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 17G 42-37790 crashed near Haarslev 20/2 1944.

The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 100 Bomb Group, 418 Bomb Squadron and was coded LD-Y.
T/O Thorpe Abbotts. OP: Rostock.

The B 17 which was named Miss Behavin was hit by flak over the target and was smoking badly from number two engine. On the return flight while flying over the island of Fyn (Funen) Pilot Lt R.A. Smith called up on the radio at 14:52 hours and said that he were going to try to reach Sweden. As soon as they left the formation they were attacked by 8 Fw 190 who on their first head on attack shot off the top turret. After several more attacks the B 17 had been shot up badly and the crew had to bail out.

                                       (Via Finn Buch)

It is believed that Miss Behavin was claimed by Gefreiter Pancherz of 3/JG 11 who is credited with the destruction of a B 17 in PL.Q. OA at 3000 meter at 14:56 hours. Miss Behavin crashed at Haarslev Mark 5 kilometres to the south of the city of Bogense.


                                      (Per Kristensen)


                                   (Per Kristensen)


                                 (Via Finn Buch)

The whole crew landed safely in their parachutes. Co Pilot 2nd Lt Orlin H. Markussen and Flight Engineer/ Top Turret Gunner T/Sgt Thomas M. Egan teamed up but were captured by the Wehrmacht at 17:00 near Skovby. They were taken to the radar station “Faun” which was based at Skovby and under the commando of Oberleutnant Pobst. They spent the night there and were taken to Odense on the next day. Here they met with four surviving crew members from a B 17 which had crashed near Bellinge and a number of Luftwaffe pilots.

Among these was Feltwebel Heinz Hanke of 2./JG 11 who had claimed the B 17 near Bellinge. In Odense he “claimed” Markussens jacket and proudly wore it for the next couple of months before he lost it during a allied raid on Husum.

                                                       (Heinz Hanke)

Feltwebel Heinz Hanke in Markussens jacket


                                         (Otterup Lokalarkiv)

Feltwebel Heinz Hanke

Navigator 2nd Lt Gerald C.Scott, Bombardier 2nd Lt Ernest Cribbs, Ball Gunner S/Sgt Edward Dyblic, Right Waist Gunner S/Sgt Robert L. Dunbar and Left Waist Gunner S/Sgt Edward Britko hid in the Fjellerup Praesteskov where they met Farmer Rasmus Thrane who invited them to come to his farm. Reverend R. Fauerskov Laursen was called and when he arrived he found the flyers seated around the table having dinner. He discussed the possibility of escaping and advised them to hide in the parish promising to help them. They however wanted to go to the coast and try to find a boat and sail to Sweden. Later in the evening the flyers left after having received instruction on how to find the Baaring beach. Next morning at 07:30 they were captured near Varbjerg on the northwest coastline of Fyn.
Pilot 2nd Lt Reginal A. Smith and Tail Gunner S/Sgt Michael E. Udick landed in a forest near Nymarksgaard farm one kilometre from Harndrup. One of them landed in a three while the other broke thru the ice on a small waterhole. They met with several local people among other Ida and Morten Mortensen who took them to a house in Harndrupskov. However the housewife was afraid to let them stay and called for the police. Ida and Morten then got the flyers out of the house and ran to forest where the flyers hid in a hole in the ground. In the night the flyers were brought to the house of Valde Mortensen in Trostrup. They were invited to come in and given food and a place to sleep. Later Valde got second thoughts and on the afternoon of 21/2 he went to the Danish security police in Odense and informed them about what had happened. They in turn called the German Filed Police who followed Valde to his house and picked the flyers up at 15:30 hours and took them to Odense.
Radio Operator T/Sgt Ira Gordon Ewans had more luck. He landed near Knarndrup and hid in a wood where he meet several local people and among them Nurse Inger Nøsted who supplied him with civilian clothes and in the evening they caught a train for Odense. In Odense they hired a taxi to taken them to Faaborg where she knew the Junker family. After having his background checked Ewans was taken to Doctor Hole in Ferritslev and on 29/2 he was taken to Sdr. Højrup vicarage and Reverend Miland Petersen by Police Constable Clemens-Pedersen in his police car. Ewans stayed until 3/3 when he was by Clemens-Pedersen in his police car taken to Dyreborg from where Fisherman Peter Christensen sailed him to Skelskør on Sjælland (Sealand). Then he was transported from Skelskør to København (Copenhagen). On 7/3 he was sailed to Sweden on the boat ”Hans Steensen”.

From Odense the prisoners were sent to Dulag Luft in Oberursel near Frankfurt where they were placed in solitary confinement for about a week while being questioned. Smith, Markussen, Scott, Cribbs, Egan and Britko were then sent by train to Stalag Luft I Barth.

It is believed that Udick, Durbar and Dyblic were sent to Stalag Luft IV Gross Tychow from where at least Udick later was transferred to Stalag Luft I Barth.



Sources: FB, MACR, Letter from Markussen, Letter from Hanke, LBUK, DFEV, TW, AS 28-81, RL 19/458.



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