Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 17F 42-5838 crash landed on Asnæs on 4/1 1944.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 384 Bomb Group, 547 Bomb Squadron and was coded SO-P.
T/O approx. 06:00 Grafton-Underwood. OP: Kiel.


On the bomb run on Kiel at 28.000 feet “ Mad Money II” was hit by flak in number two engine at 11:30 hours. It was not possibly to feather the propeller and it started wind milling. At the same time the supercharger on number four engine stopped functioning and having overshot the target it was decided to drop the live bombs which fell in the Kiel Bay. Only flying on two engines “Mad Money II” was not able to keep up with the formation and had to drop out. Next “Mad Money II” was attacked by a pair of ME 210 of which Top Turret Gunner T/Sgt John S. Honeycutt claimed one. The B 17 was now over the Baltic Sea and Pilot 1st Lt William Kaczaraba asked the crew if they wanted to try to reach England, which would be nearly impossibly or Sweden. The vote was cast for Sweden and the B 17 headed to the North towards Denmark.
Soon after they were attacked by a pair of JU 88 but after an exchange of fire they turn away. When “Mad Money II” reached Store Bælt it was noticed that two JU 88`s followed them at a distance and at the same time flak started firing and the B 17 was hit in number three engine which was destroyed. They were now down to 3500 feet heading eastwards to get out of reach of the flak. Flying on one engine it was not possible to keep height and Kaczaraba and Second Pilot 2nd Lt Myron C. Morgan fought to keep control over the aircraft when they spotted land.
 
At 12:32 “Mad Money II” landed wheels up on Asnæs 5 kilometres west of Kalundborg on the island of Sjælland (Sealand). Quickly they scrambled out of the aircraft. When realizing that Morgan is still inside the Flt. Engr. T/Sgt Honeycutt entered the aircraft again and got him out.
After that Honeycutt opened the fuel valves and set the aircraft on fire.

Seeing a farmer nearby they asked him if he had a boat they could use to get to Sweden, but have no luck. Instead they decide to hide in the woods until dark and then try to escape.

However after an hour a truck with German soldiers arrived and soon spotted the flyers that at 14:15 hours who apart from the above mentioned were Navigator 2nd Lt Marvin L. Horsky, Bombardier 2nd Lt Theodore M Wirth, Radio operator T/Sgt Wilbur A. Peifer, Ball Turret Gunner S/Sgt Solomon Craden, Tail Gunner S/Sgt George G. Polley Jr., Right Waist Gunner S/Sgt Harry A. Gilrane and Left Waist Gunner S/Sgt Peter F. Parker had to give themselves up.
Soon after a couple of German officers arrived in a command car and the flyers were walked to the nearby farm where the farmers wife gave them food. The officers were put in the command car and the sergeants in the truck and taken to an army camp.
 
In the evening the flyers were taken to the local jail and locked up for the night.
On 5/1 they were sent by ship from København (Copenhagen) to Trawemünde and then to Dulag Luft at Oberursel.
 
One of the JU 88 following “Mad Money II” was D5+FX piloted by Leutnant Hermann Stock of 12./NJG 3 with the crew of Oberleutnant Kaisig and Unteroffizier Heinz Philipp. They were credited with shooting down the B 17.



Sources: MACR, “Ko over Kiel” by Honeycutt, LBUK, AS 9/172, RL 19/458, Letter from Stock, Plilipp log book.
 

 

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