Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Hampden I AD803 crashed in the sea south of Samsø 16/5-1942.


The aircraft belonged to RCAF (RAF) 408 sqn Bomber Command and was coded EQ-L.
T/O 22:35 Balderton. OP: Gardening Pumkin (Samsø Belt)


Together with 49 more aircrafts AD803 were gardening (mining) the western part of the Baltic Sea and the Danish Belts. AD803 was tasked with gardening Pumkin which was the area east and south of the island of Samsø.
When this was done, AD803 headed west together with one more Hampden.
South west of Samsø the German mine sweeper 190J was spotted and attacked with 250 pounds bombs, of which each aircraft carried two under the wings.
One of the bombs hit the mine sweeper on the front deck but bounced off without exploding.
Flak from the mine sweeper hit AD803 and at approx. 02:00 it crashed burning into the sea. It floated for a while, and this allowed Pilot Sgt H.J. Copeman to get out of the wreck.
Copeman who was badly injured was picked up from the sea by the mine sweeper and taken to Aarhus. From Aarhus he was sent to Germany to Reservelazarett Obermassfeld and later to Kloster Haina Lazarett.
After a while he was sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug near the town that is now known as Kaliningrad. In September 1944 he was repatriated back to England onboard the ship “Gripsholm” due to his wounds. In October 1944 he returned to Canada on board “Lady Nielson”.




                     (Frank Millerd)

 Wop/Air Gnr. Sgt William Francis Millerd

 


                      (Frank Millerd)

 Wop/Air Gnr. Sgt William Francis Millerd

 

The dead body of Wop/Air Gnr. Sgt William Francis Millerd drifted ashore near Odder and was laid to rest in Aarhus Vestre Cemetery on 15/9-1942. The German field Priest officiated at the graveside ceremony which was held with full military honours. The German Commandant Major Kruse, two more officers and a military band participated as well as the Danish Chief Constable of Aarhus, a Danish officer, a sergeant and a private soldier. After a short ceremony in the chapel with the coffin covered by the British flag it was taken to the grave where three volleys was fired by a German guard of honour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Wop/Air Gnr. Sgt Norman William Smith RAF was found in the sea off Koldby Kaas on 24/2-1943 and laid to rest in Tranebjerg cemetery on 25/2-1943. The Rev. N. E. Mikkelsen officiatet at the graveside ceremony. Also attending was a German Luftwaffe Offizier.

 


                     (Mikkel Plannthin)

 


                      (Mikkel Plannthin)

 


                       (Mikkel Plannthin)

 

Observer F/S Albert Alexander Smith have no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 106 on the Runnymede Memorial.

 



Sources: UA, FAF, CWGC, OLCB, LBUK, AIR 27/1796, E. Buck, Samsø, T501.

 

 

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