Anton Rask about Fearn, Vause and Lancaster PB325 (See also Bjørnvad about two other airmen) Updated: 03 FEB 2016 På dansk
Excerpt from the chapter (translated here)
Only two airmen came down alive, but where? Shortly after there is a phone call from a farmer who lives a little more than a mile from here. His steady voice states, "A man that I can't talk to has arrived here. Now he'll talk to you." Then I hear a voice saying, "Hello, British airman speaking." After a short conversation I got into the car and down to the man. It is an English airman. He is "shaken", otherwise all right, but he is sitting there surrounded by 20-25 men. After he came down he went for the nearest window with light and got into the big party. Nobody understands what he is saying so all of them together went to the neighbouring farm. The farm owner had been to America, but it appears that he is only able to speak Spanish, as he had been to Argentine, and so they call me. The Danes present have a short deliberation. All of us would like to help him, but we are too many including a number of children. The result: The German Wehrmacht is called on the telephone.
I have to explain the situation to the Englishman and I add my own private concerns. In the village we are responsible for 4 tons of English weapons that we have just received, sailed directly to us from England. He came down about 1 km from a German listening post and he must have been seen from there. If we hide the airman the Germans will make a thorough search and certainly find both weapons and him. So we have to choose whether to save him from a few months as a prisoner of war or to abandon our weapons and our organization. The Englishman understands the situation and takes charge, "All right, I have had a bad start. I'll pay." As he sees how miserable we look he comforts us that the war will be over soon. Daily he flies over the west front, and when he sees what is gathered on the Allied side and what it looks like on the German side of the front he has no doubt that the defeat of Germany is very near.
I drive him back to my home and while we are waiting for the German Wehrmacht he has a cup of tea and listens to the latest news from the BBC. As we can expect the Germans we remove all traces of our tea party and it proves to be very sensible of us. A German lieutenant and a non-commissioned officer barge into the room with their submachine guns at the ready. The lieutenant is upset to find the Englishman sitting in a good chair. I have the feeling that he would find it more reasonable if the Englishman had been tied to a telephone pole in the street. I try to explain to him that when Germans have disarmed us down to and including our saloon rifles, it cannot be our duty to capture Englishmen with revolvers. The lieutenant expresses his astonishment that in the fifth year of the war I am unaware of the costs of fraternizing with the enemy. However, the traditional magnanimity of the Germans did not fail him even if it was severely tried. The lieutenant hopes that he can convince his superiors that I only acted so irresponsibly as I did out of imprudence. "Today a cold wind that you do not understand has blown into your room, Herr Doktor."
The prisoner is searched. The lieutenant throws himself on two
unopened packets of cigarettes that appear with a threatening and
triumphant sidelong glance at my wife and me. Now he has caught us.
His triumphant smile makes that clear. When he reads aloud the names
his disappointment is seen as clearly as his former triumph. "Royal
Pennant" - English, "Duke of York" - English, he says
in a tone of vexation and throws the cigarettes back on the table. We are
delighted that he did not read the Danish revenue label and think
that it is an excellent idea to provide cigarettes made in Denmark
with English names.
He also looks at our faces and says, "Well, Herr Doktor, you don't understand, but when I see our towns in ruins and ashes and heaps of dead bodies of children . . . " I ask if "terrorflights" haven't to some degree depended on who at a certain time had the air superiority. Again he is upset by me. Don't I know that, as early as during the defensive war against Poland, "der Führer" had expressly ordered his airmen not to wage war on civilians. Would I dare to suggest that the orders of the "Führer" were not carried out to the letter by the German Wehrmacht? He can only think of one explanation for my question, as I cannot have read such things in Danish newspapers. He suspects that I listen to radio broadcasts from the enemy and that I have uncritically let myself be influenced by the mendacious propaganda from London.
Now we get word that the man from the other parachute has also been
found. He has been lying more than an hour in the water until he was
picked up. He is more dead than alive when he gets into the house of
a fisherman. He is laid into the conjugal bed and warmed up. Now the
lieutenant was in a hurry to go and fetch prisoner no. 2 together with our
Englishman. Later we hear that the fisherman was not allowed to lend
a dry suit of clothes to the airman, so he had to get into his
soaked clothes again.
After the capitulation we fortunately hear from our friend the airman that both of them are safe and sound in England, liberated by the Russians from a prisoner of war camp in Poland. He also remembers our facial expression for he ends his letter like this, "I think we did the right thing, Doctor." Yes, we did, but we were not certain until we heard that he was safe and sound.