Account from Herluf Munkholm                          På dansk                            Updated:  21 MAR 2014
 See also Lester Schrenk - The day of my capture.

 The article Came down by parachute in Thy on this day 70 years ago from 22 February 2014 written by Villy Dall, translated into English by AS and KK
made Herluf Munkholm send this account, originally published in "Christmas in Thy 2011". On 28 February 2014 he wrote more in an email. Excerpts:

"On 22 February 1944 I saw the aerial combat between an American Flying Fortress and a German fighter plane. One wing of the Fortress was hit and burst in flames. The crew of the Flying Fortress bailed out while the plane was circling. I counted 10 parachutes and men. Shortly after the burning wing had fallen off the rest of the Fortress crashed near »Koustrup Møllegaard«.

One of the crew members landed by parachute on the thin layer of ice on Lake Ove. He crashed through the ice and now he was standing on the
bottom of the lake with water to his chest. He drowned in the mortally cold water. He could easily have been rescued but they refrained from doing
that. All of the nine other crew members were taken prisoners by the Germans.

At that time the inn Hørdum Kro was under requisition by German soldiers, or was it a mixture of German soldiers and Frenchmen from Alsace-Lorraine. At any rate
they spoke French. For a while there were also soldiers from Hungary at the inn. Even from Rumania there were soldiers who had brought their wagons pulled by their horses. The non-commissioned officers were from Germany. The soldiers were trained in military etiquette at the football ground in Hørdum.

In a wide row the soldiers from Hørdum Kro went with charged bayonets to the site where the plane and one of its wings had fallen down. We were a number of big boys from the area who came to Lake Ove just when the soldiers arrived."

"The Flying Fortress did NOT make a forced landing. A crew member from another plane might have got the impression that it made a forced landing. It was shot
down. We saw the aerial combat. Its left wing was hit and burst in flames. It circled in the air trailing smoke. The ten crew members were hanging in the air in their parachutes. The left wing fell off. Instantly the plane fell down and made a huge crater in the ground from which smoke poured out for many hours. Immediately the
Germans sealed off the crash site. Adults who were at the site in the evening had seen fire from the hole. In a street in Hørdum there was a long tail of bullets.
The crash site was near the stream Hørsted Aa." HM.

In there is more about B17 42-31377 and there is a photo of the German plane. Sergeant Lester Schrenk and Oberleutnant Hans Hermann Müller
met in Germany in 2012!

Pilot, 2nd Lt William R. Lavies perished. Buried in Frederikshavn on 26 FEB 1944. Taken to Belgium on 1 MAY 1948. (Source: FAF) See painting of Pot O' Gold.

The plane crashed here app. 500 m north west of Koustrup Møllegård, Damsgårdvej 3, Sønderhå, 7752 Thisted (Source: Niels Møller).