Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling IV LK279 crashed in Lille Bælt 10/2-1945.

 

The aircraft belonged to RAF 138 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded NF-L.
T/O Tempsford OP: SOE to Table Jam 190, near Østerballe.


On 9/2 at approximately 22:00 the weather turned bad with snow and sludge. On Table Jam 190 (Danish code name “Niels”) near Østerballe on the island of Fyn the members of the resistance waited in vain for Stirling LK279.
Another reception team waiting on “Henriette” at Fønsskovodde on the south side of Gamborg Fjord also waited in vain as their aircraft had returned due to the bad weather.
At approximately 00:15 hours they heard a “dump”, and it is believed that this noise was LK279 hitting the water in Lille Bælt due to low sight. Afterwards RAF sent a message for the Danish resistance to have a look out in the Fyn area for the missing aircraft
It was localized by resistance members in Lille Bælt south of Stenderup Hage and west of Fønsskovodde near Flekøjet. LK279 had broken into two and the cargo drifted ashore near Stenderup over the next couple of days, and was retrieved by members of the resistance movement.

Johannes Larsen and a farmhand were working in a field at Ålehoved on 9/6 1945 when they noticed a body that was laying in waters of Lillebælt near the beach on the north side of Ålehoved. They managed to get hold of the webbing harness that the body was carrying and pulled it ashore. They next called an ambulance that took the body to the English hospital at Snoghøj. The body was identified as being Air Gnr. F/S William J. Carthew. He was laid to rest in Middelfart Ny kirkegård cemetery on Monday 11/6-45 at 15:00 hours. A guard of honour from members of the resistance and members of the police were present when a English priest from Snoghøj performed the graveside ceremony.

A body was found near Brandsø in Lille Bælt on 2/1-46 by Fisherman Georg Christoffersen onboard fishing vessel AS 156 “Falken” of Skærbæk. The body was in a bad state but an ID tag was found attached to the body and it was thus identified as W/Op F/S Richard Y. French. French was laid to rest in Fredericia Nordre cemetery at 14:00 hours on Saturday 5/1-1946.

Pilot F/S Lawrence S. Tucker RAAF, Air Bomber Sgt Geoffrey C. Toes, Navigator P/O Gordon E. Mercer, Air Gnr. W/O Ronald J. Ball and Flt. Engr. Sgt William M. Haragan has no known grave and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
One of the above was however found in the wreckage in 1951 and was laid to rest in Fredericia Nordre cemetery as an unknown flyer.

In 1951 the wreckage was retrieved from the Lille Bælt on position 55`26`00 N 09`41`40 E.

 


    (Anne Dellow via Peer Petersen)

Air Gnr. F/S William J. Carthew

 


    (National Archives of Australia)

Pilot F/S Lawrence S. Tucker RAAF

 


  (Alan Dellow via Peer Petersen)

Lawrence S. Tucker in Central Park, New York, just after gaining wings, October 1943

 


  (Alan Dellow via Peer Petersen)

Air Bomber Sgt Geoffrey C. Toes

 


    (via Poul Erik Pedersen)

 Lawrence S. Tucker, Thompson,  Richard Y. French.

 





Sources: FT, FAF, Lighthouse administration, AIR 27/956, CWGC, Poul Erik Pedersen.
 

 

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