Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 17G 42-39894 crashed Brahesholm 20/2 1944.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 388 Bomb Group, 561 Bomb Squadron and was coded -G.
T/O Knettishall. OP: Rostock.


When flying over the island of Fyn (Funen) the aircraft which was named “Barbara” was attacked by German fighters and disintegrated in the air. It is believed that the B 17 was claimed by Oberfeldwebel Lorenz of 3./JG 11 who was granted the claim of a B 17 in Pl.Q. PU 9 at 12:12.
 



                       (Via Finn Buch)

 


                 (Via Finn Buch)



The wreckage fell to the ground near the crossroad Assens-Aarup-Kaslund-Brahesholm. Only Rear Gunner S/Sgt Andrea Alcarese saved his life by parachute and landed in a field belonging to Parish Executive Officer Mads Peter Andresen, Uglebjerg. Smallholder Niels Christian Rasmussen saw Alcarese decent and ran over to the spot where he had landed. He found Alcarese lying in the snow-clad frozen field and helped him to his feet. Trader Valdemar Werkmeister Hansen came too and together they freed Alcarese of his parachute harness and brought him to the nearby house of Labourer Edvard Christiansen where they after having undressed him partly saw that he was wounded. An ambulance arrived and took him to Assens hospital where he was operated and had a 20 millimetre bullet removed from his left leg. The next day he was transferred to the German Field hospital I Fredericia.
After a while he was sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel for interrogation and later on to Stalag Luft III Sagan.
 

Rear Gunner S/Sgt Andrea Alcarese

 


   (Via Finn Buch)


   (Via Finn Buch)

Alcarese POW Id Card


Right Waist Gunner S/Sgt Grant Tucker, Bombardier 2nd Lt Clarence H.W. Swanson, Ball Turret Gunner S/Sgt Joseph Pappalardo, Left Waist Gunner Sgt James C. Ellis and Co Pilot 2nd Lt Carl E. Cole were found dead among the wreckage. They were identified by markings on their clothes as there were found no ID tags. They were buried by the Wehrmacht in Assens cemetery at dawn on 24/2 1944
 


                 (Via Finn Buch)

Left Waist Gunner Sgt James C. Ellis
 


               (Via Finn Buch)

T/Sgt Marco J. Zumbolo.

 


   (Via Finn Buch)

Zumbolo to the left.

 


   (Finn Buch)

Ball Turret Gunner S/Sgt Joseph Pappalardo.


The remains of Radio Operator T/Sgt John B. White was identified by the Ameircan detachment in Denmark after the war while they were not able to identify the remains of Pilot 2nd Lt Jerry B. Payne, Flt.Engr. T/Sgt Marco J. Zumbolo and Navigator 2nd Lt James J. Kelley. 
The remains were disinterred April-May 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military.
When reexamining the remains there was found evidence which also identified the last three crew members.
Today they all rest in USA, Payne, Kelly and Zumbolo in a joint grave.

 

 

A memorial was erected at the crashside.

 


 (Via Finn Buch)

 


 (Via Finn Buch)

 


 (Via Finn Buch)

 


 (Via Finn Buch)

 


 (Via Finn Buch)

 


 (Via Finn Buch)

 



Sources: FB, LBUK, AS 31-112, RL 19/458, TW, MACR, KA.
 

 

 

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