Wellington II Z8410 crashed Neder Holluf 26/2-1942.
The aircraft belonged to RAF 12 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded PH-C.
T/O 23:30 Binbrook. OP: Kiel.
When passing over Esbjerg on its way to the target Z8410 was hit by flak from
2.lei.Flakabt.836 +Marine. It was hit in an engine and it soon became clear that
it could not reach the target. At 03:00 Binbrook received a radio message
stating that Z8410 would try to make it to Sweden. The aircraft was loosing
altitude and when it reached the Great Belt it was clear that they would not
reach Sweden, and the pilot Sqn./Ldr. Ralph B. Abraham turned back towards Fyn.
Shortly after the bombs was released, but they was still loosing altitude and
Abraham gave the order to leave the aircraft.
The first to leave was the co-pilot Sgt David Wardill RAAF followed by the
tail gunner Sgt Everett Littlefield RCAF. After landing west of Seden they hid
their parachutes and started walking. At 05:00 in the morning they arrived at
the farm “Gammeleje” in Seden and were allowed to sleep in the barn. Later on
they were given breakfast, and were then picked up by the Danish police and
handed over to the Wehrmacht.
The third to leave the aircraft was Air Bomber Sgt
Frank Payne who landed near the farm “Grønløkke” west of Åsum. He hid his
parachute and followed the road towards Åsum. In Sct.Jørgens Gade road he met a
police man at 07:30 and was taken to the police station. About one hour later he
was handed over to the Wehrmacht.
The fourth to leave the plane was Air Gnr. Sgt
George R. Duckham who landed near Blangstedgård farm and at 05:30 he met one of
the milkmaids and followed her to the farm where he was given breakfast. Soon
the Danish police arrived to arrest Duckham.
Still on the farm he was handed
over to the Wehrmacht together with Navigator P/O Eric N. Foinette who had
jumped just after Duckham. He had landed near the farm “Store Tornbjerg” where
he arrived 04:00 and was given breakfast. He was then picked up by the Danish
police and taken to “Blangstedgård”.
Abraham being arrested
The last to leave was Abraham who landed
after “Store Tornbjerg” towards Over Holluf. In a forest he made contact with
some workers who covered his tracks and gave him a bicycle. He continued towards
Åsum and after a while he found himself at” Rågelund Boys home”. At 09:00 he
entered the building, but since the manager spoke no English, Mrs. Salling who
lived in the neighbourhood was called for. Abraham wanted to go to Sweden, but
due to the search that was on, he was taken to Odense where the Danish police
Wellington Z8410 hit the ground at “Nytoftegård” farm near Over Holluf
shortly before four o` clock and was destroyed in the crash.
The Wehrmacht brought the crew to the Odense barracks where the officers
were separated from the sergeants. They stayed at the barracks until 2/3 when
they were sent by train to Dulag Luft at Oberursel.
Abraham and Foinette were
after a while sent to Oflag IX A/H Spangenberg near Kassel. After about three
month Abraham and Foinette was moved to Stalag Luft III Sagan in Schlesien where
they stayed until the January 1945 when they were sent on a march away from the
advancing Russian troops. On April 22 1945 they were liberated by the Russians
just to the south of Berlin together with Duckham.
Duckham was sent to Stalag VIIA Moosburg a.d.Isar. Then on to Stalag 383
Hohenfels to end up in StalagLuft VII Bankau.
Wardill, Payne and Littlefield
were sent to Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf. Later Payne was sent to Stalag Luft III
Sagan and Stalag 357 Thorn/Fallingbostel while Littlefield was sent to Stalag
IVB Mühlberg a.d.Elbe. Wardill was sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug and Stalag
357 Thorn/Fallingbostel. He was liberated by English troops near Lüneburg to the
south of Hamburg.
Sources: Erik Jensen, Odense, OLCB, LBUK, UA, T-501, RL 19/453-472, AS 29-29.
Pictures via Erik Jensen
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