Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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He 59 serial number 2793 shot down near Esbjerg 11/3 1941.


The aircraft belonged to 5./ Staffel Seenotgruppe and was coded ?
T/o ? Op: Feindflug.


The He 59 was attacked by a Hudson G of 220 Squadron Coastal Command at 15:39 hours while flying at 1000 feet about 40 kilometres south east of Horns Reef.
 
The crew of the Hudsen, F/O Simpson, Sgt Heppell, W/Op Sgt Mills and Air Gunner Sgt Swain attacked out of the sun and slightly below the He 59, and then climbed to the starboard to attack the He 59 from his starboard quarter. The Hudson opened fire at 400 yards closing to 100 yards using both rear and side guns while the He 59 returned fire from rear turret.
A second attack from the Hudson put the He 59 into gliding turns and force landed in the North Sea about 8 kilometres west of the southern tip of the island of Fanø at 15:47 hours.

Nine Germans including Pilot Vonlske who was wounded in the leg from bullets and Observer Schneider who was wounded in one arm from bullets managed to get into three dinghies before the He 59 sank.
They fired flares that were at 23:45 hours observed by the Danish fishing vessel E 264 “Harmonie” of Esbjerg.
Skipper Poul Poulsen set course for the dinghies and took the survivors onboard. It was clear to him that the wounded flyers needed medical attention and flares were fired and all lights onboard lit.
“Harmonie” was soon met by Flugsicherungsboot 205 of List that took the flyers to List on the German island of Sylt.

 



A document of appreciation was presented to Skipper Poul Poulsen
by the German Kommandant im Abschnitt Westdänemark.

 


When the owner of “Harmonie” was interned at the camp in Frøslev late in the war, his wife borrowed the document from Poulsen and took it to the town commandant of Esbjerg.
This eventually helped the owner of “Harmonie” to be released.
 

 


Sources: KT, RL 2 III/753+1176, “Det er nødvendigt at sejle”, Form 540/220 Sqn via Ross McNeill, JJ.

 

 

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