Lancaster III ND807 crashed in the sea off the island of
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
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
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.
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
Lancaster III PB302 ditched in the North Sea 27/8
Lancaster III ND807 crashed in the sea off the
island of Sejrø 27/8-1944
Lancaster III LM652 crashed in the sea of Kattegat
Lancaster III PB292 crashed Høgsholt near Vejle
Lancaster III LM694 crashed Aastruplund 27/8 1944
Lancaster I ME650 crashed at Sønder Grene near
Skarrild 27/8 1944
Back to 1944
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