An Account from Estruplund                               På dansk                                   Updated:  08 DEC 2012

On 30  August 1944  LAN PB143 crashed here, overview here in connection with Operation 30 AUGUST 1944. See also A Memorial Stone to 6 British Airmen.

On 10 June 2012 received An account of my experience of the night between 29 and 30 August 1944 from Kristian Boje Pedersen.

"This is what I remember from that night. I was born in September 1937, so I was nearly 7 years old at the time of the event.

My two younger siblings and I were awakened by Dad and Mum as they thought that something was happening which might mean that we had to leave our
house in a hurry.

There was a lot of noise from planes in the air and constant fire from machine guns. My father realized that something was wrong.

We got up and dressed - and a few moments later we saw fire from the sky and right down to the ground through our windows to the garden. My father said it
must be fuel from a plane. A tank must have been hit, so the fuel was pouring out. It was a horrible sight which might look as if doomesday was near.

The plane went on to the south and we could not see the sea of flames any more. Shortly after, maybe some minutes later, we again heard the sound from
the engines of the planes and the continued shooting. Suddenly the fire was there again, but this time quite near the ground. Seconds later an enormous crash
was heard and a number of windows in our farm house were blasted out.  

A moment later our 7 horses were standing in our yard shaking with fear as the plane had crashed into the pen where they were. My father and veterinary surgeon
Krogh, Ørsted, were the first men at the crash site, and I have been told that they saw a horrible sight. The last bomb in the plane had not been dropped, and as
the plane hit the ground, it exploded.The 6 men of the crew that were still in the plane were blown to pieces, so that my father and the vet could see parts of bodies
hanging in the three rows af barbed wire which by then was the normal type of fence.

In relatively short time (some hours) German military arrived and guards were placed at the crash site. Before noon people in the village of Ingerslev, where we lived,
were asked to open windows and doors as they intended to blast an unexploded bomb. It had been dropped by the plane from an altitude so low that it did not
detonate. Some time later, maybe about a fortnight, the pieces of wreckage of the plane were taken to the railway station in Allingaabro and driven away.

The German soldiers started picking up the parts of the bodies and they intended to bury them at the edge of the crater that the bomb had made. My mother heard
that and she went to the place in question. She could speak German and explained to the soldiers that it was not the custom in Denmark to treat bodies of
deceased people in that way. She and others contacted the local vicar. Nielsen was his name, I think. Coffins were procured, and after some time there was a
funeral ceremony in  Estruplund Churchyard.

I remember that the German soldiers were very young and scared. They fetched milk from my father when they were on duty as guards. One of them, Anton, may
only have been 15 years old. He often talked to my mother, and tears were always in his eyes when he had to leave again.

In some places in the literature about this air crash it is stated that the plane crashed into Jens Hansen's field. That is not correct. It crashed into my father's field.
His name was Sigvald Boje Pedersen,  2 A in the Land Register, the village of Ingerslev in the parish of Estruplund.

The experiences are perfectly clear in my memory as if it happened yesterday. I think it may be because it was the first time that I saw my parents scared."