Stadil 4 September 2013 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 LAN EE138  Stadil Flyverminde  Stadil Memorial Updated: 14 SEP 2023

Before the unveiling of the propeller blade Mr Anders Andersen delivered this speech about the historical background:

EH-HF-AAFrom left: Erling Halkjær, Helge Frederiksen, Anders Andersen at the EE138
crash site with the propeller blade.

The following story outlines how the propeller blade was recovered from
Lancaster EE138, as recounted by Mr Helge Frederiksen.

When my father a couple of years after the Liberation acquired the position as
Vicar for the Stadil Parish I was a boy of 15 years who already twice during the
war had had the experience of watching RAF planes being shot down. On one
occasion just above our heads when attacked by German fighters and crashed a
few miles away. All crew members were lost. At the other occasion, the pilot
managed to crash land the airplane. One died in the flames and the other crew
members were saved and escaped with the help of Danish resistance people to
Sweden and from there back to England.   

When I therefore heard about the Lancaster which had been shot down just few
miles from the place where we lived in Stadil, I was keen to see the place which
was located at a very wet farming area close to Farmer Ingemann Halkjær.

At the time when I first visited the crash area still a lot of smaller parts from the
airplane could be seen spread over the area while a few bigger items buried in the
ground, but partly visible could be observed. Everything else had disappeared in
the very muddy area and oil was noticeable on the water surrounding the place.
A typical oil/fuel smell was noticed when small bubbles reached the water surface.   

Of course it was a strong and sad experience to stand there knowing that the brave airmen had lost their lives here in their fight to liberate Europe from the Germans
and to be left here so far away from their loved ones and Home Countries.

I was a keen angler and used my long Waders when investigating the very wet area to see if I could find other items from the plane. During one of these excursions
I discovered the end tip of a propeller blade and I decided that I would try to have it recovered if at all possible. .

However, shortly after the area was fenced in, and some people, who obviously had been engaged with the aim to recover the wreck started working. A Crane was put
up and they tried to lift the visible parts of the plane. But only few smaller items were recovered as the crane was sinking down in the wet area as soon as they tried
to pull up and eventually they gave up without result.  

Not knowing if other people would come to continue the job of recovering I decided to do my own modest recovering job, and after difficult digging and pulling I finally
got the propeller blade up and with the permission of Ingemann Halkjær I transported the blade to my home on top of my new bicycle which unfortunately got some
bad scratches in the process. It was about 3 Miles across difficult field area but finally I reached home.

The Blade was then placed in my room nicely decorated by a RAF flag I had received from one of the Royal Air Force soldiers who came to Denmark after the Liberation.

Time went by and I was now working in West Africa for a Danish Company and when my father reached the time to go on pension my parents presented the blade to Anders Andersen who had shown much interest in the blade when visiting my parents.

The same Anders, who together with Erling Halkjær, son of Ingemann Halkjær now are preparing the way for the Blade finally to be placed where it belongs together
with the original Monument.

It will be remembered that Erling’s father Ingemann Halkjær was the person who initiated a committee consisting of Ingemann, my father and Aksel Koldby, chairman
of the Local Parish.  This committee started a local collection with the aim on the 5th of May 1950 to raise a Monument in honour of the brave RAAF and RAF airmen
who lost their lives in Stadil in their fight for Freedom in Europe.