On 7th May 1941, a Luftwaffe Junkers Ju88 aircraft taking part in a large raid on Clydeside, was shot down by a Boulton Paul Defiant nightfighter of 141 Squadron operating from RAF Prestwick. The bomber crashed on Blairskaith Muir between Balmore and Lennoxtown with two of the four man crew being killed and subsequently buried in Lennoxtown's Campsie cemetery, The grave of one - Hauptmann Gerd Hansmann (observer) - can still be seen there, but his compatriot - Oberleutnant Werner Coenen (pilot) - was exhumed after the war and reburied in the German Military Cemetery at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. The other two crewmen were taken prisoner and spent the remainder of the war in Canada, although one was hanged in 1946 for a murder committed in the PoW camp.
Hauptmann Gerd Hansmann and his wife Gisela.
Al Fleming and Linda McIntosh, local historians and researchers, have unearthed and chronicled the events of that night. In this talk, they will unveil a story of tragedy, murder, and the chilling spectre of mass execution. Yet, amidst the shadows of war, their account illuminates a family's remarkable journey of discovery that traverses continents, leading to an unlikely alliance with Germany and an inspiring, unexpected and heart-warming friendship nearly sixty years later.
The meeting will be held in the Park Centre, 45 Kerr Street, Kirkintilloch, G66 1LF at 7.30 pm. The annual membership subscription is £10 and visitors are welcome at all of the Society's evening events without charge as a 'taster'.