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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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149 Squadron Crest
21/22.04.1940 No. 149 Squadron Wellington Ia P9218 OJ-J F/O. F.T. Knight

Operation: Aalborg West airfield Denmark

Date: 21/22nd April 1940 (Sunday/Monday)

Unit: No. 149 Squadron

Type: Wellington 1A

Serial: P9218

Code: OJ-J

Base: RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk

Location: near Aggersund (Limfjord) Denmark

Pilot: F/O Frederick T. Knight RAF PoW Stalag Luft Barth Vogelsang

Nav: Sgt Gerald Edwin Forsyth 550402 RAF Pow No: 13108 Stalag Kopernikus

Air/Bmr: Sgt Heil Cain McDonald RAF PoW Stalag Lamsdorf

W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC2 Philip Blackburn 627118 RAF PoW No: 223 Stalag Kopernikus

Air/Gnr: AC2 Jesse James Eldridge 621519 RAF PoW No: 13069 Stalag Luft Heydekrug

Air/Gnr: AC1 William Thew 540768 RAF PoW No: 13075 Stalag Kopernikus


Taking off at 17:55 hrs from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk to bomb the airfields at Aalborg in Denmark.

P9218 was hit by flak from 5./Res. Flak Abt. 603 in one engine, and had to ditch in the Limfjorden 500 meters East of the Aggersund bridge at 21:50 hours.

F/O Frederick T. Knight where he became ill with tuberculosis. On 6/2 1945 he was repatriated to England, where he died shortly after.

The aircraft had been heard at the Monrad house in Aggersund and Mads Anker Sekker Lund who lived with the Monrad family was send down to the Limfjorden to bring the flyers to the house. At the same time Monrad asked his wife to prepare food for the flyers. The crew were shaken but more or less unhurt apart from minor bruises. They left the aircraft and waded ashore and were they were met by Mads. They were then taken to the house of Registered land surveyor A.C.H. Monrad who asked them in, and called for Doctor Petersen from the hospital in Fjerritslev to come and treat the pilot F/O. Knight for a scratch on the forehead and the wireless operator, AC2. Eldridge for a bruised ankle. The remaining crew were Sgt. McDonald, Sgt. Forsyth, AC2. Blackburn and AC1. Thew. They realised that their chances to escape were limited and chose to give themselves up. Monrad called Constable Richard Laursen of Fjerridslev who reluctantly informed the Germans. At two o`clock in the morning the crew were picked up by Luftwaffe personnel from Aalborg West and taken there.

Burial details:

None - all crew survived the ditching.

Researched Michel Beckers for Aircrew Remembered - January 2017. Photographs from the collection of Michel Beckers.

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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