Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Stirling I serial number R9290 crashed in the Langelandsbælt near Vesternæs of Lolland 29/4 1943.

The aircraft belonged to 75 Sqn (NZ) RAF and was coded AA-X.
T/O Newmarket 20:41. OP: Gardening Radish (Fehmarn Belt)

The crew were Pilot Sgt Alfred E. Lewis RAAF, Navigator Sgt Henry G. Corin RNZAF,  Air Bomber P/O Charles J. Bickham. Wireless Operator/Gunner Sgt Frederick A. Moulton, Flight Engineer Sgt Andrew Graham, Mid Upper Gunner Sgt John H. Whitehart and rear Gunner Sgt Victor C. Howes RNZAF.

 


                   (Margaret Stevens, New Zealand)

The crew with groundcrew

At 00:08 an aircraft was seen going down in flames and at 00:25 an aircraft was seen to explode in the air over Langelandsbælt west of Vesternæs. Both claims were credited to Marine flak.

From the Kriegstagesbuch Admiral Dänemark:

KTB Marbef. 29.4.43:
Erzielte Abschüsse:
0008 1 Maschine im Raum Nyborg
0023 1 Maschine im Raum Kappel

Report from Kappel (M.A.A.508) at 04:15:

At 00:08 A enemy aircraft (Stirling) flew over the flak position from 1-5 in 300 m altitude. It was fired at with 2-2 cm Madsen and M.G 08. It was hit in the right hand inboard engine. It started burning and it was seen to crash into the sea in direction 7. Distance 4 km. The enemy answered the fire but did no damage. Ammunition used: 100 rounds of 2 cm (Red) and 123 rounds of machine gun ammo.

At 00:23 Return flight by an enemy Stirling aircraft from direction 6-10. Altitude 300 meters. When opening fire it was hit in the left hand inboard engine and in the fuselage. The searchlight followed the target for three minutes. The aircraft crashed in the sea about 300 meters off shore. It exploded when it hit the water. One dead person and wreckage was retrieved from the sea. Ammunition used: 60 rounds of 2 cm (Red) and 60 rounds mg ammo.

The Abschüsse report from Luftgaukommando XI states that the dead person was from the aircraft that crashed at 00:08. As the flyer was later identified as belonging to Stirling BF467 it must be assumed that the Stirling that crashed at 00:23 was R9290.

The flak unit that claimed the aircrafts was Lei. Flakzug "Kappel" that belonged to 8./M.A.A. 5

On the next morning the beach over a 6 kilometer stretch was found to be littered with debris from an aircraft as well as human remains. No piece of human remains bigger that a hand.

As there were quite a few dogs in the area, shore police hurriedly collected the remains and buried them on the beach in several holes. These were not marked.

On 11/5 Mr Jens Hylstofte of Nakskov found a pair of boots containing parts of legs. These boots were marked “1292879 Moulton”.

The marking was sent to the police and was after the war handed over to the RAF.

The crew members have no known grave and they are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

 

Sources: LBUK, Abschüsse report, The National Archives of Australia, KTB Admiral Dänemark via Jens Andersen, KTB Kommandant Dänische Inseln.

 

Minelaying on the night of 28/29 April 1943

Lancaster I W4898 crashed in the southern part of Kattegat 29/4-1943

Stirling III BK807 crashed in Langelands Belt on 29/4 1943

Wellington X HE395 crashed at Over Jersdal on 29/4 1943

Stirling I BF447 shot down near Vrønding on 29/4 1943

Stirling III BF467 crashed in Langelands Belt near Kappel on 29/4 1943

Stirling III BF515 shot down by Taagerup on 29/4 1943

Wellington X HE170 tried to crash land near Bjerndrup 29/4 1943

Wellington X HZ278 crashed Esbjerg on 29/4 1943

Lancaster I W4945 crashed 29/4 1943 at Remmerstrand

Stirling I EF356 shot down near Aadum on 29/4 1943

Lancaster III ED733 crashed at Jordrup on 29/4-1943

Stirling I serial number R9290 crashed in the Langelandsbælt near Vesternæs of Lolland 29/4 1943

 

 

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