Lancaster I LL963 crashed in the sea off the island of Avernakø 16/5 1944.
The aircraft belonged to RAF103 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded PM-D.
T/o 22:13 Elsham Wolds. OP: Gardening Kiel Bay.
It is believed that Lancaster LL963 was claimed by Hauptmann Franz Buschmann of
Stab IV./ NJG 3 at 5000 metres while flying in Pl.Q. QU at 00:45 hours. Pl.Q QU
covers the sea southwest of the island of Fyn. The Lancaster crashed in the sea
between the islands of Lyø and Avernakø killing all onboard.
The dead body of Air Bomber F/Sgt Ralph A. Tapp was found washed ashore on
Avernakø Hoved on the following day. A German detachment arrived from Faaborg to
handle the funeral, but since no coffin was found on the island the funeral had
to be postponed until the next day. On 17/5 1944 Tapp was laid to rest in
Avernakø cemetery without ecclesiastical assistance.
Air Bomber F/Sgt Ralph A. Tapp
(Via Ebbe Bork)
Air Bomber F/Sgt Ralph A. Tapps grave
On 18/6 Navigator F/Sgt William Kelly was found washed ashore near Nab and was
laid to rest in Faaborg cemetery on 19/6 1944.
Navigator F/Sgt William Kellys grave
Flt. Engr. Sgt David Howells was found washed ashore near Drano forest at 22:15
hours on 25/6. On 26/6 he was laid to rest in Drejø cemetery with Reverend
Mogens Blum officiating at the graveside ceremony.
The Germans only allowed those necessary for the ceremony to be present.
Flt. Engr. Sgt David Howells grave
On the evening of 5/9 the body of Pilot P/O Kenneth W. Mitchell was found washed
ashore on Nordstrand 6 kilometres southeast of Faaborg and was laid to rest in
Åstrup cemetery on 8/9 1944. Reverend H.C.Andersen officiated at the graveside
Pilot P/O Kenneth W. Mitchell
(Via Ebbe Bork)
Pilot P/O Kenneth W. Mitchells grave
W/Op F/S Claude F. Bish, Air Gnr. Sgt Douglas F. Pegrum and Air Gnr.P/O Thomas
K. Wright have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
Air Gnr.P/O Thomas K. Wright
The propeller was found in the sea by divers and presented to
Assens diving club. Pictures from Assens by Camilla, Assens Marina.
Sources: FAF, LBUK, CWGC, TW, UA, Nonnenmacher file, TB.
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