The time three German airmen crash landed in Hainault

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 July 2017

A German Junkers JU88, similar to the one which crashed in Hainault during the Blitz. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A German Junkers JU88, similar to the one which crashed in Hainault during the Blitz. Photo: Wikimedia Commons


Hainault resident Derek Hall recalls more memories of the Blitz in east London.

I remember a German plane crashing in a field opposite the fire station where the Hainault estate is now.

It was a wonderful sight to see because it had hit the ground perfectly, only its propellers had been smashed back and the windscreen was slightly damaged.

And what a lovely smell of oil, petrol and metal where the airframe had gouged into the field!

The three men who had survived the crash walked to the air raid shelter in New North Road and gave themselves up.

They were then taken to Barkingside Police Station, so we cycled down to see them. When we got there there were hundreds of women outside waving broomhandles and sticks waiting for the airmen to come out.

When they finally did appear they were put into a police van and the women nearly turned over the van to get to them – these men had been bombing their houses.

I later learned that there had been four crewmen in the German bomber, and the pilot had died.

Some claimed the entire crew had all parachuted out but that the pilot had died but I don’t believe that, because the plane had landed so perfectly.

Only some slight damage had occurred, I don’t think it could possibly have been a crash landing.

I think he must have stayed with the plane and died in the crash hoping to save the plane.

The police and army werre standing guard by the aircraft, but my mate and I were still about to get some large chunks of windscreen that were lying in the grass.

We had a great idea – we would cut them into one-inch square pieces and make a little diamond effect on one edge, then drill a hole so you could put your finger through the diamond.

We took them into school and sold them to girls for threepence each.

Our good fortune did not last long, because the demands from girls meant we had soon run out of perspex from the aircraft.

Latest Ilford Stories

Yesterday, 17:00

Sporting Bengal United will look to make it five games without defeat when they host the Motormen

Yesterday, 15:35

Anjem Choudary will be subject to a strict supervision regime after his release from prison later this week.

Yesterday, 15:00

Ex-O’s defender Darren Purse will be on the touchline against Leyton Orient’s under-18s in the FA Youth Cup this week

Yesterday, 14:00

The latest news from the Ilford Social Centre Darts League

Yesterday, 13:00

Letters from an aeroplane crash, relics from a national disaster and correspondence between long lost lovers.

Yesterday, 13:00

Linkside Tennis Club held a successful junior finals day despite steady, then torrential rain and a chilly wind on the weekend.

Yesterday, 12:00

A prolific blackmailer from Woodford Green who tried to force the CEO of a well known company to hand over £150,000 has been jailed for more than five years.

Yesterday, 12:00

Redbridge joint-manager Ricky Eaton says it’s great to see his side scoring again after sealing a comfortable 4-1 win against Southend Manor to progress in the FA Vase.


Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Exchange Ilford is a shopping centre on a mission to make it a more welcoming and accessible place to the people of Redbridge.

An Ilford shoe retailer and podiatry practice is taking the next step with a move to a new shop just a few doors down.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now