Lieutenant Karl Heinz Thurz
Luftwaffe Weather Reconnaissance Pilot
Heinz Thurz (left)
Heinz Thurz's wartime career came to an end in 1941 when he was shot down but managed to crash land on Fair Isle, a small island of the North of Scotland. During the Battle of Britain and shortly afterwards he was one of the pilots who provided weather reports for Germany. This involved flying out over the North Sea and into the Atlantic usually via the far North of Scotland. These flights were known as Weather Willy to the British and data sent back was intercepted unwittingly providing free weather forecast. Heinkel 111 and Dornier 17Z aircraft were initially used, later Ju88 an 188's.Several of these were also incepted and shot down right up until the end of the war.
Thurz belonged to Wettererkundungs Staffel 1 O.b.d. (the long-range weather reconnaissance unit of the Luftwaffe High Command). He was responsible for the beautiful design of his units badge which depicted the south lighthouse on Fair Isle which was used by the Germans as a main navigation point.
After the war Heinz found employment as an industrial photographer writing several books which are still in print. Latterly he lived in Koln, Germany. Sadly, Heinz Thurz died in 2006.He is survived by his son and wife Lotte.
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