Peter Hansen's experience on 20 April 1945
shortly before midnight
On 1 October and 15
November 2012 Peter Hansen, 92, from
Støvring related to Niels Nørgaard Nielsen
what he heard and saw near Sørup.
Half a kilometre south of Juelstrup Vicarage
along Præstevej halfway between Juelstrup Vicarage and Nibevej there
was a big gravel pit into the hill. Here I was walking on my way home to the
house of my parents in Juelstrup at about 11.30 p.m. on 20 April 1945. Then
I heard the humming of engines in the air from north north west.The sound
me certain that it was an Allied plane.
I think, but I am not quite sure any more,
that I also heard some sounds from the shooting in the air. It may be true,
as the planes flew very low during the war to avoid being detected by radar.
The plane that I heard was over Sørup or
maybe a bit further away. It was always difficult to establish. Maybe it was
a little further to the west, maybe between Hjedsbæk and Sørup. Suddenly I
saw tracer bullets being fired to the north. There were a lot of tracer
bullets and also some from the other side, as far as I could see. It must
have been a plane
that the first one shot at. It would not have fired if there was nothing to
shoot at, so a German plane must have chased
it. There must have been two planes firing at each other.
I could see that shots came from the plane from the time that it was north
west of me and till it was west of me. From then there were no more shots as
far as I could see. The noise from the plane disappeared to the south. After
a short while, one or two minutes later, I saw a powerful glimpse.
Everything in that direction was lit up. I wondered if they had thrown a
I did not occur to me that it was the plane that I had seen which had fallen
down, but next day I was told that a plane had crashed in the Torstedlund
Forest. It was so
far away that I did not hear a bang. I only saw this powerful light.
As I was standing at the gravel pit in the
quiet spring night something happened again about 10 minutes after I had
heard sounds of engines from the planes and I had seen the big glimpse of
fire. I heard a car. I realized that they had to be Germans, as there was a
curfew and nobody else was allowed to drive during the night.
Then fate willed it that they wanted to pull the car in to the side of the gravel pit where I was
standing, so I ran away and hid in the bottom of a hole.
On my way
early in the night I had walked across the fields, as it was not allowed to
be out during the night due to the curfew, but now near midnight I was
along the road as I did not think that there was any risk that the Germans
were patrolling that late.
There were 4
Germans in the car. They got out and pointed towards Aarestrup while they
were discussing. After some time they went into the car again and headed
for Aarestrup. I was happy that they did not bring a dog, because then they
would have found me. It is not certain that they would have done anything to
me, but on the other hand shortly before there had been air drops in Oplev
Hedemark. That was probably why the Germans were patrolling the area. In
view of that the Germans might think that I was one of the people who were
to receive an air drop.
not go well together with the piece of information that the plane that crashed in the Torstedlund
Forest should have come from the south east when it
I am quite
certain that the plane that I heard came from the north west, and I am also
quite certain that the first tracer bullets I saw were sent to the north.
Then it must have taken a large
round trip before it crashed. I could not see the plane in the darkness,
only hear it and as mentioned see the tracer bullets.
All of us
had learned to tell the difference between Allied planes and German planes
during all of the flights through 5 years of war. That is why I could hear
certainty that it was an Allied plane. It could be recognized by a deep
humming sound. The German planes had a distinctly different sound. We could
always tell when Allied
planes flew over us in the night. I think the sound
came from Rolls Royce engines, as most engines in planes were made by Rolls