Bristol Beaufighter VI nightfighter V8738 WM-L of No 68 Squadron shooting down a Luftwaffe Dornier bomber over the North Sea in the early hours of 14 June 1943. Beaufighter pilot F/O DB "Bernie" Wills and his navigator, F/O GA "Peter" Ledeboer, who were at the time seconded to 604 Squadron at RAF Scorton, were vectored onto an approaching German bombing raid by the Goldsborough Chain Home Low radar station at Scarborough in North Yorkshire.
After spotting the enemy aircraft they closed from behind at a height of about 3,000ft. Wills gave it a two-second burst from his four 20mm Hispano cannons, firing 118 rounds, and saw "a large explosion" from the front of the fuselage. In their combat report, they said "bits flew off in all directions" and the enemy aircraft fell away to starboard in a mass of flames. It crashed into the sea a few miles east of Flamborough Head.
At the time there was some uncertainty as to the type of aircraft they had brought down, but post-war research indicates it was a Do217E-4 of 5./KG-2 Werk Nr - 4376, coded U5+BN, flown by Feldwebel Friedrich Sünnemann. It was part of a raid that comprised 37 Do 217s of KG-2 and 33 Ju 88s from KG-6, and had taken off from Soesterberg in The Netherlands for operations against Grimsby. Sünnemann and his three crew – Uffz Heinz Orchel, Observer; Fw Gerhard Duwe, wireless operator and Uffz Heinz Oesterle, gunner – were all killed.
My picture was commissioned by F/O Wills's son.