Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Halifax III MZ863 crashed in the Baltic Sea west of the island of Langeland 17/8 1944.


The aircraft belonged to RCAF (RAF) 433 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded BM-E.
T/o 21:15 Skipton on Swale. OP: Gardening Kiel Bay.


MZ863 is believed to have been claimed by a German night fighter and to have crashed in the sea south or southwest of the island of Langeland killing all onboard.
 
It should be noted that Oberleutnant Fritz Brinkmann of 8./NJG 3 claimed a Four-engined bomber NNE of Kiel at 00:06 hours while Oberfeldwebel Martin Kramer of Stab./NJG 3 claimed a Four-Engined bomber SE of Kiel at 00:15 hours.

The body of Navigator P/O John A. Tolmie was retrieved from the sea south of the island of Langeland on 21/8 and taken to Bagenkop harbour where he was identified by Constable Iversen of the Danish police. Soon after two German Marineunteroffiziers arrived and demanded that Tolmie should not be given a proper burial but should be thrown in a hole in the ground. Iversen did not agree and called the German Commandant on Fyn who allowed Iversen to handle the funeral. However, no flowers would be allowed on the grave. Iversen had received a number of flowers for the grave from local people, and these were now placed inside the coffin. Arrangements were made with the vicar for the funeral to be at 19:00 hours on the same evening. Two Unteroffiziers arrived and declared that the decision which allowed Iversen to handle the funeral had been changed and they wanted the flyer to be handed over to them. After a discussion they agreed to letting the body been in the coffin and to bury it at Bagenkop cemetery. They did that on the same evening.

On 25/8 at 09:30 hours Air Bomber F/O George Scott RAF was found washed ashore on the beach near Østerby on the island of Kegnæs by a border gendarme and taken to the hospital in Sønderborg.

On the same day at 14:30 hours the body of Wop/Air Gnr. F/O John C. Sprott was found on the beach near Bredsten on Kegnes by the same gendarme who found Scott. Also Sprott was taken to the hospital in Sønderborg.

On 26/8 the body of Air Bomber F/O Henry M. Fleming was found on the beach near Lysabildskov on the island of Als by a local farmer and was taken to the hospital in Sønderborg.
 
The Wehrmacht was informed and Hauptfeldwebel Andresen from Fliegerhorst Flensburg arrived and transported the flyers to Aabenraa cemetery where they were laid to rest on 27/8 1944 without ecclesiastical assistance.

Today Air Gnr. F/S Thomas L. Baker rest in Kiel War Cemetery, Germany while Pilot F/L John C. Valk and Flt. Engr. Sgt Ralph I. Atkinson RAF have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

 

 

Air Bomber F/O George Scott RAF

 

 

 

 

 

 



Sources: UA, LBUK, Report Langeland and Aabenraa Police, BCL.
 

 

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