Rudolf Walter Richard Hess: a fuselage section from the Messerschmitt  that Hess piloted to Scotland, 10 May 1941
Lot 51
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess: a fuselage section from the Messerschmitt that Hess piloted to Scotland, 10 May 1941
Sold for US$ 8,125 inc. premium

World War II

5 Jun 2014, 10:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess: a fuselage section from the Messerschmitt  that Hess piloted to Scotland, 10 May 1941
Rudolf Walter Richard Hess: a fuselage section from the Messerschmitt that Hess piloted to Scotland, 10 May 1941
A substantial section from the fuselage, with attached riveted manufacturer's assembly tag, of the Messerschnmitt Bf 110D Werk Nr 3869 that came down on Bonnytons Farm, Carluke, Scotland; a typed letter signed from the original owner of the section (dated 21 March 1974) to "Dear Tony" giving the history of the events surrounding the crash and Hess.
Section: 17 ½ x 23 in (44 ½ x 58.5 cm)

Rudolf Hess (1894-1987) was a prominent politician in Nazi Germany. Appointed Deputy Fuhrer in 1933, he served in this position until 1941, when he flew solo to Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the United Kingdom during World War II. He was taken prisoner and eventually was convicted of crimes against peace, serving a life sentence.

Hess's flight made on 10 May 1941 did not end well: the plane was going to run out of fuel so he parachuted out, landing at Floors Farm, but injuring his foot in the process he was captured immediately. The plane crashed in an adjoining field. In the accompanying letter Stanley Boyd takes up the story "As an 18 year old, I worked for a Mr Baird of Floors Farm, Eaglesham, just down the road. I was an apprentice and our foreman was a chap called Dave Mclean ... I got a call from Dave one late mor[n]ing in May of 1941 telling me a German pilot had landed on the farm[.] He had captured the fellow and handed him to the local C[or]p[ora]l of the signals unit next door. The pilot had a broken ankle so was taken to Maryhill Barracks Military Hospital for treatment ... His fighter plane had crashed in the next field which was Bonnytons Farm and Dave had gone over on his cycle and hidden a few souvenirs in the bushes! The army signal unit and Home Guard and police were on their way so he had to be quick. The whole wreckage was taken away by the Army Maintenance unit from Carluke and nothing was left. Dave went back later in the tractor and retrieved the items of which he gave me the section you are having for your collection. When we all found out later that the pilot was the German deputy leader under Hitler we really couldn't believe it!"

Several other pieces of the plane are still extant, including two engines, one of which is at the R.A.F. Museum in London. The other engine and a large piece of the fuselage are in the Imperial War Museum in London, which bears on another manufacturer's assembly tag the same "3869" as this example.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    - Stanley Boyd (sold to)
    - Former assistant secretary of the Battle of Britain Association
    - The War Museum
Activities
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