Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Lancaster I W4277 crashed Søst forest near Aabenraa 8/1-1943.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 44 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded KM-S.
T/O 17:36 Waddington. OP: Gardening Daffodil (The Sound)


Outbound while over Jylland the Lancaster was attacked by a German night fighter from IV./NJG 3 piloted by Fw Bader with the crew of Uffz Winterhoff and Uffz Duurts. At 19:40 hours the Lancaster crashed burning in Søst forrest near Aabenraa.

 


                     (John Wright )

W4277 named Chris Columbus

From left: ?, Sgt Sydney Wright, Sgt A. Colonna, ?, F/Sgt Milton J. Paige, Sgt John Lightfoot, F/O A.G. Cameron

 

Inside and around the wreck was found a number of crewmembers who were laid to rest in four graves in Aabenraa cemetery on 16/1-1943: Navigator F/O Andrew G. Cameron, W/Op Sgt Adrian R. A. Colonna, Flt. Mech. Engines / Air Gnr. Sgt John H. Lightfoot, Air Bomber Sgt Sydney Wright, Flt. Engr. Sgt Jonathan Hutchinson and Air Gnr. Sgt Dennis B. Moog.
The War Graves Commision rearranged the graves after the war. Cameron now rests in his own grave while the others rest in a common grave.
The body of Pilot F/Sgt Milton J. Paige was on 10/3 found drifted ashore near Middelfart and he was laid to rest in Aabenraa cemetery on 16/3-1943.

 


                  (John Wright )

 


                   (John Wright )

 

On 22/8-1943 a cross was erected on the crash site by a 22 year old clerk named Christian Adolphsen and a friend. A plate on the cross read: Here died five airmen while fighting for the sake of the free people 8/1-1943.
The Germans was not particular pleased with this and Adolphsen was “awarded” ten days in prison by the Danish police thus making sure that he was not to be sentenced by a German field court.

 


                             (Landsarkivet for Sønderjylland)

 


                 (Kamma  Præst Ørsted, Esbjerg)

 


                          (Kamma  Præst Ørsted, Esbjerg)

At the crashsite

 

Text on the stone: Here died 5 British flyers fighting for the sake of free people on January 8. 1943.

 

The crash site as seen in 1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Sources: BCL, BA, CWGC, Forester E.B. Nielsen, RL 19/455, LBUK, AS 68-187+127.

 

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