Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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B 24H 42-52569 crashed Saksfjedgaard farm on the island of Lolland 9/4 1944.


The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force, 466 Bomb Group, 786 Bomb Squadron and was coded U8-L.
T/O Attlebridge. OP: Tutow airdrome.


While flying at 22.000 ft as # 3 in low squadron 42-52569 an engine caught fire. The bomber was not able to stay with the formation and fell back to join another formation when they were hit by enemy fighters and caught fire.

When over the island of Lolland those of the crew who were still alive baled out.

Navigator 2nd Lt Robert A.Marsh and Bombardier 2nd Lt William T. Spitler left thru the nose wheel door while Pilot 2nd Lt Albert J. Taft, Co-pilot 2nd Lt Fernando A. Tellez, Radio operator S/Sgt Donald C. Olson and Engineer T/Sgt Edward H. Gore left thru the bomb bay door.

Ball turret gunner Sgt Richard A. Johnson bailed out thru the waist window and his parachute was caught by the horizontal stabilizer and only release at about 100 metres altitude. He landed safely but damaged his foot.

Also Tail gunner Sgt Gerrard Horton left the aircraft, but a too low altitude and fell to his dead with an unopened parachute about 150 metres from the wreck.

Inside the aircraft which crashed at Saksfjedgaard farm 5 kilometres south east of Rødbyhavn on the island of Lolland at approximately 11:15 hours were Right waist gunner Sgt Forest E. Kayser and Left waist gunner Sgt Zvonimir P. Sambol.

Together with Horton they were laid to rest in Svinø cemetery on 10/4 1944 at 17:00 hours. Their remains were disinterred on 4/5 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military. Sambol still rest there while Kayser and Horton were transferred to USA where Horton was finally laid to rest in Milford. Today Forest Kayser rest in Green Lawn Cemetery in Porthsmouth, Ohio.

 


                                       (Via Finn Buch)

Right waist gunner Sgt Forrest E. Kayser



Johnson, Olson, Taft, Spatler and Tellez were caught by the Wehrmacht just after landing and were sent to Dulag Luft in Oberursel on 11/4.

Marsh and Gore got inn touch with farmer William Poulsen, “Skovbygaard” farm near Errindlev who gave them food and civilian clothes. After a while the flyers continued towards east. They were caught near Nysted on 10/4 at 11:00 hours when a Parish Executive Officer reported their whereabouts to the Wehrmacht. They too were sent to Dulag Luft.

After interrogation Taft, Tellez, Marsh and Spitler were sendt to Stalag Luft I Barth while it is not known to where the enlisted men were sent.

 

 

All above pictures from the crashsite via Ole Korsvig.


 


                                     (Finn Buch)

The crashsite 60 years later

 


                                         (Finn Buch)

The crashsite 60 years later

 


                          (Karen Johnson Trouvat)
 


                     (Karen Johnson Trouvat)
 


                  (Karen Johnson Trouvat)

 

 

 

June 2013

 

Sources: MACR, LBUK,UA, BS, Gregory M. Virginia.

 

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