B 17G 42-31377 - Near Hørdum       Crew photo from Lester Schrenk 08 DEC 2014         Updated:  02 FEB 2017

Airman Surname Init Rank Service Sqdn P_link Plane Operation Crash_site Crash_d Buried_d C_link At_Next
o888185.htm Byers N E S/Sgt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 o888 o888.htm POW
o888187.htm Guastella P Sgt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 o888 o888.htm POW
o888188.htm Harman W E Sgt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 o888 o888.htm POW
u019065.htm Lavies W R 2ndLt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 b260244 c019.htm Frederikshavn
o888191.htm Peacock F B 2ndLt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 o888 o888.htm POW
o888186.htm Schrenk L F Sgt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 o888 o888.htm POW
o888184.htm Shuman R S 2ndLt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 o888 o888.htm POW
o888189.htm Swindler V C Sgt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 o888 o888.htm POW
o888183.htm Vaughan E C 2ndLt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 o888 o888.htm POW
o888190.htm Walcott J J S/Sgt USAAF 327 p271.htm B17 4231377 Attack DK Near Hørdum d220244 o888 o888.htm POW


B17 42-31377 med navnet Pot O´Gold var 22. februar 1944 sammen med en del andre fly på bombetogt til Aalborg West Lufthavn (her) som afledningsmanøvre
for et større bombetogt mod Ruhr-området i Tyskland. Dårlig sigtbarhed forhindrede flyene i at bombe lufthavnen. På tilbagevejen blev dette fly beskadiget af tyske
Me109 og Ju88 over Nordsøen, så Pilot 2nd Lt W.R. Lavies valgte at vende om for at nå Thy (omkring her). Alle 10 flyvere sprang ud med faldskærm. Flyet styrtede
ned her ca. 500 m nordvest for Koustrup Møllegård, Damsgårdvej 3, Sønderhå, 7752 Thisted (Kilde: Niels Møller).
En vinge styrtede ned ved gården omkring her. Se dele af flyet B17 42-31377 "Pot O' Gold" på gårdspladsen. 9 af flyverne landede på jorden. Se ID+Lester Schrenk.
Se Lester Schrenk - Den dag jeg blev taget til fange og Beretning fra Herluf Munkholm efter Kom ned med faldskærm i Thy i dag for 70 år siden 2014.
Se Schrenk og H.H. Müller i uniform og Schrenk og H.H. Müller i 2012 og TV indslag fra 25. april 2012  2 min. 47 sek. på  TV/MIDT-VEST:
Dødsfjender bliver venner (klik på ikonet for AFSPIL og til højre på linjen på ikonet for FULD SKÆRM) Se tekst. FILM 27. marts 2013 28 min.30 sek. Dødsfjender.

En af dem landede ved Sønderhå Plantage (her), hvor P.C. Olesen og Adolf Nielsen arbejdede. Flyveren talte om "Sweden", men de fik ham til at forstå, at han var i Danmark, selv om ingen af dem kunne engelsk. Det kunne degnen i Sønderhå Skole (senere nedrevet, nu kirkens P-plads her), så de fik ham med op på skolen, for
at læreren kunne tale med flyveren. Selv kendte de intet til folk i modstandsbevægelsen, der kunne have hjulpet! Desværre var lærerens kone alene hjemme, og hun
ringede straks til politiet. (Kilde: Thisted Museum se Lokalhistorisk Arkiv og Lyd samtaler om Flystyrt ved Sønderhaa (29 minutter, sendt 1988)).

Pilot 2nd Lt W.R. Lavies landede på tynd is i Ove Sø omkring her. Han stod på bunden med de dræbende kolde vand til brystet. (Beretning fra Herluf Munkholm)
Hvis tyskerne ikke havde forhindret danskere i en hurtig redning, kunne han måske have overlevet. Han druknede og blev trukket op i en lille båd og bragt til tyskernes hovedkvarter på den skole, der nu er Svankjær Efterskole (her). Sgt L.F. Schrenk blev bedt om at identificere ham. (Kilde: På sporet af Pot o´Gold (film, 23 minutter)
om Schrenk, 84 år i 2008, der igen besøgte Thy, sendt af
TV/MIDT-VEST 4. januar 2009.)

Næste dag blev de 9 overlevende flyvere sendt med tog til Tyskland. Alle overlevede krigen, men i maj 2008 var kun en enkelt flyver og Lester Schrenk tilbage.
De 3 officerer Peacock fra Pennsylvania, Shuman fra Massachusetts og Vaughan fra California blev forhørt i
Dulag Luft Oberursel og derpå ført til
Stalag Luft 1 Barth. (Kilde:
WWII POWs)

Schrenk fra Minnesota, Byers fra Arkansas, Harman fra Ohio, Guastella fra Florida, Walcott fra Pennsylvania og Swindler fra Colorado blev ført til Tyske krigsfangelejre.
Fra Dulag Luft blev sergenterne ført til
Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug. De blev adskilt under den hårde transport til Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow. "Swindler og Walcott var i en anden lejr men stadig i Stalag Luft 4, og vi så dem ikke igen fra da af. Vi mødtes dog igen i England." (Lester Schrenk) I februar 1945 kom de på en march på 86 dage
og omkring 1100 km - se
kort -  gennem det nordlige Polen og Tyskland for at undgå Allierede styrker. De blev befriet af den engelske 8 Armé den 3. maj 1945.

Se meget mere ved Lester Schrenk og Foto af en B-17 + B-17 i airmen.dk samt B-17 Ball Turret, Ammunition og Ball Turret Gunner og B-17 Flight 2013.

Pilot, 2nd Lt William R. Lavies omkom. Begravet i Frederikshavn 26 februar 1944. Overført til Belgien 1. maj 1948. (Kilde: FAF) Se maleri af Pot O' Gold. 10 flyvere.

On 22 February 1944 together with a number of other planes B17 42-31377 "Pot O´Gold" was on a bombing raid to Aalborg West Airfield (here) as a diversion for
a greater bombing raid to the Ruhr area in Germany. Bad visibility prevented the planes from bombing the airfield. This plane was damaged on the return flight by
German Me109s and Ju88s over the North Sea, so Pilot 2nd Lt W.R. Lavies decided to return to reach Thy (about here). All 10 airmen bailed out. The plane crashed
here about 500 m northwest of Koustrup Møllegård, Damsgårdvej 3, Sønderhå, 7752 Thisted (Source: Niels Møller). A wing crashed at the farm about here.  
See parts from the plane B17 42-31377 "Pot O' Gold" in the yard. 9 of the airmen landed on the ground. See ID + Lester Schrenk.
See also The day of my capture and Account from Herluf Munkholm after Came down by parachute in Thy on this day 70 years ago 22 FEB 2014.
See
Schrenk and H.H. Müller in uniforms and Schrenk and H.H. Müller in 2012 and TV items 
2 min. 47 sec. TV/MIDT-VEST: Mortal Enemies become friends
(click on icons for PLAY and for FULL SCREEN. Print the speech) sent on 25 APR 2012.
See also FILM from 27 MAR 2013 28 min. 30 sec.  TV/MIDT-VEST: Mortal Enemies. See How I met the German Pilot and the letter that started it all.

One of them landed at Sønderhå Plantation (here) where P.C. Olesen and Adolf Nielsen were working. The airman talked about "Sweden", but they made him
understand that he was in Denmark, even if none of them spoke English. The teacher in Sønderhå School (later demolished, now Parking lot here of the church)
could speak English, so they took the airman to the school, so the teacher could talk to him. They knew nothing about people in the resistance movement, who
might have helped. Unfortunately, the teacher´s wife was alone at home, and she called the police right away. (Source: A radio programme sent in 1988).

Pilot 2nd Lt W.R. Lavies landed on thin ice in the lake Ove Sø about here. He stood on the bottom with the mortally cold water to his chest. (Account - Munkholm)
He might have survived, if the Germans had not prevented the Danes from a fast rescue. He drowned and he was taken up in a small boat and taken to the German HQ
at the school, which is now Svankjær Efterskole (here). Sgt L.F. Schrenk was asked to identify him. (Source: På sporet af Pot o´Gold On the Track of Pot o´Gold (film, 23 min.) about Lester Schrenk, 84 in 2008, who revisited Thy, sent 4 January 2009 on
TV/MIDT-VEST. In Danish, but with many sequences with Lester Schrenk.)

Next day the 9 surviving crew members were sent by train to Germany. All of them survived the war, but in May 2008 only a single airman and Lester Schrenk were left.
The 3 officers Peacock from Pennsylvania, Shuman from Massachusetts and Vaughan from California were interrogated in
Dulag Luft Oberursel and then taken to
Stalag Luft 1 Barth. (Source:
WWII POWs)

The enlisted men Schrenk from Minnesota, Byers from Arkansas, Harman from Ohio, Guastella from Florida, Walcott from Pennsylvania and Swindler from Colorado
were taken to
German POW-Camps. From Dulag Luft Oberursel they were taken to Stalag Luft 6 Heydekrug. They got separated during the Heydekrug Run to
Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow. "Swindler and Walcott were in another compound, but still at Stalag Luft 4 and we did not see them from then on. We did meet again in England." (Lester Schrenk) In February 1945 a march of 86 days some 700 miles (see map) across northern Poland and northern Germany started to avoid capture by Allied forces. The group was liberated by the British Eighth Army on 3 May 1945.
(Source: MY POW EXPERIENCE and THE EVACUATION OF STALAG LUFT VI by Lester Schrenk)

See much more at Lester Schrenk and Photo of  a B-17 + B-17s in airmen.dk and B-17 Ball Turret, Ammunition and the story of a Ball Turret Gunner.

Pilot, 2nd Lt William R. Lavies perished. Buried in Frederikshavn on 26 February 1944. Transferred to Belgium on 1 May 1948. (Source: FAF)

8 Air Force, 1 BD, 40 CBW, 92 BG, 327 BSRAF Podington * 92nd USAAF-USAF Memorial Association with Missions 1944, see Losses 22 FEB 1944.
See a painting of Pot O' Gold*
Crew photo from Les Schrenk 08 DEC 2014*B-17 Flight 2013*Operation 22 FEB 1944 - Aalborg*Liberty Run propeller.10 airmen.