Attack on Aalborg, Fliegerhorst Aalborg West, 13 August 1940 Dansk: Aalborg Flyveplads 13 AUG 1940  Upd: 09 JUN 2022

P_link Plane Operation Crash_d Crash_site
p014.htm  1 BLE T1933 Attack DK d130840 Restrup Enge
p015.htm  2 BLE R3800 Attack DK d130840 Limfjorden
p016.htm  3 BLE R2772 Attack DK d130840 Off Egholm
p017.htm  4 BLE R3821 Attack DK d130840 Aalborg West
p018.htm  5 BLE R3829 Attack DK d130840 Torpet Kær,Vadum
p019.htm  6 BLE R3904 Attack DK d130840 At Aabybro. 2km E
p020.htm  7 BLE T1827 Attack DK d130840 At Kaas, 2 km E
p021.htm  8 BLE R3802 Attack DK d130840 At Kaas, 2 km E
p022.htm  9 BLE T1934 Attack DK d130840 Tranum Klit
p023.htm 10 BLE R3913 Attack DK d130840 Tranum Klit
p024.htm 11 BLE T1889 Attack DK d130840 Near Vust

Most of the version in Danish has been translated into English. På dansk: angrebet på Aalborg, Fliegerhorst Aalborg West 13. august 1940.
Links in short: Aalborg Flyveplads 13 AUG 1940  *  Aalborg Airfield 13 AUG 1940

Aalborg1 1940 * Aalborg2 1940-45 * Aalborg3 2012 * TV film The Doomed Squadron (28 min. - in Danish, but with many sequences in English)
See FILM Angrebet på Aalborg Flyveplads (21 min. The Attack on Aalborg Airfield - parts in English) in the series HEROES OF THE AIR
by Candofilm, sendt 09 APR by TV2 Nord. See also TV2/Nord: Mindesten for flyvere - Memorial stones to airmen,  2 min. 13 AUG 2013
the speech in English
13 AUG 2013: Monument BLE T1934 -
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - Monument BLE R3913 - 8 - 9 - 10Vadum - 11 - 12         Formation A-FLIGHT -  B-FLIGHT
11 planes  (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 014-024 on the clickable map with planes to positions or see Google Map p014-024.

See No. 82 Squadron RAF - Wikipedia * 82 Squadron Blenheims, Watton, 1940 * Bristol Blenheim * German airfields near Aalborg.
Aircraft Restoration Company, Duxford - Bristol Blenheim * Blenheim L6739 -- Rolled Out.  Photo: RAF Memorial, Watton 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, (Frihedsmuseets Forlag) chapter 2, The Air Attack on Aalborg Airfield 13 August 1940:
"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 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.

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 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
1. T 1933 crashed in a tail of fire (here) at Restrup Enge. Parfitt, Youngs and Neaverson were killed. Two minutes later, 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 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, 4. R 3821 crashed (here) on the airfield and the aircraft exploded. Hale, Oliver and Boland were all killed.  5. 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:  Google Map p014-024
(Source: Ole Rønnest)
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,
the pilot, landed safely by parachute.  Ankers and Turner died in the crash.

At almost the same time 8. R 3802 (here) and 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 ground.

At Klithuse, 10. 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 9. 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, 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 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!"          See also the Battle of Britain

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.