An eye witness account by Bendt Fogh  See Google Map p050 Hudson AM523.    Updated:  29 JUN 2012

 An eye witness account of the air crash of Hudson V AM 523 at Faartoft east of Thisted on 20 October 1941
Google Map p050 Hudson AM523.

I was born in Thisted where I grew up. (See Photos from Bendt Fogh.) This is what I experienced that day in the autumn of 1941 when I was 15 years old.

The air raid sirens sounded, maybe in the early afternoon. My parents lived in a house without a basement very near the harbour, so I went up to their bedroom. From
the second floor (here) there was a view of all of the Thisted Bredning. It was a very windy autumn day. As the crow flies the distance to the crash site was about 2 km.

Suddenly I saw three planes approaching from the east and I reasoned that they were on their homeward flight from an air raid on Aalborg Airport. However, one of the planes breaks away from the others and from the south it flies low over the three dummy planes that were anchored off Faartoft and continues towards land between a dummy hangar and a farm. In a split second I see the left wing tip up certainly because of a gust of wind and it has definitely been impossible for the pilot to correct
the position of the wings of the plane. Shortly after a column of smoke followed by thick black smoke was seen. Shortly after the all clear was sounded.

I fetched my bicycle like many of my comrades and soon we were at the crash site. The Germans had just arrived from the western part of the town, Simonsbakker,
where the real seaplane base was, so the area had not yet been sealed off. I did not like to go quite near to see the horror, but some of my comrades were bolder
than I was, so they saw the severely injured crew member. According to their common statement his arms had been torn off. A German soldier was holding a cigarette
to his mouth in an attempt to ease his pain.

This is a case of misinformation. It was not an attack on a seaplane base, only a dummy seaplane base constructed to mislead the RAF and it cost a plane and the
lives of its crew. In those years I was a young sportsman rowing in competitions, so nearly every day we rowed past the German dummies made of plywood and canvas.
They seemed to be a bit smaller than the real types of aircraft. They were one-engined planes on floats. The hangar was made of laths placed with the width of a board,
so it was an airy construction. It was not guarded in any way. That is why we could pass quite near the dummies. On the other hand we had to keep a very great
distance to the seaplane base in Simonsbakker, when we rowed south.

The types of aircraft at the seaplane station were twin-engined Heinkel seaplanes and Dornier Wal flying boats that might have been built in one of the big shipyards in Hamburg. In the hard winter of 1943/1944 the Limfjorden froze over, so the planes were unable to take off. A powerful ship with a crane came from Kiel and broke through the ice. It placed the flying boats and the Heinkel planes on the quay of Thisted Harbour. When the period of frost lasted longer than the Germans had estimated, the
Heinkel seaplanes were fitted with new floats with runners. The engines were started and the planes rolled onto skids constructed out of timber and down on the ice.
One of the runners of a plane got stuck in a railway track and the wing crashed into a house at the harbour, yet without significant damage to neither the plane nor the house.

In May 1945 I was on my observation post on the second floor a number of times and I saw one formation after the other of Spitfire fighters coming so low above the fjord that they had to fly up to pass the German seaplane base in Simonsbakker. There was absolutely no flak from the base.

This was my account of the events on 20 October 1941. It was not an attack. This is also evident from the report for the mission of that plane.