Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 17G-DL 42-107105 crashed into the Baltic Sea south of the island of Lolland 4/8 1944.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 305 Bomb Group, 366 Bomb Squadron.
T/O Chelveston. OP: Anklam.


When 42-107105 arrived over the target there was heavy flak and the first bomb run was not successful so Pilot 2nd LT Thaddius Littlefield made a 360 degree turn to accomplish the final bomb run. While over the target 42-107105 was hit by flak and on the return flight a fire erupted, necessitating a bail out.
Littlefield left the formation at 15:39 hours and rang the alarm bell twice. When he saw that the crew in the front of the aircraft had bailed out he trimmed the aircraft to a gliding right spiral before he himself bailed out. When floating down he counted eight chutes and knew that all had come out.
 
The aircraft circled three times before it at approximately 15:45 hit the water and sank immediately.

On the harbour of Gedser the bail out and the crash had been observed and the rescue launch set out with a crew of four Danes and three German guards.
 
It was also observed that the strong wind took the flyers out to sea away from land and at 16:00 hours the two fishing boats NF 5 “Ellen” and 19/249 set out to help.
 
The search was difficult because of heavy waves and a German Do 24 seaplane coded S5+LH piloted by Wildebrandt and with Busche as begleiter searched the area and guided in several cases the fishing boats towards what was believed to be flyers, but in each case it turned out to be floating wood.
 
At 19:00 hours the rescue launch picked Thaddius Littlefield up from the sea and sailed to Gedser where it arrived at 20:30. He was sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel for questioning before he was sent to POW camps.
 


                               (Via Finn Buch)
 


On 23/8 the body of Ball turret gunner Sgt Melvin F. Callaway was retrieved from the sea off Rødby Harbour by fisherman Ejnar Larsen. Callaway was laid to rest in Rødby cemetery on 24/8 1944 with Parish vicar Roed Larsen officiating at the graveside ceremony. His remains were disinterred on 28/4 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military. He now rest in USA

 


                                   (Via Finn Buch)

 


                                (Via Finn Buch)

 


                                  (Via Finn Buch)

Callaways grave in Grace Hill Cemetery, Longview Gregg County, Texas, USA



Waist gunner S/Sgt Earl Caldwell Jr. was found washed ashore near Errendlev on the island of Lolland on 24/8 and was laid to rest in Svinø cemetery on 27/8 1944. His remains were disinterred on 8/5 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military. Today he rest in USA.
 


                                      (Via Finn Buch)



On 19/8 the body of Tail gunner S/Sgt Thomas J. Davies was found near Gedser and was laid to rest in Svinø cemetery on the same day. His remains were disinterred on 8/5 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military. Today he rest in USA.

Radio operator S/Sgt Herbert B. Cummings was found washed ashore near Rødbyhavn on 26/8 and was laid to rest in Svinø cemetery on 28/8 1944. His remains were disinterred on 8/5 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military. Today he rest in USA.
 


                               (Via Finn Buch)



Bombardier 2nd LT Pat J. Bastone was found washed ashore near Marienlyst on the island of Falster on 16/9 at 17:00 hours. The Wehrmacht brought the body to Svinø cemetery where it was laid to rest on 17/9 1944. His remains were disinterred on 8/5 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military. Today he rest in USA.

Today Co-pilot 2nd Lt Richard Rist and Navigator 2nd Lt Joseph Hibner rest in USA.
 


                             (Via Finn Buch)



Top turret gunner T/Sgt Samuel Glasser have no known grave and his name is found on Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England

 



Sources: MACR, FB, LBUK,AS 19-315, RL 19/458, BS, FAF.

 

 

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