The Story of Richard Riedel

On 17 November 1940, Gefreiter Richard Riedel was flying Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 Werke Nr. 4898 on a raid to London. The aircraft was from 2 Staffel /Jagdgeschwader 3 "Udet" and coded Black 8+.

During fighter action south-east of London, Riedel dived onto a formation of Spitfires but failed to pull out of the dive for reasons unknown. Some information indicates he may have lost control of the aircraft while trying to evade British fighters. The aircraft crashed at 15.30 hours at Melon Farm, Ivychurch, Kent. In the official report of the crash (A.I.1.(g) No.28 Report 3/164), the map reference given was R.4747. It was noted that the airframe was manufactured by Arado  FW in 1940 and was number 1528. As a result of the crash, which formed a crater, the aircraft was almost entirely buried in mud and water. Riedel did not escape the machine prior to it hitting the ground and was killed instantly.

Gefreiter Richard Riedel

Melon Farm, Ivychurch, Kent.

The site was excavated in 1974 and Riedel's remains were recovered and identified. He was subsequently laid to rest at the German Military Cemetery, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire during 1975.  The grave reference is Block 8  Grave 163.

Riedel's burial in 1975

Riedel's headstone. This shows his date of birth as being 20 May 1919 which means he was 21 when he lost his life.

This is the fuel primer from Riedel's Messerschmitt

Another view of the fuel primer which was located on the right cockpit wall of the aircraft.

Aircrew Rememberance Society website.

Does anyone have a copy of Tim Heath article on page 64 - 65 Issue 42 Nov-Dec 2000 Armourer magazine please?

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