Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Halifax VII NP719 crashed near Nørreskoven forest on the island of Als 16/9-1944.


The aircraft belonged to RCAF (RAF) 432 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded QO-N.
T/o 22:16 East Moor OP:Kiel.


On the return flight NP719 was passing over the island of Als when it at 01:05 hours collided with Halifax MZ915 of RAAF 466 Sqn. Wreckage from the two aircrafts were found in a wide area between Elstrup – Østerholm – Hundslev. Five engines were found just north of the village of Hundslev.
 


                                     (Via John Vaupel)

 

None of the crew which were Pilot P/O James C. Gallagher, Flt. Engr. Sgt Charles F. Gill RAF, Navigator F/O Joseph E.G. Leblanc, Air Bomber P/O Hugh N. McLeod, W/Op-Air Gnr. P/O Joseph G.G.A. Labelle, Air Gnr. P/O Charles D. Crowe and Air Gnr. P/O Dermot R. MacCarthy could be identified.

Together with the crew of MZ915 they were brought to the German barracks in Sønderborg and on the next day taken to Aabenraa where they were laid to rest in Aabenraa cemetery on 18/9 1944.

When the Wehrmacht and the Danish police had left the area Forester Angelo and his woodmen searched the forest and collected a number of human remains. On the evening of 16/9 these were buried in a small mound in the forest. Angelo said a short prayer and a propeller blade was set on the grave.



                                    (Via John Vaupel)

The propeller blade first erected on the grave in the forest

It was left there until after the war when it was replaced by a small stone with the text: RAF 19-9-1944.


                                         (Via John Vaupel)


On 5/6 1945 the mound was consecrated as a grave site. But in August 1946 the British authorities decided to move the human remains to the cemetery in Aabenraa. Angelo and other local people strongly opposed this but after a couple of months of writing back and forth the mound was opened and the human remains taken to Aabenraa by the British military.

The small stone can still be seen in the forest and each year on the evening of 16/9 a ceremony is held in the forest by the mound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sources: CWGC, BCL, UA, BA, Police report, LBUK.

 

 

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