Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Halifax II W1226 crashed near Sønderborg 19/8-1942.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 35 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded TL-J.
T/O 20:43 Graveley. OP: Flensburg.


On its way to the target W1226 was attacked by a night fighter from 5./ NJG 3 piloted by Feldwebel Herbert Altner. A fire started at the rear end of the fuselage and at 00:08 it crashed to the ground in a field belonging to “Ladegården” farm near Sønderborg.
 

 

The wreckage being inspected by Danish police

 


         (Peter Brokdorff)

 


         (Peter Brokdorff)

 


The crew managed to get out of the aircraft and landed in their parachutes. Pilot Sgt John Smith landed in the court of Jernbanegade no. 47 and damaged his right hand foot when landing. He was brought to the police station by a rather officious Dane of German origin whom had seen Smith descending in parachute. The police told the Dane to get out of there, and called for a Doctor to attend to Smiths foot. The doctor had Smith transferred to the hospital, where at 01:30 it was clear that the damage was not serious, and at 13:00 hours he was discharged after treatment and brought back to the police station.

Shortly after Smith had arrived at the hospital a German officer from the Luftwaffe airfield in Flensburg turned up to do a short interrogation. The officer the left, and when he returned later in the morning it was found the Smith had received quite a few flower s from Danes. The officer complained strongly about this and told the Danish police constable on guard to make sure that it was stopped.
 
At 07:00 hours Flt. Engr. Sgt William Basil Cooper was seen in the village of Dynt on Broagerland by a Danish police constable and brought to the police station in Sønderborg.
At 08:00 Air Gnr. Sgt Arthur John Owen Leo RAAF was brought to the police station. He had landed in Flensburg fjord and hade been in the water for approx. 4 hours before he had reached land at Gammelgab beach on Broagerland.

At 10:45 hours Air Observer Sgt Cyril Samwel Crutchley was brought in. He had landed 3-4 kilometres west of Sønderborg. After having slept in a cornfield he was trying to find a police station. He inquired at Lorenzen`s grocery store in Sundgade and Lorenzen followed him to the police station.

At 13:30 Smith, Cooper, Leo and Crutchley were picked up by a Luftwaffe commando from Flughafenbereicht Flensburg and taken to Flensburg airfield.

The below equipment was left by Crutchley on the farm Grønnekær where it was hidden underneath the floor. It was not found until 1993.


            (Christian Holger Flamand)

 


            (Christian Holger Flamand)

 


            (Christian Holger Flamand)

 


            (Christian Holger Flamand)

 

Humphreys and Brassey

At 22:00 Wop Sgt George A. Brassey knocked on the door at a holiday camp at Dynt beach. He had landed at Broagerland, had hidden his parachute and had then laid down to sleep until darkness. He was picked up by the police as was Air Gnr. Sgt Ralph G. Humphreys RNZAF who had showed up at Gammelgab. He too had slept all day. They spent the night at the police station and were on the next day at 19:00 hours picked up by Luftwaffe soldiers from Flensburg.
 

Humphreys and Brassey with Danish police


On Friday 28/8 at 11:00 Air Gnr. Sgt Ronald Francis Wall was arrested by Danish police at Markvejen road north east of Haderslev. In the morning he had been observed at Solbakken road when he had asked for food. And a police patrol had been sent out to find him. He was in a very poor state and was given food and a warm bath at the police station. He refused to tell where he had been, but it is for sure that on Wednesday 24/8 at 08:00 had asked for food in a house in Ullerup. He had then been shaking badly, probably due to being cold. He was given food and had his trousers repaired, and had then left the house in the direction of Vester Sottrup. He was handed over to the Wehrmacht and like his comrades ended up in prisoner of war camps.
 

All was sent to Dulag Luft in Oberursel near Framkfurt am Main.


John Walter Smith arrived in Dulag Luft on 20/8-42 and stayed until 30/8-42. He next moved to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf on 3/9-42 and stayed until 22/1-45. He then moved to Seesen where he arrived early April 45 and stayed until 6/4-45 when he escaped and walked about 30 miles to the American positions.

William Basil Cooper arrived in Dulag Luft on 20/8-42 and stayed until 28/8-42 when he was sent to Stalag 344 Lamsdorf. He arrived on 31/8-42 and stayed until 3/3-45 when he was sent to Stalag VIIB Memmingen. He arrived on 9/3-45 and stayed until 19/3-45 when he was sent to Stalag 383 Hohenfels where he arrived on 24/3-45 and stayed until liberated on 22/4-45.

Cyril Samuel Crutchley arrived in Dulag Luft on 21/8-42 and was transferred to Stalag VIIIB (344) Lamsdorf on 27/8-42. He arrived in Lamsdorf on 1/9-42 and stayed until 23/1-45 when he was sent to Stalag VIIIA Görlitz. He stayed there from 5/2-45 until 15/2-45 when he transferred to Stalag XIB Fallingbostel. He arrived in Fallingbostel on 26/3-45 and stayed until liberation on 21/4-45.

Ronald Francis Wall arrived in Dulag Luft on 31/8-42 and stayed until 11/9-42 when he was sent to Stalag 344(8B) Lamsdorf where he spent time from 11/9-42 until 3/3-45. He was then sent off to Stalag VIIB Memmingen where he stayed from 7/3-45 to 20/3-45. He was then sent to Stalag 383 Hohenfels where he arrived on 26/3-45 and stayed until liberation on 25/4-45.

George A. Brassey stayed in Dulag Luft from 22/8-42 to 28/8-42 when he was sent to Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf. He arrived on 31/8-42 and stayed until 21/2-45 when he was sent to Stalag 13C in Hammelburg. He arrived on 2/3-45 and stayed until 16/3-45 when he was sent to Stalag 383 Hohenfels. He arrived on 17/3-45 and stayed until liberation on 17/4-45.

Ralph G. Humphreys also spent time in Dulag luft. Afterwards he was sent to Stalag VIIIB Lambsdorf where he stayed from 27/8-42 to 12/1-44. 13/1-44 saw him in Stalag VIIA Görlits where he stayed until 8/5-45.

Arthur John Owen Leo was sent to Dulag Luft and on to Stalag VIIIB in Lambsdorf.
On 20/8-1944 Sgt Leo was killed by an air attack when being on a working party. He now rests in Crackow Rakowicki Cemetery in Poland.

 


   (Cyril Crutchley via Christian Holger Flamand)

 Stalag 8B (Lamsdorf 344) 1942.

 Cyril Samuel Crutchley is third from the left bottom row. Sergeant William Cooper is 4th from left top row.

 


 (Szymon Serwatka)

 


Sources: AS 69-81 / 70-116 / 66-137, LBUK, UA, BCL, OLCB, T501, RL 19/454.

 

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