the aircraft? Would it not have been more sensible for the pilot to jump with the others and leave the plane to crash and destroy itself?

Julian Evan-Hart, author of "War Torn Skies of Great Britain, Vol 3, Cambridgeshire", refers to a "forced-landing" and lists the crew as  "Lt J. Wreschnick, Uffz F. Podlech, Uffz R. Siekmann and Gefr H. Pix". They all survived and became prisoners of war and a manufacturer's plate from this aircraft is in the Colin Pratley private collection.

For those who like such details, this Ju88 a-5 was w/nr 4269, coded 3Z+CL, of either 1/KG77 (Michel Bowyer) or 3/KG77 (Julian Evan-Hart). 

Ex-Welneyite Raymond James was a teenager living nearby at the time and recalled in 2005 seeing the aircraft next morning as he cycled over the Wash Road. He later discovered that the pilot survived and walked all around the village in the dark trying to "give himself up". You can read more about that story using the link on the right.

Some memories and handed down accounts refer to the 'German bomber that crashed in the washes and all that was left to see in the morning was the tail sticking out'.

If you can provide any details, please contact the Webmaster using link below. Thanks.
Related pages on this website
Raymond James' wartime memories
WW2 aircraft identitfication codes
Related External websites
Junkers Ju.88 specification
back to top of page back to WW2 aircrashes directory any comments?  please e-mail webmaster