Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling I N6071 crashed near Lyne on 18/5-1942.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 218 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded HA-G.
T/O 23:16 Marham. OP: Gardening the Danish waters.


While flying over Westerland N6071 was attacked by a German Bf 110 night fighter from 4./NJG 2 coded R4+BM piloted by Staffel Kapitän Oberleutnant Rudolf Schönert flying with Funker Feldwebel Hans Richter.
 


                                                       (Hans Richter)

Feldwebel Hans Richter

 

The night fighter operated from Westerland airfield on the island of Sylt.

The stricken Stirling followed the Danish coast to the north and crashed near Lyne at 00:57 after the seven man crew had left it by means of parachute.


                                 (Beredskabsstyrelsen Nordjylland)

 


                               (Beredskabsstyrelsen Nordjylland)

The remains of Stirling I N6071


On 02:28 Wop Sgt H. Layfield was arrested by the Danish police on the main road to the north of Starbæk mill. He then showed the police to a field east of the main road where 2. Pilot Sgt Raymond I. Hill RNZAF lay wounded. His right ankle was broken and his thigh was ripped open so he was taken by car to Varde County hospital. Later in the night Layfield was taken to the police station in Varde.

At 05:00 Air Gnr. Sgt William A. Lawrence was found in a field west of the main road with a broken ankle and several flesh wounds. He too was taken to the Varde County Hospital.

At 06:00 the police found the dead body of Navigator Eliot R. Barnfather underneath his parachute. Apparently it had not deployed properly and he had fallen to his dead. He was taken to the chapel at Varde County Hospital and later transferred to Fovrfeld cemetery in Esbjerg where he was laid to rest on 23/5-1942.

 


               (Denise and John Walker)

Eliot R. Barnfather, on the day of graduation from Navigation School, 22/6 1941

 


          (Denise and John Walker)

 Eliot R. Barnfather, Arthur Humphreys and `Mick', the dog

 

 


At 10:30 Air Gnr. Sgt George Toynbee-Clarke was located in Vostrup, 12 kilometres to the north of the crashsite. He was treated for bullet wounds in the head by Doctor Reinhold Nielson, Tarm and afterwards taken to the police station in Varde.



                                           (Steve Smith)

Pilot F/Lt Arthur G. E. Humphreys


Pilot F/Lt Arthur G. E. Humphreys DFC and Flt.Engr. Sgt John N.T. Taylor was found at 22:35 in the evening on a farm in Egknud and taken to the police station in Varde. They were all handed over to the German Wehrmacht to spend the rest of the war in prisoner of war camps.
It is not known where Humphreys were sent, but it is known that he was repatriated on 6/2-1945 onboard the ship “Arundel Castle”.
Taylor, Layfield and Toynbee-Clarke were sent to Stalag Luft III Sagan. Then on to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug and Layfield and Toynbee-Clarke further on to 357 Thorn/Fallingbostel while Taylor was sent to Stalag Luft IV Gross Tychow.
Hill and Lawrence were sent to Stalag 8B at Lamsdorf. Hill was then moved to 344 Lamsdorf while Lawrence moved on to Stalag 4C Wistritz bei Teplitz and Stalag 4B Mühlberg a.d.Elbe.
They all returned to England after the war.

 


                                   (Beredskabsstyrelsen Nordjylland)

A mine carried by Stirling I N6071

 


Sources: RL 19/454, LBUK, AS 63-60, BE, Police report, Flugbuch Hans Richter, UA.

 

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