Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Halifax III MZ901 crashed near Idom 15/10 1944.


The aircraft belonged to RCAF 424 (RAF) Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded QB-N.
T/o 18:22 Skipton on Swale. Op: Gardening i danske farvande.


On its way to the target flying at 4400 metres Halifax MZ901 was attacked by a German night fighter piloted by Hauptmann Johan Dreher of 6./ NJG 3.
People in the area of Nauer saw the two aircrafts exchange fire while flying on a southerly course before the Halifax dived to the ground and exploded between two farms at Simonstrup south of Idom at approximately 20:20 hours..

The crew of seven died. They were Pilot F/Lt Robert D. Guild, Flt. Engr. P/O Norman A. Smith, Navigator F/Lt Jack G. Lee, Air Bomber F/O Virgel L. Riley, W/Op F/O John Grace, Air Gnr. F/O William E. Jory and Air Gnr. F/O Hugh J. Laughran.
The Wehrmacht buried the crew next to the crash site without any ceremony despite protest from the local population.

On 15/6 1945 a Christian funeral was arranged at Idom cemetery. The remains of the flyers were disinterred and placed in seven coffins, each covered with a British flag.

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 


 (Hostebro Museum og lokalhistorisk arkiv)

 

The ceremony was held outside the church as it could not hold the number of people who wanted to attend. Sermons were held by Vicar H. H. Frank and the British Field Priest Perkins. After interment in a collective grave a salute of honour was fired and a soldier sounded “The last post”. The ceremony ended with the congregation singing the Danish hymn “Altid frejdig når du går”.

A cross made from material from the wreckage is found in the cemetery.

 

 


                (Jens Rønnest,   2005)



                         (Carolee Fitz-Gerald)
 


                       (Carolee Fitz-Gerald)
 


                               (Carolee Fitz-Gerald)

Pictures from Rileys album

 




               (
Richard Randall via Carolee Fitz-Gerald)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Sources: OK, LBUK, CWGC.

 

 

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  Copyright  ©  Søren C. Flensted 2004 - 2017