The British Bomb in Vorup - and about Estruplund                          Updated:  03 SEP 2014                                

Translation of Den britiske bombe i Vorup - og Estruplund (pdf - 6 MB) by Anders Straarup in Randers Amtsavis 30 AUG 2014.
(Click on the link to the article to see the photos. See also
Operation 30 AUGUST 1944 and Google Map 30 AUG 1944 with the 12 air crashes.)

The manuscript:
On 30 August 1944 half an hour after midnight people in Randers were awakened by a powerful bomb that hit the edge of a field at the crossroads Kaergade-Maalervej
and made a crater of 8 metres. Randers Amtsavis wrote: "Most severely hit were the houses Kaergade 25 and 24 which in a second were turned into a heap of rubble
and splintered beams. The other houses that were destroyed were the houses 23 and 26 and Maalervej 1, but in addition to them about 10 other houses were severely damaged." Randers Dagblad mentioned broken windows in about 500 shops and 2-3,000 smaller windows broken. A link to the story of the bomb is seen at
Randers North Cemetery on the map Cemeteries in AirmenDK.

Unfortunately 6 people were killed and at least 11 injured, but why was the bomb dropped?

Lancaster NE144 was one of many bombers that attacked important hubs on the lines between Germany and German forces in Russia. On 30 August 1944 Bomber Command dispatched 586 Lancasters towards
Stettin and Königsberg, now Szczecin here in Poland and Kaliningrad here between Poland and Lithuania. The routes crossed North Jutland and the neutral Sweden. 38 bombers were lost - 4 of them in the Kattegat and 8 were shot down over Jutland. Of the 85 airmen in these
12 planes 73 airmen perished, 9 became Prisoners of War and 3 managed to get to Sweden assisted by the Resistance Movement.

On its way to Stettin Lancaster NE144 was hit by a German night fighter, so the tail section burst into flames. The Rear Gunner was severely injured. To regain
control of the plane the pilot had to drop a 4000 lbs. bomb that, as mentioned, landed in Vorup south of Randers. The Pilot managed to continue towards Sweden.
The Top Turret Gunner and the Wireless Operator tried to help the Rear Gunner, but the plane lost altitude and north of Anholt it had to ditch in the Kattegat. The tail section with the 3 airmen broke off and sank quickly. Later their bodies were found, and 1 was buried on Anholt and 2 in Falkenberg in Sweden. The other 4 airmen succeeded in getting up in the dinghy of the plane. In the morning they were discovered from Anholt and the life boat came out and picked them up. The Germans got them and they were taken to German Prisoner of War Camps.

During the same attack Lancaster PB143 was hit and burst into flames over the Kattegat. One airman bailed out, and he drowned in the Kattegat. He was found near Læsø and buried in Frederikshavn. Just when the plane had made landfall to improve the chances for survival a bomb exploded at the hard forced landing south of the mouth of the Randers Fjord in a field between Ingerslev and Estruplund (here, overview here). The 6 men who were still in the plane were blown to pieces so parts of bodies hung in the barbed wire.

In the field German soldiers started to collect parts of bodies to bury them on the spot, but the farmer's wife explained to the soldiers that it was not a custom in
Denmark to treat deceased persons in that way. The Danes continued the work of collecting the parts of bodies, and on 17 September the 6 airmen were buried in Estruplund Churchyard where a Danish stone with the names of the airmen and the inscription They gave their lives for peace and freedom was erected.

Merely in Estruplund and in Kalundborg there is only a Danish stone with names. Normally there are also white headstones with the names of the airmen. We still have 1.030 airmen buried - most of them in Cemeteries. In addition to them 147 were buried in neighbouring countries after having been washed ashore there. 929 airmen
have no known grave, 629 became Prisoners of War, 57 were sailed to England and 92 Allied airmen made it to Sweden assisted by the Resistance Movement.
The website AirmenDK Allied Airmen 1939-45 DK mentions 3,089 Allied airmen from 463 planes - most of them shot down over Denmark or
Danish waters.

From Bomber Command alone more than 55,000 airmen lost their lives of the 120,000 who served. On operations from bases in Great Britain the Americans lost about 37,000 airmen, killed or presumed killed. (See Loss of Lives.)

Crash sites, monuments and graves of airmen in all of Denmark can easily be found via AirmenDK, so you may find them. Many people have contributed to the contents. There are maps, photos, extensive information and indication of sources that you may follow up. It is obvious to do it and remember Allied airmen who fought also for Denmark's freedom 70 years ago.