Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling I N3752 ”landed” by Rise near Aabenraa on 18/5 1942.


The plane belonged to RAF 149 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded OJ-O.
T/o 22:10 Lakenheath OP: Gardening Kiel Bay.


The clouds lay low over the target area and it was not possible to drop the four mines onboard. During the second run in to drop, N3752 was hit by flak, and it was decided to set course for the alternative target area to the northwest of Jylland. When N3752 reached the area of Rise it was flying much too low, and at 01:15 hours it “landed” on a field belonging to ”Risegård” farm.
 

 

 

 

During the landing Rear gunner Sgt Frank Hoyland was thrown clear of the plane. He only suffered minor brushes and ran after the plane to find his comrades again. Observer Sgt Allan M. A. Battle had been in the front turret during the landing and was badly hurt and unconscious while Flt. Engr Sgt Alexander Lauriston suffered from damage to face and chest.

A farmer living on a nearby farm called both the Danish police and the German Wehrmacht. A Danish policeman and several German soldiers arrived at the site and arrested the crew.
 

 


               (Jørn Junker)

 


            (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)

 


             (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)

 


             (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)

 


            (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)

 


           (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)

 


        (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)

 


Flt. Engr Sgt Alexander Lauriston and Observer Sgt Allan M.A. Battle were brought to Aabenraa hospital and treated for the wounds they had suffered during the landing.
 
The remaining crew members were taken to the local German camp in Aabenraa.
 
The crew members were Pilot F/Sgt James A. Jerman, Pilot Sgt Stanley H. Butcher, W/Op Sgt Alexander T. Lewis, W/Op-Air Gnr. Sgt John E. Sloane and Air Gnr. Sgt Frank Hoyland.
From Aabenraa they were sent to Oberursel and after interrogation on to Stalag Luft III Sagan. Later they were moved to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug and to Stalag 357 Thorn/Fallingbostel.

Lauriston and Battle stayed at the hospital for about a month, before they were transferred to a Lazarett in Slesvig, and from there to Dulag Luft at Oberursel.
 
Lauriston arrived on 8/7 and left for Stalag VIIIB/ 344 Lamsdorf on 20/7. In July 1943 he took the identity of Private Moffitt of The Border Regiment and was attached to a working party at Stromberg south of Troppau. Together with Private Woods of The New Zealand Expeditionary Forces he waited for an opportunity to escape.

This came in June 1944.

The corporal in charge of the working party and the Red Cross representative Private Brett of Royal West Kent Regiment organised for the bars of the windows of the Red Cross store room to be sawed through but left in place.
 
The night they left they made up their beds with dummies and hid in the Red Cross store room. They also made up a dummy bed representing Private Brett who helped them out and remained in the store room all night. The room was on the first floor and they were able to use the cross bars of the window below to reach ground level. There were a wire fence being put up around the camp but it was not completed and they got through and made for the open country.

They were soon out of the Protectorate and into Czechoslovakia where they wanted to join Marshall Tito`s forces. They walked during the night and hid during the day avoiding people and larger towns as much as possible. They carried food for three weeks and a map and two compasses. They bypassed Val Mezirici and Zlin and made 20-30 kilometres per night. On 11/6 they climbed onboard a coal train and rode as far as Durnkrut on the Austrian/Slovakian border. They got off the train and hid in a wood for the day. On the evening of 12/6 they made an early start and ran into a border patrol that captured them. Lauriston and Woods were returned to Lamsdorf.

On 22/2-45 the prisoners were sent on a march which lasted until 12/4-45 when they were liberated by American troops at Ditfurt near Halberstadt.

Lauriston sailed from Ostende and arrived in Tilbury, England on 28/4 1945.

 

Lauriston back in England

 

Sources: LBUK, RL 19/454, AS 68-83,T-501, Palle Sick, OLCB, WO208/3336 via Steve Smith.

 

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