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19 Jun 1940

United Kingdom
  • Oberleutnant Joachim von Arnim, of German Luftwaffe Kampfeschwader 4, was reported to have been the first member of the German armed forces to have been captured by British Local Defence Volunteers, forerunners of the Home Guard. His Heinkel III bomber tasked to attack railway goods yards near Cambridge, England, United Kingdom, but was shot down at Fulbourne (five miles from Cambridge) by a Spitfire fighter from No. 19 Squadron and Squadron Leader O'Brien in a Blenheim bomber of No. 23 Squadron. Both of the British aircraft involved were also shot down by return fire; from the Blenheim, O'Brien survived, but his navigator and his gunner were both killed. Parachuting into a potato field, Arnim and two other members of the four-man crew were arrested by LDV member Ron Barnes, a farm labourer, and handed over to a nearby searchlight post from where they were escorted under guard to barracks in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. These Germans were the first airmen to be captured by the LDV. ww2dbase [Fulbourne, England | AC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943