Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Lancaster I W4786 crashed near Gejlbjerg 17/12-1942.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 103 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded PM-V.
T/O 17:35 Elsham Wolds. OP: Gardening Broccoli. (Store Bælt off Nyborg)


Upon crossing the west coast of Jylland at 1300 metres altitude on its way to the target W4786 was attacked by a German night fighter piloted by Gruppenkommandore Major Günther Radusch from Stab. II./NJG 3 operating with Bordfunker Feldwebel Erich Arndt and Bordward Unteroffizier Alfons Hundschell.
 


                                                         (Peter Lund)

Canterbury, Frater, Hewitt, Smith, MacDonald, Hollingsworth and Collins


 
Radusch was guided to the target by 13 Kpm Ln Rgt 212 which was the radar “Robbe” based on the island of Rømø. At 19:54 hours the Lancaster crashed on the farm of Hans Møller in Gejlbjerg. One of the onboard mines exploded when the aircraft hit the ground and the aircraft was totally wrecked and several buildings in the neighbourhood was damaged. The whole crew perished. The corpse of Wop/Air Gnr. Sgt Gerald T. Canterbury was found 200 metres away from the crash site, having been thrown there by the explosion. A German recovery group excavated over the next days a number of human parts.

It were the remains of Pilot P/O Harry B. Smith, Flt. Engr. Sgt Frederick R. Collins, Wop-Air Gnr. Sgt Norman Frater, Wop-Air Gnr. W/O Jack A. Hollinsworth and Navigator F/o Samuel T. Hewitt.

Together with Canterbury they were laid to rest in Abenrå cemetery on 22/12-1942 at 08:00 hours in the morning.

 



On 5/1-1943 the body of Air Gnr. W/O Angus D. MacDonald was found in the crater. He was laid to rest in Åbenrå on 16/1-1943 at 08:00 hours in the morning.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sources: AS, CWGC, LBUK, BÅ, BCL, Peter Lund, Skærbæk.

 

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