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Lancaster III EE138 shot down 4/9-1943 near Stadil.
The aircraft belonged to RAAF (RAF) 460 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded AR-E2
call sign E2-Easy.
T/o 19:58 Binbrook. OP: Berlin.
On the return flight from Berlin EE138 was attacked by a German JU 88C-6 night
fighter piloted by Leutnant Rechberger of 12. / NJG 3. It is believed that the
JU 88C-6 was coded D5+AX and carried the Werknummer 750500. The Lancaster caught
fire and at 02:33 it fell to the ground in a field belonging to Ingeman Halkjær,
Stadil exploding on impact. The field was marshy and most of the aircraft
disappeared in a water filled hole.
Carthew, Forrester, Jowett
The crew which consisted of S/Ldr Carl R. Kelaher RAAF, W/O Ewin C. Carthew RAAF,
W/O Cyril R. Walsh RAAF, F/O Sydney M. Forrester RAAF, Sgt John C. Coombes RAF,
Sgt Herbert Freeman Jowett RAF, Sgt Arthur Rolfe RAF and Sgt Ernest A. C. Thirkettle
RAF perished and remains in the aircraft to this day.
Due to not being officially laid to rest the whole crew are commemorated on the
S/Ldr Carl R. Kelaher
(Via Bent Bogøe Anthonisen)
W/O Cyril R. Walsh
(Via Peter Forrester)
Sgt Arthur Rolfe RAF
Sgt John C. Coombes
During the night of the crash Ingeman Halkjær, together with a German soldier,
found part of a corpus, which the Wehrmacht buried at the edge of the field.
When the English War Grave Commission came to Stadil after the war Halkær pointed
out where the corpus had been buried and it was brought to Svinø by a Captain
On 13/6 1947 it was laid to rest in Grave number 97 in Svinø cemetery as a
Unknown Australian Airman.
A memorial stone have been erected on the crash site.
70 years after the crash
Exactly 70 years after this tragic event, on 4th September 2013 a crowd of
about 100 invited guests gathered in Stadil Marsh Memorial Grove, West Jutland,
to observe an event, quite unique in Denmark, that of the posthumous award of
medals to a crew member and the simultaneous memorial unveiling of a propeller
blade from Lancaster EE138 and the crew of 8 (4 RAAF and 4 RAF).
Ole Kamp of Ringkøbing-Skjern County welcomed the guests and following the
Danish National Anthem, “Der er et yndigt land”, he then invited Wing Commander
Anthony O’Leary RAAF, Defence Attaché, Embassy of Australia to give an address
giving the background for the decision to make the posthumous award.
H.E. Ambassador of Australia to Denmark Damien Miller then spoke on behalf of
the Australian Government and laid the medals, placed symbolically next to
Flying Officer Sidney M Forrester’s name, as inscribed on the original Memorial
RAF Sergeant Scott Cuthbertson, representing the UK Chief of Defence Staff, gave
an account of the post-war recovery attempts in 1947 and 1948, which in
difficult circumstances failed to free the deep-lying aircraft from marshy
ground, with the crew remaining on board their Lancaster for posterity.
They are therefore all commemorated on the RAF Missing in Action Runnymede
Memorial in Surrey, England.
Anders Andersen and Erling Halkjær, both of Stadil, then spoke and unveiled the
propeller blade Memorial, followed by wreath laying on behalf of the Australian
and UK Governments and private wreaths laid by relatives. After the solemn
and traditional “Last Post” and One Minute’s Silence” the British National
Anthem, “God Save the Queen” and the Australian, “Advance Australia Fair” ended
Exactly on cue, two F16s of the Royal Danish Air Force flew twice over Stadil in
salute, a poignant moment at the end of a very moving ceremony.
The driving forces behind this moving event were the people and Parish of Stadil,
in particular Mr Erling Halkjær who has tended the original memorial for many
years and Mr Peter Forrester of Adelaide, nephew to the medals recipient, Flying
Officer Sidney M Forrester RAAF who has made 5 journeys from Australia to
Denmark to achieve all this.
In all some 11 relatives attended from Australia and 4 from the UK. It is
very fitting that the medals will now remain with the Forrester family as a
permanent reminder to the bravery and courage of one of their ancestors.
Robert Cobley M.B.E.
Member of The Denmark Team
5th September 2013
The stone with the medals awarded to S.M Forrester.
Peter Forrester with his uncles medals.
The memorial now including a propeller blade from the
Above pictures from Peer Petersen, Member of the Denmark
Sources: LBUK, AD, Report Ringkøbing police, BCL, AIR 27/1908, OK, Matthew Horan.
Night of the 3. and 4. September 1943
Lancaster III EE138 shot down 4/9-1943 near Stadil
Stirling III BK774 crashed in the North Sea /
Lancaster III W4988 crashed Larös North West of
Helsingborg, Sweden 4/9 1943
Lancaster III JA713 crashed in the sea of Kattegat
off Tunø 4/9 1943
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