Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted

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Lancaster III ND807 crashed in the sea off the island of Sejrø 27/8-1944.

 
The aircraft belonged to RAF 97 Sqn. Bomber Command and was coded OF-P.
T/o Coningsby 20:29. OP: Königsberg.


The trip to Königsberg was uneventful and as part of the Path Finder Force ND807 was called in by the “Master of Ceremonies” to drop flares and markers on the target. The return trip then started.
 
When flying over Denmark ND807 was attacked by a night fighter which had sneaked in underneath it. The night fighter was piloted by Oberleutnant Arnold Brinkmann of 8./ NJG 3. The wing tanks were ablaze and the intercom went u/s. Therefore no member of the crew had contact with any other member. The plane was going down fast.
 
Mid upper gunner Sgt Robert A. Swolf left his turret and headed for the rear door where he met Tail gunner F/S Trefor R.G. Owen who had already opened the door. Owen bailed out and Swolf followed. When floating down Swolf saw the aircraft hit the water about one kilometre from the island in a mass of flames.
The time was approximately 03:00 hours.

Swolf released his parachute harness when he touched the water and was now swimming in his Mae West. He could clearly see the lighthouse at Sejrø but was unable to swim to it as there was a strong tide against him.

Early in the morning Fisherman Eiler Petersen and Skipper Peter Sørensen set out in a rowing boat to see if there were any survivors. They heard a couple of shouts and saw an arm raised from the sea a short distance away. They picked Swolf up and took him to Sejrø where he was taken to the farmhouse of William Jørgensen, Nørrevang.

The Wehrmacht arrested Swolf at Jørgensens farm and took him to their barracks on the island where he spent the next night. He was then taken to a prison in København where he spent one night. In the morning he was taken to an airbase near København by bus. Then by train to Rostock, Hamburg and Frankfurt am Main. At Dulag Luft in Oberursel just outside Frankfurt he was questioned for ten days and then passed on to Stalag Luft VII Bankau. Here he stayed until Christmas 1944 when the prisoners were moved by train, truck but mainly foot to Stalag IIIA Luckenwalde.
 


                                   (Via Swolf)

Mid upper gunner Sgt Robert A. Swolf POW card


 
On 21/4 1945 the guards slipped away and on 22/4 Russian troops arrived at Luckenwalde. Not until 20/5 would the Russians allow the POW`s to be taken to the river Elben and handed over to the Americans.

The body of Trefor Owen was washed ashore on the Swedish west coast, and he now rest in Kviberg cemetery, Sweden.

Pilot F/O Thomas N. McCurdy RAAF, Navigator F/O Frank S. Hawkes RAAF, Bomb aimer P/O Max Stern RCAF, 2nd Bomb aimer Wo2 William S. Bryans RCAF and W/op F/S Noel R. Keys RAAF have no known grave and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

 


 (Dieter Friedrick)

 

 



Sources: OLCB, Letter from Swolf dated 27/4-66, LBUK, BCL, CWGC, Report from Chief executive officer of Sejrø Karl Jørgensen.

 

26/27 August 1944

Lancaster I LM127 crashed in the North Sea 27/8 1944

Lancaster III PB180 crashed the in Baltic Sea 27/8 1944

Lancaster III PB302 ditched in the North Sea 27/8 1944

Lancaster III ND807 crashed in the sea off the island of Sejrø 27/8-1944

Lancaster III LM652 crashed in the sea of Kattegat 27/8 1944

Lancaster III PB292 crashed Høgsholt near Vejle 27/8-1944

Lancaster III LM694 crashed Aastruplund 27/8 1944

Lancaster I ME650 crashed at Sønder Grene near Skarrild 27/8 1944

 

 

 

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