JU88 Fitted with explosive warhead- Piloted by ME109. This structure (part of Code named Mistel) hit the H.M.S. Nith (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Mansfield, RD, RNR) on 24th June 1944
Photo was given me by Fred Lee veteran of the Nith. The Nith at that time was achored in front of Arromanche
Mistel (German for "mistletoe"), also known as Beethoven-Gerät ("Beethoven Device") and Vati und Sohn ("Daddy and Son"), was a Luftwaffe composite aircraft introduced in the later stages of World War II.
Mistel was originally a bomber airframe, usually a Junkers Ju 88 variant, with the entire nose-located crew compartment replaced by a specially designed nose filled with a large load of explosives, with a fighter aircraft on top, joined to the bomber by struts.
The combination would be flown to its target by a pilot in the fighter; then the unmanned bomber was released to hit its target and explode, leaving the fighter free to return to base. The first such composite aircraft flew in July 1943 and was promising enough to begin a programme by Luftwaffe test unit KG 200, code-named "Beethoven".
Comment by Ian
You have a web page on your site which details how HMS Nith was involved in D-Day and how she was hit by the German weapon Mistel.
I note that the photographs on the site come from my father in law – Fred Lee.
As we prepare to return to Normandy for DDay70, Fred has found an old photo of HMS Nith which although taken in 1945, is pretty much the same ship layout as for DDay – namely a second mast added and the main 4” gun take away. Although not in great condition for such an old photo, I believe that this is a rare photo of the ship in its correct layout in June 1944.
I attach the photograph and would welcome its addition to your website. As we show Fred photos on the internet of the Nith, over recent years he has become somewhat disgruntled with the inaccuracy of the photographs available. He blames this on an old website run by a now dead shipmate who wanted to show the Nith as a fighting ship (4” gun in place) rather than the HQ ship for the British Army during the Normandy landings.
I can confirm that Fred is very much looking forward to being in Arromanches for DDay70, and he will be seen each morning proudly raising the NVA Standard in Arromanches at 08:30 during the week of 6th June.