Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Lancaster III PB235 crashed into Risgård Bredning bay 4/10 1944.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 44 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded KM-C.
T/o 17:24 Spilsby. OP: Gardening


The Lancaster approached the Danish west coast from the North Sea. It had however been spotted on the radar and at 20:00 hours a German JU 88 night fighter piloted by Oberleutnant August Györy of 5./NJG 3 had been scrambled from Fliegerhorst Aalborg West heading west and left the Jylland peninsula near Einsatzhaven Rom.
He found the Lancaster and followed it towards southeast and entered Jylland near Hansted. He attacked the Lancaster which caught fire but continued towards southeast. Five parachutes of which three caught fire were seen to leave PB235 before it near Grettrup Strand beach at 20:35 hours dived vertically into Risgård Bredning bay exploding just before it hit the water.

W/Op Sgt J.E. Fearn landed in a field belonging to Ove Vestergård of Floustrup. Ove spoke no English and called Doctor Anton Rask of Selde and told him that he had a man next to him that he was not able to communicate with. The next thing Rask heard was a voice saying “Hello, British airman speaking”. Rask got in his car and drove over to Floustrup where he found Fears with a group of 25 people.
When he had landed in the field he had seen a window with lights and had knocked on the door. It turned out that 25 people were having a party in the house.
25 people knowing of the presence of the flyer created a problem as the resistance were hiding 4 tonnes of weapons in the neighbourhood and it would be a disaster if the Germans started searching for the flyer. Rask explained this to Fearn who remarked “All right, I have had a bad start, I will pay”. Rask took Fearn to his house, and shortly after a German offizier and an unteroffizier armed with submachine guns arrived to arrest Fearn.

While the Germans were at Rask`s house a message arrived that Sgt Charles W. Vause had been rescued from the Bay by Fisherman Jens Pedersen.

The Jens Pedersen family had seen the Lancaster crash into the bay and had gone down to the beach. Suddenly they heard a voice calling “Wohoi” from the bay and Jens and his son Anton got into a small boat and sailed out to rescue the flyer. It was dark and difficult to see anything. A whistle was heard and soon the flyer was found and pulled up in the boat.
He had been in the water next to an hour and was in a bad shape. He was taken to the Pedersen house and put to bed. A lot of local people had come to see the flyer and due to that it was not possible to help him, and the Wehrmacht was informed. The name of the flyer was Air Gnr. Sgt Charles W. Vause. The Germans who had arrested Fearn also picked up Vause. They were taken to Skive and locked up in Nordre Skole school
The two flyers were sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel near Frankfurt am Main for questioning before being sent to Stalag Luft VII Bankau.

The body of Air Gnr. Sgt Dennis Cahill with an unopened parachute attached was found in the bay by fishermen from Risgårde and taken to Strandby.
The Wehrmacht wanted to bury the flyer on the beach in a bag, but the fishermen disagreed and bought a coffin for Cahill and managed to get the Wehrmacht to bury him in a cemetery.
In the evening he was laid to rest in Strandby cemetery by the Wehrmacht without ecclesiastical assistance.

 


                                          (Ib Lødsen)

 



On 20/6 1945 the body of Bombardier P/O John D. Harper was retrieved from the bay by fishermen. On 23/6 1945 he was laid to rest in Skive cemetery, Vicar P.J. Fiig-Pedersen officiating at the graveside ceremony. A guard of honor fired a salute.

 


                       (Ib Lødsen)

 

 

 



On 5/8 1945 the body of Pilot Norman J. Evans was found in the sea near the wreck of PB235 by a fisherman and taken to the chapel at Lovns church. On 6/8 1944 he was laid to rest in Aalestrup cemetery.

 

 

 



Navigator F/S Kenneth Hunter and Flt. Engr. Sgt Douglas A.P. Snoxel have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

In the summer of 1945 the wreck was retrieved from the bay at a position of 56`45`6N 09`12`2E and sold as scrap.

 

Two propellers from the Lancaster
 

Parts of the wreck

                      

It should be noted that according to “Kriegstagesbuch Kommandant im Abschnitt Nordjutland”: Ein abschuss durch 3./M.Flak.A.814. Absturz stelle der beschossenen Feindmaschine 1t. Meldung von Flakgruppe in JT oder KT (Jägergradnetz).
This means that also the German Marine claimed to have shot down the Lancaster.

 



Sources: Fluko Aalborg diary, TW, LBUK, Hobro police.

 

 

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