Remembrance Sunday – Lemvig cemetery 2021

Summary: Remembrance Sunday at Lemvig Cemetery the 2nd Sunday in November. The Allied Danish Armed Forces organized the ceremony,  to maintain the memory of fallen comrades and their efforts for freedom and justice. Together with the British Military Mission in Denmark, they hold the British Remembrance Sunday for all fallen soldiers. In the memorial grove at Lemvig cemetery, 42 Commonwealth airmen and a Polish airman are buried. In May 1948, seven American airmen were moved to a central location in Belgium or taken to the United States. I attended especially to honor the American airmen. In May 1944 “Liberator” B-24DSA dropped a load of weapons for the Danish resistance movement at the drop zone “Stefan” on Fyn. On the return flight, the plane was hit by a German aircraft and crashed northwest of Skjern. Five crew members were captured and taken to German POW-Camps. Navigator, Clair Vander Schaaf’s parachute did not open up in time. The German Wehrmacht buried him in Lemvig Cemetery. Like other American airmen buried in Lemvig, he was disinterred and taken to Ardennes American Cemetery in BELGIUM on 4 May 1948. The 2 airmen Holmes and Wengert were lucky to get in contact with the resistance movement and were hidden and sailed to Sweden and then back to the UK.


Jeg blev inviteret af foreningen Danmarks Veteraner (Lokalforening Nordvest) tidligere kaldet De Blå Baretter til at deltage i Remembrance Sunday på Lemvig Kirkegård. Ceremonien var organiseret af De Allierede Danske Våbenfæller (læs om historien). I mindelunden på Lemvig kirkegård er der begravet 42 Commonweath flyvere og en polsk flyver. Syv amerikanske flyvere blev i maj 1948 flyttet til en central plads i Belgien eller ført til USA.
 Jeg deltog specielt for at ære de amerikanske flyvere.  Historien her omhandler den amerikanske flyver Vander Schaaf.

Britannica.com kan man læse:

Remembrance Sunday, held on the second Sunday of November that commemorates British service members who have died in wars and other military conflicts since the onset of World War I. By tradition, a two-minute period of silence is observed throughout the country at 11 AM, and church services and other ceremonial gatherings take place during the day.

De Allierede Danske Våbenfæller DADV har i dag ca. 100 medlemmer: Stadig enkelte, der har kæmpet hos de allierede 1939-45, medlemmer af Brigaden i Sverige (DANFORCE 1942-46), medlemmer af Modstandsbevægelsen 1940-45 og flere, der har gjort tjeneste senere, herunder i den britiske og amerikanske hær. Det er foreningens formål, at vedligeholde mindet om faldne kammerater og deres indsats for frihed og ret. Sammen med Den Britiske Militærmission i Danmark holder vi den britiske Remembrance Sunday for alle faldne soldater den 2. søndag i november. Læs mere om historien her.

B24 crashed – Vognbjerg at Skjern.

Information on the B 24 from the USAAF shot down at Vognbjerg near Skjern on 7/5-1944 are mainly from two sources:

AIRWAR over DENMARK by Søren C. Flensted

AIRMEN.DK by Anders B. Straarup  

On the night before 7, May 1944 “Liberator” B-24DSA dropped a load of weapons for the Danish resistance movement at the drop zone “Stefan” at the Rugaard estate on Fyn. On the return flight, the plane was hit by a German aircraft and crashed northwest of Skjern.

5 crew members were captured and taken to German POW-Camps.

2 airmen were picked up by the resistance movement and sailed to Sweden.

Navigator, Clair Vander Schaaf’s parachute did not open up in time. He was buried in Lemvig by the German Wehrmacht on 12 May 1944. Like other American airmen buried in Lemvig, he was disinterred and taken to Ardennes American Cemetery in BELGIUM on 4 May 1948.

There is no memorial to the American airmen in Lemvig. However, Vander Schaaf’s name is on the memorial plaque at Rebild Hills together with 69 allied airmen who lost their lives in supply operations to the Danish resistance movement during the occupation 1940-1945.

Vander Schaaf rest at Ardennes American Cemetery (Find a Grave).

”The Carpetbaggers” by Kim Juhler is the story of the B-24 Liberator the fateful night between 6 and 7 May 1944 can be read in full here chose language.

Read about the 2 airmen (2nd Lt (Bombardier) Floyd Holmes and T/Sgt (Radio Operator) Jack C. Wengert) who were picked up by the resistance movement and sailed to Sweden in May 1944.

Read more about how the 2 airmen Holmes and Wengert escape to neutral Sweden and from there back to the UK is told by Tolstrup. The whole story here

Tolstrup was the leader of the Jutland drop operations and when his work was at its peak, he had 3,000 resistance fighters under him. During the war, an enormous amount of material passed through the Jutland headquarters, and the Allies named Tolstrup “Europe’s best dumping chief“.  The picture shows Tolstrup in one of his disguises.

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