Stirling I R9261 crashed by Kongsmark on 21/4 1943.
The aircraft belonged to RAF 7 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded MG-M.
T/o 21:00 Oakington. OP : Stettin.
While attacking Stettin, R9261 was hit in one of the engines and left the target
area in a height of 2000 feet on a north westerly course which would take the
aircraft across the island of Falster and The Great Belt. When Pilot F/Lt
Charles W. Parish spotted a ship, he turned right which brought the Stirling
over Sjælland. Flt.Engr. Sgt Donald V. Smith RCAF now spotted a Messerschmidt Bf
110 night fighter on the Stirlings port side and shouted on the intercom for
Parish to take evasive action. At the same moment the Stirling came under fire
from a Bf 110 from 7/NJG 3, piloted by Unteroffizierz Berg with Funker
Unteroffizier Krebs and got out of control.
Parish gave orders to leave the plane, and Smith crawled towards the aft
emergency exit. When he reached it, he found W/Op Sgt Louis J. Krulicki RCAF
sitting crouching next to the only half opened door. Smith succeeded in opening it fully, and the vacuum this created sucked Smith
out of the exit. During this, Smith could hear the rear gunner Sgt Jack Lees
commence fire at the night fighter.
Smith succeeded in deploying his parachute, and in the few seconds it took to
reach the ground, he saw R9261 explode in a fireball. At 01:55 hours
the Stirling fell to the ground approx. 500 meters North West of Kelstrup
All except Smith perished. Apart from Parish and Krulicki it were S/L Wilfred A.
Blake acting as second pilot, Navigator P/O Elmer R. Vance RCAF, Air Bomber F/S
James S. Marshall RCAF, Air Gnr. Sgt Dennis C. Farley and Air Gnr. Sgt Jack
They were all laid to rest on Svinø cemetery on April 24 1943.
Standing: Vance, Smith, Parish, Lees, Marshal.
Kneeling: Krulicki, Farley.
Smith landed in a field a short distance to the south of the crash site and hid
he’s parachute in some scrub. He then walked to the south, until he at five
o’clock in the morning hid in small forest and tried to get some sleep.
The following three days Smith crossed Sjælland. The escape kit he had been
issued with proved very useful to him. The mirror, compass, comb and shaving kit
came in useful, while the 40.000 French francs and the map covering Middle
Europe did not do him much good.
On several occasions he made contact to local people, and meet much helpfulness.
A farm hand at Regnemark provided him with civilian clothing, and a school
teacher from Taastrup bought train tickets and followed Smith all the way to
He was also the first civilian Smith was able to communicate verbally with.
Smith searched for a small boat in Hollinger, but they were all guarded or
chained to the pier.
On April 26, Smith knocked on the door at Strandvejen 206 in Aalsgaarde and
asked for help. Mrs. Dalsborg, who spoke English, asked him to come on in and
gave him food and a bath. The family had small children, so it would not be safe
for Smith to stay there.
Instead he was lodged by Engineer Einar Knudsen, who lived next door. He in turn
contacted some friends by name of Ejnar and Sylvia Tjørn, who were involved in
After a couple of days Smith was met by Gert Baumgarten, with whom he would stay
while waiting to be transferred to Sweden.
Picture of Smith used for a illigal ID
In the waiting time two young ladies from the underground movement took him on a
sight-seeing in København. After having watched the little Mermaid and the
German HQ at Dagmarhus, Smith was taken for lunch at dÁngleterre which was the
best restaurant in Copenhagen.
On April 30 Smith had lunch with Lars Troen, with whom he would be rowing to
Sweden in a two man kayak. At eleven o’clock in the evening the kayak was put in
the water and after four hours of rowing they were able to wade ashore near
Helsingborg in Sweden. Here they reported to the local police, and spend the
next couple of days in a cell. They were then set free, and by the English
consul installed on Savoy Hotel. While staying here The Swedish crown prince
(Later to be King Adolf IV) learned about Smiths escape, and wanted to know more
about it. Smith was asked to come to The Grand Hotel to meet the Prince. During
a half hour meeting Smith told The Prince about his escape. On 5/5 Smith and
Troen were taken to Stockholm and on 12/5 Smith was taken to Bromma airport and
set onboard the BOAC Dakota G-AGGA which reached Dyce-Aberdeen after five hours
Smith visited Denmark several times after the war and met those who had helped
him to escape. Last time was in 1993 when he took part in the unveiling of a
memorial monument on the crash site of Stirling R9261.
Smith died in Ontario, Canada on October 10. 1998. His last wish was to rest
among his crew on Svinø cemetery. During a ceremony held on May 4. 1999 his urn
was set down next to the graves of his comrades.
Smith's grave at Svinø
Attending were Danish friends
and family from Canada, as well as a representative from no. 7 Sqn. Re-union
Association. Also present was the 87 years old Sylvia Tjørn who was one of the
young ladies who had taken Smith on the sight-seeing in Copenhagen back in 1943.
Ejnar and Sylvia Tjørn had to escape to Sweden in January
This picture was taken by the Swedish authorities.
Memorial at the crashsite
Sources: LBUK, Smith, RL 19/455, UA, CWGC, BS, AS 11-116+119, AS 12-113+164,
The night of 20/21 April 1943
Halifax II JB930 crash landed near Esbjerg
Lancaster III ED620 crashed near Stadil 20/4-1943
Lancaster III ED614 crashed Vester Vedsted
Halifax II DT628 crashed Strandgården farm, Halskov
Stirling III BK714 crashed Tarp, Esbjerg 21/4-1943
Stirling III BF508 crashed in Fænøsund on 21/4 1943
Halifax II DT747 crashed Hjertingvej road in
Sædding, Esbjerg 21/4-1943
Lancaster III ED557 believed crashed Store Bælt
Stirling I R9261 crashed by Kongsmark on 21/41943
Halifax II HR722 crashed Store Bælt off
Drøsselbjerg Klint 21/4-1943
Halifax II HR712 crashed Store Bælt near Slipshavn
Stirling III BF463 crashed in Store Bælt off
Halskov on 21/4 1943
Lancaster III ED818 crashed Vresen Ø 21/4-1943
Stirling III BF506 shot down by Bøgballe on 21/4
Lancaster I W4330 crashed Vestbirk 21/4-1943
Halifax II HR714 crashed in the tidal area off the
island of Mandø 21/4 1943.
Stirling III BK698 shot down over The North Sea on
Stirling III BF476 crash-landed at Kragelund Fælled
North of Vejle on 21/4 1943
Lancaster ED709 crashed Ringkøbing Fjord 21/4 1943
Back to 1943
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