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The BBMF Lancaster fly past of Denmark scheduled for the 5th May 2010 was CANCELLED due to a fuel system malfunction. The Lancaster was unserviceable and did not fly from the UK. The EE138 relatives and friends who traveled to Denmark share the disappointment with all the Danish people and the personnel at the BBMF who have contributed so much to the Lancaster fly past event. The Danish fly pasts are not re-scheduled for 2010.

At the EE138 crash site near Stadil there was a programme of events which commenced at 4:00pm on the 5th May 2010 and culminated with a fly past of four T17 trainers from the Royal Danish Air Force who performed the missing man formation.


On display at the crash site were large photographs from the memorial stone unveiling ceremony marking the fifth year of Denmark's Liberation on the 5th May 1950:

Fotostater fra 1950 medbragt.

Nine photos were displayed on boards surrounding the crash site area.

Some of the same people shown in the photographs from 1950 would also attend 60 years later in 2010, commemorating the 65th year of Denmark's liberation and the 60th anniversary of the unveiling of the memorial stone:

The site in 2010 - with a window of remembrance to 1950:

Per Halkjær, Peter Forrester and Erling Halkjær with a small photo from 1950 of Peter's father Ian, holding Per Halkjær as a baby. Erling Halkjær recognised himself as a young boy in the large photos from 1950 on display at the site.


Many people from the village of Stadil, Ringkøbing and surrounds contributed to the success of the day:

Mrs Grete Møllerhøj coordinated the entire “on ground” event at the EE138 crash site.
Mrs Jill Bryant and her daughter Tina Bryant assisted in developing the programme for the day, including suggesting reading of the poem “Wings of Thunder” by Michael A R Skeet.
Other Stadil locals, Mr Leif Nielsen and Mr Tommy Nielsen, helped setup the PA system which was provided by Mr Sigvald Brusberg.  Mrs Else Jeppesen made coffee and the delicious biscuits which were served to the large crowd.  Mrs Kirsten Olesen (from the Stadil archives) sponsored the coffee. Mr Ole Kamp from the Ringkøbing Skjern Kommune (RSK) kindly hosted as Master of Ceremonies, and the RSK provided three fine Danish Flags and arranged for the flagpoles to be erected and removed.  Mr David Ashton read the poem “Wings of Thunder” and played "amazing grace" on his whistle.  The kind support of Mr Erik Jepsen and his father Mr Egon Jepsen, who own the land at the crash site, kindly prepared parking areas and provided materials for the setup at the site. And our special thanks and appreciation go to Mrs Dormi and Mr Kurt Petersen for stepping in at late notice and ensuring an aerial salute!

Mr Erling Halkjær recognised himself in the group of boys at the bottom right of this photo from 1950. Erling is the fair haired boy in the centre, facing side on:

The morning of the 5th May 2010 dawned clear and calm.







Below: After the commemoration, Mr Erling and Mrs Else Halkjær received several of the photographs which had been displayed at the crash site. The remainder of the photographs were donated to the Stadil archives.


Below left and right: On the 5th May 2010 a large crowd of people begin arriving at the site, not put off by the cancellation of the Lancaster.

Photo: Jorgen Kirk, Copyright 2010.

Sang: ”En lærke letted”

With strong voice the large crowd sang ”En lærke letted” written by Mads Nielsen: 'Denmark freely - a lark lifted' (1945).

David Ashton oplæser digt ”Wings of Thunder” af Michael A. R. Skeet.

This stirring moment was followed by Mr David Ashton who performed an emotional reading of the poem "Wings of Thunder" by Michael A R Skeet. David also played a haunting version of Amazing Grace on his tin whistle.

Velkomst ved Ole Kamp, byrådsmedlem i Ringkøbing-Skjern

Welcome by Mr Ole Kamp, member of the Ringkøbing-Skjern Kommune, who spoke of the original Memorial Stone unveiling and the sacrifices made for the Liberation of Denmark.

Photo: Jorgen Kirk, Copyright 2010.

From left: Mrs Grete Møllerhøj, Mr Erik Poulsen, Mr David Ashton and Mrs Jill Bryant. Photo: Jorgen Kirk, Copyright 2010.


Mrs Jesse Bowler was assisted by Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Gavin Fraser to lay a wreath in memory of her former husband, Lancaster EE138 crew member Sergeant Ernie Thirkettle.

Mr Ole Kamp lays a wreath on behalf of the Ringkøbing Skjern Kommune: Photo: Jorgen Kirk, Copyright 2010.

The Danish Home guard attended the ceremony and laid a wreath in honour of Denmark's 65th year of Liberation:

Above Photos: Jorgen Kirk, Copyright 2010.

Ms Jo Lewis and Mr Peter Forrester lay a wreath of local flowers in remembrance of the crew of RAAF Lancaster EE138 and their sacrifice made for Denmark's Liberation.

"By foreign hands thy humble grave adorned,
By strangers honoured,
And by strangers mourned."

- Alexander Pope

Photo: Jorgen Kirk, Copyright 2010.

Overflyvning af T17 fra Kongelig Dansk Luftvåben

The Royal Danish Air Force fulfilled the fly past element of the day's programme left unfulfilled by the BBMF Lancaster by performing the missing man formation fly past with four of their T17 trainers.

Photo: Jorgen Kirk, Copyright 2010.


10 years ago Mr Bent Pauli Madsen (pictured below left) found this piece of wreckage at the EE138 crash site. The piece was apparently identified as being a part of the engineers area. Mr Pauli Madsen presented the piece to Mr Peter Forrester (pictured below right), nephew of Sid Forrester, the pilot of Lancaster EE138. Mr Pauli Madsen felt happy that the piece was "going home".

Further investigation into the exact identification of this part of Lancaster EE138 has been undertaken with the Lincolnshire Aviation Museum at East Kirkby - home of Lancaster "Just Jane", and the BBMF at Coningsby. This piece is particularly significant, it has been narrowed down and could be one of the three following components:

1. Attached to the pilot's right hand arm rest, to operate the adjustment for the armor plate on the upper portion of the pilot's seat.

2. The locking mechanism attached to the lever controlling the undercarriage.

3. Pilot's harness quick release catch.

If you can positively identify this piece of Lancaster EE138 wreckage - we would love to hear from you! Contact Us

Special thanks to Mr Lars Kryger from Dagbladet Ringkøbing-Skjern for arranging the meeting between Mr Bent Pauli Madsen and Mr Peter Forrester after the commemoration at the EE138 crash site on the 5th May 2010.

Photo: Jorgen Kirk, Copyright 2010.


Photo: Jorgen Kirk, Copyright 2010.

Mange Tak!

Many thanks to all those who attended and participated in the 5th May 2010 Danish Liberation commemoration at the EE138 crash site, especially (but not limited to):

Mrs Grete Møllerhøj
Mrs Jill Bryant
Ms Tina Bryant
Mr Erik Jepsen
Mr Egon Jepsen
Mr David Ashton
Mr Michael A R Skeet.
Mr Bent Pauli Madsen
Mr Lars Kryger
Mr Jorgen Kirk
Mrs Kamma Halkjær Poulsen
Mr Leif Nielsen
Mr Tommy Nielsen
Mr Sigvald Brusberg
Mrs Else Jeppesen
Mrs Kirsten Olesen
Mr Ole Kamp
Mr Niels Ballebye
Mr Søren Flensted
Mrs Dormi Petersen
Mr Kurt Petersen
Mr Erik Poulsen
Royal Air Force Sergeant Mark Frisby
Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Gavin Fraser
Members of the Danish Home guard
The Royal Danish Air Force

And, whilst we were gathered in Denmark, the BBMF Lancaster (pictured below) was languishing in Coningsby UK, still grounded with a fuel system malfunction.

As a summary of the day we have shared with you the following, from an email to Michael Skeet from David Ashton:

Dear Michael,
I thought it was appropriate that I should write and thank you for allowing us,  or my self to read your deeply moving tribute to The personal of Bomber command in “ Wings of Thunder “ at Stadil West Jutland , Denmark on the 65th Anniversary of Denmark’s liberation from the Nazi Yoke on Wednesday 5th May.  At the site of the crash of the Lancaster bomber at Stadil!

 I know the site well as it only 3 miles from my home, and is also near an important migrating bird reserve, I often go with my Danish Grandchildren to pay quiet respects to these brave young men who gave their lives for our freedoms & democracy. I often draw birds by the site as you can see from my drawing below of a Peewit or Lapwing.

On these visits I quite often write a note to Mrs Jessie Bowler whose husband died in the crash, to say how I found his grave. But the event on Wednesday was very special I played ‘Amazing Grace’ on my Flute before reading your wonderful lines, of in “Wings of Thunder “which as a poet my self I had rehearsed & rehearsed. It seems I got the pauses, and expressions right from the very many people who have thanked me its seems many were in tears. So Michael I thought it was very appropriate to write and thank you for allowing us to use your poem for such an important event.

Yours Very Very Sincerely

David Ashton, Staby, West Jutland, Denmark

Peewit or Lapwing in Pen & Ink at Stadil Crash Site by David Ashton

And this from a recent email from David Ashton to Peter Forrester & Jo Lewis:

...So it was very special for me to have been there at Stadil with you Peter & Jo and proud to remember those brave young men in Bomber Command who in their very short brief lives gave so much.
I was especially proud to be with and sit besides Jessie who still loves her first husband and was deeply touched by what she said to me about how me playing the flute had meant so much to her, and to be with you Peter & Jo  to remember your own relative who gave us so so much. I am very very happy & proud  for you to use my drawing of the peewit as it was as you know I drew the Peewit in Pen & Ink at Stadil just by the site of the crash site looking out towards the North Sea from were they came, and seems in  so many ways to symbolise the spirit of selflessness and freedom that the young men in bomber command had in their task of giving us what we have today.
.. ... my impressions of the day at Stadil which will remain with me for ever.

Kindest regards from us both in West Jutlands early summer

David & Solveig Ashton








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