Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling I W7524 crashed in the sea 5 km to the southeast of Esbjerg on 16/7 1942.


The Stirling belonged to RAF 15 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded LS-D.
T/o 18:40 Wyton OP : Lübeck.

At 21:15 hrs the Stirling was seen flying at 200 meters over the Skallingen heading for Femhøje and the 10,5 cm and 2 cm flak of 1./204 opened fire. The Stirling turned towards south and passed the harbour of Esbjerg. The 2 cm flak from 1.and 6./204 as well as 4 cm flak of 6./204 and II. Zuges 1.Lei Flakabteilung 836 and the 8.8 cm batterie Fanø now joined in as did maschine guns of the 4./204, Esbjerg Hafenschützflotille, varoius boots and the steamer "Heinrich Peters" and the Stirling was hit several times.

The Stirling started smoking and dived to about 5 meter over the water. The IV. Zuges 2.lei. Flakabt. 844 started firing and the Stirling dropped two bombs while trying to gain height. She now came under fire from 2 cm flak from 1./204 based at Halen on Fanø and fron 4 cm flak of I.Zuges 1.lei. Flakabt. 836. Fire broke out in one of the left left hand engines while the aircraft climbed away to the south.

At 21:31 hrs it left the flak area while the fire in the left hand engine and wing enlarged. The Stirling turned east and crashed at 21:31 hrs into the sea. A fire started and kept going for 2½ hrs.

RM 45 III/314

 

The Stirling was a total loss, and it must be considerate a miracle that two crewmembers survived the crash.

 

 

 


                                               (Via Rudolf Clausen)


On Fanø, the crash had been observed and four members of the lifeboat crew of Sonderho set out a flat-bottomed dinghy, since the life boat could not be used due to low tide. Due to the low tide they did not manage to get to the Stirling, and when the tide came back in they had to return to Fanø.
 


                                                       (Via Rudolf Clausen)


At eight o’clock the next morning Receiver of Wrecks Jens Johannes Jensen tried once more, and this time he managed to get across to the Stirling.
Here he found Air Gnr Sgt G.A. Donovan and Air Gnr Sgt L.C. Masfen both suffering from burns. He got them into the dinghy and rowed them to Esbjerg where they were taken over by the Wehrmacht.
They were treated for their burns at the German lazarett and later on shipped off for Dulag Luft and eventually POW camp Stalag VIIIB/344 Lamsdorf.
 


                                              (Harry Larsen)


Pilot F/S Robert L. Melville RAAF, Pilot Sgt Denis R. Barrett, Observer P/O Kenneth Arnott, W/Op-Air Gnr Henry J. I. Lockhart, Flt. Engr. Sgt Robinson Nicholls and W/Op-Air Gnr. Sgt John E.F. Waylan all perished and were laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg. All were buried on 21/7 except Melville who was buried on 25/7.

 


                                                 (Via Rudolf Clausen)

 


                                                  (Via Rudolf Clausen)

 


                                                (Via Rudolf Clausen)

 


                   (Via Rudolf Clausen)

 


                     (Olaf Timmermann)

 

 


           (Dennis Peschier)

 


                   (Dennis Peschier)

 


                   (Dennis Peschier)

 

 

German personnel from Esbjerg at the wreckage in July 1942.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sources: CWGC, LBUK, RL 19/472, RM 45 III/314 via CP, KT, BE, AS 64-372, Lifeboat journal of Sønderho, OLCB

 

 

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