ObLt JOACHIM SCHWARZ - LUFTWAFFE 

Christopher Pointon 

ObLt Schwarz was a Heinkel 111H  Pilot belonging to 111 Gruppe/Kampfgeschwader 4 based at Leeuwarden Holland.

On 24th June 1941 Schwarz plus his crew of  three took off at 23.00 hrs to lay mines in the Mersey Estuary near Liverpool. At 02.30 hrs the Heinkel was attacked by a Beaufighter of 25 Sqdn from Catterick somewhere between the Wash and Liverpool and the starboard engine was put out of action, eventually the undercarriage dropped down increasing the drag so at 300 metres he gave the order to bale out, but by the time Schwarz baled out the aircraft was too low for his parachute to open and he was killed. The other three crew members St.Fw H.Glkowski, Obergefr F. Ertzinger and Fw W.Koller landed near Lullington 6 miles E of Lichfield and were captured by the Home Guard.

Schwarz was buried in Fradley Churchyard nr Lichfield.

In 1979 Friedrich Ertzinger the W.Op/AG returned to Lullington and was reunited with Jack and Geoff Edwards of the Home Guard who had arrested him 38 years earlier. At recent Battle of Britain Services in September a representative of the Luftwaffe based at 16 M.U. Stafford lays a wreath on Joachim Scwarz's grave and it is hoped that this will continue.

Contribution by Michael Holm whose Web Site on the Luftwaffe is on the Links page