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B 24H 41-29479 crashed near Poulsker 29/4 1944.
The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 448 Bomb Group, 715 Bomb Squadron.
T/o Seething. Op: Berlin.
Three engines were shot out by flak and the nose turret as well as the top
turret and the tail plane was badly damaged by flak. The plane was loosing
height by 600 feet pr. minut and it was decided to leave the aircraft as soon as
they were over the island of Bornholm.
Bombardier 2nd Lt Laurin M. Derosier, Top turret gunner T/Sgt Harry J. Ambrosini,
Right waist gunner S/Sgt William L. Hutchins, Left waist gunner S/Sgt Harold W.
Nininger, Nose turret gunner S/Sgt Stanley E. Jones and Tail gunner Sgt Albert
L. Heikkila bailed out through the waist escape hatch at 3000 feet.
When they had left, Radio operator T/Sgt Russell D. Leonard, Navigator 2nd Lt
Robert L. Bobst, Co-Pilot F/O Thonas J. Verran and Pilot 2nd Lt Orland T. Howard
bailed out through the bomb bay.
At 14:22 hours the Liberator crashed in a field belonging to “Jomfrugaard” farm
near Povlsker on the island of Bornholm.
(Neksø Museum via Niels Christian Pihl)
All landed safely except Top turret gunner T/Sgt Harry J. Ambrosini whose
parachute failed to open. His body was taken to Pedersker and laid to rest in a
white coffin in the cemetery on 2/5 1944.
Parish minister Levy Blang officiated at the graveside ceremony and a German
guard of honour saluted the dead flyer while the Danes living in the parish were
not allowed to enter the cemetery during the ceremony.
As soon as the Germans had left, the villagers covered the grave with flowers.
Ambrosini rests in Pedersker cemetery to this day.
(Via Ib Lødsen)
Doctor Helge Schmidt Nielsen of Pedersker had seen the plane go down and drove
in the general direction. He found S/Sgt Nininger laying unconscious a few
hundred metres from the wreck. He freed Ninninger of his parachute and carried
him to a nearby house. He then called for an ambulance to have the wounded flyer
taken to the hospital in Rønne. On its way to Rønne hospital the ambulance was
stopped by the Wehrmacht and diverded to the German lazarett at Galløken.
Next Doctor Nielsen was called to “Myregaard” farm to treat two flyers. He found
S/Sgt Jones lying in a bed with concussions of the brain. He was sent by
ambulance to the hospital in Rønne, but also this ambulance was stopped by the
Germans and diverted to the German Lazarett at Galløkken.
The other flyer was S/Sgt Hutchins who after treatment was given civilian
clothes and a packet of sandwiches and told to follow the Øleaa creek in a
northerly direction towards Bølshavn.
F/O Verran had landed in a tree near the farm “Boesgaard” and had hurt his loin
and seat Doctor Nielsen was asked to go and treat him. After having found
nothing broken Verran was given a packet of sandwiches and advised by farmer
Peder Kofoed to follow the Øleaa creek towards the small harbour of Bølshavn. On
1/5 he arrived at Bølshavn having severe pains in his stomack and asked some
local people to call the Wehrmacht. The German coast guard in Svanike was called
and in the evening he was taken to the German headquater at Galløkken in Rønne.
The POW`s were sent by a German naval vessel to the Reserve Hospital in
København. On 8/5 they were discharged and sent to Dulag Luft in Oberursel for
After about a week Jones was sent to Stalag Luft IV Gross Tychow while it is not
clear where Verran and Nininger were sent to.
(Via Niels Christian Pihl)
Rear: Bobst, Verran, Howard, De Rosier,
Front: Jones, Ambrosini, Heikkila, Leonard, Hutchins, Nininger
Sgt Heikkila was found hiding in some scrub by Farmer Peder Kofoed and he too
was advised to follow the Øleaa creek in a northerly direction.
In the evening Doctor Nielsen was asked to come to the house of Carpenter
Andreas Rasmussen who had found T/Sgt Leonard at Pedersker Sømark and had taken
him to his house. Doctor Nielsen examined him and found him in a good condition.
Leonard stayed in the house during the night. When dawn came Leonard was hidden
in a nearby wood and brought food by Mrs. Rasmussen. In the evening Rasmussen
drove Leanard all the way to Bølshavn in his truck. En route he picked up one
2nd lt Bobst landed in a manure pile at the farm “Maden” and was stuck but was
freed by a farmhand. Next the farmhand fetched 2nd Lt Derosier who had landed
nearby and hid both flyers between a couple of haystacks. The farmhand went to
the kitchen to get some sandwiches and milk when a German soldier arrived and
asked if he had seen any flyers. The farmhand pointed and told the German that
they had gone in that direction, and off the German went in persude.
When darkness feel the flyers walked northeast towards Ibsker where they met a
Danish farmer who called the Danish police. Police inspector Johannes Hansen
told the farmer to make sure that the flyers stayed on the farm. Next Hansen
called Constable Valdemar Lauritsen and instructed him to go to the farm and
tell the flyers to go to Bølshavn at once. Hansen stalled time before he passed
the information of the whereabout of the flyers to the Wehrmacht and when they
came to the farm to arrest the flyers they had left.
By the help of many people all six flyers eventually made it to Bølshavn. Four
of them stayed in a summer cottage belonging to Mr. Munck while waiting for
On the night of 1-2/5 the four airmen was picked up by Danish police inspectors
Johannes Hansen and Dahl-Jørgensen and taken in two police cars to Tejn. Despite
one of the cars turning over in a curve they all made it to Tejn where the
flyers entered the fishing boat “Codan” owned by Fisher Louis Olsen. On board was
all ready one of their comrades and sail was set for Sweden which was reached
2nd Lt Howard walked across the island and arrived at the farm “Sandegaard” near
Gudhjem where he was seen by farmhand named Frede Mortensen. Mortensen hid
Howard on the hayloft and went in search for help. In the meantime Howard was
brought food by Else Christensen. After a number of hours Veterinarian Stender
from Østermarie took Howard by car to the house of Mr. Munck in Bølshavn. Howard
was given a false ID-vard and taken to the Gudhjem harbour where he entered the
ferry “Carl”. When “Carl” passed through Swedish territorial waters a Swedish
custom officer entered the ferry and took Howard along in his boat. After a
short trip they arrived in Sweden where Howard met his comrades.
On 10/5 they all left from Bromma airport on a currier flight for England.
Sources: MACR, AS 18-373, LBUK, UA, MFS, N.K.Pihl, Bornholm, Bornholmske
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