Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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P 51D-20-NA 44-72214 crashed Vedskølle 12/3 1945.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 78 Fighter Group, 83 Fighter Squadron.
The aircraft was named “Poop Shooter II”.
T/O 09:00 Duxford. OP: Bomber support to Swinemünde.


When outbound over Husum 1st Lt Dean C. Johnson`s B 51 started to loose coolant and he was ordered to go to Sweden while 2nd Lt William B. Sprengler was ordered to follow him and see what happened to Johnson. A heading of 35 degrees was set. When they were getting closer to the island of Sjælland Johnsons engine was loosing power. A fire started in the engine and it started melting. Melted aluminium was flying back and hitting Johnson in the head, and the temperature in the cockpit was getting hot. When he was over the island of Sjælland he was down to 1500 ft, and he bailed out. He opened his chute at 1000 ft and while floating down he could see his aircraft hit the ground and blow up. The time was 11:45 hours.

 


           (Barbara Johnson Andrews)


When Johnson was floating down, Sprengler circled him and when he landed and was collecting his chute Sprengler “bussed” him at 30 ft and then headed back towards England.

Johnson and his aircraft had come down near Vedskølle and he started walking towards east. Leo Larsson had seen the flyer coming down in his parachute and hurried to the place where Johnson landed. He followed Johnson and caught up with him. Johnson turned and said “Please, will you help me to Sweden ?”. Larsson promised to help and hid Johnson in a nearby forest. Later Larsson returned to the forest bringing food for Johnson. Johnson stayed in the forest while Larsson arranged for him to be taken care of.

 


           (Barbara Johnson Andrews)

1st Lt Dean C. Johnson

 

Missionary Esbo of the island Glænø promished to arrange housing for Johnson.
During the night Larsson and his brother in law took Johnson to Glænø where he was housed by teacher Sønderriis.

Johnson stayed for about eight days before the message came that he should continue his journey. He was disguised as a sewing machine repair man and together with Sønderriis rode on bicycles to Slagelse where Johnson was handed over to Hans Jacob in Løvegade street.

 


           (Barbara Johnson Andrews)

 


After a couple of days Johnson was moved to Høng and on 22/3 he arrived in Roskilde together with Lars Skotte where they had lunch and snaps with Arboe-Rasmussen and toasted to allied victory.

After lunch Arboe–Rasmussen drove them to København in an ambulance. He passed close to the Shell house so Johnson could see the damage done by British Mosquito bombers.
 
On 23/3 1945 Johnson was sailed over to Sweden. He travelled to Stockholm and was sent from Bromma airfield to England.

 

 

Sources: MACR, DFEV, LBUK.
 

 

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