Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Lancaster ED709 crashed Ringkøbing Fjord 21/4 1943.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 100 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded HW-S.
T/o 21:59 Grimsby. Op: Stettin.


On the return flight from Stettin ED709 approached Ringkøbing from the east and was hit by flak from II Zug 3/742 based in Ringkøbing.
The Lancaster continued its flight towards Holmlands Klit from where it turned back towards Ringkøbing. At 03:28 hours it crashed in the Ringkøbing Fjord approx. 1000 metres from the harbour.
 
A fire started which made it impossible to get near the crash site. When the fire extinguished a search for survivors started, and after an hour the body of a flyer that the Wehrmacht identified as Navigator F/Lt. Bernhard F. Myers RAAF was found. He was laid to rest in Lemvig cemetery on 24/4-1943.
 
On 22/5 a flyer was found in Ringkøbing Fjord near the boundary of Velling and Stauning parish. He was laid to rest in grave 705 in Lemvig cemetery on 28/5-1943 without being identified.

The body of Air Bomber P/O Cyril E. Wellard was found in the Fjord near Velling church on 31/5 and was laid to rest in Lemvig cemetery on 4/6-1943.

On 21/6 the body of an unidentified flyer was found in the Fjord near Klovmosehus in Velling parish. He was laid to rest in grave 710 in Lemvig cemetery on 26/6-1943.

The body of the pilot Wing Cdr. James G. W. Swain M.i.D. was found in the Fjord near Velling on 22/9 and was laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg on 27/9-1943.

In the 1998 the remains of rear gunner Sgt Reginald A. Whellams was found and he was laid to rest in Lemvig cemetery on 18/9-1998.

A team of Danes known as “The Denmark team” had for years been collecting evidence to be able to convince ”The Commenwealth War Graves Commision” of the identity of the two unknown flyers.
 
On the day of Whellams burial the headstones over the two unknown flyers were changed to “Believed to be” Flt. Engr. Sgt. Thomas Carter in grave 705 and W/Op-Air Gnr. Sgt. Roland S. Sidwell in grave 710.

 


       (John Carter)

Flt. Engr. Sgt. Thomas Carter


 
The mid upper gunner F/Sgt Marcel A.B. Watkins RAAF have no known grave and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

 


           (Via Bob Wilton)

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


Sources: LBUK, RL 19/455+456, CWGC,NES, BCL, Report Ringkøbing and Lemvig police, BE, BL.

 

The night of 20/21 April 1943

Halifax II JB930 crash landed near Esbjerg 20/4-1943

Lancaster III ED620 crashed near Stadil 20/4-1943

Lancaster III ED614 crashed Vester Vedsted 21/4-1943

Unknown Lancaster crashed Strandgården farm, Halskov 21/4-1943

Stirling III BK714 crashed Tarp, Esbjerg 21/4-1943

Stirling III BF508 crashed in Fænøsund on 21/4 1943

Halifax II DT747 crashed Hjertingvej road in Sædding, Esbjerg 21/4-1943

Lancaster III ED557 believed crashed Store Bælt 21/4-1943

Stirling I R9261 crashed by Kongsmark on 21/41943

Halifax II HR722 crashed Store Bælt off Drøsselbjerg Klint 21/4-1943

Halifax II HR712 crashed Store Bælt near Slipshavn 21/4-1943

Stirling III BF463 crashed in Store Bælt off Halskov on 21/4 1943

Lancaster III ED818 crashed Vresen Ø 21/4-1943

Stirling III BF506 shot down by Bøgballe on 21/4 1943

Lancaster I W4330 crashed Vestbirk 21/4-1943

Halifax II HR714 crashed in the tidal area off the island of Mandø 21/4 1943.

Stirling III BK698 shot down over The North Sea on 21/4 1943

Stirling III BF476 crash-landed at Kragelund Fælled North of Vejle on 21/4 1943

Lancaster ED709 crashed Ringkøbing Fjord 21/4 1943

 


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