Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 17F 42-5862 ditched in the North Sea 25/7-1943.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 100 Bomb Group, 350 Bomb Squadron and was coded LN-?
T/O Thorpe Abbotts. OP: Warnemünde / Kiel.


The primary target of the day was Warnemünde but due to the weather the secondary target being Kiel was attacked. Over Kiel they were met by heavy flak and 42-5862 which the crew had christened “Duration Plus Six” was hit.
 
While returning over the North Sea it became necessary to ditch the plane and all except Pilot Captain Richard Carey and Co–Pilot 2.Lt William J. Styles were assembled in the radio room when the plane hit the water.

 


             (www.100thbg.com)


Pilot Captain Richard Carey

 


        (Judy Moore)

Tail Gunner S/Sgt Maynard T. Parsons, April 15 1943


          (Judy Moore)

Tail Gunner S/Sgt Maynard T. Parsons

 
After the landing Waist Gunner Pvt. Robert D. Lepper and Tail Gunner S/Sgt Maynard T. Parsons managed to get out of the top hatch even thou they were both wounded. Also Carey and Styles managed to get out before the aircraft sank.
 
When this happened Bombardier 2.Lt William E. Griffith was seen trying to get out thru the top hatch but went down with “Duration Plus Six”.

The following crew members died and have no known grave. Radio operator T/Sgt Steven S. Kopczewski, Engineer T/Sgt Lester I. Berg, Waist Gunner S/Sgt Charles J. Mayville and Ball Turret Gunner S/Sgt Norman C. Eddy.

Navigator 2.Lt Calvin H. De Fevre and Bombardier 2.Lt William E. Griffith also perished and rest in USA today.

The ditching had happened at 18:00 hours approx. 75 miles southwest of Esbjerg. Skipper Svend L. Petersen of fishing vessel E 475 of Esbjerg had only just set his trawl when he saw the aircraft ditch. He left the trawl and set course for the plane. Upon reaching the place where the B 17F had ditched they could take the four survivors onboard. Carey and Styles were unharmed while Lepper and Parson were badly injured. One of whom had broken both legs and both wrists.

 


             (Judy Moore)

Tail Gunner S/Sgt Maynard T. Parsons laying down wounded on the Danish fishing vessel

 

The fishermen dressed the wounds to the best of their ability, picked up the trawl and set course for Esbjerg where they arrived on 26/7 at 13:20 hours.

The pilots were picked up by the Wehrmacht right away, while the wounded men were left under guard on the pier for two hours. A Danish ambulance arrived to take the flyers to the hospital but the Germans would not allow this. Only after two hours did a German ambulance arrive to pick up the wounded. Via German lazaretts in Denmark they were sent to the lazarett in Schleswig, Germany.

 



Sources: FB, AS 64-788, RL 19/472, ABMC.
 

 

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