Aeroplane Monthly 1986-11
R.Nesbit - The flight of Rudolf Hess (1)
A Spitfire IIA, similar to the machine flown from RAF Acklington by Sgt M. A. Pocock of 72 Squadron on May 10, 1941, in an attempt to shoot down Hess's Bf 110. Sgt Pocock was commissioned on May 23, 1943 and ended the war as a flight lieutenant.
Under the Bf 110, left to right: Adj Pintsch, Abteilungsleiter Piel and Helmut Kaden. Rudolf Hess is seen on the ladder and on the wing is Monteur Griesbauer.
A Messerschmitt Bf 110 fitted with smaller droptanks, containing 229gal (1,040lit). Drop-tanks of various sizes were available for long distance work.
A Messerschmitt Bf 110 showing the enormous drop-tanks, made of plywood, which were fitted to the machine flown by Rudolf Hess. The main wing tanks contained 264gal (1,270lit) but these drop-tanks added another 396gal (1,800lit). The machine was thus easily capable of flying from Augsburg to Glasgow.
This Bf 110C-5, radio code 5F+CM, works number 2177, was forced down at Goodwood on a flight from Cherbourg on July 21, 1940. It was given the RAF serial number AX772 and was repaired by the RAE, using parts from another crashed machine, and flown on performance and handling trials. From the results, the ferry range of the machine was calculated, with and without drop-tanks. The machine flown by Rudolf Hess was easily capable of flying from Augsburg to the Duke of Hamilton’s house in Scotland.
Boulton-Paul Defiant N1671, photographed at RAF Finningley in 1968. One of these aircraft, in its role as a night fighter, was flown from Ayr on May 10, 1941 by Plt Off W. A. Cuddie of 141 Sqn in an attempt to shoot down Hess's Bf 110. After leaving 141 Squadron, Cuddie was posted in July 1942 to 46 (Uganda) Squadron in Egypt, a night fighter squadron equipped with Beaufighters. Operating from Cyprus, Sqn Ldr W. A. Cuddie lost his life while leading an attack on a German invasion fleet heading for the island of Kos in the Dodecanese on October 3, 1943.
Rudolf Hess, in the cockpit, with his wife Ilse, receiving congratulations after winning the annual air race round the Zugspitze mountain on March 10, 1934.