Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling IV LK238 crash landed near Vemb 7/10-1944


The aircraft belonged to RAF 161 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded MA-X.
To Tempsford 22:29. OP: SOE mission to Tablejam 104 (Hornslet) and Tablejam 26B (Kaathede southeast of Hobro) in Jylland.


When LK238 approached the west coast of the Jylland peninsula at 300 feet it was attacked by a German night fighter. The JU 88 night fighter is believed to have been piloted by Hauptmann Johann Dreher of 6./ NJG 3 and is believed to be operating out of Fliegerhorst Grove.

The Stirling was hit in both right hand engines and the wing started burning. Bombardier P/O Ross F. Philp RAAF was hit by bullets from the night fighter and died.

 


              (Andrew Moloney)



Pilot S/Ldr G. E. Abecassis made a good belly landing in a field north west of Vemb and all except Philp hurried out of the burning aircraft. Flt. Engr. P/O Lesley N. Flower and Navigator F/Lt Richard R. Gee were both suffering from burns.


            (Via David Abecassis)

S/Ldr G E Abecassis, DFC

 


              (Gørding Sognehus)

Bombardier P/O Ross F. Philp RAAF


The crew split up in two teams. One team were Abecassis and W/Op F/O K. H. Walker, while the other team were Flower, Gee, Air Gnr. P/O Patrich J. Moloney and Air Gnr. F/O Samuel C. Woodham.

 


                  (Andrew Moloney)

P/O Patrich J. Moloney

 


     (Jane Fleming nee Gee)

Navigator F/Lt Richard R. Gee


 
Abecassis and Walker managed to get across Jylland in 4-5 days by the help of a truck driver after having asked for help in different places. When they tried to cross a bridge in Randers they were arrested by a German officer. They were placed in a cell for a few days before they were picked up by two Luftwaffe sergeants and taken by train to Stalag Luft for interrogation before they were sent to Stalag Luft III Sagan.
Here they spent about three month before they and the other prisoners were given a Red Cross parcel and sent on a march that lasted several days and would eventually take them to Kotbus station where they were put on a train in cattle trucks. There were 55 men to a truck, which meant that only half of the prisoners could sit down.
The train ride lasted two or three days and ended at Luckenwalde south of Berlin. Here they stayed until they were liberated by the advancing Russian troops.

The other team had more luck and got in contact with people who had contact to the resistance. Flt. Engr. P/O Lesley. N. Flower and Navigator F/Lt Richard. R. Gee were treated by Doctor Holger Thomsen, Hornslet before they were sent to Grenå and on to Sweden.
Flower was sent to Sweden on 26/10, and on 30/10 Moloney, Woodham and Gee were sailed over to Sweden.

The Germans buried Philp in a weapon container near a hedge a few metres from the crash site. His remains were disinterred and laid to rest in Gørding cemetery on 15/6 1945. Vicar C. Andersen, Vemb officiated at the graveside ceremony and the British field priest Perkins spoke afterwards. A detachment of Canadian soldiers fired a salute of honour.
A Danish grave stone can be found at the place where he was first buried as well as on his grave at the cemetery, and his picture is found in the church.
 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Michael Hviid)

 


 (Michael Hviid)

This cross was locally made by Danes and placed at the initial grave. It is now kept by the church.

 

The place where Ross Philp was initially buried

 

 



Sources : Abecassis via OK, LBUK, OK, DFEV, CWGC, TW , AIR 27/1068, ”Danske lægememoirer”, FAF, WO 208/3324.

 

 

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