B 17G-DL 44-6461 - Bodwell and Kozdeba to Sweden På dansk Updated: 02 AUG 2010
See the story in Anders Bjørnvad: They found a way (De fandt en vej) about the help to allied airmen shot down over Denmark (DFEV p.154-156).
In the afternoon of 26 February 1945 people in and near Gram in Southern Jutland saw 9 airmen bail out from a burning Flying Fortress.
At once members of the resistance movement left their homes to see if it was possible to rescue some of the airmen. This search was a race with the enemy, as a company of German soldiers from Gram had been dispatched immediately on a hunt for the airmen in which they behaved like semi-savage people.
About 6 p.m Calle, Kedde, Chresten and Peder Lausen from a resistance group in Gram met. Then Chresten said that he had got hold of 2 American airmen near the meadows south of Tiset. From foreman Charles Nielsen in the the Highway Authority he had borrowed the key to a tool truck nearby. Here he had hidden the airmen.
They decided to fetch the airmen rather soon.
wearing two suits of clothes Calle and Peder Lausen were to go by bike to the
tool truck, while Chresten was to take his truck to the spot. However, on
Later in the evening the three men hid in a garden from which they could see the tool truck, but in the bright moonlight they saw more than that. German patrols and officious civilian Nazis continually went about in the area.
break in the patrolling some hours later the three of them dared to approach
the truck. Everything went well. The door was unlocked and the airmen were
meantime Kedde had contacted a man who spoke English. He also contacted the
group member Aage who made their weapons ready for use in case
Dinner was served when all of them were gathered at Peder Lausen’s. Of course by then the airmen Russell Bodwell and John Kozdeba were very hungry.
the meal Kalle came to tell them that the Germans were now using dogs in the
search, and that somehow they had begun to suspect Chresten. Then Aage
Germans still rushed around with their dogs the helpers decided that the
airmen had to get away from the area now. As they had no instructions from
the airmen were taken to Rødding where a representative of “the Ring” had an
assembly point for airmen whose plane had crashed. Next day they were to be
journey was did not go completely according to the plan. In Jels they had to wait
for the bus for a long time. In Kolding they visited a priest, as it
However, later that day the airmen and their helpers managed to enter a goods train – packed with German soldiers.
Gestapo had just been on the go in Fredericia, so the people from Rødding
had to walk about in the streets part of the afternoon. The reserve
address was not
p.m. the Danish-American team went to the cinema to see a beautiful Danish
film. At 10 p.m. they went to the address in question. It turned out that the
The following day the helpers made sure that everything was ready for further transport of the airmen and they went back home.
The airmen came to Copenhagen, apparently taken to the coast of the Sound by Ib Mogens Bech Christensen from the group “1944”.
Bodwell and Kozdeba became Hendil’s passengers no. 1565 and 1566, when they sailed to Sweden with “Danish/Swedish Refugee Service” on 9 March 1945.
(DFEV p. 154-156. Here the names Dodwell and Kozdebs are used for the same 2 airmen.)