Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 17G 42-37807 ditched in the North Sea 19/5-1944.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 100 Bomb Group, 350 Bomb Squadron and was coded LN-O.
T/O Thorpe Abbotts. OP: Berlin


On the return flight from Berlin 42-37807 which was named “Rogers Raiders” was attacked by German fighters and lost three engines.

At 16:25 Pilot 2.Lt Julian P. Rogers ditched the aircraft in the north Sea on position 54`48 N 07`30E. The tail broke off but all managed to get into the dinghy’s.
 


                              (Via Finn Buch)

 

30 hours later a British Hudson aircraft dropped a life boat to the Americans.
 
Pilot 2.Lt Julian P. Rogers, Co-Pilot 2.Lt Robert B. Lawler, Navigator 2.Lt Frederick A. Mead Jr, Bombardier 2.Lt Bertram C. Lieberman, Top Turret Gunner S/Sgt Dickie Kendall, Radio Operator S/Sgt Thomas S. Guralski, Ball Turret Gunner Sgt Russel E. Gately Jr, Waist Gunner Sgt Carroll W. Brooks, Waist Gunner Sgt Clarence F. Cherry and Tail Gunner Sgt Alfonse R. Fiore transferred to the lifeboat and sailed on a westerly course.

Around seven o’clock the next morning (21/5) three Danish fishing vessels were spotted. The lifeboat sailed to them and the Americans were given warm food and drink and a bunk to sleep in. One of the fishing vessels then set course for England with the Americans. After a while the were met by a Air-Sea Rescue Launch which sailed the flyers the last 150 miles back to Yarnmouth, England.

 


            (Via Jim Kendall)

The crew after having returned from the ditching

 


            (Via Jim Kendall)

 


            (Via Jim Kendall)

 

DICKIE L. KENDALL`s recollection of the ditching:
 
 
Can you tell me about being shot down?
-  On our 10th mission we were shot down after raiding Berlin and had to ditch in the North Sea.

- Two engines were knocked out by enemy fire and a third later went out.  We flew on only one engine, barely staying airborne, until we reached the coastline.

- The crew was ordered to assume crash positions in the tail of the aircraft.  Our tail gunner was injured during the landing but we all managed to get into a small rubber raft.

- A plane from the British Air/Sea Rescue Service attempted to drop a larger raft to us but it got dark and they had to abort.  We waited all night thinking we might drift to the enemy shore.

- The next morning a Danish fishing boat spotted us and we were taken aboard.  Her hull was of a double-walled design with enough space for a person to stand.  Via a hidden doorway, we entered this area and stood there for about a day.

- The Danish radioed the British and the next day a Coastal Command lifeboat carrier dropped a motor-powered boat to us.  I had some experience with marine craft and was able to get the motors running.

- We set course for home taking turns steering the boat but ran into rough seas and had to bail all night.

- Finally we were picked up by a British launch.  Three Thunderbolts appeared and strafed our lifeboat to sink it, then circled overhead until we reached Scotland.

- Our tail gunner was sent home as a result of his injuries.

-  Stars and Stripes newspaper ran an article about the rescue but, for security reasons, did not mention the Danish fishing boat.

-  We named our next flying fort “Fools Rush In.”  We completed our remaining missions in the aircraft.
 
Via Jim Kendall

 

 


            (Via Jim Kendall)

 




Note: It has not yet been possibly to name the Fishing vessel which sailed the flyers toward England.

 

Sources: UA, FB.

 

 

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