Dornier Do.17Z  

W/n 2892



Crashed 14:11:40.


The aircraft, belonging to 6/KG3, was tasked with bombing Coventry.

The mission was codenamed "Mondsheinesonate Korn" (Moonlight Sonata), and comprised a force of 450 aircraft from twenty-five squadrons (Geschwader) making up Luftflotte 2 and 3.


While inbound, the Dornier was hit by anti-aircraft fire, which disabled one of its engines.

It is assumed that the pilot decided to abort his attack and turned for base, jettisoning most of the bombload.

(This would have made the aircraft lighter, reducing the strain on the good engine, and, most importantly, enabled a forced or crash landing to have been undertaken as safely as possible.)  


Shortly before 2200, the aircraft was seen at low altitude over Loughborough; it is assumed that the crew were attempting to make a forced-landing.  Unfortunately, due to their low altitude, they were unable to avoid a row of Poplar trees; the Dornier struck the trees, and crashed and burned-out in the grounds of Prestwold Hall near Loughborough.


Eight SC50 kg bombs were found in the wreckage; the bomb release mechanism may have been damaged, or the crew may have been injured, and unable to continue the task of jettisoning them.


Out of the 450 aircraft that took part in the raid that night, this was the only one to be brought down.




The crew were:


I1967065     Oberleutnant                         OSWALD  PREISS                                       Pilot                                                Aged 22


A1850183     Feldwebel                               KARL  DILTHEY                                       Observer                                           Aged  32


M1967069     Unteroffizier                           GUNTER  KUHNE                               Radio  Operator                                   Aged  21


G1967063     Obergefreiter                WILHELM  WELLENBROCK                            Gunner                                            Aged  21




The 4 crew were buried with full military honours in Loughborough (London Road) Cemetery.



Do Do Do

Grave of  Unteroffizier Gunther Kuhne, Radio Operator.

Grave of Obergefreiter Wilhelm Wellenbrock, Gunner.


Grave of Feldwebel Karl Dilthey, Observer.

Grave of Oberleutnant Oswald Preiss, Pilot of 2892.

Do2 2892 - 01

Wreckage of  Dornier Do.17Z  2892 5K+BP in the grounds of Prestwold Hall the morning after the crash.

(Andy Saunders Collection)

A soldier stands guard over the wreckage of the Dornier.

(Andy Saunders Collection)

2892 - 02