Dornier 217. 'Kampfgeschwader 100', By: Jay Ashurst
Signed by: 'Bernhard Jope, Heinrich Schmetz'
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Availability date: 07/22/2014
Dornier 217. 'Kampfgeschwader 100', By: Jay Ashurst, Signed by: 'Bernhard Jope, Heinrich Schmetz
The Dornier Do 217 was a bomber used by the German Luftwaffe during World War II as a more powerful version of the Dornier Do 17, known as the Fliegender Bleistift (German: "flying pencil"). Designed in 1937 and 1938 as a heavy bomber but not meant to be capable of the longer-range missions envisioned for the larger Heinkel He 177, the Do 217's design was refined during 1939 and production began in late 1940. It entered service in early 1941 and by the beginning of 1942 was available in significant numbers.
Oberstleutnant Bernhard Jope (born 10 May 1914 in Leipzig; died 31 July 1995 in Königstein im Taunus) was a German World War II Luftwaffe bomber pilot. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes mit Eichenlaub). The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Jope flew the Focke-Wulf Fw 200 "Condor" on missions across the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean in support of the Kriegsmarine, damaging the RMS Empress of Britain in October 1940. He led Kampfgeschwader 100 (KG 100—100th Bomber Wing) in the attacks on the Italian battleship Roma, the British battleship HMS Warspite and cruiser HMS Uganda, and the US cruiser USS Savannah.
Heinrich Schmetz was a pioneer in the testing Hand employment of precision guided munitions in World War II. After beginning his lifetime in aviation piloting gliders at age 14, Schmetz entered the Luftwaffe in 1935 and after navigator training was sent to Kampfgeschwader (KG) 253, the "General Wever" bomber wing, where he flew the Junkers 52, Dornier 23 and Junkers 86. In late 1937, he entered the reserves and resumed studies for a degree in aeronautical engineering.
A few days before the blitzkrieg into Poland, he was recalled to active service in his old wing, now re-designed KG 4. In the spring of 1940, Schmetz was assigned to 7./KG 4 and often flew missions with the Staffelkapitan, Hajo Herrmann, first in the Heinkel 111 and later in the Junkers 88. He participated in the attack on France and the Low Countries and then in Operation Weserubung, the campaign into Denmark and Norway. During the Battle of Britain, Schmetz flew night missions against British industrial complexes and coastal shipping. When his bomber unit moved to Sicily, he saw action from Gibraltar to Greece. On a spectacular night attack on Piraeus harbor, Schmetz scored a direct hit on the British ammunition ship Clan Frazier.
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