Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Lancaster III ND420 crashed at Brande 10/4 1944.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 103 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded PM-G.
T/o 21:18 Elsham Wolds. OP: Gardening Danzig Bay.


After having gardened Danzig Bay ND420 returned towards England and while crossing the Jylland peninsula at 6200 metres altitude it was attacked by a German night fighter piloted by Oberleutnant Günter Rogge of 2./NJG 3 and were severely damaged.


                                 (Via Poul Westergård Jensen)

The crashsite near the hospital

 

Pilot P/O James (Jim) A. Nimmo RAAF ordered the crew to bale out but only Rear gunner F/Sgt Keith F. Clohessy RAAF and Mid upper gunner F/Sgt John Smith RAAF managed to get out of the Lancaster before it at 03:49 hours exploded in the air.


                          (Via Poul Westergård Jensen)


 
A major part of the fuselage fell 150 metres from the hospital in Brande while the front end fell three kilometres away in fields belonging to Farmer Ivar Madsen, Dørslunde.

100 metres away from the front end was found the body Navigator P/O Arthur T. Thornton RAAF. The body of Flt. Engr. Sgt James M. Roberts was found 400 metres away in a field belonging to Farmer Jens Peter Larsen. In a field about one kilometre away, belonging to Farmer Lund Pedersen, Dørslund was found the body of Bombardier F/Sgt Jack Bernaldo. In a field belonging to Farmer Villiam Mikkelsen, Tykskov was found the body of Pilot P/O James A. Nimmo while the body of W/Op P/O Thomas W. Bradley was found in a field near Hygild. They were all laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg on 15/4 1944.


                                   (Via Ole Kraul)

Rear: Smith, Roberts, Bradley,
Front: Bernaldo, Thornton, Bennet (not on this trip) Clohessy



John Smith landed in a field belonging to Farmer Harry Svarre, Nørre Hygildgaard farm. The parachute got caught in some high trees 500 metres south of the farm. He released his harness and fell to the ground. He then started walking away from the landing place heading west. After having walked four or five kilometres he hid in some scrub and lay down to sleep. He was awoken by a German soldier who stabbed him in the stomach with a pistol. Smith was next taken to Brande and placed in the school which had been occupied by the Wehrmacht. In the bicycle shack he saw the bodies of his dead comrades. The next day he was sent by train to Dulag Luft in Oberursel for interrogation. After ten days he was sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug where he stayed for 4-5 month until he was moved to Stalag 357 Thorn where he stayed for 3 months before moving to Stalag 357 Fallingbostel near Hannover. He was liberated by English troops on his birthday 16/4 1945 but had to stay in the camp until May when he was flown to Holland. He arrived in England on 6/5 1945 and on 10/8-1945 he was back in Australia.
 
Keith Clohessy landed one or two kilometres west of the front end of the fuselage. He had lost one boot and his right knee was twice its normal size. He moved on and after a while rested in a small wood. Next day he got in touch with Danes but due to the languish problem they found it hard to communicate. A farmer however showed up with a pair of old boots and a long black overcoat which he gave to Clohessy. Dressed in this he started walking in the direction of Herning. In the evening he sought shelter in a small farm where he entered the loft of a combined chicken coup/washing house. In the morning he continued and after having walked past a railway station he was arrested by a Danish police constable. He was handed over to the Wehrmacht and taken to Brande where he meet Smith and followed him to Dulag Luft.


                                  (Via Ole Kraul)

 

After a week Clohessy was sent to Stalag Luft III Sagan. A couple of months before the end of the war he was moved to a camp 26 miles from the centre of Berlin. Here he was liberated by the Russians and eventually made it back to England.

 



ON 10/4 1999 a memorial stone was erected on the place where the main part of the fuselage fell.

 

 

 

 

 



 

Sources: Clohessy via Kraul, Paul Westergaard Jensen, LBUK, Police report Vejle, LW, TW.

 

On the night of 9/10 April 1944

Lancaster III JB725 crashed near Jellinge 9/4 1944

Lancaster III ND625 crashed Sejrø Bay 10/4 1944

Lancaster III JB600 crashed near Torrild 10/4 1944

Lancaster III ND420 crashed at Brande 10/4 1944

Lancaster III JB734 crashed near Gunderup 10/4-1944

Lancaster BI ME663 crashed Aale 10/4 1944

Lancaster III ND675 crashed near Filskov 10/4 1944

Lancaster III JB709 crashed into the North Sea 10/4-1944

Lancaster I ME688 crashed into the North Sea 10/4-1944

 

 

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