Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Wellington III X3840 crash landed near Rejsby on 9/5-1942.


The aircraft belonged to RCAF (RAF) 419 sqn. and was coded VR-J.
T/O 22:15 Mildenhall. OP: Warnemünde.


After an uneventful trip across the North Sea Wellington X3840 was attacked by a German nightfighter piloted by Oberfeldwebel Paul Gildner of II./NJG 2 over Southern Jylland. Air Observer P/O Cornelius J. Porter was killed by a bullet thru the head and Co Pilot Sgt Clayton L. MacCallum was wounded in his head and both legs.


                                                         (Peter Lund)

Clayton L. MacCallum

Rear Gunner F/Sgt Donald K.G. MacMillan was wounded in the legs. It was decided to return to England, but after a short while it was clear that it would not be possible because they lost fuel much to fast, and at 02:20 Pilot F/Sgt James D. Giddens belly landed the aircraft just to the north of Rejsby. Front Gunner Sgt George K.W. Robinson and Wop F/Sgt Benedict J. McKinley help to bring the wounded and the body of Porter out of the aircraft, after which Giddens set it on fire with the signal pistol.
Local people arrived and when the crew told them that two of them were wounded an ambulance was called for.


   (Peter Lund)

McKinley


Before it arrived a truck carrying fish came by, the crew entered it and was taken to the hospital in Ribe where the wounded was treated and Giddens. McKinley and Robinson were given breakfast.
At 04:00 the Danish police arrived and at 06:00 the German Wehrmacht arrived to collect those who were not wounded. They were taken to Barbara-Lager in Ribe and later sent to Germany.
Apart from MacMillan they were all sent to Stalag Luft III Sagan where Giddens stayed for the rest of the war.
The three other was later sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug and further on to Stalag Luft IV Gross Tychow, that is except for McKinley who was sent to 357 Thorn / Fallingbostel.
MacMillan was sent to Stalag IXC Mühlhausen and later to 357 Thorn / Fallingbostel.

They all returned to Canada after the war.

The dead body of Porter was at first taken to Ribe and later to Esbjerg where he was laid to rest in Fourfelt cemetery on 12/5 1942.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above pictures showing the wreckage after the fire.

 

 

Sources: BE, CWGC, LBUK, RL 19/472, Peter Lund Skærbæk, UA, AS 65-65+69, OLCB.

 

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