Halifax II JD156 ditched in the sea of Kattegat 16/9 1943.
The aircraft belonged to RAF 138 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded NF-W.
T/O 18:26 Temsford. OP: SOE Operation Flat 5 at dropping zone Obraz in Poland.
After having crossed the peninsula of Jylland on a outbound track Halifax JD156
at 350 metres altitude was hit by fire from a German JU 88 night fighter piloted
by Oberleutnant Hindelmeir of II/NJG3 with the crew of Unteroffizier Gärtner and
Obergefreiter Scholz and controlled by the radar station Adler based at Hemstok.
The port inner engine of the Halifax caught fire as did the belly fuel tank.
Pilot F/S Lloyd A. Trotter RAAF feathered the engine and activated the fire
extinguisher and tried to climb to give the crew a chance to bail out.
The Halifax would not climb and at 22:22 hours Trotter had to ditch the burning
Halifax in the sea off Norsminde on position 56`02`8N 10`21`5E.
Trotter, Flt. Engr. Sgt Sam Francis, F/S George T. Jones and Mug F/S Don “Shorty” R. Quinlivan RAAF and one more crewmember all managed to get out and inflated their
Mae West. The last mentioned however drifted away from the others.
(Via Ole Kraul)
Francis, Snook, Johnston, Trotter, Williams
(not on this trip)
The fire had been observed from Norsminde and a fishing vessel owned and
captained by Fisher Sigfred Chr. Petersen and crewed by Peter P. Petersen,
Gunnar Gisselmann and Hage S. Alrøe set to sea. Just before reaching the burning
wreckage they saw a flashlight flashing SOS and found four flyers in the sea.
They were helped onboard and sailed to Norsminde where they were taken to the
“Norsminde gamle kro” inn and given a glass of Cognac.
George Jone was sat in a chair next to the stove which had rings on the top
to put pans on. The lady of the inn moved a pan to allow Jones to burn some
papers. The lady now started breaking eggs in a bowl then smearing the egg
whites on the airmen burns.
A doctor and the Danish police was called for and arrived soon after. Two of the
flyers suffered from burn and were treated by the doctor. The German Wehrmacht
arrived and the flyers were taken to the local hospital to have their burns
After a couple of weeks they were put on a train for Hamburg. Two of the flyers
were able to walk while Trotter and a comrade were carried on stretchers. They
arrived at Hamburg late in the evening and were taken by their guards to a hut
near the station. After a while they returned to the station and continued the
journey to Frankfurt where they were taken to a hospital just outside the city
probably Reserve Lazarett Kuranstalt Hohemark a kilometre west of Dulag Luft at
After a few days Francis, Jones and Quinlivan were found fit to
be moved to Oberursel for interrogation while Trotter stayed until 5/10. After
about a week in Oberursel he was moved to Stalag IVB at Mühlberg a.d. Elbe where
he stayed until the camp was relieved by the Russian troops on 23/5 1945.
Quinlan, Jones and Francis were sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug after
interrogation. At a later stage Quinlan was sent to Stalag Luft IV Gross Tychow
while Jones and Francis were sent to Stalag 357 Thorn/Fallingbostel.
(Via Ole Kraul)
F/S G T. Jones
Those who died.
Rear gunner F/Sgt Graham “Snooty” Ernest Snook RAAF has no known grave and is
commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
The body of
Navigator F/O James Ried Bradley was found washed ashore at Særbæk on Helgenæs
on the morning of Saturday 2/10-1943. He was laid in a coffin and placed in the
Særbæk-huset. He was laid to rest in Randers cemetery.
(Via Finn Buch)
The original grave in Randers.
When a Memorial grove was created in Randers Northern
cemetery, the coffin of F/O James Ried Bradley was moved there.
The memorial grove where the new grave is located
The new grave in Randers
body of Wop Sgt Henry “Paddy” Johnston was retrieved from the sea off Norsminde
on 9/11 and was laid to rest in Frederikshavn cemetery on 13/11 1943.
Sources: CWGC, OLCB, LBUK, Report Malling police, Directorate of
Lighthouses, “Special duties Mission” by Trotter, Randers Amtsavis.
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