Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Do 18D werknummer 0737 emergency landed in the North Sea 8/10 1939.


The aircraft belonged to 2./ Kü.Fl.Gr 506.
T/O Hörnum. OP: Reconnaissance.


The Do 18 was seen circling a steam ship at 200 ft when three Hudson`s from 224 Sqn. Coastal Command arrived flying in a wide “Vic” formation. The leader ordered close formation and prepared to attack the Do 18. The Do 18 left the ship and headed west. It then suddenly turned towards the ship and the Hudson formation dived to attack from 1000 feet.

The Do 18 was hit in the front engine by the first bust of fire from the leader and started smoking. While still under fire from the flanking aircraft the Do 18 made a good landing in the rough sea on position 56`30N 0`04W at 08:10 hours and two red Varey lights were fired as distress signal.

The crew inflated the aircrafts dinghy and started paddling away from the Do 18. The leader of the Hudsons attracted the attention of the Danish steam ship “Teddy” and led it towards the Do 18.

A life boat was lowered into the water and took the dinghy in tow back to “Teddy”. When the crew after about 20 minutes had been picked up by “Teddy”, the Hudson’s sank the Do 18 by means of machinegun fire and returned towards their base at Gosport.

The crew of the Do 18 were Leutnant zur See Hans Wilhelm Heinrich Hornkohl, Feldwebel Willy Erich Nasz, Unteroffizier Hermann Alfred Pluntke and Unteroffizier Alforn Fait.

Captain Alexander S. Meyer of “Teddy” brought the flyers to Rudkøbing harbour on the island of Langeland where they on 13/10 was handed over to the Danish police.

When the German crew were questioned by the Danish police, all four claimed that they had not been in combat with the Hudsons but had landed their unarmed aircraft due to engine failure and that Hornkohl had fired several pistol shots at it to make it sink. The British aircrafts had only arrived after the landing.

Captain Mayer could not recognize that story, which he told the police.

Late in the afternoon the flyers were taken to Hotel “Langeland” where they were guarded by the police. After a couple of days the guard was handed over to personnel from the Danish army based at Odense. The crew were allowed to walk around town and on 19/10 they were permitted to return to Germany.




Sources: UA, RL 2III/184, FB, MH, AIR 50/308.


 

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