Lancaster I R5702 - Near Avne                                                          Updated: 13 NOV 2014

Airman Surname Init Rank Service Sqdn P_link Plane Operation Crash_site Crash_d Buried_d C_link At_Next
a113110.htm Ashurst W Sgt RAF 625 p262.htm LAN R5702 Bomb G Near Avne d150244 b250244 c113.htm Aabenraa
a113111.htm Campbell R A Sgt RAF 625 p262.htm LAN R5702 Bomb G Near Avne d150244 b250244 c113.htm Aabenraa
a113112.htm Downes S W F/Sgt RAF 625 p262.htm LAN R5702 Bomb G Near Avne d150244 b250244 c113.htm Aabenraa
a113113.htm Edwards E T Wt/O RAF 625 p262.htm LAN R5702 Bomb G Near Avne d150244 b250244 c113.htm Aabenraa
a113114.htm Lewis C F Sgt RAF 625 p262.htm LAN R5702 Bomb G Near Avne d150244 b250244 c113.htm Aabenraa
o888224.htm Proskurniak H F/O RCAF 625 p262.htm LAN R5702 Bomb G Near Avne d150244 o888 o888.htm POW
a113115.htm Reardon H R Sgt RAF 625 p262.htm LAN R5702 Bomb G Near Avne d150244 b250244 c113.htm Aabenraa


 Den 15. februar 1944 styrtede LAN R5702 ned her ved Avne Vig. Oversigt her, tæt på omkring her. Mindesten for 6 omkomne flyvere blev afsløret
her i 1945.
Kort fra - Map from  Leif Gr. Thomsen    
Se Informationstavle 2014 og fotos Avne 2014.

Leif Gr. Thomsen har undersøgt mange detaljer og skrev i 1994 30 ark om R5702, besætningen og deres skæbne. Uddrag i de næste 4 afsnit:
"Netop den 15. februar 1944 om aftenen var et af de sidste store bombardementer på Berlin under opbygning, bomberstrømmen gik denne aften ind over Danmark, som på andre aftener oplevede man denne intense, retningsubestemmelige durren fra de ufatteligt mange fly, der befandt sig deroppe, en lyd, der fik ruderne til at klirre i vinduerne. Det var en hær på ca. 6000 mand, der var på vej deroppe i mørket, de var fordelt på 561 Lancasters, 314 Halifaxes og 16 Mosquitoes. - Lige før kl. 20 hører man bombeflyene, der kommer ind. - Et meget lavtflyvende fly kommer ind fra vest, det brænder voldsomt. - Der høres nogle særdeles kraftige eksplosioner med påfølgende kraftige trykbølger, derefter ses et kraftigt brandskær og en meget sort røg. Lancaster I R5702 code CF-B fra 625 Squadron eksisterer ikke længere, klokken er lidt over 20.

Flyet faldt i engen nede ved bækken ved Avnevig lige syd for det sted, hvor nu mindestenene står. De mennesker, der først nåede frem til stedet, måtte erkende, at man ikke kunne komme tæt på flyvraget, det varmen fra det brændende brændstof var meget stærk. Umiddelbart syntes der ikke at være nogen overlevende, tværtom fandt man på jorden ligesom på linie 3 døde flyvere med uåbnede faldskærme. Senere viste det sig, at der i det udbrændte vrag lå endnu 2 mand, og i en del af flyet, som var røget over på den nordlige side af vejen, fandtes nok 1 mand, der stadig sad ved sine maskingeværer nøjagtigt, som om han sov."

Gårdejer Jørgen Friis, sognefoged i Fjelstrup: "Det var meget mørkt den aften, men da vi søgte omkring ved hjælp af vore cykellygter, varede det ikke længe inden vi fandt 3 døde englændere, de to af dem var slynget til jorden med så stor kraft, at de lå omtrent en halv meter i engbunden, den ene lå med åbne øjne, som om han så på os. (Om morgenen havde man fundet 6 flyvere.) Der lå altså 6 lig, de havde fået en skrækkelig død, og jeg kom til at tænke på det smukke vers:  Ingen ven jert håndtryk fik, ingen hørte afskedssukket."

Jørgen Friis tilføjer: "Der havde været 7 mand i den store bombemaskine, men kun en, en canadier på 29 år (F/O H. Proskurniak - se hans historie) var sluppet derfra med livet. Han var sprungen ud med faldskærm og var landet ikke så langt fra den brændende maskine, han fortalte, at han havde set os dernede på engen, men havde ikke turdet give sig til kende. - Flyvemaskinen havde kastet 6 store bomber - inden den styrtede ned. Det største af bombekraterne er 25 m i bredden og 15 m dybt, et frygteligt hul. - De 6 dræbte flyvere blev liggende på engen, hvor de var faldne til lørdag den 19. februar, da de af det tyske militær blev lagt i kiste og kørt til Aabenraa, hvor de blev begravet på kirkegården." De blev begravet den 25. februar 1944. (Kilde: FAF)

Det store krater blev lavet af en 4000 punds bombe, samme type som Bomben i Vorup ved Randers. Se også Instrumenter fra Lancaster R5702 og Nødudgange.

I 1945 blev der afsløret mindesten for de 6 flyvere. I 1949 sendte beboerne i Fjelstrup en kort erklæring og varme hilsener til de efterladtes familier og fik en tak fra
Air Ministry - og meget varme takkebreve fra forældre til Sgt H. R. Reardon, F/Sgt S. W. Downes og Sgt R. A. Campbell er bevaret.
Hvert år den 15. februar er der en mindesammenkomst ved mindestenene. På Fjelstrup Kro ses en mindevæg for
LAN R5702, der styrtede 3 km fra Fjelstrup.
I 2009 - 65 år efter styrtet - var der fra familien Campbell et tryk af maleriet Lancaster at Rest til Fjelstrup, se avisartikel om En gave i 2009. Flyverne mindes stadig!

6 flyvere fra
LAN R5702 er begravet i Aabenraa. 1 blev krigsfange - se Tyske krigsfangelejre 7 flyvere.

On 15 February 1944 LAN R5702 crashed here at Avne Vig. Overview here, at close range about hereMemorial stones to 6 airmen were unveiled here in 1945.
See Information board 2014 and photos Avne 2014.

Leif Gr. Thomsen has investigated many details, and in 1994 he wrote 30 sheets about LAN R5702, its crew and their fate. Abstracts in the next 4 paragraphs:
"On 15 February 1944 one of the last great bombing raids on Berlin was developing. The stream of bombers was passing Denmark this night, and like in other evenings there was this intense constant noise from the incredibly many planes in the sky, a sound that made window-panes jingle. An army of about 6,000 men were on their way up there in 561 Lancasters, 314 Halifaxes and 16 Mosquitoes. - Just before 20.00 hrs bombers are heard coming in. - A plane is coming in from the west at a very low altitude, fiercely burning.  - Some extremely loud explosions are heard followed by heavy blasts. Then a glare of fire and very dark smoke.
Lancaster I R5702 code CF-B from 625 Squadron has ceased to exist. It is a little after 20.00 hrs.

The plane crashed into the meadow (about here) at the brook at Avnevig just south of the site with the memorial stones (here). The people who were the first to arrive at the crash site had to realize that it was impossible to get near the wreck of the plane, as there was a very strong heat from the burning fuel. On the face of it there seemed to be no survivors. On the ground 3 dead airmen were found with their parachutes undeployed. Later it appeared that there were 2 men more in the burnt-out wreck, and in a part of the plane that had ended up north of the road there was another man sitting at his machine guns, as if he were asleep."

Farmer Jørgen Friis, sheriff of Fjelstrup: "It was very dark that night, but when we searched the area with our bicycle lamps we soon found 3 dead Englishmen. 2 of them had been thrown to the ground so heavily that they were lying about half a meter down in the meadow. One of them lay with his eyes open, as if he was looking at us. (In the morning 6 airmen had been found.) 6 bodies were lying there. They had had a horrible death, and I got to think of the beautiful verse:
No friend got a handshake from you, nobody heard your parting sigh."

Jørgen Friis adds: "There had been 7 men in the big bomber, but only one, a Canadian, 29, (F/O H. Proskurniak - see his story) had survived. He had bailed out, and he had landed not very far from the burning plane. He said that he had seen us down there in the meadow, but he did not dare to make himself known. - The bomber had dropped 6 big bombs -  before it crashed. The biggest of the bomb craters has a diameter of 25 m and a depth of 15 m, a terrible hole. - The 6 killed airmen lay in the meadow where they had fallen till Saturday 19 February, when the German Wehrmacht laid them into coffins and took them to Aabenraa, where they were buried in the cemetery." They were buried on 25 February 1944 (Source: FAF)

The big crater was made by a 4,000 lbs bomb, the same type as the Bomb in Vorup near Randers. More: Instruments from Lancaster R5702 * Emergency exits.

Memorial stones to the 6 airmen were unveiled in 1945. In 1949 the inhabitants of Fjelstrup sent a brief statement and kind greetings to families of the airmen and
received grateful thanks from the Air Ministry - and very warm letters from the parents of  Sgt H. R. Reardon, F/Sgt S. W. Downes and Sgt R. A. Campbell are preserved.
On 15 February every year there is a gathering at the memorial stones. There is a memorial wall in Fjelstrup Inn to
LAN R5702 which crashed 3 km from Fjelstrup.
In 2009 - 65 years after the crash - the Campbells gave a print of the painting
Lancaster at Rest to Fjelstrup, see  A present in 2009. The airmen are still remembered!

See Bomber Command No. 625 Squadron and 625 Squadron RAF. See Lancaster and Lancaster Photos.
Lancaster I R5702 CF-Y took off from RAF Kelstern in Lincolnshire at 1725 hours on 15 FEB 1944 (Source: Aircrew Remembered has this.)
Earlier this Lancaster had 24 operations with another pilot, see Roy O. Calvert - LAN R5702.
6 airmen from
LAN R5702 are buried in Aabenraa. 1 became a Prisoner of War - see German POW-Camps. 7 airmen.