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Artefact of the Month

Luftwaffe 500 Kg Bomb

At 0155 hours on 8 March 1943 a German Dornier Do 217 bomber (U5+EH) of 1/KG2 was shot down to the south of Horsham, Sussex by a Beaufighter night fighter of No 29  Squadron based at RAF West Malling. The bomber had departed from Gilze-Rijen, Holland on an operation to attack Southampton Docks.

The captain of the Dornier, Feldwebel Gunter Vestewig and his observer were able to bail out and survived; his radio operator and gunner were killed. The Beaufighter was flown by Squadron Leader G H Goodman with Flying Officer W F E Thomas acting as navigator/radar operator.

In 1989 two 500 Kg and five 50 Kg were recovered from the crash site at Reek Wood, Fernhurst, near Midhurst and made safe by an RAF bomb disposal team.

The larger bomb was purchased by the late Tony Prideaux and was donated by his widow, Jilly, to the Museum in 2013.

THE BOMB CAN BE SEEN DISPLAYED BY THE MUSEUM’S FRONT ENTRANCE

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