Luftwaffe Raid on Southampton - 24 September 1940
Luftwaffe Bombing Raids on the Supermarine Factories in Southampton in 1940
24 September 1940
The Supermarine Aviation Works at Southampton were attacked by 17 aircraft at 13.50 and again by 3 aircraft at 16.15. The first raid was led by Martin Lutz of TG210 and achieved a surprise attack with the workforce of Supermarines receiving little warning of the raid. The factory sites weren’t damaged but the bombs straddled the railway embankment and crucially the air raid shelters just as the workers were arriving. A shelter was hit (24 killed, 75 injured) but the works were only slightly damaged, and the effect on production would be small. Some damage to railway lines and private property, and numerous small fires were caused. Total casualties in the two raids - 33 dead, 69 seriously injured and 120 slightly. The uninjured workers had to dig out people who had been buried as a result of the bombing and administer first aid as best they could. Female ambulance drivers then ferried the injured to the Royal South Hants Hospital showing great courage as they had to drive through the second raid later in the afternoon. Martin Lutz was awarded the Knight’s Cross for this raid but his luck ran out three days later when he was shot down during a raid on the Bristol Aeroplane Factory.
The following German Luftwaffe units lost the following aircraft. Erprobungs Gruppe 210, Messerschmitt Bf 110D/0 (3384). Shot down by anti-aircraft fire during sortie over the English coast and crashed in the sea off Southampton Water. Lt von der Horst and Obergefr. Ollers both missing. Aircraft S9+HH lost. II/ZG76, Messerschmitt Bf 110C-4 (2159). Returned to base damaged by AA fire during sortie over Southampton. Lt Calame wounded. Aircraft 10% damaged. Messerschmitt Bf 110C-2 (2638). Damaged by AA fire during sortie over Southampton and returned to base with one NCO wounded. Aircraft 10% damaged. III/ZG76, Messerschmitt Bf 110C-4 (3534). Crashed in the Channel off Southampton due to flak damage. Uffz. Hedwig and Uffz. Mirow both missing. Aircraft 2N+DN lost. Messerschmitt Bf 110C-4 (3251). Hit by AA fire during sortie over the Channel off Southampton and crashed in sea. Both NCOs rescued from sea unhurt by Seenotdienst. Aircraft lost.