Luft­waffe Ju88 joins Cos­ford’s War in the Air

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS -

One of only seven sub­stan­tially com­plete sur­viv­ing ex­am­ples, the RAF Mu­seum’s Junkers JU88R-1 night-fighter has been moved from Hen­don to RAFM Cos­ford to go on dis­play in the War in the Air hangar. This is the sixth and fi­nal air­craft to be moved out of the Bat­tle of Bri­tain Hall at Hen­don to make way for new ex­hi­bi­tions for the RAF cen­te­nary in 2018. This WWII Ger­man multi-role com­bat air­craft was con­structed as a Ju88 A-1 bomber in 1942 and con­verted to an R-1 night fighter in early 1943. In May 1943 a three-man crew was ordered to in­ter­cept and shoot down an un­armed BOAC Mos­quito courier flight from Leuchars to Stockholm, Swe­den. The pro-bri­tish and anti-nazi crew sent a bo­gus mes­sage to Night Fighter HQ re­port­ing a star­board en­gine fire. The Ju88 de­scended to sea level and dropped three life rafts to make the Ger­mans think the plane and crew were lost at sea and then headed for Scot­land.

The Ju88 was in­ter­cepted by two Spitfire VBS from No 165 (Cey­lon) Squadron. When the Spit­fires ap­proached the Ger­man pi­lot dropped his un­der­car­riage and wag­gled his wings and was led back to RAF Dyce at Aberdeen where all three air­craft landed safely. The cap­ture of the Ju88 in­tact was a sig­nif­i­cant coup as it was fit­ted with the lat­est FUG 202 Liecht­en­stein BC A.I radar. It was the first of its type to fall into Bri­tish hands and was quickly hangared to hide it from Luft­waffe re­con­nais­sance air­craft. With RAF mark­ings and se­rial PJ876, the Ju88 was flown for 67 hours from Farn­bor­ough by the RAE Wire­less and Elec­tri­cal Flight, in con­junc­tion with the RAF Fighter In­ter­cep­tion Unit. Grounded in April 1944, it was stored at var­i­ous RAF airfields in­clud­ing Big­gin Hill un­til moved to RAF St Athan in Au­gust 1973 for restora­tion. The Ju88 is marked as D5+EV with w/nr 360043 was de­liv­ered to the RAF Mu­seum at Hen­don in Au­gust 1978.

The Junkers JU88R-1 was the last of six his­toric air­craft to be moved from Hen­don to RAFM Cos­ford PHOTO: RAF MU­SEUM

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