Toldstrup about the American airmen Holmes and Wengert of p309r   Updated:  26 JAN 2016  På dansk

  Excerpt from Toldstrup: "Without fight no victory"                      See also Toldstrup-Rebild

One day at the start of the summer of 1944 we had a report that an Allied plane had crashed near the west coast of Jutland, and that some of the members of the crew had a contact to our people. "Rosalia" was started immediately and Tage and I went to contact them. An address in Videbæk had been given to us, and we arrived there with a strong sense that something was happening. German patrols were very active in the terrain and of course we did not avoid being stopped. During our drive and with a map in my hand I had planned how we could get the airmen away from the area, but events did not unfold according to my plan.

In Videbæk I met the 80-year-old former head teacher who had the men in safe keeping. He lived in a small house off the village, but he also owned a farm nearby. The two men were hidden on the hayloft unknown to people on the farm. Every night the old man went out to some mounds nearby and left food for them there. A couple of days passed in that way, but the Germans had found the wreck of the plane and knew that some of the crew members had evaded. Houses in the area were still searched, and so it was absolutely necessary to get the airmen away. I started evolving my plan which was rather detailed and included that we had to wait for darkness before we did anything.

However, the old head teacher took charge. He simply suggested that he himself could ride on his bike to the farm where the airmen were. Then he would get them out of the hay, and we were to follow him by car and pick them up. He was so excited and enthusiastic that for a moment I felt ashamed of my own caution and accepted his rash suggestion.

Fortunately nobody was at home on the farm - everybody was in the field in the good weather - and we could drive up to the barn where the head teacher stood waving his arms. We got the two airmen into the car, and right away we drove on over the moor. It was the first time that I was close to Allied airmen, and it was a pleasant experience.

They wore overalls and they were rather dirty, so that they could easily be taken for workers from a brown coal pit. I introduced them to their roles and asked if they were carrying any compromising items. They denied that. When we had got about 10 km away from Videbæk and were still driving along a sandy earth road across the moor we stopped, as I intended to search the airmen.

Great was my surprise when under their overalls I found complete airmen's uniforms with camelhair linings, leather collars and so on. They were ordered to take off their clothes, and all compromising items were rolled into bundles and hidden under a fir bush on the moor.

We arrived safely at Holstebro where the men were lodged at Thora and Børge's while Tage and I went on to Salling to prepare further lodgings for them there. The good people of Salling showed the same hospitality as before, and next morning we fetched the two airmen and took them to their new billets from which they were transferred shortly after to Sweden with the ship "Mathilde". 

Tage: Mechanic Tage Hansen
Børge: Baker Børge Larsen
Thora: Baker Børge Larsen's wife.