Luftwaffe Ju88 joins Cosford’s War in the Air
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