A brief statement and kind greetings from Fjelstrup         På dansk                Updated:  08 JAN 2009

On 20 July 1949 a printed sheet was sent to England. On the cover a photo of the memorial stones to the crew of LAN R5702 with the caption - thank you.
The original text reads:

With a feeling of gratitude to a people and a nation that fought in the front line during the war, the inhabitants of the parish of Fjelstrup want to send a brief statement
and their kind greetings to families and relations of the crew of a British Lancaster that fell to the ground here on February 15th 1944.

We saw how the systematic bombing of Hitler's Germany grew more and more effective. We admired the courage and bravery displayed by the sons of England,
in spite even of a growing loss of both men and aeroplanes in each raid. On the night of February 15th many planes were heard on their way to Germany, and
about 8 p. m. we saw one of them burst on fire, and shortly after it exploded and fell burning into a meadow east of Fjelstrup. Previously it had dropped its bombs
on a neighbouring field, and no Danish lives were lost. We could not possibly get near the burning plane on account of exploding ammunition, but we soon found
the bodies of three young airmen, who had been flung out of the plane, and the next day we found three more bodies in the wreck.

We do not know, of course, what your boy may have been thinking or feeling in the moment of disaster, but in the three that were lying in the field we found their
faces stamped by the peace of death. We are convinced that the six of them met with a speedy death. One airman succeeded in saving his life by bailing out.
He applied at a farm, where he was well received, but a flight to Sweden was impossible, and he was taken prisoner. Long since he has returned to Canada, his
native country.

The six brave airmen met their death among a friendly population, and they are now buried among friends. They fell in a beautiful district in North Slesvig (Denmark)
on the Little Belt near the town of Haderslev. They fell among a population that through generations had to fight against Prussians and Germans. We consider
them our brothers, and we all always keep them in mind as our modest thanks to them for their deed, and to the nation to which they belonged.

They lie buried in the churchyard of the town of Aabenraa, and we have raised a memorial near the spot where they fell: enclosed you will find a picture thereof.
On the stone it reads:

Here fell six British airmen on February 15th 1944. They gave their lives. We won (our) liberty.

The names of the six airmen have been cut as shown in the picture. They are:
1439610 Sergeant W. N. Ashurst * 1421525 Sergeant H. R. Reardon  * 929365 Warrant Officer E. T. Edwards
1366029 Sergeant R. A. Campbell * 921113 Flight Sergeant I. Downes * 1656317 Sergeant C. F. Lewis

The saved airman is Flying Officer H. V. Proskurniak.

We shall take a pride in sheltering this memorial to six young men who fought for our sake, too, and if you may get the opportunity you shall be welcome to visit
the place where your boy gave his life in the fight for his native country.

With kind regards from the inhabitants of the parish of Fjelstrup.   (Signed by) Simon J. From. M.P. * Eriksen, teacher * Jørgen Friis, sheriff

On 10 August 1949 a letter from the Air Ministry to Simon J. From, Esq., M.P., Fjelstrup, Denmark read:

Sir, I am directed to refer to your letter dated 20th July, 1949, and to thank you for the photograph of the memorial so kindly erected by the inhabitants of Fjelstrup
to the memory of the crew of a Lancaster Aircraft which crashed on 15th February, 1944.

The enclosures have been sent to the next of kin of the six members of the Royal Air Force who lost their lives, and to the survivor, a member of the
Royal Canadian Air Force.

On behalf of the Department I am to ask you to accept and convey to those responsible, our grateful thanks for this tribute to our fallen.