Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling I R9320 crashed in the Baltic off Rødby on 18/5 1942.


The Stirling belonged to RAF 149 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded OJ-S.
T/o Lakenheath OP : Gardening Daffodils (Southern entrance to The Sound).


When approaching the target area, R9320 was hit by flak from Wache Rødby, Kappel and S-Hafen Rødby, and crashed at 01:57 hours into the Baltic Sea to the south of Lolland. Two crew members died in the crash, namely Flt. Engr. Sgt Gordon J.V.Lock and Air Gnr. James M. Wootton, none of whom have a known grave. They are both commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

The remaining crew, consisting of Pilot F/S G.H.R.Woodhouse, 2 Pilot Sgt G.D.Anderson, Observer Sgt R.J.Nason, W/Op Sgt R.H.Waite and Air Gnr. Sgt G.Grant managed to enter the Stirlings dinghy, and were in the morning observed by the Danish fishing boat N.9. after having fired signal flares.

The fishing boat with the dinghy in tow was observed from Rødby at 08:00 hours, and Mine expert Sea Lieutenant Thorkild Munch-Nielsen sailed out and took the airman onboard his motor launch.
Two of them were lightly wounded and one severely. The severely wounded were cleaned up, and first aid was administrated.
When the motor launch at 08:55 reached Rødby, the Wehrmacht appeared and threatened to use their weapons and took the airmen into custody. The severely wounded airman was attended to by Doctor Dinesen, Rødby, before he, under German guard, was transferred to the hospital in Nakskov.

The rest of the crew were transferred to the German airfield at Avnø.
Later the same day, the wounded flyer also was taken there.
From Avnø they were sent to Stalag Luft in Oberursel for interrogation and then passed onto the pow camps. Woodhouse, Mason, Waite and Grant were sent to Stalag Luft III in Sagan, then on to Stalag Luft VI in Heydekrug to end up in 357 Thorn / Fallingbostel.
The reason why Anderson did not follow the rest and was sent to Stalag Luft I in Barth could well be that he was the wounded crewmember, and as such was sent to Oberursel after the rest had left. After staying in Stalag Luft I he was sent to Stalag Luft VI and on to 357 Thorn / Fallingbostel.



Sources: LBUK, AS 21-34, T 501, CWGC, BCL.
 

 

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