Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 17G 42-39974 landed Værløse Air Base 9/4 1944.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 452 Bomb Group, 731 Bomb Squadron and was coded 7D-P and was named “Punch Board”.
T/O Deopham Green. OP: Posen.


After having bombed the Focke-Wulf factory at Poznan the B 17`s was attacked by Ju 88`s over the Baltic Sea. The Ju 88`s lobbed rockets into the formation and 42-39974 was hit in number two engine and lost fuel.

Pilot 1st Lt Ernest L. Racener left the formation and headed north with the intention of trying to reach Sweden before they ran out of fuel. To lighten the aircraft the crew threw ammunition and guns out while over the sea. When they reached land and saw red flags with a white cross (The Danish flag) they believed it to be Sweden and looked for a place to land. They found a nice green field and only when preparing to land did they notice the German aircrafts parked there. Racener pulled “Punch Board” up but at the same time the gunners reported a ME 210 behind them and it was quickly decided to land at what turned out to be Fliegerhorst Værløse west of København (Copenhagen).The time was 16:01 when the entire crew was made POW`s.

 


 


                        (Ernst Kopfer)

“Punch Board” at Værløse



The “ME 210” which was actually a JU 88 had followed the B 17 for a while and the pilot Hauptman Walter Barte of Stab III./NJG 3 were awarded the claim.
 
Together with Racener, Co-Pilot 2nd Lt Clyde C. Freeman Jr, Navigator 2nd Lt Arthur F. Wagner, Bombardier 2nd Lt Harry H. Dukes Jr., Top Turret Gunner T/Sgt Robert O. Carlson, Right Waist Gunner S/Sgt Herbert M. Rosenberg, Radio Operator T/Sgt Charles S. Garrett, Left Waist Gunner S/Sgt Robert C. Hazelton, Ball Turret Gunner S/Sgt Vernice R. Wilson and Tail Gunner S/Sgt Charles E. Cook were made POW`s and were sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel for interrogation.

After interrogation the officers were sent to Stalag Luft I Barth while it is not known to the author where the enlisted men were sent.

 


                                          (Frida Jarner nee Olsen)

“Punch Board” at Værløse

 

Sources: Letter from Barte, MACR, FT.

 

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