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Wellington III X3633 crashed near Bevtoft 26/4-1942.
The aircraft belonged to RAF 115 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded KO-Y.
T/O 22:23 Marham. OP: Rostock.
On Sunday morning at 02:08 the Wellington was attacked and shot down by a
nightfighter from Stab II./ NJG 3. X3633 crashed on the crossroad Diagonalvejen
road and the main road Neder Jersdal- Tønder with the bomb load exploding
killing all on board.
The German Wehrmacht and the Danish police closed the area
off and not untill Thursday April 30 in the morning did a Bergungskommando from
Fliegerhorst Aalborg arrive to clear the place for the dead crew and the wreck.
The German Oberfeldwebel in charge declared that he had been instructed that the
the bodyparts should be dropped in the bomb crater and not given a proper buriel,
or as he said : “Die Grösseren Stücke mit Sand bestreuen oder auf der Stelle
einbutteln und die kleinen Stücken holen die Krähen in drei Tagen”.
teacher Frederik Tychsen complained about this and managed to get permission to
collect and bury the remains of the crew. Tychsen brought in a ships chest and
laid the body parts in it. At noon it was filled and one more box and a bag was
filled during the afternoon.
Tychsen then called for the help of Ivar Gemmer, Nis Sandhol and Peter Riis
and at sundown a grave was dug in P. Riss`s plantation. The chest, the box and
the bag was placed in the grave and Tychsen performed the graveside ceremony.
the next day the Bergungskommando left in the afternoon and the local people was
allowed to enter the crashsite. A lot of bones was found and placed in a bag
which was placed in the grave on the same day.
On 2/5 30 men from CBU in
Haderslev under command of Captain Neergaard arrived to search the place for
remaining bombs and ammunition.
The body of the pilot Sgt Irvine John Rollingson
was then found deep in the crater and the Danish police was called for. A coffin
was brought in and the body placed in it and brought to the Luftwaffe post of
Laadenhøj, to be buried in Bevtoft cemetery.
On 5/5 a truck carrying 8 or 10
German soldiers under command of Obergefreiter Seem arrived at Riis`s plantation
and emptied the grave and placed the body parts in a white coffin. This coffin
and the coffin from Laadenhøj were then taken to Aabenraa cemetery where the
British flyers were finally laid to rest at 06:30 on 6/5 1942.
The Marine priest Graumann from Flensburg officiated at the graveside ceremony. Also attending
were the German Ortskommandant with his staff, Reverent Bauch, Mayor Fink and
Hr. Heidenreich of Aabenraa as well as the Chief police constable of Toftlund
and several other members of the Danish Police.
Apart from Rollingson the crew consisted of Pilot Sgt Alfred Thomas Fone,
Observer Sgt Alexander Duncan Saint, Wop/Air Gnr. Sgt William Gardiner Smith,
Wop / Air Gnr. Sgt James Small Grieve and Air Gnr. Sgt Albert Edward Simmans.
Memorial on site.
Sources: BCL, CWGC, LBUK, BA, AS 66-128, RL 19/454, T501, TW.
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