LAN ND960 - The crash experienced by a boy, 8 years old In Danish Updated: 02 AUG 2010
Niels Holger Henriksen to
on 24 September 2009 about LAN ND960.
His home was Nymarksvej 15 between the crash site and Nymarksgård.
Air crash 22 May 1944
What I remember about the air crash begins an hour after midnight with an aerial combat above our home at Hjorte Mark. Then I was 8 years old, and my sister and I slept in the same room as our parents.
I woke up to heavy firing of machine guns above us and I heard Dad and Mum talk about it. When I asked what it was they said that there was an aerial combat above us, and that we were to stay under our duvets. I did, but not deeper than I could still hear what they were talking about.
While we were there I heard tinkling from empty juice bottles that Mum had placed in the attic above us. Next day I went up there to see what I had heard, and there was a bottle with a hole in one side and a bullet at the bottom. Fortunately it had lost its power when it happened. It was a close call.
I had not been awake very long in the night when an enormous boom was heard. It was so loud that both the house and the beds trembled. Dad and Mum lay talking about how bad it might be and what might have happened. When they had collected themselves a bit Dad said that now he would go out to see how things were. Just as he was getting out of his bed another boom came. It was so loud that he felt like he was being sucked back into bed again.
My brother Mads Kristian was sleeping in a room in the attic above us. When Dad was going up the stairs to see how he fared, he suddenly had a full view of the crash site. Most of the roof had been ripped off and from the attic he could see two very large fires, one with a strong green glow and the other with a yellow glow.
An English minelaying plane had crashed into a field of Nakke Skovgaard belonging to Anders Andersen just east of the earth road which then went up through the middle of the field. West of the earth road and in the middle of the slope to Møllegyden a mine had fallen. There was a crater 2 metres deep and maybe 6 metres in diameter.
The tail of the plane lay in the wood at Store Rørmose.
Dad, Mads Kristian and many other residents went up Møllegyden from both sides to have a closer look. Dad tried without success to persuade the most eager of them not to go too close. When they found a boot with a leg in it at the edge of Martin Jørgensen´s field, Dad had had enough and wanted to go home. Before our house he was talking to our neighbour Ejler Bang when others came from the crash site and told them that they had found the body of a young civilian man. “It might be my farmhand,” Ejler said – and he was right.
The previous night many young people from the area including Jørgen Brandt, Ejler’s farmhand had been to a dance in Assens. On their way back from Assens the aerial combat had been so close that they had jumped off their bikes and into the ditches a number of times to seek shelter.
When Ejler and the farmhand met in the yard they had a few words about the plane that had crashed and then the farmhand ran. The plane had brought magnetic mines, and it is believed that he made the second mine explode. A pocket knife or a little spanner in a pocket should be enough to trigger a mine of that kind. There were about 10 minutes between the explosions, and it matches the time to get dressed and run up there. He was lying 30-40 metres from the corner of the field about 100-150 metres from the plane and the mine.
The Germans arrived at about 4 a.m. and sealed off the area, but after long negotiations Ejler Bang was allowed to fetch Jørgen Brandt at about 11 a.m. Straw and a sheet was put into a wagon and Jørgen Brandt was placed there covered by a sheet. The wagon was drawn by a dapple-grey horse. The school was closed that day, so I was at the road and saw when Ejler, the other farmhand and Peter Fauerskov passed with him. All of us were very moved.
They said that he looked neat and unharmed, but that he was completely crushed inside.
I do not think that there were damages worth mentioning other places than Nakke Enggaard, Lille Rørmose and my home. Tiles had been sucked off the roofs, as there was a pressure followed by a suck.
In our scullery a pane had been blown in with a power that made splinters of glass hit the kitchen door 4 metres away at the same height as the pane before it was broken.
In our hen house we had a window 2 x 2 metres – and all of the glass was in the hen run. The door of our basement was also damaged. The board in which the handle is placed split – and it still looks like that in the year 2000.
Then we had no telephone, so Dad went on his bike to Niels Hjulmand in Bredninge to make him come and replace glass where it was needed. He was weak with laughter when he came. He had met a vagabond who had said, “Good morning, glazier. Can´t you lend me a hammer? Then I´ll walk ahead of you to make some work for you.” Apparently he had slept away from everything that had happened during the night.
We had enough spare tiles to replace the damaged ones, so very soon we had a roof on again.
The German soldiers, who were on guard off Jens Jensen’s garden to stop the traffic, were very eager to buy or get eggs and meat, but Dad shook his head to show that he did not understand them. Jens Jensen’s maid also had problems shaking them off. She had to water the cows with buckets of water from the pump in the yard. The German soldiers followed her up and down, even between the cows.
Some days later the blacksmith in Nakke related that he had had some difficulty in keeping his apprentice, who was a big guy and a Communist by conviction, at home that night. Right after the first boom they went behind the forge to have a look. The apprentice wanted to get over there to see if anyone needed help, but the blacksmith said that it was too dangerous. The apprentice had then climbed a rack in which they stored iron. It was 1½ metres high, and when the second boom came, he was overturned by the air pressure. “Then I could keep him at home,” the blacksmith said.