Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling I W7618 shot down in the North Sea west of Esbjerg on 19/8 1942.


The Stirling belonged to RAF 218 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded HA-V.
T/O 21:07 Downham Market. OP: Flensburg.


W7618 was attacked by a German night fighter and severely damaged. It is believed that the night fighter was piloted by Leutnant Krause from 5/NJG 3 who was credited with the destruction of a Stirling to the west of Esbjerg at 00:48 hours while flying Bf 110D-3 with his Bordfunker Unteroffizier Heinz Wilting.

Two crewmembers from Stirling W7618 were killed during the attack, and two more lost their lives when they did not manage to get clear of the aircraft after it had been ditched. Flt. Engr. Sgt Perceval G.H. Strudwick today rests in Hamburg, Navigator P/O James R. F. Soutar RCAF rests in Kiel, while W/Op John A. Macpherson RNZAF and Air Gnr. Sgt Ernest N. Galloway have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Pilot P/O Irom Granger McDaniel, Air Bomber Sgt Carly Arthur Powell RNZAF and Air Gnr. Sgt William N. Wilkinson, one of whom was wounded by a shot in the leg, managed to enter the Stirlings dinghy.

On August 22 at 15:30 hours the dinghy was observed from the Danish fishing boat E 28 “Dania” of Esbjerg on a position 21 miles to the north west of Gasbøjen (the entrance to Esbjerg harbour).

The airmen were waving eagerly to Skipper Marinus Christensen who picked them up and took them to Esbjerg. When ”Dania” reached the German Vorpostboot in the shipping route by Skallingen, three German marine soldiers entered “Dania” and kept guard until the ship had entered the harbour of Esbjerg. When ”Dania” at 19:50 hours docked in the fishing harbour, it was met by Oberfeldwebel Sigge from the German Küstenüberwachungsstelle and a guard of marines. They took the airmen to the Küstenüberwachungsstelle, from where they are believed to have been handed over to the Luftwaffe at Esbjerg airfield.

From there they were sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel. McDaniel was sent to Stalag Luft III Sagan while Powell and Wilkinson went to Stalag VIIIB/344 Lamsdorf.
 
It should be noted that P/O McDaniel originated from Arkansas in the USA.

On its way back to its base at Schleswig the Bf 110D-3 werkno. 3687 crashed a couple of kilometres north of Tønder a little after 01:00 hours while attempting a emergency landing killing Krause and Wilting.

 




Sources: Nonnenmacher file, UA, AS 64-396, BCL, CWGC, T501, RL 19/454, OLCB, JJ.

 

 

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