Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Halifax III MZ915 crashed at Nørreskoven forest on the island of Als 16/9-1944.


The aircraft belonged toRAAF (RAF) 466 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded HD-T.
T/o 22:00 Driffield OP: Kiel


After having bombed Kiel the aircrafts headed north and turned towards west over the island of Als. At 01:05 hours MZ915 collided with Halifax NP719 of 432 Sqn RCAF and crashed to the ground killing all onboard.


                                (Via John Vaupel)

Local youth with an engine from the Hallifax


                            (Via John Vaupel)

Bristol Hercules engine from the Halifax


                                  (Via John Vaupel)

A tail wheel


                               (Via John Vaupel)

One of the propellers


The wreckage was spread over a wide area and a major part of the fuselage including the dead body of Pilot F/Lt Hutchison was found in a field belonging to Smallholder Chresten Moos at Bostedvrå. The Danish police supervised the collection of the human remains and took it to the German barracks in Sønderborg.

Only Pilot F/Lt Alexander Hutchison RAF, Air Gnr. Sgt William H. Francis RAF and Flt. Engr. Sgt Benjamin D.M. Warren RAF could be identified.
 
On 17/9 the crew was picked up by Hauptfeldwebel Andresen of Fliegerhorst Flensburg and taken to the cemetery in Aabenraa where they were laid to rest on 18/9 1944.
Apart from those mentioned above it was W/Op F/Sgt Keith C. Donald, Air Gnr. Sgt James Gill RAF, Air Bomber Sgt John T. Leitch and Navigator F/Sgt Clive W. Thomson.
 


                               (Via John Vaupel)

Donald, Gill, Francis, Warren
Leitch,
Hutchison, Thomson


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 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 Aabenra.
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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