Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling III BF461 crashed near Kallerup on 4/11 1943.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 75 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded AA-B.
T/o 16:01 Mepal. Op: Gardening i Silverthorn (Kattegat)


On its way to the target area BF461 was attacked by a German night fighter from 12./NJG 3 controlled by the radar station “Lama”.
During the exchange of fire the Tail gunner Sgt Reggie Ingray managed to hit the JU 88C-6 D5+AX and wounding the pilot Leutnant Karl Rechberger in the thigh. Rechberger landed the JU 88C-6 werkno. 750500 back at Fliegerhorst Grove with 35% damage.

A fire had started in the rear of the Stirling and it soon became evident that the controls had been damaged and Pilot P/O “Bill” G.K. Williams ordered the crew to bail out.

They did so successfully except for Wop/ Air Gnr. P/O William James Champion who`s parachute did not deploy properly. On the next day his dead body was found on the ground underneath it. He was laid to rest in Frederikshavn cemetery on 13/11 1943.

The Stirling crashed on a hill at Kallerup where it burned out.
 
Five flyers survived to become prisoners of war.
 
Pilot P/O “Bill” Gordon K. Williams landed at Todbølmark and made contact to Danes who gave him civilian clothes. He then started walking in a southerly direction following the railroad track. While walking, he heard Stirling BK778 explode in the air. Near Hørdum he entered a farm to catch some sleep. The owner however called the Danish police who picked Williams up and handed him over to the Wehrmacht. He was sent to Germany and the POW camp Stalag Luft I Barth.

Bomb Aimer Sgt. F. McGregor RNZAF landed safely and headed south. When he was resting on the edge of a wood he saw and heard Stirling BK778 explode. After having walked for some hours he laid down to sleep in a wood. In the morning he approached a farm where the farmer and his wife and some children were moving around outside. The farmer told him to hide in the wood for the day and come back when the dark fell. McGregor did so and after being welcomed he was given food. At about 20:00 hours McGregor wanted to leave and were given food to take along. Heading south he came to a small railway station where he had to hide for the German guard. About an hour before dawn he came to a large farmhouse surrounded partly by a large barn and outbuildings. He entered the barn and lay down to sleep in the hay. After having slept for a couple of hours he woke up feeling frozen and very tired. A little later he heard someone with a dog at the other end of the barn and identified himself to the man. He was invited into the house and was given food. After having eaten he was shown to another room to sleep. When he woke again after five hours he was again given food. McGregor were given food to take along and then continued his journey thru the night.
When dawn broke he found a barn to sleep in and climbed up on top of the hay. When he woke up he heard a dog growl and a little later a workman came in the barn and found McGregor. The owner of the place was fetched and asked McGregor into the house. McGregor was given coffee and bread while the owner called for a friend who spoke English. He soon arrived with two more men and they started questioning McGregor. After a while they made a phone call and informed McGregor that he would be picked up by the Germans. Soon after a Luftwaffe officer and a private arrived and took McGregor with them to Thisted where he was put in a prison cell.
He was sent to Dulag Luft in Oberursel for interrogation.
From Dulag Luft he was sent to Stalag IVB Mühlberg a.d.Elbe and later to Stalag IVG Oschatz. On Monday 23/4 the Germans left the camp

One flyer landed near Vester Vandet and slept in a barn. In the morning the police informed the Wehrmacht of his whereabouts and he was picked up.
One flyer was arrested at a farm in Kallerup just after the landing.
It is not known where the third flyer was arrested.
They were Flt. Engr. Sgt. H. Moffatt, Air Gnr. F/O. J. Black and Air Gnr. Sgt. R. Ingray.
Moffatt and Ingray were sent to Stalag IVB Mühlberg a.d.Elbe while Black was sent to Stalag Luft I Barth and later to Stalag Luft III Sagan.

The Navigator F/Sgt Walter F. Morice had more luck. He entered the “Bundgaard” farm at Gjærsbøl but those living there were afraid to help him and called the Parish Executive Officer who in turn called the Danish police. Since it was believed that the flyer was wounded the police asked “Falck” to send an ambulance for him and bring him to Thisted hospital. He arrived at 15:00 on 5/11. When the Wehrmacht arrived at 16:30 to collect him he had disappeared. He walked out of Thisted and followed the road to the north east.
On Saturday 6/11 at 10:00 he was stopped by a Danish farmer who had noticed that Morice was looking pretty bad. He took him to his house and gave him food and let him sleep. An English speaking Dane showed up and gave Morice a map, and old coat and showed him the way to Aalborg. Morice then started walking and in the evening he entered a farm near Vust where he was given food and a bed to sleep in. Sunday he started early and by evening he stopped by a farm at Birkelse where he was welcomed with open arms and they said that they would try to get him in contact with the underground movement. The next day was spent in the house resting and on the next morning he was moved to the vicarage at Biersted where Reverend Rud. Münster took care of him. He was then driven to Frederikshavn by Priest K. Hanghøj and arrangement for the trip to Sweden was made. After a few days Morice was shipped out of Sæby and by the island of Hveen transferred to another boat and sailed to Sweden.

 


                      (Claus Madsen)

 

 

Sources: OLCB, BCL, Mourice, McGregor, LBUK, AS 53-432+433, Thisted Dagblad newspaper, JJ, CWGC, BF, RCB.
 

 

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