G.K. Williams crew 25.7.43 †

crew and Frank composite

Left hand image: The Williams crew – back row middle Gordon Williams – Pilot, front row left Frank McGregor – Air Bomber. Right hand image: Sgt. Frank Edward McGregor.
© Estate of FE McGregor

24/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Twenty-three aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. Of these aircraft, two returned early due to unserviceable W/T and engine trouble respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. It was a very concentrated and successful attack. Very large spread fires were seen with black smoke rising to height of 1,400ft., some heavy explosions were also seen. A heavy A.A. barrage co-operating with searchlights were encountered and two aircraft were coned in the searchlights but neither were hit. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. TURNER whilst avoiding a searchlight cone, the starboard wing was struck by a JU 88approaching head on. The enemy aircraft turned over and dived to the ground, it was claimed to be destroyed.. The Stirling was badly damaged having more that 4ft. of the starboard main plane torn off, and the aileron and aileron controls being useless. The captain had extreme difficulty in controlling the aircraft, but kept it on an even keel with the assistance of the Air-bomber, and after the 3 hours return flight to base, made a perfect landing. Two other short combats took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. The weather was very good, with clear visibility, except for haze caused by smoke from the fires. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling Mk.III EE890 captained by Sergeant H. Nichol.

Stirling Mk.I EE892 AA-F

S/L Jack ‘Jacky’ Joll, RNZAF NZ40234 – Pilot.
W/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – 2nd Pilot.
F/O Thomas Cameron Graham, RAFVR 125622 – Navigator.
Sgt. William Barron Kane, RAFVR 1312222/ 158333 – Air Bomber.
F/S Edward Henry Gray, RNZAF NZ412878 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. George Hugh Falloon, RCAF C.18262 – Flight Engineer.
F/S L.C. Soreson, RCAF R.86749/ J.89823 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. T.R. Kemp, RAFVR 1412409 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 04:20
Flight Time 06:25

25/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Essen
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 2,000lbs., 1,000lbs., and incendiaries of 30lbs., and 4lbs. One aircraft failed to take off, and two returned early, wing to engine trouble and an intercommunication failure respectively, and one aircraft failed to return. Sixteen aircraft successfully dropped their bombs on target area, which was an absolute mass of flames. Many huge explosions were seen in the midst of the fires. Moderate A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, one aircraft receiving slight damage. An aircraft was held in a searchlight cone for 3 minutes, but avoided it by making diving turns. Some enemy aircraft were seen. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt. H.C. WILLIAMS sighted an unidentified aircraft 400 yds away approaching from astern. The Stirling corkscrewed and the Mid-upper and Rear gunners fired a long burst, the enemy aircraft exploded in the air and dived to the ground. It was claimed to be destroyed. Another aircraft was sighted by them approaching on the port quarter, the Rear gunner fired two short bursts and the enemy aircraft broke away. The weather was hazy to the enemy Coast, but clear over the target. Visibility was good except for haze caused by smoke from the fires, which could be seen west of the DUTCH coast. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft was Stirling MK.III EE892 captained by Sgt.. M. ASHDOWN

Stirling Mk.III BF461 JN-B

W/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William James Champion, RAFVR 624043/ 53774 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 03:30
Flight Time 05:00

27/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Twenty two aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with bombs of 2,000lb., 1,000lb., and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb.. Two aircraft returned early owing to engine trouble, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This attack was more concentrated than the previous one, colossal fires and explosions were seen with smoke rising to 20,000ft. , a ship was also seen to be on fire in a Dock south of the target. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with search lights operating in belts were encountered, although the A.A. fire was heavier than the previous attack, it was ineffective except for slight damage to three aircraft. Some enemy aircraft were seen. The aircraft captained by F/Sgt.E.J.ROBERTS sighted a JU 88 approaching from port beam above and all gunners opened fire, the enemy aircraft broke away firing and then approached on the port beam below. Mid-upper and Rear gunners fired a long burst and the enemy aircraft was claimed to be damaged. The Stirling was also damaged, having a bomb door blown off and a petrol pipe-line pierced, nevertheless the captain brought his aircraft safely back to base. The weather was good except for 3/10th cloud at the target, visibility was good, although smoke haze prevented identification of ground detail. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BF461 JN-B

W/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William James Champion, RAFVR 624043/ 53774 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 21:55 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 06:30

29/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb. Two aircraft returned early and the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful attack, large concentrated fires with heavy explosions and smoke rising to 15,000ft., were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which were scattered and unpredictable. One aircraft was held in searchlights cones for periods of 10 and 8 minutes, he avoided them with extreme difficulty and whilst so doing was hit in the fuselage by A.A. fire. Two other aircraft also received slight damage. Some enemy aircraft were seen and the aircraft captained by Sgt. P. Hartstein sighted a JU 88 which came in from astern firing a cannon, the Rear gunner replied and the enemy aircraft broke away. The aircraft captained by F/O. G. DUNCAN sighted a JU 88 on the port quarter , the Mid upper gunner gave a 10 second burst and the enemy aircraft dived away. The aircraft captained by F/S/ E. WILKINSON sighted a JU88 on the port quarter, the enemy aircraft opened fire and the Rear gunner replied, the enemy aircraft then broke away. The aircraft captained by F/S. J. DARNEY encountered an unidentified enemy aircraft which fired from the starboard quarter, the Rear gunner replied and the enemy disappeared. It was clear at the target area and the visibility was good except for haze from the fires. Navigation was excellent. The aircraft captained by P/O. A. SEDUNARY just after bombing, had one of its engines failed. After unsuccessful attempts to start it, he brought the aircraft back to base on three engines and made a perfect landing.

Stirling Mk.III BF461 JN-B (

W/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William James Champion, RAFVR 624043/ 53774 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:25 – Landed 04:25
Flight Time 06:00

30/07/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Remscheld
Thirteen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb. And 4lb..One aircraft returned early as rear turret was unserviceable and two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area, large concentrated fires and some explosions were seen. Moderate heavy and light A.A fire co-operating with searchlight belts were encountered, and one aircraft was slightly damaged in the mid- upper turret. Some enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by F/S. O. WHITE sighted an unidentified aircraft which attacked three times. Each time the mid upper and rear gunners fired a burst, and strikes were seen on the enemy aircraft which then fell away and claimed to be damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility except for haze caused by fires. Navigation was very good. On return, one aircraft landed at HARDWICK, due to shortage of petrol. The missing aircraft were Stirling Mk.III BF458 captained by Sgt. A.J. THOMAS and Stirling Mk.III EE915 captained by F/Sgt. J. DARNEY.

Stirling Mk.III BF461 JN-B

W/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William James Champion, RAFVR 624043/ 53774 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 22:30 – Landed 03:15
Flight Time 04:45

02/08/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hamburg
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with incendiary bombs of 30lb and 4lb. Six of the aircraft returned early owing to severe icing and engine trouble, two failed to return. The remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. Large fires and columns of smoke were seen although this attack was not considered to be a successful as the previous one. Moderate heavy and light A.A. fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, which proved to be ineffective. Some enemy aircraft were seen but no combats took place. The weather was good at the beginning of outward journey, but cloud gathered and was 10/10ths at the target, icing and electrical storms were also encountered. Navigation was very good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk. III EH928 captained by Sgt. Baille, P. and BF 557 captained by F/Sgt. Couper, J.A.

Stirling Mk.III EH936 JN-W

W/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William James Champion, RAFVR 624043/ 53774 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 23:20 – Landed 01:20
Flight Time 02:00

15/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Montlucon
Seventeen aircraft were detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of 1,000lb and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb..One aircraft failed to take-off, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a good concentrated attack, large fires and heavy explosions being observed, smoke from fires and heavy explosions being observed, smoke from fires was rising to a height of 12,000ft.. Inaccurate A.A.fire from a few guns was the only opposition, no enemy aircraft were encountered. There was 5/10th cloud over the target but visibility was nevertheless good. Navigation was excellent.

Stirling Mk.III BF461 JN-B

P/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
F/S William Robert Kell, RNZAF NZ411755 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 20:15 – Landed 03:00
Flight Time 06:45

16/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Modene
Nineteen aircraft wee detailed to attack the above targets with bombs of  1,000lb.,and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb. One aircraft returned early, but the remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful and well concentrated attack. Large fires which appeared to be spreading and heavy explosions were seen. Some A.A.fire co-operating with searchlights were encountered, they were ineffective except for one aircraft which received damage. The port inner engine caught fire but what put out with the aid of a fire extinguisher, the propeller was then feathered and the aircraft continued its journey on three engines. A few enemy aircraft were seen, the aircraft captained by P/O. G.K.WILLIAMS had a combat with a JU 88 which was claimed as destroyed. One other short combat took place, but no damage was sustained to our aircraft. It was clear over the target and visibility was good. Navigation was good.

Stirling Mk.III BF461 JN-B

P/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William Robert Kell, RNZAF NZ411755 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:50 – Landed 03:50
Flight Time 08:00
22/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Hanover
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1,000lb. and incendiaries of 30lb. and 4lb.. Three aircraft returned early, but the remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful and concentrated attack. Numerous fires which appeared to be merging into one large fire were seen, and were still visible as the aircraft were returning over the DUTCH Coast. Heavy A.A. fire and a great number of searchlights were encountered, but proved ineffective. Several enemy aircraft were seen and one of our Stirlings was hit, but the attacker was not seen, damage was received to the tail and main plane, and the port petrol tanks were punctured. The aircraft, however, was safely flown back to base and a crash landing was made with three engines. It was clear over the target and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good.

Stirling Mk.III BF461 JN-B

P/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
F/S William Robert Kell, RNZAF NZ411755 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:05 – Landed 22:35
Flight Time 03:30

23/09/1943 – Attack Against Targets at Mannheim
Eighteen aircraft were detailed to carry the above operation with incendiary bombs of 30lb. and 4lb.. Three aircraft failed to return, but the remainder successfully dropped their bombs in the target area. This was, undoubtedly, a good attack, concentrated fires which were spreading to the West, and large heavy explosions were seen. Moderate heavy A.A. fire and a large curtain of searchlights were encountered, but caused no trouble. Enemy aircraft were very active and several combats took place. The aircraft captained by W/O. P. MOSELEY had a combat with a JU88 which was claimed as a probably destroyed. In the action our aircraft received damage the Pilot W/O. P. MOSELEY and the Mid Upper Sgt. C(?) MIDDLETON were slightly injured. The aircraft captained by P/O A. BURLEY had three combats with enemy aircraft, one of which was claimed as destroyed, the two as  damaged. The weather was good with clear visibility. Navigation was excellent. The missing aircraft were Stirlings Mk.111 EF459 captained by P/O C.C. LOGAN, EH946 captained by F/Lt. G. TURNER , and EH935 captained by F/O L. KIRKPATRICK.

Stirling Mk.III EF512 ??-?

P/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
F/S William Robert Kell, RNZAF NZ411755 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off 19:30 – Landed 02:00
Flight Time 06:30

04/11/1943 – Mining in the Baltic Sea
Four aircraft were detailed to carry out the above operation, with mines of 1500lbs. This was an unfortunate night as three aircraft failed to return and the other aircraft returned early having jettisoned its mines. This aircraft met an enemy night fighter and sustained damage to the port wing, starboard flap, rear turret and many large holes in the fuselage, the rear gunner, Sgt.W. HURDLE, was killed during the combat. The weather was bad and ten tenths cloud made visibility poor. Navigation was good. The missing aircraft were Stirlings MKIII BF461, Captained by P/O.G.K.WILLIAMS, BK778 Captained by P/O.W.S.MASTERS and EE897 Captained by F/O. N.WILSON.

Stirling Mk.III BF461 AA-B

P/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Sgt. Francis Edward McGregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
Sgt. William James Champion, RAFVR 624043/ 53774 – Wireless Operator.
Sgt. H.N. Moffatt, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
F/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
Sgt. R. Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.

Take Off – – Landed –
Flight Time Missing

On the night of the 4th of November 1943, the RAF launched only minor operations. Thirty-six aircraft were detailed for mining at various places from Lorient to the Kattegat. Four Stirlings failed to return from the night’s operations.. According to the crews on return from 75(NZ) Sqn the weather was bad with poor visibility.

One of the lost Squadron aircraft was Stirling Mk.III BF461 AA-B, which took off from Mepal just after 16:00 hrs. Nothing was heard from it after take-off. Like many of the aircraft, BF461 encountered German night fighters over Denmark, in this instance two Ju.88’s. The damage caused to the Stirling in the ensuing confrontation forced it to jettison its mines and attempt to return early to base.

Many thanks to Pete for letting me share with you the amazing story of his father and his crew, who flew with 75(NZ) Squadron in 1943. I originally came across a post Pete had made on his blog about the incredible story of his father’s escape through Denmark after being shot down on the 4th of November 1943, only to be handed over to the Germans, resulting in his incarceration in Stalag IV-B. The post of the story is here

Pete describes the events of that night as follows;
On the night of 4 November 1943, four Stirling bombers from 75 Squadron took off from an RAF airbase at Mepal in England on a mission to lay mines in the Baltic Sea. Near Kallerup in Denmark a German JU88 night fighter piloted by Leutnant Karl Rechberger attacked Stirling BF461. Some of the fighter’s fire hit home, but Rechberger was wounded in the thigh by return fire from the bomber. Despite the injury he landed safely.

The Stirling wasn’t so lucky. The exact nature of the damage will never be known, but it was sufficient to cripple the bomber. Unable to control the doomed plane, pilot Gordon Williams gave the command to bail out.

On hearing the order, the front gunner spun his turret to align it so he could climb back into the bulkhead to retrieve his parachute. Unfortunately, he misaligned the turret; the wind caught and wrenched it and strained the hinges and he found himself trapped in the turret. Fighting panic, he ripped off his helmet and managed to squeeze his head and shoulders through the gap. Suddenly, the plane lurched and he was thrown through the gap into the bulkhead. He reached for his parachute and tried to clip it on, but by now his fingers were numb and he couldn’t tell if the clips had buckled securely. Time was running out. He opened the hatch and lowered his legs into space, then, with a terrific effort of will, released his hold and tumbled into the night sky, away from the crippled bomber. He waited several seconds, free-falling through the night until he was sure his parachute would clear the plane, then pulled the ripcord. A moment later he felt the impact as the parachute opened. The clips were secure.

With help from local Danes he evaded capture for two days but was finally turned over to the Germans. He spent the remainder of World War II as a Prisoner of War in the huge Stalag IV-B at Mühlburg, about 50 km north of Dresden.

He was my father.”

Frank McGregor’s story of that night can be read here as the first of 2 viewable, or downloadable pdf files. The story is incredibly detailed and covers the period from take off, literally to his liberation by Russian soldiers (part 2 here) in 1945.

The Stirling crashed at Kallerup in Jutland, Denmark. P/O Champion’s body was found and taken to the German morgue, the Nordre Mole, in Fredrikshavn by a German lorry. Official German documents record the death ‘from burns’. However in a report compiled by a Danish policeman a Danish undertaker questioned this verdict.

If Pilot Officer Champion died had died from burns the body would have been taken to the undertaker in a coffin. As this was not the case it may be that P/O Champion was killed in the crash. P/O Champion was buried at Fredrikshavn on the 13th of November, together with seven other British airmen.

No military honours were given and the ceremony was performed by a German field padre. A group of Danes attending the the funeral laid wreaths and flowers on each of the coffins, as done at other funerals.

The other members of the crew were taken prisoner. Five of them were sent to Germany, but F/S Morice was sent to hospital at Thisyten for treatment. He was helped to escape and was subsequently taken to the vicarage in Biersted. From Frederikshavn he was taken to Sweden. He was repatriated to Britian in accordance with the Geneva Convention.

P/O Gordon Kenneth Williams, RNZAF NZ401796 – Pilot.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 1454
Prison Camps: Stalag Luft I. Promoted to F/L whilst interred
Date of return to United Kingdom: 12th of May 1945

F/S Walter Frank Morice, RNZAF NZ415708 – Navigator.
Evader
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

F/S was debriefed on his return to the United Kingdom by MI.9:
“I was a member of the crew of a Stirling aircraft which took off from Ely about 16:00 hrs on the 4th of November 1943 on mining operations in the Skagerrack. About 19:16 hrs we were attacked by night fighters over Denmark and we were ordered to bale out. I was the first to leave the aircraft. I came down in the neighbourhood of Hundborg in marshy ground. I hid my parachute, mae west and harness in the swamp, along with a wallet I had been carrying. I had my wallet with me as we were returning to Lossiemouth and expected to be there for a week before going back to our station. I began immediately to walk away from the aircraft which was burning furiously about two miles away. I do not know which direction I took as there were no stars and I had lost my aids box and purse which I had inside by battle-dress before leaving the aircraft, Before starting to walk I removed all the badges from my uniform. I had sprained both ankles in landing and thought my right ankle might be broken. I kept on walking all that night (4th – 5th of November) making slow progress as my right leg was almost useless. At dawn I rested for two hours and continue walking, this time East by the sun as I decided to make for the East coast. At 11:00 hrs I was unable to carry on and sought shelter in a farm in the Hundborg area where I was given food and rested, At 13:00 hrs, however, a Danish policeman arrived with an ambulance and explained I was to be taken to a Danish hospital at Tisted and that I would then have to be handed to the Germans. The farmer, though friendly, must have informed the police, probably being afraid of the German search. Wepassed many German search parties looking for me on the road. The Danish policeman was very anxious that they should not see me. He was also very friendly. At the hospital in Tisted the doctors treated my ankles, x-rayed my right foot and then said that there has been two British machines crashed, many had been captured, four more were dead (of this they were not certain and thought that I was the only one at large). They said that Flying Officer Black had been at the hospital with an injure foot. He had been captured by the Danish police and the Germans had taken him away from the hospital. Three Danish policemen arrived. I asked them to let me go, but they refused saying it was impossible to get to Sweden and that the Germans would recapture me. At 16:00 hrs I was left in a ground floor room in the hospital by myself for a few minutes, but a porter came in and with his assistance I escaped through a window and made my way out of the town, dressed in battledress and flying boots. I walked East by the stars all night, along the shores of the lake (Tisted Bredning). It was bitterly cold, so I could not rest. I crossed a dike in the vicinity of Hovsor. About 10:00 hrs on Saturday 6th of May, I was stopped on a track by a Danish peasant who saw I was in pretty bad condition. He took me to his house, gave me food and allowed me to rest until midday. An English-speaking Dane came in and gave me a map, an old map, and an old cap and showed me the main road to Aalborg. This road follows the railway line. He also said that it was impossible to get out of Denmark, but the people would help me. He advised me to avoid Pjersitslev, as there were many German soldiers there. I continued walking to 19:00 hrs when I went to a farm where I was given food and a bed for the night. They spoke no English but managed to understand they were not to tell the police about me. I was given a better map which showed I was at Vust. On Sunday, 7th of November, I was awaken at 05:00 hrs and given food. I then set out along the road. About 06:00 hrs I was stopped at a crossroads by two German guards but seeing my hat and coat they allowed me to pass. I did not speak a word. I walked all that day along that road passing several Germans. I was limping badly and my flying boots made walking a torture. At 18:00 hrs I stopped at a farm near Birkekse. The people took me into a house, the owner of which, his wife an nephew all spoke English. They welcomed me with open arms, said they would help me, but were very pessimistic as to my chances, as the Germans were on the watch for me everywhere and many people were stopped on the roads. My host said he would try to put me in touch with an underground organization. I stayed there that night. On Monday. November the  8th, I rested all day at this hose and was treated very well. After making several plans my host decided to send me next morning to a friend at Birsted. I was given trousers and boots, retaining only my underclothes, socks and sweater from which I had removed all tabs. Next day (Tuesday the 9th of November) I was taken to Birsted where I was put in touch with an organization which arranged my journey to Sweden.”

Sgt. Francis Edward Mcgregor, RNZAF NZ415338 – Air Bomber.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 263492
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft III, IVB and IVG. Promoted to W/O whilst interred
Date of return to United Kingdom: 31st of May 1945

P/O William James Champion, RAF 53774 – Wireless Operator.
Killed age 25.
Son of Edward and Mary Champion; Husband of Edna Champion, of Woking, Surrey.
Buried Frederikshavn Cemetery, Denmark..
Grave location – Allied Plot. grave 48.
‘Enshrined
Forever in our hearts.
Au revoir’

Sgt. H.N. Moffat, RAFVR 1682621 – Flight Engineer.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 261523
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft and Stalag IVB
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

F/O John Arthur Black, RAAF AUS.425420 – Mid Upper Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 1766
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalags Luft 1 and Luft III
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

Sgt. Reginald Ingrey, RAFVR 1504520 – Rear Gunner.
P.o.W
Prisoner of War Number: 261509
Prison Camps: Dulag Luft, Stalag IVB
Date of return to United Kingdom: not known

More information on the crew and the crash can also be read here on Anders Straarup’s website, dedicated to air losses over Denmark.

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