Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Whitley IV K9048 crash landed Fuglegaardsmark north west of Hadsund 24/4-1940.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 51 Sqn Bomber Command and was coded MH-P.
T/o 22:10 Dishforth OP: Aalborg.


While unloading the bombs on Aalborg airfield from 16.000 feet K9048 was hit by flak from Res. Flak-Abt.1. and 3./603 and 1./XI. Shortly after, the left hand engine stopped for lack of fuel.
The right hand engine had its oil tank shot away, and started running warm, so the pilot F/Lt Keith T. Milne had to stop it before it caught fire.
Milne tried to call the rear gunner A/C F. Hargreaves but received no answer. Co-pilot/Navigator F/Lt Bernard W. Hayward went back and found that he had gone.
Hayward and Milne were later told by the Germans that Hargreaves had been found on the banks of the Limfjorden. Milne then performed a wheels up landing in a field belonging to Henning Nielsen near Fuglegaarde west of Glerup at approx. 03:30 in the morning.
He tried to set the aircraft alight and then walked away together with Hayward, front gunner Sgt. J.B. Ritchie and W/Op LAC A.W.G. Lyne. After a while they came to a railroad track and they discussed what to do next.
Milne and Hayward wanted to try to escape, while Ritchie and Lyne wanted to give themselves up. Ritchie and Lyne walked down the track to find someone to surrender to and Milne and Hayward started walking thru the country side. At 05:30 in the morning they came to “Svalhøjgaard” farm and asked for food. They were asked into the kitchen by the owner named Ravnsborg and given food and coffee. They then asked for direction to Hadsund and were given that.
Later the same morning they called in at “Marienhøj” plantation and asked for a place to hide from the Germans. By Mrs. Emma Engberg and her husband they were asked to hide in the plantation for the day, since the Germans probably would be searching for them.
Shortly after, German soldiers arrived at the farm and searched it, but found nothing. Later on the flyers returned to the farm and were invited to come in. They were given food and offered civilian clothes. The chances of escaping was discussed, and since it was unlikely that the flyers would succeed in doing so, they decided to give themselves up.
They asked the family to call the local police and shortly after the flyers were picked up by a police patrol who took them to Hadsund and handed them over to the German Wehrmacht.
They were then taken to Aalborg and the next day flown to Germany in a Ju 52 transport aircraft.
First they were interrogated at the interrogation centre Dulag Luft in Oberursel and then passed on to Oflag IXA in Spangenburgh.
In August Milne escaped together with a friend. They were recaptured on the same day and spent time at the local jail. After that Milne was sent to Colditz.
The three other crew members were also sent to Germany. After interrogation in Oberursel Ritchie and Hargraves were sent to Stalag VIIIB Lambsdorf and later on to Stalag Luft III Sagan, while Lyne stayed in Oberursel as a part of the permanent staff for the rest of the war. They all returned to England after the war.


 

 


                          (Via Rønnest)

 

 

 

The wreckage in Aalborg.

 

Sources: RL 19/453 /467, Ole Rønnest, BCL, OLCB, Birger Hansen.

 

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