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LOOKING BACK: Memories of the Dornier bomber that crashed on Portland
MORE memories of the Dornier bomber that crashed on Portland have been recounted by Iris Smith. Iris was nine or 10 at the time of the incident and lived in Cove Cottages, where her home overlooked a builder’s yard and the beach. On the day in question, she had gone out with her uncle and got as far as Mallams when ‘this flaming object went past’. “Was I scared?” she asked. “We had lots of instances of watching tracers go up into the sky and it was just a part of life. “But what made me scared was that I saw all the smoke and flames and thought it was my mother who had been hit. “I ran screaming down the road but luckily our house was untouched and I found my mother and sister were sitting by the stairs and the front door was open. There had been no bombs or oblivion, but I have never forgotten the terror of running down the road thinking all my family had gone.” We have also been sent this photograph of a swastika cut off the tailfin of bomber Ju88 shot down over Portland on March 23, 1942. The plane was shot down at 8pm by the 290th battery, Troop A of the LAARA. Four German aircrew killed on that day were buried in Portland naval cemetery. Their names were Horst Becker, Richard Gurklies, Helmut Kording and Joseph Rother. Three of the men died in the crash, the fourth was found nearby next day. The swastika is on display at the Richard I Bong Heritage Centre in Superior, Wisconsin.