djl2701, on 24 April 2012 - 08:22 AM, said:
Just wondering if anyone has any more info (more than on the net) about L32's raid on this night.
Welcome to the Forum,
Here is an account which includes L32's raid on Swanley :-
" On July 28–29 the first 'Super Zeppelin', the 650 ft M-class L.31, appeared in English skies. Powered by six engines and capable of operating at 13000 ft (3,962.4 m), (with another 5000 ft (1,524 m) to its maximum ceiling), while carrying up to four tonnes of bombs. Part of a ten-Zeppelin raid that achieved very little, four returned home early and the rest wandered over a fog-shrouded landscape before giving up. Adverse weather dispersed the next raid on July 30–31 and again on August 2–3. On August 8–9 two M-class Zeppelins were part of a nine craft raid that did much damage to Hull.
The sixth successful London raid was on August 24–25, thirteen Navy Zeppelins were launched and Heinrich Mathy's L.31 reached London, flying above low cloud, thirty-six bombs were dropped in ten minutes on West Ferry Road, Deptford Dry Dock, the station at Norway Street and homes in Greenwich, Eltham and Plumstead.
9 people were killed, 40 injured and £130,000 of damage was caused. L.31 suffered no damage in the attack but several weeks of repair-work was needed following a rough landing.
The biggest raid so far was launched on September 2–3, twelve Navy craft and four rigid airships from the Army took part. A combination of rain and snowstorms scattered the craft while they were still over the North Sea. None of the Naval craft reached London. Only the Army's LZ.98 and the newly commissioned Schütte-Lanz.
Schütte-Lanz is the name of a series of rigid airships designed and built by the Luftschiffbau Schütte-Lanz company from 1909 until the last LS22 was delivered in 1917.
SL.11 achieved their objective. SL.11 came in over Foulness with the intention of looping around and attacking the capital from the north-west. The craft dropped a few bombs over London Colney and South Mimms.
At about 01:50 it was picked up by a searchlight over Hornsey and subjected to an intense but ineffective barrage. Sl.11 was lost in cloud over Wood Green but rediscovered by the searchlights at Waltham Abbey.
At around 02:15 one of the three aircraft in the sky that night finally came into range – a BE2c piloted by Lt. William Leefe Robinson flying from Suttons Farm. Robinson fired three drums of ammunition from his Lewis gun, one on each of three passes. After emptying the third drum the airship began burning from the stern and was quickly enveloped in flames. It fell to the ground near Cuffley. There were no survivors.
Four Naval Zeppelins which had regrouped over Hertfordshire saw the fate of SL.11 and quietly slipped away.
For the first rigid airship downed on British soil and the first 'night fighter' victory Leefe Robinson received the Victoria Cross. The pieces of SL.11 were gathered up and sold by the Red Cross to raise money for wounded soldiers.
The loss of SL.11 ended the Army's interest in raids on Britain. The Navy remained aggressive and a twelve Zeppelin raid was launched on September 23–24, eight older craft bombing targets in the Midlands and four M-class Zeppelins (L.30, L.31, L.32, and L.33) attacking London. L.30 did not even cross the coast, dropping its bombs at sea.
L.31 approached London from the south, dropped a few bombs on Kenley and Mitcham, and was picked up by a number of searchlights. Forty-one devices were then dropped in rapid succession over Streatham, killing 7 and wounding 27. More bombs were dropped on Brixton before crossing the river and dropping ten bombs on Leyton, killing another 8 people and injuring 30. L.31 then headed home.
Also coming in from the south was L.32, running late due to engine problems, it dropped a few bombs on Sevenoaks, and Swanley before crossing Purfleet at about 01:00. The Zeppelin then came under anti-aircraft fire as it dropped bombs on Aveley and South Ockendon.
Shortly thereafter, at 01:10, a BE2c piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Sowrey engaged L.32. He fired three drums of incendiaries and succeeded in starting a blaze which quickly covered the entire craft. The Zeppelin crashed to earth at Snail's Hall Farm, Great Burstead.
The entire crew was killed, with some, including the commander Oberleutnant-zur-See Werner Peterson, chosing to jump rather than burn.
The crew of L.32 were buried at Cannock Chase, and consisted of :-
Werner PETERSON Oberleutnant Zur See
Adolf BLEY Obersignalmaat
Albin BOCKSCH Obermaschinistmaat
Karl BORTSCHELLER Funkentelegrafieobermaat
Wilhelm BROCKHAUS Oberheizer
Karl BRODRUCK Leutnant Zur See
Paul DORFMULLER Maschinistenmaat
Richard FANKHANEL Obermaschinistenmaat
Georg HAGEDORN Obermaschinistenmaat
Friedrich HEIDER Oberbootsmannsmaat
Robert KLISCH Funkentelegrafieobergast
Herman MAEGDLFRAU Obermaschinistenmaat
Bernhard MOHR Obersegelmachersgast
August MULLER Matrose
Friedrich PASCHE Bootsmannsmaat
Karl PAUST Obermaschinistenmaat
Ewald PICARD Obersignalmaat
Walter PRUSS Maschinistenmaat
Paul SCHIERING Obermatrose
Bernhard SCHREIBMULLER Steuermann
Karl VOLKER Obermaschinistenmaat
Alfred ZOPEL Oberbootsmannsmaat