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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.
(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.
Feltwebel Heinz Hanke in Markussens jacket
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
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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