B-17G 42-38005 Stormy Weather   *   Monument 2004   *   Monument 2014  *   Stormy Weather         Updated:  03 JUN 2019

Moving memorial day for American air force heroes

On Friday the 75th anniversary of the forced landing of an American bomber in a field near Skærtoft during World War II was marked.
All 10 members of the crew survived.

By Katrine Lund Walsted klw@jv.dk  JyskeVestkysten, SØNDERBORG Saturday 25 May 2019  page 6, in Danish: Rørende mindedag for amerikanske flyhelte



See photos in the original edition in Danish with these captions:
1. The monument was unveiled in 2004. It has a propeller blade and a gearbox from a B-17 bomber similar to the Stormy Weather. Photo: Timo Battefeld.
2. Niels Jensen saw the air crash, when he was 11 years old. Photo: Timo Battefeld.
3. A small exhibition was shown at the monument on the day of the 75th anniversary. Photo: Timo Battefeld.
(The framed photo shows
The Wedding dress made from a parachute )

SKÆRTOFT: On 24 May 1944 11-year-old Niels Jensen was standing outside his parents’ farm near Frederiksgaard with his big brother. A bomber came flying low over the fields.

“We had got used to the war. I thought it was a German plane, so I hoped it would fall down, but it turned out to be an American plane,” Niels Jensen relates at the anniversary of the air crash.

He has turned up to mark the air crash at the memorial stone together with about 70 other people.

The American bomber Stormy Weather had taken part in the bombing of Berlin on 24 May 1944, but the plane had engine troubles, and when it had dropped its bomb load over Berlin, it left the formation and headed north. When the plane reached Als it had big problems, and the crew decided to make a forced landing believing they had reached free Sweden. 

Hope for the future

 8  crew members bailed out over the villages of Svenstrup and Klingbjerg. Pilot  
 Robert Clay and Co-pilot Frank Hatten remained in the plane during the forced 
 landing. Of the 10 airmen only Robert Clay was injured slightly in his forehead.
 The late Robert Clay’s family from the U.S.A. went to Denmark to
 commemorate the 75th anniversary on Als. Tom  Clay, the son of Robert Clay,
 is deeply moved.

 “We are so grateful to be here today with the people of Denmark and particularly 
 people of Als. My great respect that you have built and tended this monument 
 which will always remind us of the sacrifices made by so many. Today it reminds 
 us that there will always be some people who fight. There will always be hope.
 I have hopes for the future, and generations will be reminded about it when
 they visit this monument,” Tom Clay states.

 Exactly 75 years ago
 At 14.25 two F-16 fighters from the Royal Danish Air Force make a flypast over
 the memorial site, at the exact time when the Stormy Weather crashed 75 years 

 The 10 American soldiers were taken prisoners by German soldiers and taken
 to concentration camps. All of them survived their stay in the camps and
 returned to the U.S.A. in 1945.

 (Translated by Anders Straarup)