Attack on Aalborg, Fliegerhorst Aalborg West, on 13 August 1940                    Updated:  13 NOV 2014

P_link Plane Operation Crash_d Crash_site
p014.htm BLE R1933 Attack DK d130840 Restrup Enge
p015.htm BLE R3800 Attack DK d130840 Limfjorden
p016.htm BLE R2772 Attack DK d130840 Off Egholm
p017.htm BLE R3821 Attack DK d130840 Aalborg West
p018.htm BLE R3829 Attack DK d130840 Torpet Kær,Vadum
p019.htm BLE R3904 Attack DK d130840 At Aabybro. 2km E
p020.htm BLE T1827 Attack DK d130840 At Kaas, 2 km E
p021.htm BLE R3802 Attack DK d130840 At Kaas, 2 km E
p022.htm BLE T1934 Attack DK d130840 Tranum Klit
p023.htm BLE R3913 Attack DK d130840 Tranum Klit
p024.htm BLE T1889 Attack DK d130840 Near Vust


Aalborg1 1940 * Aalborg2 1940-45 * Aalborg3 2012 * TV-film Den dømte eskadrille (28 min.) Se 70 år efter.
Se TV2/Nord med Mindesten for flyvere, 2 min.13 AUG 2013 Monument BLE T1934 -
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - Monument BLE R3913 - 8 - 9 - 10Vadum - 11 - 12
Disse fly tog del i angrebet på Aalborg, Fliegerhorst Aalborg West den 13. august 1940.  Bombeflyet Bristol Blenheim.
Alle 11 fly blev skudt ned i eller på vej væk fra målområdet. Følg numrene 014-024 på det klikbare kort med fly til nøjagtige positioner eller se
Google Map p014-024
Se Fotoalbum, 82 Squadron Blenheims, Watton.
Se rekonstruktion af R 3821 og Besøg af sjældent engelsk bombefly.  Elizabeths ridder om Ole Rønnest.
Ole Rønnest fortæller selv i Den dømte eskadrille også om de overlevende, og hvad der senere skete. Nogle af dem besøgte Aalborg i 1984.

Fra Helge William Gram: Skudt ned over Danmark 1940-45, kapitel 2, Angrebet på Aalborg Flyveplads.
"Omkring kl. 08.30 tirsdag den 13. august 1940 gik Royal Air Force 82 eskadrille på vingerne fra flyvepladserne Watton og Bodney i Norfolk. De 12 Blenheim bombefly havde hver 3 mands besætning. Målet var flyvepladsen ved Aalborg (her), der umiddelbart efter besættelsen den 9. april var blev gjort til genstand for en massiv
udbygning.

Under tyskernes to måneder lange felttog i Norge havde flyvepladsen været af uvurderlig betydning. Nu skulle udbygningen sikre dens brugbarhed i det forestående
slag om England. (Et blik på kortet her viser betydningen.)

RAF havde allerede fra april rettet et antal angreb på pladsen, men uden større virkninger og med begrænsede tab. 5 fly under fem forskellige angreb. Den 8. juli
angreb RAF Aalborg havn og skibe i havnen med 10 Bristol Blenheims. I alt kastedes 30 bomber, men halvdelen forsagede. Flyene kastede bomber fra 4 km højde,
alle undgik luftværnsilden og nåede tilbage til England.

Ved angrebet 13. august skulle bomberne - hvis muligt - kastes fra 7 km højde. Angrebet skulle søges gennemført, hvadenten der var et skjulende skydække eller ej. Styrken blev ført af Wing Commander Lart. Han havde kort forinden med godt resultat ført et tilsvarende angreb mod en tysk flyveplads ved Leeuwarden i Holland.
Han var kendt som en meget ambitiøs chef, krævende og personlig dristig. Efter manges opfattelse for dristig.

Eskadrillens mest erfarne navigatør deltog ikke den 13. august. Navigationen lå derfor i hænderne på en mindre rutineret. Det var beregnet, at eskadrillen skulle flyve
ind over Jyllands vestkyst ved Thyborøn (her). Forinden kysten vendte et af flyene om på grund af tekniske problemer. Da de 11 fly nåede Jylland, blev det klart, at
den vanskelige afdrift var fejberegnet. Kysten passeredes ved Søndervig (her), ca. 55 km sydligere .

Ved passage af kysten forsvandt det hidtil beskyttende skydække. Alligevel besluttede Wing Commander Lart at fortsætte mod Aalborg i de to kilometers højde, som strækket fra over Nordsøen var fløjet i. Indflyvningen ved Søndervig var straks blevet observeret af en tysk luftmeldepost. Den tyske flyvekontroltjeneste i Århus blev omgående underrettet og Aalborg blev varslet om forventet engelsk angreb.

Samme dag var 25 tyske dagjagere blevet overført til Jever (her) til eskortetjeneste for tyske bombefly mod England. 9 stk. Messerschmitt 109 var imidlertid netop
landet efter eskorte fra Stavanger (her). Umiddelbart efter at luftalarmen i Aalborg (her) havde lydt kl. 12.16, gik disse fly atter på vingerne. De tyske luftværnsbatterier
i og omkring Aalborg var tilsvarende beredte.

A-flightens seks fly slap gennem flakskytset og fik kastet deres bomber. Da B-flighten omtrent et minut senere fulgte efter, havde flakskytset skudt sig ind. Kl. 12.17 styrtede  T 1933 brændende ned (her) på Restrup Enge. Parfitt, Youngs og Neaverson blev dræbt. To minutter senere styrtede R 3800 ned (her) ved den tyske vandflyveplads. Syms og Wright reddede sig med faldskærme. Turner blev dræbt i flyet.

Tre minutter senere styrtede R 2772 ned (her) ved Egholm. Maskinen blev knust mod store sten. Mirakuløst overlevede Blair, Magrath og Greenwood, omend alle tre
alvorligt kvæstede.

Omtrent samtidigt styrtede R 3821 ned (her) på selve flyvepladsen. Flyet eksploderede. Hale, Oliver og Boland dræbtes alle tre. R 3829 styrtede ned (her) øst for
Vadum. Moore og Girvan kom ikke fri af det brændende fly. Kun Squadron Leader Wardell overlevede stærkt forbrændt. Hermed var B-flighten udslettet.                             

Både for A og B flighten er efterfølgende anført i hvilken rækkefølge flyene gik tabt samt ved hvilken lokalitet, de styrtede ned.

Så snart A-flighten var ude af flak-bæltet faldt de 9 tyske jagere over den. R 3904 blev ramt først og styrtede ned (her) ved Aabybro. Newland, piloten, reddede sig i faldskærm. Ankers og Turner omkom i flyet.

Ved Kaas faldt næsten samtidigt R 3802 (her) og T 1827 (her). Fra det første reddede Ellen og Dance sig med faldskærm, mens Davies omkom i flyet. I T 1827
nåede Bristow at erkende, at Jones og Cranidge begge var dræbt. Han fik sin faldskærm hægtet på, fjernet flyets kamera og kom med besvær fri af kameralugen.
Hans faldskærm foldede sig ud få sekunder før han nåede jorden.

Ude ved Klithuse ramtes R 3913. Hverken Wigley, Patchett eller Morrison slap ud af flyet (her). Omtrent sammesteds styrtede Lart´s fly T 1934 (her). Hverken han
selv, Gillingham eller Beeby kom fri af flyet. Kun Gillingham blev om eftermiddagen identificeret af læge Christensen fra Brovst sygehus (her). Det sidste fly - T 1889 - nåede stærkt skadet ud til kysten. Da det stod Oates klart, at flyet aldrig ville nå England, vendte han om og - efter ny beskydning - nødlandede han flyet (her) ved
Vust. Han selv blev alvorligt kvæstet i ryggen, men både han, Biden og Graham overlevede. To måneders kyndig pleje af Oates på sygehuset i Fjerritslev (her) sikrede hans overlevelse.

For de tretten overlevende englændere drejede det sig om at søge helbredet genvundet og overleve næsten fem års krigsfangenskab. I november 1941 lykkedes det
Bill Magrath at undslippe. Via Frankrig, Spanien og Gibraltar nåede han til England i marts 1942.

John Bristow indlagde sig uforglemmelig beundring ved gennem alle årene at magte at fremstille primitive radioer, så krigsfangerne kunne følge den militære udvikling
og efterhånden bringes til at tro, at allieret sejr ville blive en realitet."

Fra en krigsfangelejr i Tyskland brugte Bill Greenwood tid til at skrive til en filmstjerne i Hollywood. Se Keeping the spirits up - POW mail.

Ole Rønnest fortæller i sin bog Den dømte eskadrille historien med mange detaljer, kort og fotos. Den tyske leder af byggeriet på flyvepladsen, Karl Bruns, bedømte skaderne på flyvepladsen som ganske ubetydelige. Han spurgte en af de tilfangetagne flyvere, der havde fået kaffe, cigaretter og whisky fra Major Seebohm: "Er De
gift?" "Nej", svarede flyveren og fortsatte, "jeg skulle giftes i morgen, men nu bliver det nok udsat i fire uger!" "Hvorfor fire uger?" Flyverens forbløffende svar var: "Fordi krigen til den tid er slut med vores sejr!"

Den dømte eskadrille er en af de bøger, der fås på Forsvars- & Garnisonsmuseum Aalborg. Se også Slaget om England.

Aalborg1 1940 * Aalborg2 1940-45 * Aalborg3 2012 * TV film The Doomed Squadron (28 min. - in Danish, but with many sequences in English)
TV2/Nord: Memorial stones to airmen, 2 min. 13 AUG 2013 Monument BLE T1934 -
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - Monument BLE R3913 - 8 - 9 - 10Vadum - 11 - 12
These planes took part in the attack on Aalborg airfield, Fliegerhorst Aalborg West, on 13 August, 1940. See also Aalborg Air Base and photos.
All 11 planes were shot down in or leaving the target area. Follow the numbers 014-024 on the clickable map with planes to positions or see Google Map p014-024.

See  82 Squadron RAF * No. 82 Squadron RAF * No. 82 Squadron almost wiped out * The Blenheim Society * Bristol Blenheim * RAF Bristol Blenheim
ARC Duxford - Bristol Blenheim * Blenheim L6739 -- Rolled Out * Blenheim - - L6739 unveiled
 Photo: RAF Memorial+The Propeller Memorial story by Ole Rønnest * The reconstructed R3821 that visited Aalborg in 2000 due to efforts by Ole Rønnest.

From Helge William Gram: Shot down over Denmark 1940-1945, chapter 2, The Air Attack on Aalborg Airfield 13 August 1940:
"At 0830 hours on Tuesday, 13 August 1940, 82 Squadron of the Royal Air Force took off from Watton and Bodney airfields in Norfolk. The 12 British Blenheim
bombers each carried a crew of three. The target was the airfield of Aalborg (here) in northern Jutland, which the Germans had enlarged considerably soon after
the Occupation on 9 April 1940.

During the two months of the German campaign in Norway, Aalborg Airfield had been of immense strategic importance. Now the new airfield was to prove its
usefulness in the coming Battle of Britain. (A glance at the map here shows the importance.)

As early as April, the RAF had launched a number of attacks on this airfield but without any significant effect and with the loss of only five aircraft in five different raids.
On 8 July the RAF attacked ships and harbour installations with 10 Bristol Blenheim aircraft. In all 30 bombs were dropped, but half of them failed to explode. The
bombs were dropped from a height of 4,000 metres; all the aircraft managed to evade the anti-aircraft fire and returned safely to England.

The plan of attack on 13 August was, if possible, to drop the bombs from a height of 7,000 metres, and the attack was to be carried out regardless of the extent of the
cloud cover. The squadron was commanded by Wing Commander Lart. Shortly before, he had successfully led a similar attack on a German airfield at Leeuwarden in
the Netherlands. He was known as a very ambitious commander, demanding and daring. Some would say too daring. The squadron´s most experienced navigator did
not take part in the raid on 13 August. The navigation was therefore in the hands of one who was less experienced. The plan was to cross the west coast of Jutland at Thyborøn (here). Before reaching the Danish coast, one aircraft was forced to return due to technical problems. As the 11 aircraft reached the coast it became clear
that the adverse wind factor had been miscalculated. The coast was instead crossed at Søndervig (here) 55 kilometres further south.

After crossing the coast the protective cloud cover dispersed; nevertheless, Wing Commander Lart decided to proceed towards Aalborg at 2,000 metres, the height
at which the squadron had crossed the North Sea. The crossing at Søndervig was instantly registered by a German air observation post. The German Air Control at
Aarhus was immediately informed and Aalborg was warned of an imminent British attack.

25 German fighters had just been transferred from Aalborg to Jever (here) to escort German bombers on a mission to England. As it happened, 9 Messerschmitt 109s
had just landed from Stavanger (here) after a spell of escort duty. As soon as the air raid warning had sounded in Aalborg (here), these nine fighters took off again. In
and around Aalborg German anti-aircraft batteries were ready and waiting.

The six aircraft of A-flight got through the flak and released their bombs. As B-flight followed about a minute later, the anti-aircraft fire had been adjusted. At 1217
hours T 1933 crashed in a tail of fire (here) at Restrup Enge. Parfitt, Youngs and Neaverson were killed. Two minutes later, R 3800 crashed (here) close to the German seaplane landing area. Parachutes saved the lives of Syms and Wright. Turner was killed in the aircraft.

Three minutes later, R 2772 crashed (here) at Egholm. The aircraft broke up on hitting some large boulders. It was a miracle that Blair, Magrath and Greenwood
survived, for all three had sustained serious injuries.

At almost the same time, R 3821 crashed (here) on the airfield and the aircraft exploded. Hale, Oliver and Boland were all killed. R 3829 crashed (here). Moore and
Girvan did not manage to get out of the burning aircraft. Only Squadron Leader Wardell survived, badly burnt. The entire B-flight had been eliminated.

The chronological order in which the aircraft of both A and B flights were lost and the areas where they crashed were as follows:

As soon af A-flight had come through the anti-aircraft fire the nine German fighters swooped on them. R 3904 was hit first and crashed (here) at Aabybro. Newland,
the pilot, landed safely by parachute.  Ankers and Turner died in the crash.

At almost the same time R 3802 (here) and T 1827 (here) crashed at Kaas. From the R 3802, Ellen and Dance saved themselves by parachute, while Davies died in
the plane. In T 1827, Bristow found time to ascertain that Jones and Cranidge had both been killed. He managed to hook on his parachute, remove the aircraft´s
camera, and with some difficulty, got out through  the camera hatch. His parachute opened only a few seconds before he hit the ground.

At Klithuse, R 3913 was hit. Neither  Wigley, Patchett nor Morrison managed to get out of the aircraft (here).

Almost at the same place Lart´s aircraft T 1934 crashed (here). Neither he, Gillingham nor Beeby managed to get out. In the afternoon Gillingham, as the only one
of the three, was identified by Dr. Christensen from Brovst Hospital (here).

The last of the aircraft, T 1889, managed to reach the coast although already heavily damaged. When Oates realised that the aircraft would never be able to make it
to England, he turned the plane round and, after renewed attack by a fighter, he crash-landed (here) at Vust. Oates was seriously injured in his back, but after two months´ skilled treatment at Fjerritslev Hospital (here) he survived his injuries. His crew, Biden and Graham both survived.

As for the thirteen survivors, their main  concern was to regain their health and to survive almost five years as prisoners of war. In November 1941 Bill Magrath
succeeded in escaping: via France, Spain and Gibraltar he reached England in March 1942.

John Bristow won an undying name for himself: through all the years of his captivity he constructed primitive radio sets so that his fellow POWs could follow the development of the war and gradually regain their faith in an Allied victory."

Bill Greenwood spent some time in a POW camp in Germany on writing to a film star in Hollywood. See  Keeping the spirits up - POW mail.

In his book The Doomed Squadron Ole Rønnest tells the story with many details, maps and photos. The German leader of construction work at the airfield, Karl
Bruns, considered the damages on the airfield as quite insignificant. He asked one of the captured airmen, who had had coffee, cigarettes and whisky from Major Seebohm: "Are you married?" "No," the airman answered and went on, "I was to be married tomorrow, but now it will probably be postponed for four weeks!"
"Why four weeks?" The airman´s amazing answer was: "Because at that time the war  will have ended with our victory!"

The Doomed Squadron is one of the books available from Defence- and Garrison Museum Aalborg. It has more photos, maps and texts than the Danish edition.

See also the Battle of Britain