Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted


1939-1940 Updated 21/7-20
1941 Updated 7/6-19
1942 Updated 27/7-21
1943 Updated 22/7-21
1944 Updated 27/7-21
1945 Updated 16/8-21

1940 New 22/7-21
1941 New 23/7-21
1942 Updated 10/5-18
1943 Updated 2/7-21
1944 Updated 16/8-21
1945 Updated 16/8-21

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B 17F 42-30146 belly landed Avedøre 29/7 1943.

The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 94 Bomb Group, 333 Bomb Squadron and was coded TS-A.
T/O Bury St. Edmonds. OP: Warnemünde.

42-30146 was having engine troubles when outbound and after having reached the Danish west coast it was decided to try to reach Sweden. The bombs were dropped to lighten the aircraft which was now down to one good engine.

After a while the navigator 2.Lt Frank S. Pellegrino declared that they were over Sweden and Pilot 2. Lt Ned Palmer started looking for a place to land. He found a nice big field where he at 10:15 hours made a good belly landing with little damage to the aircraft.



The two above pictures shows the B 17 being dismantled

When the crew left the aircraft they found to their big surprise themselves surrounded by Wehrmacht soldiers. It turned out that they had landed not in Sweden but in occupied Denmark and that the field they had used was an exercise ground for German soldiers.

The crew were: Pilot 2. Lt Ned Palmer, Co-pilot 2. Lt Eugene R. Snyder, Navigator 2. Lt Frank S. Pellegrino, Bombardier 2. Lt Arthur E. Cooper, Radio Operator/Gunner T/Sgt George A. Hamling, Engineer/Turret gunner T/Sgt Christos Bassios, Ball turret gunner S/Sgt Vernon P. Rathbun, Tail gunner S/Sgt William P. Clark, Flexible gunner S/Sgt Olin E. Brown, Flexible gunner S/Sgt Damon D. Cottingham.

The officers were separated from the other ranks and the two groups were sent to Dulag Luft in Oberursel for interrogation. They spent the rest of the war as POW`s.

"Down and Go" at Kastrup

The aircraft was dismantled and taken to Fliegerhorst Kastrup near København for repair.
It was painted in German colours and operated by the Luftwaffe until 9/2-1945 when it exploded at Stuttgaard-Echterdingen airfield just after take off killing seven of the crew and ten passengers.



Sources: MACR # 202, LBUK, AS 3-409, “Strangers in a Strange Land” by H.H. Stapfer.


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