Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 17G 42-38191 crashed into the Baltic Sea off the island of Lolland 19/5 1944.


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


42-38191 was shot down by fighters on their first pass through the bomber formation at 15:18 hours. It is believed that it was claimed by Oberleutnant Heinz-Helmut Brandes of III/JG 11 who shot down a B 17 at 15:14 hours in Pl.Q. SC-4 which covers the area in which 42-38191 fell.

The B 17 was seen going down with all props turning and 6 chutes coming out. Those who got out were Pilot 1st Lt Martin D. Rupert, Co-pilot 1st Lt John J. Raring, Lt James R. Greek, S/Sgt William P. Hohman and Bombardier 2nd Lt Lynn H. Barbour.

Engineer T/Sgt Herbert H. Cole was seen lying on the floor in the aircraft after being hit during the attack.

Radio operator T/Sgt Ralph G. Hawk, Ball turret gunner S/Sgt Cecil J. McNeer, Right waist gunner S/Sgt Thomas E. Hick, Left waist gunner S/Sgt Charles L. Haswell and Tail gunner S/Sgt William P. Hihman are all believed to have been in the aircraft when it crashed into the Baltic Sea approximately 15 kilometres south of the island of Lolland.

The crash was seen by Danish fishermen in Rødbyhavn on the island of Lolland and a search for survivors started.

After about an hour one boat returned with Bombardier 2nd Lt Lynn H. Barbour who had been found approximately 4 kilometres south of Rødbyhavn. He suffered from a splitof the symphysis and was under German guard put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital in Nakskov where he was treated by Doctor MacDougall. On 9/8 1944 he was sent to Dulag Luft for interrogation. It is not known to which POW camp he was sent.

 


                                      (Via Finn Buch)

 Bombardier 2nd Lt Lynn H. Barbour
 

The search for survivors continued for another couple of hours but to no avail.
 


                                 (Via Finn Buch)

 

 

As seen on June 2013



The body of S/Sgt Charles L. Haswell was retrieved from the Baltic Sea 12 kilometres west of Rødbyhavn on 20/7 by Fisher C. Johansen and was laid to rest in Rødby cemetery on 22/7 1944. Reverend J.C. Johansen officiated at the graveside ceremony.

S/Sgt Thomas E. Hick was found near the island of Vejlø in Nakskov Fjord on 24/7 and was laid to rest in Sandby cemetery on 26/7 1944 with Reverend C. Petersen officiating at the graveside ceremony.

 

 

Even though Hick was disinterred in May 1948 the cemetery kept his grave as a memorial and is taken lovingly care of it to this day. The plot as seen in June 2013.



Their remains were disinterred in May 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military. Today they both rest in USA.

The rest have no known graves and their names are found on Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England.

 


                                       (Via Finn Buch)


                                         (Via Finn Buch)

 Bombardier 2nd Lt Lynn H. Barbour at the Hospital

 



Sources: MACR, LBUK, FAF, FB, UA, TW.

 

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