Helmut Wick shot down over Poole Bay BW version
Major Helmut Wick, the most famous Luftwaffe fighter 'ace' at the start of WWII, jettisons the cockpit canopy on his Messerschmitt Bf109-E4 and prepares to bail out over Poole Bay off the Isle of Wight on the south coast of England, in the late afternoon of 28 November 1940, after being shot down by an RAF Spitfire. Despite a huge search by German air and naval units, he was never seen again.
His downfall came during an aerial melée as Jagdgeschwader 2, of which he was the Kommodore, was making its second attack of the day and coming up against defenders from 609 and 152 Squadrons. It is commonly reported that Wick had been hit by the RAF ace John Dundas of 609, who had been heard to call over the radio, "I've finished a 109 – whoopee!", before he was himself shot down, by Wick's wingman, and also lost without trace. However there is a good case to be made for saying that the attacking Spitfire was that of Polish pilot, Sgt Zygmunt Klein, from 152 Squadron – and it was he that was then killed by another member of the schwarm, Wick's old friend Rudolf Pflanz.