Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 17G 42-3554 crashed in the North Sea 9/10 1943.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force 92 Bomb Group, 326 Bomb Squadron and was coded JW-B
T/O Podington. OP: Gdynia.


On the return flight 42-3554 was attacked by German fighters when crossing the Danish coast near Fanø island and at 16:45 it exploded in the air 10 miles south south west of Blåvandshuk.
Before the explosition five crew members had managed to leave by parachutes and landed in the sea.

One crew member was picked up by the Danish fishing vessel E 304 “Anna” of Esbjerg while E 288 “Lucretia” picked three flyers up. One flyer was picked up by the German Vorpostboot to which those picked up by the fishing boats were handed over.

The surviving flyers were Radio operator T/Sgt John D. Neville, Ball turret gunner S/Sgt Glen Winch, Left waist gunner S/Sgt James D. Batson, Right waist gunner S/Sgt Ralph S. Martinez and Tail gunner S/Sgt Walter J. Zimmermann.
 
The body of Navigator 2.Lt David Emery Jr. Was found washed ashore near Fjaltring and was laid to rest in Lemvig cemetery on 17/11-43.
His remains were disinterred on 4/5 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military.
 
The dead body of Top turret gunner T/Sgt Harold F. Hecker was retrieved from the sea by a German vorpostboot on the day of the crash and was laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery on 12/10-43.
His remains were disinterred on 30/4 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military.

Today they both rest in USA.

The Pilot 2nd Lt William F. Whelan, Co pilot 2nd Lt Frank E. Tomlison and Bombardier 2nd Lt Fred S. Rodway have no known grave and their names are found on Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England.

 

Sources: MACR, AS 64-906, Mike Mucha.
 

 

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