On 20 February 1944 in the afternoon B-17G 42-37790 »Miss Behavin«
crashed into Haarslev Mark (about
here 7 km
S of Bogense). (Source: FT)
and names of places on
Google Map p267 B17 42-37790.
See also B-17G 42-37790+propeller and
long version from Anders Bjørnvad: They found a way (De fandt en vej
p. 103-105 translated and names added by AS) about this crew:
"About 3 p.m., still on 20 February 1944, a crew of 8 airmen bailed out from
a Flying Fortress, which crashed into a field at Haarslev south of Bogense (about
All of the airmen landed safely around Harndrup (here).
The Germans had a radar station in Skovby (here),
and from here they must
had a good view of what happened. (10 airmen. Markussen and Egan were captured
and taken to the radar station at Skovby. AS)
Some airmen were captured almost immediately.
Others went into the woods to avoid the German soldiers that were searching for them.
American airmen had hidden in a wood (here) belonging to the vicarage of
Fjellerup. (5: Britko, Cribbs, Dunbar, Dyblie and Udick) Tenant farmer
Rasmus Thrane went into the wood and met the
airmen. He invited them to the farm and sent for Rural Dean R. Fauerskov
Laursen. When he arrived
at about 6 or
7 p.m the airmen were sitting at a
well-provided table. The rural dean had brought the tools of his profession, the
bible and a hymn book,
so that if necessary he could plead that he was giving
pastoral care, as Rasmus Thrane's mother was old and infirm.
The rural dean talked to the airmen and urged them to seek hiding in the parish.
Both he and others were ready to assist them. However, the airmen wanted
to go on at
any price. They wanted to go to the beach to get a boat. They wanted to go to
Sweden. The rural dean tried to dissuade them from
that tour, but in vain. As there was no
other option, the airmen were shown the direction to Baaring Beach. They
thanked for the stay and left with
good supplies of food.
The Germans captured them somewhere in the direction
of Baaring Cove (about
here - Source: AOD). The following day there were searches in the
they were far from thorough. The airmen could very well have stayed, as
suggested by the residents.
Two other members of this crew landed in a wood at
Nymarksgaarden, 1 km from the village of Harndrup. (Nymark Gård is
Carpenter Knud Andersen, Nymark Railway Station (here)
east of Harndrup, says, "My brother and I ran down there immediately. One airman
had just come down from a tree, and his parachute was still hanging up there.
The other one was breaking the ice of a small pool. He shoved his parachute
helmet under the ice. One of them appeared to be nervous. They thought they had
fallen down in Sweden. We told them that this was Denmark.
They gave us
cigarettes from big pockets at their knees. Several people came to see what had
happened. Two of them were Ida and Morten from
Railway Station where
their father was the station master. They walked with the two airmen and others
to Harndrup Wood."
Ida Pedersen continues, "My brother Morten and I
could speak a little English, so we joined them when some people living in
Harndrup Wood took
them to their home. The wife in the house did not dare to
host them. She immediately telephoned to the police. My brother and I tried to
from doing so, but as our pleas and anger were in vain, we made the
airmen put on their clothes again and we ran away. We could not take them
anywhere in broad daylight, so we hid them in a cave in the wood. As night fell,
we took them home again. We had to take them further away immediately, as
everyone had seen us with them. We had called another brother, Valde, who lived
in Odense. He came home and then he joined them
in the train to Odense. By then
they had changed their clothes.... Valde knew some people in Odense who he
hoped would take care of the airmen. Nobody was at home, so he had to take them
to his home. On the following day they were captured. He does not know who
reported him ..."
Certainly the will to assist was present here. Accidents
happened. Ida and Morten did very well! No wonder that till this day they regret
that their assistance could not be accomplished.
Another American airman, Radio Operator Ira Gordon
Ewans, was hiding in the woods near Harndrup. He managed to contact
residents of the area, among them District Nurse Inger Nøsted. He was provided
with plain clothes, and as the German search calmed down at nightfall on 20
Inger Nøsted and the airman went by train to Odense (here).
From here they took a taxi to Faaborg (here),
where she handed the airman over to
Junker. Some years before Inger
Nøsted had been a substitute for a nurse in Faaborg. Then she had taken care of
an old lady who lived just
below the Junker's. That was why she knew Mrs. Junker
was British, so she figured that the family somehow must have a connection with
movement. We know that Junker had been on Horne Land (here) a
couple of days earlier to look for the Scottish airman
We also know that Junker was
in touch with Edmund Larsen, who had a
connection to the heads of the resistance movement in Odense.
Ewans was quite upset to have landed in a country
occupied by Germans. He had caught a cold and he did not feel very well, so he was
not very communicative. He did not want to give information to Junker about
their targets, which airfield he had taken off from and so on. Junker was
to be afraid that he had got hold of a German spy.
Aage Willumsen from Odense had just been to Faaborg
in February. He had instructed the aids of airmen to be very cautious with
people they got hold
of. The Germans were said to have started
making members of the Gestapo pretend they were crashed allied airmen to
infiltrate the resistance
movement. If the airman gave his name, his airfield and
more, it would be possible to send the information to England on the wireless to
his identity confirmed. If they had got hold of a German, the only option
was to shoot him at once.
Temporarily the airman was declared OK, and he was
taken towards Odense. Edmund Larsen has reported that Merchant Jens Fr.
fetched Ewans in Faaborg. On 29 February Police Inspector Clemens
Petersen turned up at Vicar E. Miland's in Sønder Højrup Vicarage (here)
with Ewans. Later a member of the resistance movement with the cover name "Knud"
came on a visit. He talked to the airman alone and some hours later
that the identity of the airman had been established.
On 3 March late in the evening a car arrived at the vicarage. A couple of men
brought plain clothes. The airman was dressed and then taken to
where fisherman Peter Christensen was waiting with his fishing boat. Peter
Christensen sailed the airman to Sjælland. At Skælskør
there was a good landing
place from which the tour to Copenhagen could be started.
Archives have that on 7 March 1944 the boat "Hans
Steensen" transferred "Cand. Pharm. Ira Gordon Ewans (a crash landed American
on 21 February 1912 in Virginia."
Ewans appears to be the only allied airman to be taken to Sweden during the
first quarter of 1944.
This was a short descriptions of events in the
wake of the American overflight of Denmark on 20 February 1944."
(Before this about B-17G 42-37790 Anders Bjørnvad stated
that 316 B-17
Flying Fortresses passed over Denmark at noon that day.
Google Map p266-270 20FEB44. 4 were shot down and 1
crash landed in Denmark.
See B17 4239894 Brahesholm, B17 4231126
Bellinge, B17 4237951 Haldagerlille og B17 42-37790
Haarslev. Crash landed: B17 4230246 Tirstrup.)