Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 24H 42-52432 crashed Venslev 9/4 1944.
 

The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 458 Bomb Group, 755 Bomb Squadron.
T/O Horsham St. Faiths. OP: Tutow.


42-52432 took off from Horsham St. Faiths at approximately 09:00 and headed north east over the North Sea with the 458 Group. When they reached Denmark they saw a high bank of clouds running north-south at 26,000 ft. The order was given to spread out and fly thru the clouds on a 90 degree course. When they came out on the other side, the German fighters immediately attacked the bombers before they could get back in formation. 42-52432 was attacked head on by two Bf 109 and the two inboard engines as well as the electrical system were destroyed.

 


                                      (Via Finn Buch)

The crew
 

Navigator F/O Bernard A. Jacobsen was hit by shrapnel in the artery in the neck and was bleeding badly.

Pilot 2nd Lt Byron E. Logie told Flight Engineer T/Sgt Walter E. Scott to jump out with Jacobsen and get him to a doctor fast.

Logie next told Co pilot 2nd Lt George R. Reed to check on the crew in the tail of the bomber but he was not able to get there due to two bombs blocking the door. It was decided to try to make it to Sweden but soon after they were again attacked by a Bf 109 fighter which shot out the third engine.

After Reed turned on the alarm bell as the intercom had been destroyed during the attacks Bombardier F/O Walter J. Kita jumped out.

Radio operator S/Sgt Thomas R. Murphy had got into his parachute harness wrongly and Reed had to help him turn it around before both of them jumped out.

Logie jumped just before the B 24 hit the ground and landed safely in his parachute.

 


                                (Via Finn Buch)

The aircraft crashed in the village of Venslev at 11:29 hours setting a farm and a house on fire.



Rear Gunner S/Sgt Sidney Sheren, Left Waist Gunner Sgt Edward W. Cisek and Right Waist Gunner Sgt Fred E. Stiles all died and were laid to rest in Svinø cemetery on 11/4 1944. One of them had managed to get out of the aircraft but at too low an altitude for the parachute to deploy properly and he had fallen to his death.

The body of Ball Turret Gunner Sgt John H. Schramm was found on 28/4 when the crash site was cleared and he was laid to rest in Svinø cemetery on 30/4 1944.

On 27/4 1944 a few human remains were buried at Venslev cemetery by the Parish Priest Ove Højland.

The remains of the deceased were disinterred on 4/5 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condroz in Belgium by the US military. Today Stiles and Cisek rest in Arlington Nat. Cemetery and Sheren rest in New Montefiore cemetery, Pinelaw, Long Island USA while Schram still rest in Neuville.

Scott and Jacobsen were caught near Halkevad and Bombardier F/O Walter J. Kita was caught by the Germans at Hyllested Præstemark.

They were sent to Dulag Luft at Oberursel near Frankfurt for interrogation. Kita and Jacobsen were later sent to Stalag Luft I Barth North compound while Scott was sent to Stalag 17B Braunau, Gneikendorf, near Krems in Austria.

Murphy and Reed landed close together in a field between Venslevej road and the road going south from Hyllested. Young Ejvind Friis saw them land and showed them out of the village to a wood near his home. Ejvind then walked home to wait for the Germans to stop searching before he would come back to them. When he came back they had left with Busdriver Bernhard Hansen and Sven Anker Brøns who had spotted them in the woods. When they had delivered the last passengers they had turned the bus around and picked the flyers up and taken them to the Haarslev-Tingjellinge school where the flyers were hidden in the basement.

In the evening they were picked up by Doctor Thorsteinson and driven to the home of Falck employee Svend Aage Nielsen in Slagelse.

Logie landed north of the village and hid in Bjerge å (River). He was spotted by Agnethe Jensen and Farmhand Aksel Larsen from Brobjerg who helped him to hide in a haystack. In the evening Logie was taken to the farm kitchen and feed. Later on the same evening he was picked up by Bent O. Jacobsen, Svend E. Petersen and Head of Falck in Slagelse Bruno de Neergaard in a tow truck and taken to Fuglebjerg where he was put in an ambulance and driven to Slagelse. Here he spent the night at de Neergaards home. The next morning Logie was walked over to Doctor Christensens flat where he spent some time.

After a couple of days Logie was taken by train to København by Bruno de Neergaard. In København Logie stayed in different apartments while waiting to continue his journey.

On 10/4 Head of Falck in Roskilde Einar Arboe-Rasmussen drove to Slagelse in an ambulance to pick up Reed and Murphy. One was dressed in the uniform of a Falck employee while the other was “dressed in bandages” and placed on a stretcher in the ambulance. They were taken to Roskilde where they spent the night in the home of Police constable Ole Lykkebo. The next day they were taken by taxi to Voldgaarden 2 in København where they stayed with two students.

On 17/4 Logie was shipped over to Sweden by “Danish-Swedish Refugee Service” and a few days later Reed and Murphy followed via Nykøbing Sjælland.


 

After the war a memorial stone was erected in Venslev cemetery to commemorate those who lost their lives.

 

See also: 458th Bombardment Group H - Crew68Logie

 


Sources: FB, LBUK, MACR, Ejvind Friis Jensen, Kvislemark, Logie via FB.

 

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