Tag Archives: Kiel Bay 24th January 1944

Aabenraa Cemetery, Denmark – Aircrew headstones recorded


Many thanks to David for recording the gravestones of the 75(NZ) Squadron airmen who rest in Aabenraa Cemetery in Denmark on his recent visit with his Father, John McFarland and other family members, to remember his crew mates that were lost on the 18th of April 1944 and now rest in Gram Churchyard.

SAWTELL, Arthur Hartley

On the evening of the 24th of January 1944 15 Stirling bombers took off from Mepal on a Gardening Op to Kiel bay. All aircraft returned except for Stirling Mk.III EH948, Piloted by Harold Bruhns. The only body recovered was that of the Mid Upper Gunner F/S Arthur Hertley Sawtell RAAF AUS.417521, who was aged 19. The rest of the crew are remembered at the Runynmede Memorial in Surrey:

P/O Harold Henry Bruhns RNZAF NZ42367      age 22
Sgt Eric Arthur Wilkes RAFVR 1575513               age 22
F/S Laurie Licence Butler RNZAF NZ421672      age 22
Sgt Robert Ewen Hall RAFVR 1392121                age 25
Sgt James William Harry RAFVR 1601839          age 20
Sgt Woolf Jack Summers RAFVR 1395702         age 22


LAMMAScrew full comp

On the evening of the 23rd of April 1944, 5 Stirling Mk.III bombers left Mepal to carry out a Gardening Op in the Keil Bay area. One aircraft had to return early owing to engine trouble and one,  Stirling Mk.III EF137 AA-E failed to return. This aircraft, Piloted by F/S Mauson Lammas RNZAF was outbound to target when it was attacked by a German night fighter believed to have been piloted by Oberfeldwebel Rudolf Frank of 3./NJG 3. A fire started and a little later the bomber disintegrated in the air and fell in the sea off Vemmenæs at 23:20 hours killing the whole crew.

On the 24th at 03:42 it was reported by The Civil Air Defence that 3 bodies had been found. One had been found in the sea while two had fallen to their death in the fields.
At 09:15 it was reported that 7 bodies had been found. Two were found in the sea, one in some scrub near the beach while Tail gunner Larson was found in his turret.

To read an earlier post about the Lammas crew, click here.