Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted


1939-1940 Updated 9/4-24
1941 Updated 28/4-22
1942 Updated 17/8-23
1943 Updated 15/4-24
1944 Updated 15/4-24
1945 Updated 4/12-22

1940 New 30/11-23
1941 New 23/7-21
1942 Updated 19/3-24
1943 Updated 28/1-23
1944 Updated 23/7-23
1945 Updated 16/7-23

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Manchester I L7399 crashed near Lilholt 3/5-1942.

The aircraft belonged to RAF 106 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded ZN-X.
T/O 22:25 Coningsby. OP: Gardening Kiel Bay.

At 04:15 Manchester L7399 tried to crashland near Lilholt after being hit by flak further to the east. It crashed in a field belonging to farmer Oluf Petersen and the wreck was spread over more that 500 metres.


The wreck which had broken in two was still on fire in the front end when the Danish police arrived. It was first believed that the crew had left the aircraft by parachute but when the wreck cooled down five crewmembers were found in the front end.
At a nearby farm house belonging to Oluf Petersen was found two surviving members of the crew. Doctor Nybro from Vojens was attending to some minor brushes they had received during the landing. They were taken to the police station in Haderslev where they informed the police of their names. They were Wop/Air Gnr.Sgt Harold Kendall and Wop/Mid-upper Air Gnr. Sgt Akert Edward Hanks.
They also gave the police the names of their fallen comrades. They were: Pilot F/S William Llewis Johnston Young, Pilot Sgt Graham Wale, Wop/Air Gnr. Sgt Richard George Davies, Observer/Navigator W/O Alexandre Collingwood Bryce and Air Gnr. Sgt Henry MacLean.


                  (Bill Young)

Pilot F/S William L. J. Young


                  (Bill Davies)

Wop/Air Gnr. Sgt Richard G. Davies

The German Wehrmacht were informed about the presence of Kendall and Hanks and at 08:00 they were picked up by Unteroffizier Birkenhauer who took them to Haderslev barracks for interrogation.
From Haderslev they were sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel and on to Stalag Luft III near Sagan, Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug to end up in 357 Thorn / Fallingbostel at the end of the war.


      (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)


      (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)


      (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)


      (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)


      (Lokalhistorisk Arkiv Gråsten via Martin Reimers)

Two live carrier pigeons found in the wreck were handed over to the Nachrichten-Betr. Komp. Dänemark, II Zug Kolding.

Those who died were laid to rest in Aabenraa cemetery at 06:30 on 6/5-1942. The Marine Priest Graumann from Flensburg officiated at the graveside ceremony. Also attending were the German Ortskommandant with his staff, Reverent Bauch, Mayor Fink and Hr. Heidenreich of Aabenraa as well as the Chief police constable of Toftlund and several other members of the Danish Police.


          (Leif Pedersen)


          (Leif Pedersen)

The memorial at Lilholt






Sources: CWGC, LBUK, T501, RL 19/454, AS 66-87, OLCB, Clive Smith.


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