Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Halifax BII DT520 crashed in the sea off Langeland on 1/10-1942.


The aircraft belonged to RAF 10 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded ZA-J.
T/O 18:00 Melbourne. OP: Flensburg.


At 22:08 hours the Halifax was hit by flak from IV Zug 3./Lei 844 based on southern Langeland and crashed burning into the sea 300 metres off “Stenbækgård” farm, Nordenbro Vesteregn killing all onboard.

On 2/10 the dead body of Wop Sgt Robert F. Gourlay RCAF was found drifted ashore at “Stenbækgaard” farm. It was identified and placed in a coffin in Magleby chapel. The next day the coffin was collected by Unteroffizier Martinsen of the German Wehrmacht. He informed the police in Rudkøbing that it would be taken to Fliegerhorst Avnø on Sjælland. Gourlay was laid to rest in Svinø cemetery on 7/10-1942.

On 6/10 the area where the aircraft had crashed was swept for mines and while doing that the body of Flt. Engr. Sgt George W. Spowart was found and brought to Bagenkop harbour onboard the minesweeper. The body was formally identified and was then placed in a coffin in Magleby chapel. On the next day Hauptmann Schönfelder and Fliegerhorst Avnø collected Spowards coffin and took it to Fliegerhorst Avnø. Spoward was laid to rest in Svinø cemetery on 9/10-1942.

On the morning of 11/10 the body of Air Gnr. Sgt Herbert S. Moore was found drifted ashore near Ristinge. The body was formally identified and placed in a coffin in Humble church. On 13/10 the coffin was collected by Unteroffizier Martinsen of the Wehrmacht and brought to Odense where Moore was laid to rest in Odense Assistens Cemetery on 14/10-1942. The German Field Priest Johannes Vorrath officiated at the graveside ceremony.

On 14/10 the body of Air Gnr. Donald A. Ivers RCAF was found drifted ashore on farmer Peter Petersens farm at Nordenbro Vestereng. It was identified and placed in a coffin in Magleby church.

On the morning of 15/10 the body of Pilot Sgt David Campbell was found in the sea off Ristinge. It was taken to a farm in Hesselbjerg where it was formally identified by Doctor Demmagaard and Mr. Oppermann from the Danish police. It was then placed in a coffin and taken to Humble church.

On 16/10 the body of Sgt H E. Sullivan was found drifted ashore near “Stenbækgaard” farm. It was taken to Magleby chapel and placed in a coffin before being identified as Sv:::van H. On the same day it was collected by Unteroffizier Martinsen of the Wehrmacht together with the coffins of Campbell and Ivers and taken to Odense where the three of them were laid to rest in Odense Assistens Cemetery on 17/10-1942.
A German field priest officiated at the graveside ceremony.

On the morning of 18/10 the body of Bomb aimer/ Observer Sgt Leslie Smythson was retrieved from the wreck and by boat taken to Bagenkop harbour where it was identified. It was then placed in a coffin in Magleby chapel from where it was collected by Unteroffizier Martinsen of the German Wehrmacht on 19/10 and taken to Odense. Smythson was laid to rest in Odense Assistens cemetery on 23/10-1942. A German field priest officiated at the graveside ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Sources: RL 19/472, AS 25-48, LBUK, BCL, CWGC.

 

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