The Four Survivors



The Four Survivors


Reg's account of the end of his Halifax.


Spatial Coverage



One printed sheet


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The Four Survivors

After the bombing run, at a height of 6000 metres, the aircraft was shot up by an ace
night fighter Leopold Fellerer.

The aircraft caught fire near Oberspree and the navigator and bomb-aimer baled out. After about 15 minutes they landed separately in woodland on the outskirts of Hirschgarten, were captured the next day, and taken to police stations.

Shortly after catching fire, the aircraft went into a spiral dive over Oberspree and above the Kollnische Heide. Somewhere below 2500 metres the fuel in the aircraft exploded. The pilot and rear gunner were ‘blown’ out of the aircraft. Recovering from a semi-conscious state, they opened their parachutes only a 100 metres or so from the ground! They landed in the woodland and were captured the next day. The pilot was taken to Oberspree police station and the rear gunner to a searchlight/flak battery near Oberspree Strasse.

The Four who died

After the explosion, the tail and other bits of the aircraft fell into the Kollnische Heide and the rest of the plane ‘levelled out’ and finally crashed in woodland 4000 metres away, next to Hirschgarten Railway Station,

There were three bodies (second pilot, flight engineer, and mid-upper gunner) in the wreckage. The body of the wireless operator was found 200 metres away.

Initially the wireless operator was buried in Fuerstenwalde New Cemetery and the others in Doberitz Elsgrund Cemetery. After the War, the bodies were removed to the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Charlottenburg.


Reg Wilson, “The Four Survivors,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 20, 2024,

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