Airwar over Denmark

Airwar over Denmark

 By Søren C. Flensted


1939-1940 Updated 9/4-24
1941 Updated 28/4-22
1942 Updated 17/8-23
1943 Updated 15/4-24
1944 Updated 15/4-24
1945 Updated 4/12-22

1940 New 30/11-23
1941 New 23/7-21
1942 Updated 19/3-24
1943 Updated 28/1-23
1944 Updated 23/7-23
1945 Updated 16/7-23

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B 17G-BO 43-37629 crashed at Sædden near Esbjerg 27/8-1944

The aircraft belonged to USAAF, 8 Air Force,303 Bomb Group, 360 Bomb Squadron and was coded PU-A..
T/O Molesworth. OP: Berlin.

Due to bad weather over Berlin, Esbjerg airfield was selected as target of opportunity and was attacked in three waves at 15:03, 15:06 and 15:15 hours.
43-37629 was flying in # 1 position in low squadron, low group 41st “A” combat Wing when it at approximately 15:15 hours received a direct flak hit in the fuselage just back of the wings. The aircraft immediately broke in half and feel away in two pieces. The tail including the body of tail gunner S/Sgt Melvin Birenbach was found in a field in Gjesing belonging to Viggo Lønne. The front end continued towards west under constant fire and received several hits resulting in the loss of a wing which fell near the waterworks in Gjesing. The aircraft finally crashed in the German controlled area east of Hjertingvej road in Sædden while an engine with the propeller still attached was found near the lighthouse keeper house on Strandvejen road.

One dead crew member was found in a gooseberry bush near the public school in Femhøje while another was found in a chicken coup on a farm between Gjesing and Tarp belonging to Jens Peter Christensen.


Rear: Yarnall, Bertich, Sanford, Bitter
Front: Fidares, Baker, Taxon, Di Salvo, McGovern, Birenbach.
Crewmen are not in order.


             (Olaf Timmermann)


                (Olaf Timmermann)

Apart from Birenback, the crew consisted of Pilot 1.Lt Winfield L.Yarnall, Co pilot 2.Lt Louis A. Bertich, Navigator 2.Lt Isaac N. Sanford, Bombardier 2.Lt Harry B. Britter, Engineer T/Sgt Anthony Fidares, Radio Operator T/Sgt Albert W.Baker, Ball turret gunner S/Sgt Rubin Taxon and Waist gunner S/Sgt Dominick Di Salvo.

On 31/8 Baker, Britter, Sanford, Birenback, Fidares and four unknown flyers were laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg. This is according to the cemetery protocol of Fovrfelt cemetery.

Their remains were disinterred on 30/4 1948 and were evacuated to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military.

Today Yarnall, Bertich, Sanford, Fidares and Taxon have no known graves and their names are found on Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England.

Britter and Baker rest in Ardennes American Cemetery Neupre, Belgium while DiSalvo and Birenbach is believed to rest in USA.


          (Mrs Aphrodite Fidares-Malman via Finn Buch)

Engineer T/Sgt Anthony Fidares on the right with his brother Nicholas.



Sources: BE, MACR, LBUK, Torben Thorsen, Rudolf Clausen.


27/8 1944

P 51D 44-13936 crashed at Bov Mark near Frøslev 27/8-1944

B 17G-BO 43-37629 crashed at Sædden near Esbjerg 27/8-1944

B 17G-BO 42-37841 hit over Esbjerg 27/8-1944

P 51C-10-MT 43-25049 crashed in Grådybet 27/8-1944

P 51D-5-NA 44-13733 crashed in Grådyb 27/8-1944

P 51D-5-NA 44-13951 crashed in Grådyb 27/8-1944

P 51D-5-NA 44-13991 crashed in the North Sea 20 miles WSW of Blåvand 27/8-1944



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