Whatever Happened to Matthias Massmann?

Today, I came across this interesting photo of a Messerschmitt Bf 109E4B that was said to have been downed during the Battle of Britain sometime around September 1940. Being an aviation nut, as well as generally insatiably curious, I wondered what happened to the pilot and how the plane ended up in that particular hanger. Thus began a deep dive into the bowels of the internet that, truth be told, I probably spent too much time on.

But, I was rewarded with some information on this particular aircraft and her pilot.

Crash Report
Crash Report from the British Air Ministry dated 12 SEP 1940

This particular Messerschmitt Bf 109 was flown by a 28-year-old by the name of Matthias Massmann.

I found this bit of information on a German website, and it is presented here, translated into English:

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4/B 7.JG3 (W6+I) Matthias Massmann WNr 6316 salvaged wreck at RAF Farnborough shot down 9th Sep 1940 Battle of Britain 1940. British war records report yellow rudder and prop and fitted with dive and horizontal bomb gear for 4 bombs report states crashed at Rosemary Farm, Kildown 9 Mile east of Turnbridge Wells and yet another report Uffz Matthias Massmann’s White 6+I, W.Nr. 6316, originally down at Cooper’s Field, Flimwell, near Hawkhurst, Kent, on Sept. 9, 1940


More On The Aircraft, Translated From German, Written During the War Years

While in flight, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a formidable adversary, but its ground handling was notoriously challenging. Contrastingly, the Allies designed their aircraft to be manageable for even a beginner pilot, enabling them to quickly deploy new recruits into combat. This strategy was pivotal during the Battle of Britain and contributed significantly to the Allies’ victory. As the Luftwaffe incurred increasing pilot losses, the accident rate surged, depleting both material and human resources.