German bomber

posted in: InfoRequests 3

My informant Patrick Coyne wrote in with a question about a German bomber flying over Durban:

Dear Allan

You may remember me as the guy who wrote LOOK BACK WITH PRIDE! , the history of Gordon Road Girls’ School, plus the parallel Durban history. In the book there was the story of the evacuee girl from England who dived under her desk when she heard a German bomber over Durban.

I have written to the media asking if anyone remembers that incident, and if so, what date it was, and what type of German bomber. It was of course a captured German bomber flown down from Tobruk to Durban for inspection. I want to write more about this. Any help you can give me will be appreciated.


UPDATE 9/6/2012: John Taylor has come up with a plausible explanation for this story in the comments below this story and he even sent in some pictures. I have added them here because I seem to have forgotten how to add pictures to a comment in WordPress.

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3 Responses

  1. John Taylor
    | Reply

    Perhaps the mystery German bomber can be explained by the fact that the SAAF operated a squadron of Junkers JU 86 from Durban – from Wikipedia:
    At the outbreak of the Second World War, South Africa’s Ju 86Zs were militarized and armed as bombers with defensive guns and external bomb racks. The aircraft were initially used for coastal patrols along with the sole Ju 86 K-1, playing an important role in the interception of the German blockade runner SS Watussi in December 1939. In May 1940, they were used to re-equip No. 12 Squadron SAAF, which was deployed in the East African Campaign from June 1940. It flew its first bombing missions on 14 June 1940. As more modern aircraft became available, the South African Ju 86s were passed from squadron to squadron, seeing their last use with No. 22 Squadron SAAF at Durban, who used it, along with the Avro Anson in the coastal reconnaissance role, finally retiring its Ju 86s in September 1942, when it re-equipped with Lockheed Venturas.

  2. Patrick Coyne
    | Reply

    Thanks, Allan, and John. I like the idea of the JU 86 sounding like a German bomber – as they were German. Is there anyone living still who can remember what the JU 86 ‘s engines sounded like? Did they have that unsynchronised beat so characteristic of the Heinkel 111 for example?

    • Allan Jackson

      Hi Patrick
      I’m sure the brains trust will be able to answer that more authoritatively but I believe that unsynchronised engines were pretty typical of German aircraft.

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