Most of the
version in Danish has been translated into English.
angrebet på Aalborg, Fliegerhorst Aalborg West 13. august 1940.
Links in short:
Aalborg Flyveplads 13 AUG 1940
* Aalborg Airfield 13 AUG
Aalborg1 1940 * Aalborg2 1940-45 * Aalborg3 2012
* TV film
Doomed Squadron (28 min. - in Danish, but with many sequences in English)
Angrebet på Aalborg Flyveplads (21
min. The Attack on Aalborg Airfield -
parts in English)
in the series HEROES OF THE AIR
Candofilm, sendt 09 APR by TV2 Nord.
Mindesten for flyvere - Memorial stones to airmen, 2 min. 13 AUG 2013
the speech in
13 AUG 2013: Monument BLE T1934 -
2 - 3 -
4 - 5 -
6 - 7 - Monument BLE
R3913 - 8 - 9 -
10 - Vadum -
11 - 12
Formation A-FLIGHT - B-FLIGHT
(1.-11.) took part in the attack on
Aalborg Airfield, Fliegerhorst Aalborg West, on 13 August, 1940. See
Aalborg Air Base.
All 11 planes were shot down in or leaving the target area. Follow the numbers
on the clickable map with planes to positions or see
Google Map p014-024.
See No. 82 Squadron RAF
* 82 Squadron Blenheims,
Watton, 1940 * Bristol Blenheim
German airfields near Aalborg.
Restoration Company, Duxford -
Bristol Blenheim *
Blenheim L6739 -- Rolled Out.
Photo: RAF Memorial,
Watton by Ole Rønnest
reconstructed R3821 that visited
Aalborg in 2000 due to efforts by
From Helge William Gram: Shot down over
Denmark 1940-1945, (Frihedsmuseets
Forlag) chapter 2, The Air Attack on Aalborg Airfield 13
"At 08:30 on Tuesday, 13 August 1940,
82 Squadron of the Royal Air Force
took off from Watton and
Bodney airfields in
Norfolk. The 12 British
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
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
in the coming Battle of Britain.
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
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
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
was immediately informed and
Aalborg was warned of an imminent British attack.
25 German fighters had just been transferred from
Aalborg to Jever to escort German bombers on a mission to England. As it
happened, 9 Messerschmitt 109s
had just landed from Stavanger 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 12:17
crashed in a tail of fire
(here) at Restrup Enge. Parfitt, Youngs
Neaverson were killed. Two minutes
2. 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,
3. R 2772
(here) at Egholm.
The aircraft broke up on hitting some large boulders. It was a miracle that
Blair, Magrath and Greenwood
for all three had sustained serious
At almost the same time,
4. R 3821 crashed
(here) on the
airfield and the aircraft exploded. Hale,
Oliver and Boland were all killed.
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:
Google Map p014-024
As soon as A-flight had come through the
anti-aircraft fire the nine German fighters swooped on them.
6. R 3904 was hit first and crashed
(here) at Aabybro. Newland,
pilot, landed safely by parachute.
Ankers and Turner died in the crash.
At almost the same time
R 3802 (here)
7. 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
10. R 3913 was hit. Neither
Patchett nor Morrison managed to get out of the aircraft
Almost at the same place Lart´s aircraft
T 1934 crashed (here). Neither he, Gillingham
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,
11. 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
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
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."
Greenwood spent some time in a POW
camp in Germany on writing to a film star in Hollywood. See
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!" See also the Battle of
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.