Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling IV LK151 lost without trace 26/11 1944

The aircraft belonged to 138 Squadron RAF and was coded NF-E
T/O Tempsford approx 20:21 OP: Tablejam 69

The Stirling took off on a mission to drop supplies to the Danish resistance at drop zone Tablejam 69 with the Danish name Rosalie on the island of Fyn.
The position of the drop zone was 551747N 100600E and was found 13 km ENE of Assens and 2 km N of Glamsbjerg.

The Stirling arrived over the drop zone at 23:25 hours and dropped its load on first pass. The reception committee from Odense received 18 containers and one package containing a Eureka.
After this nothing was heard from the Stirling.

The German War Diary reports:
Kriegstagesbuch Des Kommandant im Abschnitt Südjülland for the night of 26 / 27 November 1944.
22:41 to 00:35: Flakalarm bef. V. Ugruko.
Ca 6 feindliche Flugzeuge von W und O kommend, durchflogen mit verschiedenen kursen den Flakbereich mit flughöhen von 100,200 und 400 m.  2 Flugzeuge wurden von dem leichten Flakzeug Blaavand 6./204 mit 38 Schuss 2 cm beschossen. Erfolge wurden nicht beobachtet. Bei den Flugzeugen handelte es sich 4 mot. Störflugzeuge.

The Stirling could well be one of the aircrafts reported to have been shot at by light flak from Blaavand.
If so, it most probably crashed into the North Sea.

The crew of the Stirling were: Pilot Flight Lieutenant Reginald Ronald Witham DFC 425800 RAAF from Australia, Flight Engineer Sergeant Reginald Hughes Berrett 1890825 RAF from United Kingdom, Navigator Flying Officer Thomas Patrick McHale J.24741 RCAF from Canada, Air Bomber Flying Officer Geoffrey Herbert Brandon Slinn RAAF 423263 from Australia, Wireless Operator Pilot Officer Charles Ellemann 186688 RAF from United Kingdom, Air Gunner Flight Sergeant Arthur Henry Bedggood 1853408 RAF from United Kingdom and Air Gunner Flight Sergeant Kenneth Naylor 1622999 RAF from United Kingdom.

The crew is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in the United Kingdom.

 


  (Source: Toronto Star 2/1 1945)

Navigator Flying Officer Thomas Patrick McHale J.24741 RCAF from Canada

 


Air Bomber Flying Officer Geoffrey Herbert Brandon Slinn RAAF 423263 from Australia

 

Dorothy (Peggy) Slinn.

Dorothy (Peggy) Slinn.
Dorothy (Peggy) Ada Farmer was born on 22. December 1915 at Woollahra, East Sydney in Australia. On 22. December 1938 Peggy married Banker Geoffrey Slinn. They lived in Epping.
When war broke out Geoffrey Slin enlisted and became a Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force while Peggy enlisted in the Australian Army medical Women’s Service.
Peggy was notified that Geoffrey was missing as per 27. November 1944 and this was confirmed by War Office on 22. December 1944.
It was the belief of Peggy as of a number of other people that the Stirling had crashed into the southern entrance of Lillebælt between Assens and the island of Als.

 

Dorothy (Peggy) Slinn.

 

Peggy remarried in 1962 but never forgot Geoffrey.
Peggy died on ANZAC Day 25. April 2009.
It had been Peggys wish that her ashes should be committed to the sea in the area of the Lillebælt where she believed that her husband Geoffrey had died.

I was contacted by a friend of Peggy, Historian Mr. John Reid of Bacup, Lancashire and readily agreed to assist.

The ceremony was arranged with the first class support of the Danish Home Guard (Navy) and on the evening of July 13. 2009 Peggys ashes were committed to the waters of Lillebælt.

The author, wife Aase and friends of Peggy, Lisa Kraul and Alice Green found the naval ship MHV 817 waiting for us in Assens harbor at 19:00.


The flag was lowered when the urn war brought onboard while the sun was shining and water was calm. We were taken to the ships mess for a short briefing on safety and a cup of coffee. The ship left the harbor and arrived at the chosen spot in Lillebælt after about half an hour.

 

The ship slowed down and I committed Peggy’s ashes to the sea.

 

A pair of gold flyers wings Peggy had been given by Geoffrey followed her.

 

The Skipper of the ship, Henriette, read The Lord’s Prayer and four bouquets was dropped in the sea. After a few commemorative words had been said by Alice, the ships flag was once again hoisted. We circled the place where the ashes and the flowers had been dropped a few times and then set course for Assens.

 

 


Upon arrival we thanked the crew for their support and left for home.
At a hilltop we stopped the car, opened a bottle of champagne and while we watched the sun go down we shared a toast while Alice and Lisa remembered Peggy.

 

Sources: AIR 27/956, AIR 27/956, BCL, Stirling group, HS8/146, AIR 20/8278, Original reports on drops on Fyn, AIR 20/8314, AIR 20/8363, Paul Niemczyk.

 

 

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