The western part of Jutland didn’t really see a lot of action during the Second World War – but there was a few allied planes passing by on their way to the targets. The German Luftwaffe tried to intercept these planes to prevent them from attacking German targets. Sometimes the Luftwaffe was successful and shot down an allied plane.
Just outside the small town of Hemmet you find one of the spots where the Luftwaffe caught their prey. An allied plane were shot down and when it fell to the ground it created a little crater which over the years has fill up with water to create a tiny pond. The location of the crash has been turned into a small memorial for the dead crew of the plane – I guess there is several of this kind of small memorials spread across the country side – so this one is just the representation of the many who got killed during the war – even over Denmark.
The plane shot down was Short Sterling III EF191 which had been on a mission to lay out mines in Skagerrak to stop the German shipping between Germany and Norway. The crew of the plane was new – it was actually their first mission on this new plane. They had managed to get to Skagerrak without getting intercepted and had laid out their mines and they were on their way back to UK.
Unfortunately the plane were spotted on its way over Jutland and a German night fighter plane were launched from the Island of Silt just a bit south of the Danish border. The pilot Rath was a rising star in the Luftwaffe and he had already shot down 13 allied planes. This was going to be his 14th kill. Rath actually got shot down himself later but he survived and got back in the air and by the end of the war he had shot down 58 allied planes.
The crew died on a field a little outside Hemmet and their remains were scattered around the area. What has been found of the remains has been transferred to a memorial cemetery in Esbjerg for allied soldiers. The crash site itself has been turned into a small memorial – the crater created by the crash has been preserved as a small pond and there is trees growing around it. All in all this is a fairly peaceful looking place on the field. There was nobody when we went there but there are a few benches out here so maybe somebody goes here for a picnic during the summer. It is fairly easy to find the place since there is a sign Flyvergraven from the main highway to here you just have to follow a small road which turns into a dirt road after a while to reach the memorial.