Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted


1939-1940 Updated 12/2-23
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B 17G 42-97060 ditched in the North Sea 5/8-1944.

The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 457 Bomb Group, 749 Bomb Squadron and was named Calamity Jane II.
T/O Glatton. OP: Nienburg.

On the way to the target ”Calamity Jane II” was hit by flak when flying over the enemy coast.

                                        (Via Finn Buch)

”Calamity Jane II”

Two engines cut out and Pilot 1st Lt Charles Canfield turned back towards England. After a while the third engine quit and Canfield had to ditch the B 17 in the North Sea 12 miles off Helgoland. The aircraft broke in two and sank within 30 seconds.

Canfield, Navigator Lt Donald H. Snyder, Bombardier Lt Warren Suddath, Co-Pilot Lt Clarence E. Ross, Flt. Engr.Sgt William R. Cain, Radio Operator T/Sgt Alvin E. Merriam, Waist Gunner Sgt Herbert B. Barte, Ball Turret Gunner Sgt Julius Smith and Tail Gunner Sgt Alvie Kirkendall all managed to enter the aircrafts dinghies.

After about three hours a British Air/Sea Rescue plane appeared and dropped a power boat to the crew. They entered it but was not able to start the motor. Captain Carlo Jensen of the Danish fishing vessel E 311 “Erika” had observed the drop and sailed over to the power boat and took the crew onboard and the power boat in a line. Course was then set for England.

40 miles off the English coast near Hartlepool they were met by an English Rescue launch that took the flyers onboard and guided “Erika” towards England. 1½ day after “Erika” had arrived in England a message was broadcasted by BBC saying that “Erika” had been seized for fishing in a off limit area and was held in England along with its four man crew.

Skipper Carlo Jensen and Ejner Nielsen of ”Erika” fished from England for the duration of the war while Carl Riis and Cook Henry Mathiesen joined the English Navy.


                                      (Via Finn Buch)

                                         (Via Finn Buch)

”Calamity Jane II”

Sources: FB, Air Force History Support Office, US Air Force, Carlo Jensen.


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