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Lawrence E Jensen

Military

Larry Jensen served as radio operator with 8th AF, 351st BG at Polebrook, England.

On his 2nd mission, Oct 7th 1944, the target was synthetic oil factories in Politz, Germany. This very mission, they had an experienced replacement pilot, Einer Petersen on his 25th mission. Their aircraft B-17G #42-31192 (YB-R), first lost a supercharger for engine number 2, before reaching target.

Over Politz aircraft was hit by flak and lost engine 3 and 4, and a lot of fuel. Crew decided to try to reach Sweden and headed out over the Baltic Sea with only one engine working. Due to clouds they couldn't see if they were over land or sea.

When they ran out of fuel they tried for a emergency landing. Under the clouds they realized the area had a lot of woods and few fields. When approaching a field the pilot spotted potato pickers in the intended landing area. He tried to gain altitude again, but the plane stalled and crashed in the woods nearby.

The crew were in emergency positions in the radio room and were thrown out when the plane crashed and split in half against a big rock, catching fire. The pilot Petersen and co-pilot Duane Wilson was caught in the flames still in the cockpit. Three other crew members were also killed instantly or died in the ambulance.

Four survived the very crash: Jensen and the tail gunner Lloyd Best, together with navigator Benjamin Christensen and bombardier William Rooney. They were taken to hospital in Karlshamn, Sweden where Christensen and Rooney died a few days later.

Jensen and Best were interned in Sweden for three months, first in Gränna and later in Mullsjö. Then they were transferred back to England via Stockholm to Scotland. Larry Jensen has described the events himself in a interview for the project "the Voices of World War II". The crash site in Farabol is marked with a memorial stone. MACR 9566.

Service

People

  • Lloyd Best

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Lloyd Best served as tail gunner with 8th AF, 351st BG at Polebrook, England. ...

  • Jerry Blake

    Military | Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Jerry Blake served as ball turret gunner with 8th AF, 351st BG at Polebrook, England. ...

  • Louis Candelaria

    Military | Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Louis Candelaria served as top turret gunner with 8th AF, 351st BG, 509th BS at Polebrook, England. ...

  • Benjamin Christensen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 351st Bomb Group
    Died in hospital in Karlshamn, Sweden, after crash landing with aircraft 42-31192 (YB-R), B-17G in Farabol, Sweden. Plane was hit by flak over Politz, Germany. It was his 2nd mission.

  • Robert Crawford

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Robert Crawford served as waist gunner with 8th AF, 351st BG at Polebrook, England. ...

  • Einer Petersen

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group
    Einer Petersen served as pilot and co-pilot with 8th AF, 351st BG, 509th BS out of Polebrook, England. 25 missions. His original crew finished their tours before Petersen. At the day of his death October 7th 1944 he was assigned as pilot to aircraft B...

  • William Rooney

    Military | Flight Officer | Bombardier | 351st Bomb Group
    Served with as a bombardier with 8th AF, 351st Bomb Group, 509th BS, Polebrook, England. Killed in Action (KIA), crashed in Farabol, Sweden with B-17 G #42-31192. Plane was hit by flak over Politz, Germany. MACR 9566. It was his 2nd mission. Died in...

  • Duane Wilson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 351st Bomb Group
    KIA during force landing in Farabol, Sweden after aircraft B-17 G #42-31192 (YB-R) being hit by flak over Politz, Germany. MACR 9566. Check double entries.

  • Duane Wilson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 351st Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). Served co-pilot with 8th AF, 351st BG, 509th BS at Polebrook, England. On his 2nd mission, Oct 7th 1944, the target was synthetic oil factories in Politz, Germany. The pilot, Einer Petersen with 25 missions, were a replacement...

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Units served with

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 509th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-31192

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/9/43; Scott Fd 24/10/43; Presque Is 1/11/43; with Roy Parsons force landed Meeeks Fd, Iceland 12/11/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG Deenethorpe 13/11/43; transferred 509BS/351BG [RQ-R] Polebrook 3/12/43; 508th BS [YB-R]; Missing in...

  • 42-97381

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/2/44; Kearney 17/3/44; Grenier 6/4/44; Assigned 511BS/351BG [DS-U] Polebrook 12/4/44; {66m} battle damaged Brandenberg 6/8/44 with Chas Woodrum, aro-Raoul Brickman, Radio Operator: Bernard Levins, Ball turret gunner: Andy Bevin,...

Associated Place

  • Polebrook

    Military site : airfield
    Polebrook was laid down for RAF Bomber Command use in 1940-1941. Built by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd, it had short runways which were lengthened for USAAF heavy bomber use. The RAF used the base for operational trials - including of B-17 Flying...

Events

Event Location Date
Born Gatesville, South Carolina, USA
Force Landing Farabolsvägen 699-26, 290 60 Kyrkhult, Sverige 7 October 1944

Force landing in Farabol, Sweden after aircraft being hit by flak over Politz, Germany. 7 KIA, survivors.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 June 2016 14:55:04 Lucy May Changes to events, aircraft associations and media associations
Sources

Brought in information from duplicate record. Sources:
Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 9566
351st BG Association and himself.

Date Contributor Update
13 June 2016 00:02:34 Ivar Kandell Changes to nickname, service number, biography, events, person associations, unit associations and place associations
Sources

Added biography and details. Sources: Lawrence Jensen himself; 351st BG Association; eye witness; other sources.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:18:13 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 9366 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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