Wellington X HE170 - Near Bjerndrup                                           Updated:  17 DEC 2015

Airman Surname Init Rank Service Sqdn P_link Plane Operation Crash_site Crash_d Buried_d C_link At_Next
a113058.htm Burgess G R Sgt RAF 196 p175.htm WEL HE170 Minelaying Near Bjerndrup d290443 b070543 c113.htm Aabenraa
a113059.htm Curling E D Sgt RAF 196 p175.htm WEL HE170 Minelaying Near Bjerndrup d290443 b070543 c113.htm Aabenraa
a113060.htm Quick E G Sgt RAF 196 p175.htm WEL HE170 Minelaying Near Bjerndrup d290443 b070543 c113.htm Aabenraa
a113061.htm Swain F C Sgt RAF 196 p175.htm WEL HE170 Minelaying Near Bjerndrup d290443 b070543 c113.htm Aabenraa
a113062.htm Wheatley A Sgt RAF 196 p175.htm WEL HE170 Minelaying Near Bjerndrup d290443 b070543 c113.htm Aabenraa


 
”Royal Air Force sendte 226 bombefly mod danske farvande og Østersøen natten mellem den 28. og 29. april 1943. Mineudlægningen var den største under krigen, men også den største hvad angik tab af fly. 23 fly vendte ikke tilbage til England.

Wellington HE 170 fra 196 Squadron gik på vingerne fra Leconfield kl. 20.51 for at lægge miner ud i feltet ”Forget-me-not” ud for Kiel. Efter endt udlægning kom flyet under beskydning over Løgumkloster. Unge mennesker på vej hjem fra ungdomsmøde i Løgumgårde kunne berette om en kraftig luftduel op mod Arrild. Flyet brændte i halepartiet og drejede mod Agerskov. Kort efter kom det fra Agerskov over Branderup, og der foregik stadig en duel mellem flyet og den tyske jager.

Alle kunne se, at Wellingtonen ville nødlande. Den strøg ned lige øst for gårdene i Bjerndrup, og rutscheturen endte uheldigvis i en kanal her, hvor flyet tippede på højkant. Klokken var da omkring 00.50. Der udbrød en eksplosionsagtig brand med høje flammer, som kunne ses langt væk. Se Google Map p175 WEL HE170.

Mange iagttagere kom til stedet, som lå ca. 150 m. fra vejen og August Petersens gård. Politiet og lokale beboere forsøgte at redde nogle fra besætningen, da de kunne høre dem klage sig. Området blev afspærret, og de nærmeste familier evakueret, idet der var fare for bombesprængninger. To overlevende blev kørt til Tønder Sygehus, hvor de begge døde med få minutters mellemrum den følgende eftermiddag omkring kl. 13.15. De 3 øvrige af besætningen var blevet fundet, da morgenlyset brød frem. De kørtes til kapellet på Løgumkloster Sygehus.

Om formiddagen ankom den pilot, der havde nedskudt flyet til Bjerndrup i et lille sportsfly. Han blev fotograferet ved vragresterne. Det udbrændte fly kørtes væk nogle dage senere.

Besætningen er begravet på kirkegården i Aabenraa. Æret være deres minde!”

Informationstavle fra Sønderjyllands Amt opsat her ved mindestenen for WEL HE170, tekst:  Frede Gotthardsen. Se Flere fotos.
Se meget mere i En tragisk nødlanding i Bjerndrup og øjenvidneberetning fra Andreas Schulz.

Af 207 fly gik 15 fly tabt over dansk område, se Google Map p169+MINELAYING.
Kun 4 flyvere fra de 23 fly overlevede!
Se også Minelægningsområder og Lancaster fotos.5 flyvere.

”On the night of 28th of April 1943, the Royal Air Force sent 226 bombers towards Danish waters. The numbers of mines laid out were not only the largest during the war but also the largest concerning the number of planes lost. 23 planes did not return to England.

Wellington HE170 from 196 Squadron left from Leconfield at 20.51 in order to place mines in the field “Forget-me-not” outside Kiel. When the job was done the plane came under fire over Løgumkloster. Young people on their way home from a meeting in Løgumgårde were able to tell about a heavy air battle towards Arrild. The tail of the plane was burning and it turned towards Agerskov. Shortly after it returned from Agerskov flying over Branderup while the duel between the English plane and the German fighter still went on. See Google Map p175 WEL HE170.

Everyone realised that the Wellington was going to make an emergency landing. It swept down just east of the farms in Bjerndrup, unluckily the slide ended in a canal here, where the plane tipped over and ended up on the edge. The time was now around 00.50. The result was an exploding fire with tall flames, which could be seen far away.

A number of spectators arrived on the spot, situated about 150 meters from the road and the farm of August Petersen. The police and local residents tried to save the crew because they could hear wailing. The area was closed off and the families living near by were evacuated because of the danger of exploding bombs.

Two survivors were taken to the hospital in Tønder, where they passed away shortly after each other around 13.15 the following day. When the dawn broke the remaining 3 crewmembers were found. They were taken to the chapel of Løgumkloster Hospital. Before noon the pilot who had shot the plane down at Bjerndrup arrived in a small sports plane. He was photographed by the wreckage. Some days later the burned out plane was removed.

The crew was buried at the cemetery in Aabenraa. May They Rest in Peace.”

Information table from the county of Sønderjylland placed here at the monument to the crew of WEL HE170. More photos.
Text: Frede Gotthardsen. Translation: Eva dé Silva and Kirsten Klitgård.

15 of the bombers were lost over Danish territory, see Google Map p169+MINELAYING. Only 4 airmen from the 23 lost planes survived!

See Bomber Command No. 196 Squadron * 196 Squadron * 196 Squadron, 38 Group. This Wellington took off from RAF Leconsfield. Lost Bombers has this. 5 airmen.