Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 24H 42-50329 crashed in the Lille Bælt 21/6 1944.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 445 Bomb Group, 700 Bomb Squadron.
T/O Tibenham. OP: Berlin.


42-50329 was hit by flak over Germany and headed towards northwest. When over Denmark it was attacked by a German fighter and after about 10 minutes of exchange of fire the B 24 winged over the right wing and crashed burning in the sea 800 metres south of the island of Årø at 12:42 hours.

It is believed that the fighter belonged to Luftbeobachtungsstaffel 1 and was piloted by Leutnant Woeske who claimed a B 24 at 12:42 hours.

At the same time the German ship VS 410 was firing at the B 24 with its 20 mm canons and that one crew member was wounded during the exchange of fire.

Apparently the 10 man crew of the B 24 bailed out before the crash.

Pilot1st Lt Richard R. Plant landed on the island of Årø. He hit his head hard when landing and was taken to the house of Reciever of Wrecks Bruhn and Doctor Meiseldt of Øsby in Jylland was called. Plant was suffereing from a concussion and possible a fracture of the skull. Doctor Meisfeldt treated Plant and placed him on a stretcher and had him carriede down to the harbour where he had a motorboat waiting. Here they met a Marine-Oberleutnant who wanted to know about what the doctor intented to do with the flyer. Meisfeldt informed the German that he would call for an ambulance to meet them in Aarøsund. The German would not allow that, but after a discussion Meisfeldt was allowed to call for the ambulance from the County Hospital.
The Doctor was not allowed to follow Plant on the ferry to Aarøsund. The Germans brought Plant to the German Barracks in Haderslev and later to the German Lazarett in Vojens where he stayed until 24/6 when he was sent to Dulag Luft, Oberursel. After quistioning he was sent to Stalag VIIA Moosburg where he was sent to the workcamps 3324-46 Krumbachstrasse 48011 and 3368 Munich 48-11.
 
Tail turret gunner S/Sgt Francis De Paul was picked up from the waters of the Lille Bælt on 22/6 by a boat from the 4th Escort Flotilla and taken to Odense. On 24/6 he was sent to Dulag Luft in Oberursel.
After quistioning he was sent to Stalag Luft IV Gross-Tychow.

On 11/7 the body of Navigator/Bombardier 2nd Lt Richard F. Gall was washed ashore on Helnæs. He was laid to rest in Assens cemetery on 12/7 1944.
 
The body of Radio operator T/Sgt Robert M. Kimmey was found washed ashore on Helnæs 13/7 and was laid to rest in Assens cemetery on 14/7 1944.
 
Their remains were disinterred on 28/4 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military.

Waist gunner S/Sgt George Tarant was found on the southeast beach of Lyø on 16/7 and was laid to rest in Fåborg cemetery on 21/7 1944. In April 1948 his remains was evacuated to Belgium.

The body of Ball turret gunner S/Sgt Robert R. Helpes was found washed ashore on the beach near the “Brogården” farm on Helnæs and was laid to rest in Helnæs cemetery on 14/8 1944. His remains were disinterred on 27/4 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium.

Top turret gunner T/Sgt William J. Mulligan was found on Sandager Næs on 28/7 and was laid to rest in Sandager cemetery on 28/7 1944. He was evacuated to Belgium on 20/4 1948.

 


  ( Finn Buch )

 


  ( Finn Buch )

Even though Mulligan now rests in Belgium, his grave in Sandager cemetery is still cared for by the local community.

Today Co-pilot 2nd Lt William P. Noble today rests in the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium. On 8/11-1945 at 12:30 his body, along with a small parachute, was found floating in the sea near the island of Barsø by a local fisherman. The body was brought ashore and taken to the hospital in Aabenraa by ambulance. After formal identification it was handed over to the British troops in Denmark who took it to Schleswig in Germany just south of the border. Noble was laid to rest in the British Military Cemetery in Schleswig. He is believed to have been transferred to Belgium in 1948.

Waist gunner S/Sgt Henry J. Gordon and Nose turret gunner Sgt James O. Snyder have no known grave and their names are found on Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England.
 

 

 

Memorial at Årø



Sources: MACR, ABMC, Report Haderslev police, UA, AD, AS 31-131, LBUK, KTB 8. Sicherungsdivision via JJ.

 

 

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