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Thread: Mosquito in Sweden

  1. #1
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    Default Mosquito in Sweden

    For the "Department of Useless Information" I provide, below, the MI.9 report of W/C William Lewis Thomas, DSO, DFC, who force-landed in Sweden 1 November 1944. His report was based on interviews of 25 November 1944, jointly with his navigator, one F/L Humphrey-Baker (probably Peter Rodney Humphrey-Baker, DFC).

    There are several interesting elements here, such as the rather humorous escape attempt by Thomas and the obvious confusion over the duties of the British Consul at Gothenburg. However, the most striking thing here is the mention of W/C Thomas - a temporarily interened office - being engaged in the ferrying of a PRU Mosquito within Sweden. One would have thought that any such aircraft, if still operational, would have been interned as well.

    "We took off from Thorney Island at 0700 hours on 1 November 1944 in a Mosquito aircraft. We landed at Swanton Morley to refuel, taking off on our mission which was to bomb the Gestapo Headquarters at Aarhus, Denmark at 0930 hours.

    "We had released our bombs and as we passed over the target at 100 feet the bombs which had been released by a preceding aircraft exploded. Our aircraft was damaged and we were forced to feather the starboard propeller. We therefore followed briefing instructions and orders from the formation leaser and flew to Sweden.

    "We landed in a field near the village of Harplinge, near Halmstadt, Sweden and burned the aircraft. A policeman held us until the Army authorities arrived. We were then taken to Halmstadt and billeted at the Grand Hotel under armed guard. An interrogation was attempted but was not pressed.

    "On 2 November we were taken to Faulin via Gothenburg. At Gothenburg we escaped from our escort with the idea of reaching the British Consul. (We had been given to understand at the Squadron that if we could reach the British Consul in a neutral country we would be repatriated immediately.

    "Wing Commander Thomas

    "I ran from the brightly lighted railway station at Gothenburg into a dark square. Running accross the square I jumped over a low chain. In mid air I realised that I had jumped out over a canal but it was too late to do anything about it. I fell 15 feet into the water and was pulled out and recaptured by the escort, police and civilians.

    "F/L Humphrey-Baker

    "I had been running just behind W/C Thomas and when he disappeared I realised his mistake and turned to one side just in time. I continued on and reached the British Consul, who immediately turned me over to the police, where I rejoined W/C Thomas. We were then taken to Falun together.

    "On 3 November we were billeted at the Solliden Pensionat Hotel and we were kept there until 14 November. During that time W/C Thomas ferried a PRU Mosquito from Malmo to Linkaping at the request of the Air Attache. On 14 November we went to Stockholm to be repatriated. On 23 November we were sent to the UK by air."
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 4th January 2009 at 11:08. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    Hi Hugh,

    it is really great story:-)

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Hi Hugh,Peter was still with us in 2005,i had a letter from him concerning 487 squadron.He was still living in Canada at the time ,and hopefully he's still going strong.

    Mark.

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    Hi Hugh:

    You should know by now, there is no such thing as "useless information" when it comes to Mosquitos!

    Cheers,

    Mark

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    Default W/C Thomas et al

    Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for that, in a bad week it has given me a chuckle! There are some gems amongst some docs, I found a corker in the E&E reports concerning a Polish soldier at Arnhem.

    All the best,

    Ann

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