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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
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
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
(Anne Dellow via Peer Petersen)
Air Gnr. F/S William J. Carthew
(National Archives of
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
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