Stanley F. Hodge                                                                                 Updated: 29 JUN 2019

Airman: o888119.htm Surname: Hodge Init: S F Rank: F/Sgt Service: RAAF Sqdn: 460

P_link: p289.htm Plane: LAN ME663 Operation: Minelaying Crash_site: Aale

Crash_d: d100444 Buried_d: o888 C_link: o888.htm At_Next: POW

 Mindesten for flyvere fra LAN ME663. Se 47 navne i London og Horsens og Google Map HorsensEH47.
     
Memorial stone to airmen of LAN ME663. See 47 names in London and Horsens and Google Map HorsensEH47.

LAN ME663 blev skudt i brand omkring kl. 03.30 over Østjylland af en tysk natjager i 23.000 fods højde. "Efter en undvigelsesmanøvre ned til 18.000 fod gav piloten Peter Crosby ordre til at forlade maskinen. Alle bekræftede ordren, da flyet i det samme krængede over og først fladede ud i 6.000 fods højde. Piloten gentog ordren og nu hastede det, idet flyet igen dykkede. Det brændte fra begge vinger, og flammer slikkede hen langs kroppen, da det lykkedes agterskytten Stanley Hodge at slippe ud af tårnet. Han landede på en ejendom umiddelbart nord for Bjerregaard (omkring her), mens flyet fortsatte og eksploderede 1 km nord for Aale by."
(Fra Jens Thomsen, Tørring)

"Vragdele blev spredt ud over et par kilometer. En vinge faldt ved Aale-Mattrupvejen, og to motorer faldt på en nærliggende mark, hvor også et par flyvere lå dræbt. Flykroppen havde pløjet sig ind i den sydlige ende af Mattrup plantage, hvor man fandt endnu et par besætningsmedlemmer. (Se området omkring monumentet her) Ved otte-tiden stødte man langt inde i plantagen på den sjette flyver i nærmest livløs tilstand. Det var navigatøren F/O Charles Edward "Ted" Suffren. På sin vandpose havde han skrevet: "Kl. 3.40 angrebet af jager, slynget ud af flyet. Brækket ryggen. Hils min familie, Ted - kl. 5.10 smerter ulidelige." (FT 90-104-24)
Gå til Charles E. Suffren og læs mere.

"Som nævnt landede agterskytten Stanley Hodge med sin faldskærm ved en ejendom nord for Bjerregaard. Han kom over Gudenåen ved Åstedbro Kro (her og i nærheden af Rask Skov (som er her)  fik han kontakt med en skolepige, som fik fat i en lærerinde, fru Emilie Henriksen, Boring Skole. Hun kunne tale med flyveren. Han var ikke særlig meddelsom og ønskede at begive sig mod Sverige. Når man kender hans australske baggrund og tænker på de afstande, de har i hans hjemland, forstår man måske meget godt, at han opfattede afstanden til Sverige som meget kort. Så efter et måltid mad søgte han om aftenen videre. Desværre kom han næste dag i forbindelse med forkerte folk. Det medførte, at han blev taget til fange." (Fra Jens Thomsen, Tørring)

Efter krigen fik fru Emilie Henriksen fat i Stanley Hodge´s adresse i Australien og skrev til ham. Hans svar af 18. september 1945 ses på dansk i FAF s. 192:
"Jeg kan ikke takke Dem nok, for at De har skrevet til mig, og for at De har givet mig mad, da jeg havde det uheld at blive skudt ned af tyskerne. Det varede ikke længe, før tyskerne fangede mig og satte mig i fængsel. Jeg blev sendt ned til Frankfurt am Maine. Derefter blev jeg sendt til Øst-Preussen og kom i lejr ved Heydekrug nær Memel. Så blev jeg sendt til Polen til byen Thorn. Jeg blev så ført tilbage til Tyskland og kom i lejr nær Hannover. Jeg måtte gå ud af den lejr og efter at have vandret i mange dage befriede de engelske soldater mig - - -."

"Fru Henriksen fik senere besøg fra Australien af de pårørende til de dræbte flyvere. Stanley Hodges kone og datter har besøgt stedet, hvorimod han selv ikke havde helbred til den lange rejse." (Fra Jens Thomsen, Tørring. -  I maj 1945 fandt Jens Thomsen i en mergelgrav (omkring her) den faldskærm, som den australske flyver havde brugt året før. Hele fodboldholdet i Aale fik nye snører til deres fodboldstøvler, og hans mor syede skjorter til ham og andre!)

Se også breve til fru Emilie Henriksen om Peter Alan Crosby og om Milton Harold Bender.

5 flyvere fra LAN ME663 begravet i Esbjerg 15. april 1944. 2 blev krigsfanger. Den ene af dem var hårdt såret og døde i Tyskland 16. februar 1945. Se p289MACR.
Se avisartikel fra 1994 Omsorg for de faldne og Krigsminder sendt hjem til Australien.
Se Om mindeceremonier 4. maj 2011 og tale af Anders Straarup 7 flyvere.

LAN ME663 caught fire about 03.30 over East Jutland, hit by a German night fighter at an altitude of 23,000 feet. "After an evasive manoeuvre down to 18,000 feet Pilot Peter Crosby gave the order to abandon the plane. They all confirmed the order, but the plane turned over and went down to 6,000 feet before he regained control. The pilot repeated the order and now it was urgent, as the plane dived again. Both wings were burning and flames were licking along the fuselage, when Rear Gunner Stanley Hodge managed to get out of the tower. He landed at a farm just north of Bjerregaard (about here), while the plane went on and exploded 1 km north of the village of Aale." (From Jens Thomsen, Tørring)

"Debris was scattered over a couple of kilometres. A wing fell at the Aale-Mattrup road, and two engines fell on a field nearby, where also a couple of deceased airmen were found. The fuselage had ploughed itself into the southern part of Mattrup plantation, where another couple of crew members were found. (See the area around the monument here) At about 8 a.m. the search party found way into the plantation the sixth airman nearly lifeless. It was Navigator F/O Charles Edward "Ted" Suffren. He had written on his water bag, "At 03.40 attacked by fighter, thrown out of the aircraft. Back broken. Love to my family, Ted - 05.10 pain unbearable." (FT 90-104-24)
Go to Charles E. Suffren to read more.

"As mentioned before Rear Gunner Stanley Hodge landed  with his parachute at a farm north of Bjerregaard. He crossed the stream Gudenåen at Åstedbro Inn (here) and near Rask Forest (which is here) he got in touch with a school girl, who contacted a teacher, Mrs. Emilie Henriksen, Boring School. She could talk to the airman. He was not very communicative and wanted to go to Sweden. Considering his Australian background and the distances in his homeland it is easy to understand that he considered the distance to Sweden to be very short. After a meal he went on in the evening. Next day he unfortunately got in touch with the wrong people. This meant that he was taken prisoner." (From Jens Thomsen, Tørring)

Mrs Emilie Henriksen managed to get the address of Stanley Hodge in Australia and she wrote to him. His reply of 18 September 1945 is seen in Danish, FAF p. 192, and again translated into English here:
"I cannot thank you enough for writing to me, and for giving me food, when I had the bad luck to be shot down by the Germans. It did not take long till the Germans caught me and put me in prison. I was sent down to Frankfurt am Main. Then I was sent to East Preussia and to a camp at Heydekrug near Memel. Then I was sent to Poland to the city of Thorn. I was then taken back to Germany and was sent to a camp near Hannover. I had to walk out of that camp and after many days of wandering I was liberated by British soldiers - - -."

Mrs Henriksen was later visited by relatives of the deceased airmen from Australia. Stanley Hodge´s wife and daughter have visited the place, but his health did not allow him to go on a journey that long. (Source: Jens Thomsen. - In May 1945 Jens Thomsen found the parachute used by the Australian airman the year before in a marl pit (about here). All of the football team in Aale got new laces for their football boots, and his mother sewed shirts for him and others!)

See also letters to Mrs Emilie Henriksen about Peter Alan Crosby and about Milton Harold Bender.

5 airmen from LAN ME663 were buried in Esbjerg on 15 April, 1944. 2 became POWs. One of them badly injured, so he died in Germany on 16 February, 1945.
See p289MACR * 460 Squadron RAAF * No. 460 Squadron RAAF * RAF-Lincolnshire.info has this. Lancaster Photos. 7 airmen.
Lancaster I ME663 AR-M took off from RAF Binbrook at 21.20 hrs on 09 APR 1944. (Source: Aircrew Remembered has this including an extensive Archive Report.)