Thanks to the Allied airmen - text          På dansk    About memorial ceremonies         Updated:  07 JUN 2012

The top of the text of
Thanks to the Allied airmen
in Horsens Folkeblad on 5 May 2011.
See also the photo.

By Søren V. Kristensen

Befrielsesbudskabet  -
The message of liberation

"On 4 May 1945 in the evening the Danish announcer Johannes G. Sørensen in the broadcast in Danish from the BBC could
inform the people of Denmark that the
German troops in Denmark had surrendered. Five years of occupation by the Germans
were over. The message came in the middle
of the normal radio news at 20.36.
Johannes G. Sørensen was interrupted
in reading the news and he was given the
message. After a short break he returned
to the microphone and passed it on. The message of liberation triggered joy and excitement all over the country and people
took to the streets."

"Regitze Roos, 11, from Odense was visiting her Grandparents in Korning. She participated in the memorial ceremony by holding the wreath presented by
associations in Korning. Photo: Morten Marboe"

KORNING - 66 years after the liberation in 1945 we can still be grateful that the Allied and the Danish Resistance movement fought and made an effort so that the dictatorship lost and Denmark became a free country.
That is what Anders Straarup from Randers - the man behind the website - said, when he laid a wreath at the memorial stone at Korning
School yesterday to commemorate all who fell in the fight for the freedeom of Denmark.

Three local air crashes
Anders Straarup, born in 1944, has been an officer of the reserve of the Artillery Regiment of Northern Jutland. And his interest in the history of World War II 1939-45 including the occupation of Denmark by the German Wehrmacht has made him do the comprehensive job of registering the 3,054 Allied airmen who flew missions
over Denmark during the war. (Comment: I write about 3,054 airmen from 460 planes - most of the shot down over Denmark. See Airmen 1946. Helge W. Gram
calculated that Allied planes flew over Denmark
about 40,000 times on their way to or from bombing raids on Germany or minelaying operations. Only a very small  
part of the flights involved supplies of weapons for the Danish resistance. AS.)

In his records Anders Straarup has written about the 460 planes that crashed in Denmark, and at three local memorial ceremonies last night in Korning, Bøgballe and
Aale he told about three crashes in this area.

Porridge and plaices
On 12 September 1941 at a time when the Germans were still moving forward and the Americans were still neutral, a British bomber crashed into a field near Stouby Church when an engine had been damaged. The crew of four bailed out and saved their lives. Danish police deployed many men in a search for the airmen and three
of them were soon captured.

But the last - James Alexander Philson - had disappeared. Four days later he was found in the brake compartment of a goods van which was standing at Daugaard
railway station. The railwayman called the police, and that was the end of the escape. However, later the prisoner was invited to a dinner at Daugaard Inn. He got the
seat of honour at the table. He had rice pudding and plaice before he was sent back to England, Anders Straarup related. (Comment: He was found by a railwayman
and then turned over to Danish Police. A German Major agreed to let Danish police interrogate him (see Palle Høybye 1980) and then he would be back at 14.00
hours to fetch Philson. On 7 June 2012 Philson added, "The Germans were completely unawere of what was going on. They had been told that the Police were
me! When they did return it was with typical Teutonic arrogance & bluster." (See Photo of Philson at Daugaard Inn.) Then Philson was taken to
German POW-Camps, not to England! I mentioned the remarkable speeches in Daugaard in my speech in Korning. AS)

The two graves of airmen
Later in the evening he told similar stories at the graves of airmen in Bøgballe and in Donneruplund near Aale about two Allied planes that had been shot down at the
cost of the lives of a number of Allied airmen. (Comment: The burials took place in Esbjerg, but there are memorial stones at the crash sites near Bøgballe and Aale.)

To the question why we should still hold these memorial ceremonies after the war, Anders Straarup said,
"Many of the airmen who were shot down during the 5 years of war are still alive. I have met some of them at reunions in both England and Denmark. They always
speak warmly of the Danish Resistance Movement and the common effort which meant that the Germans were defeated.
Yes, 4 May is still worth a celebration. And for me it is shocking to read that today many Danish pupils in Primary and in Secondary Schools do not know what
happened on 9 April 1940, when Denmark was occupied, and on 4 May 1945, when we were liberated, Anders Straarup added. (Comment: I also mentioned the
Mosquito Aircrew Reunion and talks with Lester Schrenk on Skype. AS)

At the end of the day the Army Home Guard Company Hedensted and the Denmark Society offered a cup of coffee at the Home Guard Centre in Honum."