Who Were the Canadians of the Great Escape?

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    Who Were the Canadians of the Great Escape?

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:44 pm

    The movie THE GREAT ESCAPE has entertained us for years. Unfortunately it's more Hollywood then truth. Meet the nine Canadians who participated in the real GREAT ESCAPE:

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    They weren't movie stars, not Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen or James Garner. They were everyday Canadian men who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force to fight for the Allied cause and ended up behind enemy lines. They were husbands, brothers, and sons who ended up as prisoners of war in one of Germany's most advanced prison camps—Stalag Luft III. Read in-depth biographies of each of the men involved in this infamous escape.

    These biographies were sourced from the following material:
    Exemplary Justice by Allen Andrews, The Longest Tunnel by Alan Burgess, The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill, The Great Escape: The Full Dramatic Story with Contributions from Survivors and their Families by Anton Gill, and especially Jonathan Vance's Gallant Company: The Men of the Great Escape.

    Hank Birkland
    William Cameron
    Gordon Kidder
    Patrick Langford
    George Edward McGill
    Keith Ogilvie
    Tommy Thompson
    James Wernham
    George Wiley

    Name: Hank Birkland

    D.O.B: August 16, 1917

    P.O.B: Spearhill, Manitoba

    Current Status: Executed by the Gestapo, he was last seen alive on March 31, 1944

    Background:

    Son of a Carpenter
    Had six siblings
    Poor family that moved around a lot chasing work
    Born in Spearhill but moved to Calgary, then Winnipeg where Hank finished high school. During the Depression he took on odd jobs at local farms to help out the family financially. It was during this time that he was involved in a serious accident. While towing a car to a nieghbouring town, Hank's truck ran off the road and he sustained a serious concussion. At the hospital it was discovered that Hank also had Scarlet Fever and an advanced case of blood poisoning in his arm. The doctor suggested amputation but the Birkland's resisted so slits were cut down Hank's forearm to let the poison drain out. It was a close call, but Hank's arm healed and he recovered enough to return to work. After the injury Hank worked as a door to door salesman and at a meat packing plant. With few opportunities, hank decided to jump a freight train bound for northern Ontario in hopes of finding works in the mines. But work here was scarce as well so Hank jumped another train to British Columbia, finally finding work at a gold mine in the town of Sheep Creek. Here he settled down for a while, was an avid lacrosse player and was the player/coach of the local team.

    Military Career:

    Soon after the war began, Hank enlisted in the RCAF and began his training in Toronto in September 1940. The next month he was posted to Cap de la Madeleine, Quebec for elementary instruction and then to Summerside, Prince Edward Island in January 1941. On April 10, 1941 he received his wings and commission and was sent overseas soon afterwards. He first served at the 57 OUT at Hawarden in Wales and then spent a month with 122 Squadron before being assigned to 72 Squadron on September 19, 1941. He was sent into action almost immediately, flying cross-channel sweeps and convoy patrols. He had completed just 12 sorties when the squadron was assigned to fly a diversionary operation over Dunkirk on November 7, 1941. While sweeping down over the French coast, Birkland's spitfire passed directly over a flak tower and was hit. Birkland was able to land the plane on the beach before losing consciousness. German Flak gunners pulled Hank out of his plane and he spent weeks in hospital before being shipped off to a camp at Barth. At Barth, Hank met Wally Floody and they become friends.

    Stalag Luft III:

    Assisted Floody with the digging of tunnels. Birkland and fellow Canadian Scruffy Weir used to work in back to back shifts. Floody scheduled the two men this way because Scruffy tended to veer sharply to the left when digging, while Birkland veered right. Involved in the "delousing escape" attempt on June 12, 1943. Was captured only a few miles south of the camp while walking through the forest. Was a "marshaller" during the escape—men appointed to guide groups of ten escapees away from the camp after they made it out of the tunnel. This was a very important duty because it was easy to get lost in the darkness and forest just outside the wire of the camp. The marshallers were briefed extensively about the area around the camp—markings, paths, routes to major transit points like train stations. After coming out of the tunnel, the marshallers would wait just inside the forest until their 10 men arrived. Then they would lead the group along a predetermined path to a planned destination where everyone would split up. Without the marshallers, there would be mass confusion on the night of the escape with men wandering aimlessly in the forest. On the day of the escape Birkland wrote his final letter to his family. According to Jonathan Vance's A Gallant Company, it states: "I got a letter last month to which I will not be able to reply. I am not in a position to carry on a letter-for-letter correspondence for long." He was known for being straight to the point.

    The Escape:

    Birkland was one of the station "haulers." He was stationed at Leicester Square. Some indications of there being a mix up involving Birkland. During the escape, Sydney Dowse told Wings Day that Birkland was supposed to relieve him at Piccadilly hauling station, but Birkland didn't arrive. Birkland saves the day: during the escape, one of the men, Tom Kirby Green (British) was being pulled through the tunnel when he fell off the trolley. In an attempt to get back on he nudged one of the walls and brought down three feet of tunnel on top of him. Birkland was stationed at Leicester Square and felt the rope tighten signaling a collapse. With lights down the tunnel no longer visible Birkland realized the cave in was serious and threatened the entire escape. He acted immediately, crawling down to Green, pulling him free and repairing the damaged tunnel. This was quite an impressive feat considering that Birkland was working in a pitch black and tightly confined space. The danger of further cave-ins was very real and the pressure to work quickly would have definitely been on—it took Birkland one hour to fix the tunnel. Birkland couples up with Les Brodrick and Denys Street. They plan to pose as French workers and begin walking across open country. Through the night of the escape and all the next day the men waded through hip-high snow making very slow progress. By the end of the 26th, the cold started to effect Hank who became delirious and started talking to himself. His two partners became worried and decided to try to get shelter at a nearby farmhouse. Unfortunately, four German soldiers were staying at the farmhouse and immediately took the men into custody. The men were taken to a police station in the small village of Kalkreuth where they were put in an old cell. The German police man was quite understanding of their plight and helped the men build a fire to make Birkland more comfortable. The escapees used the time in this prison to dispose of their incriminating possessions—maps, compasses—and to reconvert their clothing back to military uniforms. On the morning of the 27th Birkland and his two escape partners were brought to Sagan Police Station. At 2 AM on 28 March, 19 prisoners at Sagan, including Birkland, are loaded into a van and taken to the civilian jail at Gorlitz. Sometime over the next few days most of the men are interrogated at Gorlitz by the Gestapo. March 31st, Keith Ogilve hears cars pull up to the prison, footsteps in the hallway and then watches as Birkland, McGill, Langford and seven others being led away by Gestapo agents. Ogilvie and some of the other remaining prisoners call out "you lucky bastards" thinking they were being taken back to Stalag Luft III. Last time Birkland seen alive

    Circumstances of Death:

    Shot in a clearing just outside of Gorlitz with nine others.
    Gestapo killers were Lux and Sharpwinkel
    Cremated at Liegnitz

    Name: William Cameron

    Current Status: Died, November 18, 2000

    The Escape:

    He was the 67th man out of the tunnel. Captured on the 26th of March and returned to Stalag Luft III sometime in early April. Teamed up with fellow Canadian Tommy Thompson. They were only a couple hundred metres from the tunnel when it was discovered by the Germans. They carried on for a kilometres or two through the brush and then hid under a pile of brush for the day. At nightfall, the two men set off again and were trudging through the forest when two figures appeared from behind some trees. At first they thought they were Germans, but realized the two men were fellow escapees Brian Evans and Chaz Hall. The four men joined up and set out further. At about 4 am on the morning of the 26th, the men found a barn at the edge of a field and decided to spend the day hiding in the hayloft. Once they settled down, Cameron began shaking uncontrollably, obviously suffering from the effects of the cold. Soon he was hallucinating and talking to himself. The men considered turning themselves in to get help for Bill, but were unable to find anyone to surrender to. They decided to leave Bill bundled up in the barn with some rations and door open—hoping that the barn owner would notice. The three men then slipped away. A few hours later Bill was discovered by a farmer with a pitchfork and a vicious looking Alsatian dog. He was taken to a nearby house and then to the local military post. Eventually a car came to take him to Sagan Police station, where he arrived around 7 am. At 2 am on March 28, Cameron and 18 others are loaded into a truck at Sagan Police station and taken to Gorlitz Prison. Over the next few days, 35 men would arrive at Gorlitz. They were interrogated by the Gestapo who often threatened the men. There is no record of Cameron's interrogation found in research to date. Sometime in early April, Cameron is returned to Stalag Luft III.

    Post Escape:

    Studied Economics at the University of British Columbia graduating in 1949
    Worked in Public Service in Ottawa
    Retired to Victoria, British Columbia

    Name: Gordon Kidder

    D.O.B: December 9, 1917

    P.O.B: St. Catharines, Ontario

    Current Status: Executed by Gestapo March 29, 1944

    Background:

    Son of a Cannery Manager
    Lived in St. Catharines until he graduated from high school.
    Attended the University of Toronto where he studied French and German.
    Strong student and in 1937 he was accepted to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to do an Master's degree in German.
    But had a change of heart and decided to try the working world getting a job as a clerk at the Ontario Department of Education and later as a translator with a Toronto insurance company. With strong education and good character, he likely would have had a successful career and normal life.
    Joined the military when the war broke out

    Military Career:

    Trained as a navigator
    Posted at the OUT at Pershore for crew assignment.
    Crew posted to 149 Squadron flying Short Stirlings.
    But when they arrived at the Squadron, realized that there were not enough aircraft, so were offered the choice to join a Pathfinder unit. The crew accepted the assignment and jointed the 156 Squadron at Warboys on September 8, 1942.
    First operations against industrial targets in the Ruhr valley.
    13 October 1942, Kidder and crew join a raid on Kiel—Kidder's 9th operation of the war would be his last.
    The Wellington they were in was spotted by searchlights and took heavy fire. As it tried to make it back to England across the North Sea, the plane went down. Kidder and another crew member survived the crash and were left floating at sea in the planes leaking dinghy. Kidder had a broken ankle. At dawn the two men were picked up by a German minesweeper.
    Kidder spent some time in hospital before being sent to Sagan just before Christmas 1942.

    Stalag Luft III:

    Known around the camp as one of the more reserved prisoners.
    Became one of the camp's best language instructors.
    Lived in hut 120—the same as the "Amicable Lunatics"—a group of rambunctious prisoners led by Alex Cassie and Des Plunkett.
    After the camp purge that sent Wally Floody and a few others to another camp just a few weeks before the escape, Kidder is teamed up with Tom Kirby-Brown (British) as an escape partner. Originally Kidder planned to travel with Dick Churchill as Romanian woodcutters. But X Organization decided to team him up with Brown instead; they would travel as Spanish labourers. Everyone agreed to the change, but it still made everyone nervous, being so close to the escape.

    The Escape:

    Makes it out of the tunnel and proceeds to Sagan train station.
    At station, Kidder and Green are approached by a woman who was a member of the camp staff. She smiled at them, but asked who they were. Playing the part of a Spanish labourer, Green answered in a mixture of broken Spanish and German. The woman became suspicious and called over a policeman. Green repeated his story and the policeman waved the two men on.
    At 1 am, Kidder, Green, Bob van der Stok (who was one of the three to make it to safety), and three other escapees boarded a train for Breslau.
    The men make it safely to Breslau where Green and Kidder board another train bound for Czechoslovakia. There plan was to reach Yugoslavia and hook up with the resistance.
    The men cross into Czechoslovakia without incident but are recaptured at Hodonin in southern Moravia close to the Austrian border.
    They were taken to prison at Zlin. They were the only escapees to be tortured by the Gestapo.

    Circumstances of Death:

    Shot by the Gestapo near Mahrisch Ostrau
    Killers were Erich Zacharias and Adolf Knippelberg
    Cremated at Mahrisch Ostrau

    Other:

    Gestapo agent Zacharias hanged by the British government on February 27, 1948 for the murder of Green and Kidder

    Name: Patrick Langford

    D.O.B: November 4, 1919

    P.O.B: Edmonton, Alberta

    Current Status: Killed by the Gestapo, he is last seen alive on March 31, 1944

    Background:

    Father was a British-born forest ranger in Jasper National Park.
    Pat was the eldest of three children.
    Quiet, conscientious student.
    Enthusiastic outdoorsman who liked skiing, hiking and horse riding.
    Active in scouting and the local Anglican church.
    Loved classical music and taught himself to play the piano by correspondence course.
    Graduated from high school in 1937.
    Took a job as a chauffeur with Brewster Transport—a good job that involved picking up tourists at the local train station and driving them in a big Packard touring car to Emerald Lake, Takakaw Falls in the Yoho Valley, Lake Louise and Banff.
    When war broke out, he was among the first to sign up.

    Military Career:

    Pat was among the first recruits accepted, one of an exclusive bunch chosen to be trained as a flight instructor. He reported to duty on January 29, 1940.
    Did well in training.
    Earned his wings and was ranked third in his class.
    Promoted into the advanced course at Borden and then went to Trenton to complete the Flying Instructors' Course.
    Then posted to the #6 SFTS at Dunnville to begin a 16-month stint as a flying instructor.
    Involved in two close call accidents but soon became an accomplished instructor who was popular with his students.
    Requests a posting with a heavy bomber squadron and accepted.
    Leaves Gander on April 7, 1942 for Prestwick, Scotland.
    Posted to 16 OUT at Upper Heyford on May 6.
    First raid on Bremen on June 25-26, 1942.
    Spends next month in training until he gets another chance in late July on a raid to Hamburg.
    Hamburg was a tough target because it was heavily defended. On the night of bombing the weather was very bad and most of the bomber fleet was recalled to base. Langford's Wellington was one of the few that didn't get the message and carried on through bad weather to the target. Most of the bombers couldn't see the target and ended up jettisoning their bombs. Langford's plane is hit by flak fire over Lubeck and goes down.
    Langford managed to bail out, but he suffered serious burns to his upper body. Spent two months in a German military hospital before being transferred to Stalag Luft III.

    Stalag Luft III:

    Given the important task of minding Harry's trap door. Langford was charged with becoming so familiar with the door so that in the event of a surprise search of Hut 104, he could close it up without leaving a trace in a matter of seconds.
    Harry was temporarily closed in the summer of 1943 to concentrate all efforts on Tom. When Tom was discovered, Bushell ordered the reopening of Harry. Langford's sealing of the tunnel had been so good, that it took two hours to reopen.
    Everyday Langford minded the tunnel, sealing the trap door and scrubbing the floor around it so that the boards would swell and close any cracks.
    Mid-February: the Germans launch a surprise search of 104 but Langford closes it up with seconds to spare.

    The Escape:

    Captured and brought to Gorlitz Prison on March 28th
    Morning of March 31st, Langford, McGill, Birkland and seven others are taken from the prison by the Gestapo

    Circumstances of Death:

    Shot in a clearing just outside of Gorlitz with nine others
    Gestapo killers were Lux and Sharpwinkel
    Cremated at Liegnitz

    Name: George Edward McGill

    D.O.B: April 14, 1918

    P.O.B: Toronto, Ontario

    Current Status: Executed by the Gestapo on March 31, 1944

    Background:

    Second of five children.
    Graduated from high school in 1936.
    Attended the University of Toronto for a year studying Applied Science and Engineering.
    Left school to work in the family coal business.
    He was a good athlete who won the Ontario Championships in the quarter-mile run.
    Spent a good deal of time on Toronto Island where he lived with his grandparents.
    The island was an ideal spot for running and George was also fond of canoeing.
    On the island he met his wife, Betty Goodman. They married in September 1940. They had a son, Peter, who was born two months before George went overseas.

    Military Career:

    His friends joined the army, but George chose the air force and began his navigation training on December 9, 1940 at Malton Ontario.
    Got his commission in May 1941 receiving high ratings in all aspects of the observer's trade.
    On July 16, 1941 he leaves Gander for long flight to Britain.
    Following month he went to 21 OUT to begin operational training.
    On October 17, he is posted to 103 Squadron, based at Elsham Wolds.
    George and his crew complete four raids together before their last on January 10, 1942. They were headed to Wilhemshaven in their Wellington when the pilot reported that he thought one of the bombs hand hung up on the first pass. He was going to wheel the Wellington around and try again. On the second run, by a wild stroke of bad luck, a flare entered the bomb bay, starting a blaze in the fuselage. Crewmen tried to put it out, only to be driven back the fire. As the inferno grew, the pilot ordered a bail out. George and three others jumped, then the second pilot decided to have a try at putting out the fire. He succeeded and was able to save the plane which returned to England, where the pilots were all awarded Distinguished Flying Crosses. However, George and two others were left in enemy hands.
    George is taken to Spangenberg prison on February 18, 1942 where he meets up with fellow Canadians Keith Ogilvie and Tommy Thompson.

    Stalag Luft III:

    The camp was built in the spring of 1942, and George was one of the first to arrive with Tommy Thompson and Keith Ogilvie on March 21, 1942.
    George played an important role in a daring escape carried out September 1942 by fellow Canadian Ken Toft and American William Red Nichols: George and Eddie Aslin staged a boxing match on a sunny afternoon to draw the attention of the guards. While the two men slugged away at each other, Toft and Nichols managed to cut through the wire and run into the woods. Then men made it as far as Frankfurt before being recaptured. The escape was considered so daring that the German Commandant gave the two escapees a bottle of whiskey.
    Most important duty was deputy to American George Harsh who was head of security for the digging of Tom, Dick and Harry. Security would have involved organizing the elaborate "stooges" system which kept tally of every German in the camp at every moment.

    The Escape:

    Served as the traffic controller on the night of the escape. When the escapees realized that the tunnel was short of the trees, a traffic controller was needed to stand in the woods and, using a rope, signal the men in the tunnel when the sentries were not looking and it was safe to come out. McGill was on the rope at about 4:30 am when there was a close call. One of the German guards came down from his lookout tower and walked towards the tunnel hole. Hiding in the trees, McGill was sure that the game was up and the guard had spotted the opening. But the guard stopped a couple of feet from the opening, urinated, and returned to his post.
    Makes it out of the tunnel but is defeated by the weather.
    Forced to walk through knee-deep slushy snow he is forced to take to the road where he is recaptured.
    Taken to Sagan Police station and arrives on March 27th.
    At 2 am on March 28, 19 prisoners at Sagan, including Birkland, are loaded into a van and taken to the civilian jail at Gorlitz.
    Sometime over the next few days most of the men are interrogated at Gorlitz by the Gestapo .
    March 31: Keith Ogilve hears cars pull up to the prison, footsteps in the hallway and then watches as Birkland, McGill, Langford and seven others being led away by Gestapo agents. Ogilvie and some of the other remaining prisoners call out "you lucky bastards" thinking they were being taken back to Stalag Luft III.
    Last time McGill seen alive.

    Circumstances of Death:

    Shot in a clearing just outside of Gorlitz with nine others
    Gestapo killers were Lux and Sharpwinkel
    Cremated at Liegnitz

    Name: Keith Ogilvie

    D.O.B: September 1915

    P.O.B: Ottawa, Ontario

    Current Status: Died in 1999

    Military Career:

    Originally refused by the RCAF because he lacked a university degree.
    Joined the RAF in November 1939.
    Posted to 609 Squadron in August 1940.
    Got his first three kills in September 1940 including a German Dornier bomber that was on its way to bomb Buckingham Palace, it crashed into Euston Station instead. Added 4.5 more kills after this and was awarded a Distinguished Flyer's Cross..
    On July 4, 1941, Keith was shot down by German Me109s off the French coast near St. Omer. He was wounded and captured.
    Keith's squadron mates found out about the capture from a German radio propaganda address that listed Keith as a captured airmen.
    First sent to a camp in Spangenberg where fellow Canadians Tommy Thompson and George McGill were also kept.

    Stalag Luft III:

    Among the first group of prisoners transferred to Stalag Luft III in March 1942.
    Ogilvie involved in the distribution of Red Cross Packages in the camp. The packages were important to camp life as both an important nutritional supplement to paltry camp rations and a source of raw materials that could be reworked into escape materials.

    The Escape:

    Ogilvie was #74 out of the tunnel. He was standing just outside the tunnel exit when it was discovered by a German sentry. The sentry fired into the air and Keith ran into the forest.
    Fleeing from the scene, Keith was forced to leave behind his traveling companion and most of his escape gear. He ran south through the woods for a while before settling down to hide during daylight. Unable to sleep, he ate some chocolate and waited. At dusk on the 25th, he started out again, trudging through snow. Mobility through the slush and snow became such a problem that Keith decided to risk walking along a road.
    Keith was stopped by an elderly man on a bicycle who produced a pistol and arrested him. Many of the recaptured men were captured by German civilians..
    Keith was taken to an Inn in the town of Halbau. He was relaxing by the fire when three more recaptured men were brought in… Chaz Hall (English), Brian Evans (Welsh) and Tommy Thompson.
    Taken to Sagan Police station on the morning of the 26th. Taken to Gorlitz prison at 2 am on March 28.
    Interrogated by Gestapo and Police at Gorlitz. At the end of his interrogation the officer conferred with a typist and said, "you are fortunate. You have escaped in a soldier's uniform therefore you will be tried before a military court. The others will not be so lucky".
    During his interrogation Ogilvie sported a list of about 20 names on the interrogator's desk and theorized that the names were of the men who would be the first group returned to the camp. Unfortunately, he could not get close enough to the list to read all the names.
    The next morning—the 30th—it all began. Gestapo officers arrived to take the first group of prisoners away to be executed. Of course, Ogilvie and the other prisoners didn't know this at the time
    When Ogilvie heard the cars pull up outside the jail, he started banging on his cell door and demanded to be taken to the lavatory. When the guard came to escort him, Keith spotted the first six being led away in handcuffs by armed guards, among them was George Wiley. Ogilvie ran up to Al Hake, one of the other prisoners, and asked where they were being taken. Al replied, "No idea. I imagine we've got another round of questioning ahead of us." A guard's shout broke up the conversation. Ogilvie was the last Allied airman to see Wiley alive.
    The next day, the same events occurred: the Gestapo pulled up and took another group away. Among them were McGill, Langford and Birkland. Ogilvie witnessed this as well by squeezing up to a tiny window in the door and seeing the men being led away.
    On April 1, Ogilvie, Tommy Thompson (Cdn), Alistair McDonald and Paul Royale were herded together into once cell. When they asked why, one of the guards told them they were going back to the camp. He said, "because you are recognized as military. The rest are wanted for civil investigation".
    That night, McDonald saw a group of four Luftwaffe guards arrive at Gorlitz and take up residence in the cell across the hall; he took it as a good sign.
    The next morning, the four prisoners were taken by the Luftwaffe guards to the train station. Sometime after this, the men were taken back to Luft III and put in the cooler.
    Two weeks later, on April 15th, a list of names was posted at Luft III by the Germans. The prisoners quickly realized it was a list of the executed and gathered around to look. Keith Ogilvie realized that 22 of the names on the list were men who had been kept at Gorlitz jail; the list of names he had spotted on the desk during interrogation was a death list.

    Name: Alfred Burke "Tommy" Thompson

    D.O.B: 8 August 1915

    P.O.B: Penetanguishene, Ontario

    Current Status: Died in Penetanguishene in 1985

    Background:

    Son of the local MP..
    Started high school in 1929, but left after four years for a job with an insurance company in Toronto. His father helped get him the job.
    Tommy was more interested in flying than working. One day, Tommy decided not to go into work, calling in sick and skiing back home for a holiday. Unfortunately the company decided to send a nurse to check up on their sick employee. When they discovered what he had done, Tommy was fired.

    Military Career:

    In late 1936, Tommy went to England to join the RAF.
    He attended training school at Hamble in Hampshire and quickly took to the Air Force. He enjoyed the camaraderie and developed a reputation for being boisterous. Once he was put up on charges for flying under a bridge. Tommy offered fight in the Spanish Civil War if the RAF discharged him over the incident. Luckily he only got a slap on the wrist .
    On November 15, 1937, he was posted to 102 Squadron where he would stay until his plane went down.
    Tommy's plane went down on September 8, 1939, just five days after Britain declared war. He would spend almost six years in German prisons…for all but seven days of the war, Tommy was in enemy hands
    Tommy flew an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley (some kind of light bomber I think). His only two missions (he was shot down on the second) involved dropping propaganda leaflets over Germany. He was not shot down. His plane suffered engine trouble and he was forced to bail out.
    Tommy was held at a local prison before being transported to Berlin. After seven hours of travel, Tommy and another airman named "Wank" Murray were taken to a small hospital on the outskirts of Berlin. The two were interrogated on and off through he night and were feeling very drained when a guard woke them the next morning to meet "someone of great importance." Confused, the two men were led through a forest, across a railway siding and through a carriage to a large grassy clearing. Under a tree was a large platform with a massive desk on it. Sitting at the desk was Herman Goering.

    Stalag Luft III:

    Arrived in the first batch of prisoners to the new camp on March 21, 1942

    The Escape:

    He was #68 out of the tunnel; teamed up with fellow Canadian William Cameron.
    They were only a couple hundred metres from the tunnel when it was discovered by the Germans. They carried on for about a kilometre through the brush and then hid under a pile of brush for the day. At nightfall, the two men set off again and were trudging through the forest when two figures appeared from behind some trees. At first they thought they were Germans, but realized the two men were fellow escapees Brian Evans and Chaz Hall. The four men joined up and set out further. At about 4 am on the morning of the 26th, the men found a barn at the edge of a field and decided to spend the day hiding in the hayloft. Once they settled down, Cameron began shaking uncontrollably, obviously suffering from the effects of the cold. Soon he was hallucinating and talking to himself. The men considered turning themselves in to get help for Bill, but were unable to find anyone to surrender to. They decided to leave Bill bundled up in the barn with some rations and door open, hoping that the barn owner would notice. The three men then slipped away. A few hours later Bill was discovered and taken to Sagan Police station, where he arrived around 7 am.
    Thompson carried on with Evans and Hall, but they only made it a couple of kilometres before being picked up by the Home Guard on the outskirts of a small village. Unwilling to give in, Thompson tried to deceive the Germans. Speaking in French, he angrily proclaimed that he was a French worker and demanded to know why he was being arrested. But one of the guards clearly spoke better French than Thompson and the conversation quickly became comical. Long pauses followed awkward questions as Tommy tried to do the translation in his head. Eventually he just gave up and was taken to Sagan prison
    At 2 am on March 28, Thompson and 18 others are loaded into a truck at Sagan Police station and taken to Gorlitz Prison. Over the next few days, 35 men would arrive at Gorlitz
    Thompson was interrogated by the Gestapo. He refused to say who organized the break even though the Gestapo man tried to intimidate him.
    The next morning, the four prisoners were taken by the Luftwaffe guards to the train station. Sometime after this, the men were taken back to Luft III and put in the cooler.

    After the war:

    Returned to Penetanguishene and went on to study law. He practiced in his home town and served a term as mayor. Eventually he was appointed Assistant District Attorney for Simcoe County, retiring in 1980
    He stayed in Penetanguishene until his death in 1985.

    Name: James Chrystall Wernham (Jimmy)

    D.O.B: January 15, 1917

    P.O.B: Scotland; family moved to Winnipeg when Jim was young

    Current Status: Executed by the Gestapo on March 30, 1944

    Background:

    Parents moved to Canada before the Great War but returned in 1914.
    After the armistice the family came back to Canada and settled in Winnipeg.
    Jim's father worked for the CPR.
    On summer holidays, Jim and his sister Florence would go to Mine Centre in Northern Ontario where their aunt and uncle, the Prideauxs, operated a general store.
    Unable to find work during the Depression, Jim left Winnipeg and moved back to Mine Centre and helped out at the general store.
    Soon returned to Winnipeg and found work at the accounts department at John Deere Plough.

    Military Career:

    Joins the air force on 10 October 1940.
    Graduates as an air observer in June 1941; received commission on July 8, 1941.
    Flies to England in July 1941; posted to 19 OUT in August.
    By October he was operational with 77 Squadron; carried out 16 raids until transferred to 405 Squadron of the RCAF.
    First operation with the new squad was the famous thousand bomber raid on Cologne on May 30, 1942. For the raid, Jim and his crewmates were put on the cover of "all the daily newspapers" with the headline "Home Again: Back from the Biggest Ever Cologne Raid".
    A week later, Jim's Halifax bomber is shot down on the return trip to England after a raid on Essen. Bails out and is captured in Holland.

    Stalag Luft III:

    Arrives in summer of 1942
    In fall of 1943, after the discovery of Tom, Wernham part of a theatre group at the camp that tried to cheer up the prisoners.

    The Escape:

    Teamed up with Johnny Dodge, a famous American escape artist who was related to Winston Churchill.
    Planned to make for Czechoslovakia and hook up with the resistance.
    Escaped as part of the Woodmill Leave Party: a group of a dozen escapees who assembled in the forest and walked to Tschiebsdorf train station. They travel by train to the town of Hirschberg, where Wernham and Dodge split from the group and try to buy train tickets to a town on the Czech border. They are refused tickets because of restrictions on travel to border zones. They pose as French workers
    The two men walk to another station in the town and manage to buy two third class tickets but are questioned and arrested shortly after boarding the train.
    Taken to railway police office where they admit their identities. Are questioned briefly and taken to the local Kripo Office, arriving shortly after dusk on March 25.
    The recaptured escapees of the Woodmill Leave Party are assembled at Hirschberg Kripo station. They are interrogated with each man taken in turn and exposed to "alternating doses of kindness and abuse"
    After interrogation they are marched through town to the local jail where they pass time telling stories. Wernham was said to have talked about schemes he had for making lots of money when he got back to Canada
    Morning of the 29th, the jail warden came to the cell and led Wernham and Greek airman Nick Skantzikas away.

    Circumstances of Death:

    Shot on March 30th outside of Hirschberg along with two polish airmen and Skantzikas
    Shooter was a Gestapo agent named Lux
    Place of cremation unknown

    Name: George Wiley

    D.O.B: January 24, 1922 (22 years old when killed)

    P.O.B: Windsor, Ontario

    Current Status: Executed by the Gestapo on March 31, 1944

    Background:

    Known for his happy-go-lucky character and boyish looks.
    As a boy growing up, he was known as an average student that loved to play around, especially with his best friend Johnny Jones.
    As a boy, George caught rheumatic fever and it confined him to head for months causing him to lose a year in school. It also gave him with a slight limp, that eventually went away, but the leg never regained full strength.
    In high school he tried swimming and football. After school he was fond of fishing.
    Acquired a reputation of being a bit of a troublemaker. In one incident, he and a couple of buddies cut class and hitchhiked out of town for the day. Caught up in the adventure they stayed away for a week, hitching to Montreal. Upon return the boys were brought up for disciplinary action with the principal.
    Spent summers with his older sister in Port Stanley.

    Military Career:

    Taken by the RCAF on 4 December 1940.
    Trained at Summerside, PEI and received his commission in September 1941.
    Later that September he was sent to England and eventually to North Africa in May 1942 where he was posted to 112 Squadron near Alexandria.
    Assigned to fly Kittyhawks in armed reconnaissance sweeps, ground support missions, and cover for bombing raids.
    First two months of service are uneventful, but on October 7, 1942 he is attacked by fighters and forced to land in a minefield, just behind enemy lines. His plane hit a mine, blowing off a wing and fracturing George's leg.
    Sent to hospital in Cairo where a pin is inserted into his leg.
    Healing takes longer than usual on account of his weak leg from childhood illness.
    On Christmas Day 1942, George is selected to give a personal greeting over the radio… it was traditional for a few greetings from soldiers to preface the King's address. Back in Windsor, the Wiley family listened as George spoke from his hospital bed talking about his desire to get back into action as soon as his leg healed.
    Back in action on January 13, 1943. His leg is still weak, but anxious to fight again. Has another close call with German fighters with the Kittyhawk raked with 40 holes from enemy fire. Upon his return, the ground crew was amazed the plane made it back.
    As the Allies advanced in North Africa the squadron moved progressively west, and by March they reached Tunisia where it was charged with supporting the 8th Army's assault on the Mareth Line. During an operation George is shot down by superior Messerschmidts and captured by the Germans after wandering the desert for two days.

    Stalag Luft III:

    Letter to family in the days leading up to escape: "I've got an important part to play in one of our Kriegie plays and am a bit nervous about doing my part well. May see you sooner than expected"
    Lived in Hut 112.
    George was one of the youngest looking in the camp. He had just turned 22 at the time of the escape, but looked more like 16. Fair hair and gentle features. Received constant jibes from the other prisoners about the authorities letting kids into the air force to do a man's work.
    George never expected to make it far in the escape. He spoke no German and had a bum leg that gave him trouble in the cold. He was along for the ride. He expected to be recaptured in the Sagan area and be thrown in the cooler for a week. It was going to be fun.
    This was his first and only escape. Most of the other men going out that night had had previous escape experience.
    The night of the operation, George's bunkmate, an Australian named Alan Righetti who would not be joining the escape, could tell that Wiley was nervous. Righetti knew how difficult it was and tried to give George a few words of encouragement. As George got up to make his way to Hut 104 for the escape he stopped and handed Righetti his watch and a few other personal items collected during his captivity. George asked:
    "Alan, if I don't make it, will you see that these things get back to my mother in Windsor?"
    "Okay, George," Alan replied. "You sure you don't want to hang on to them? You may see her before I do."
    George smiled and clapped Alan on the back before leaving. Alan remembers how young and innocent he looked as he left.

    The Escape:

    Captured and taken to Gorlitz prison on March 28th.
    Captured wearing RAF uniforms that had been shortened to look less military.
    Interrogated by the Gestapo at Gorlitz.
    Among the first six men taken away from Gorlitz prison by the Gestapo on the morning of March 30.

    Circumstances of Death:

    Shot by the Gestapo outside of Gorlitz with Mike Casey, Ian Cross, Tom Leigh, Johnny Pohe and Al Hake .


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    Battalion Colours
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    Join date: 2009-11-26

    Re: Who Were the Canadians of the Great Escape?

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:52 pm

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    The Fifty Victims

    J5233 F/L Henry J Birkland, Canadian, born 16-Aug-17, 72 Sqdn, (shot down 7-Nov-41, Spitfire Vb, W3367), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 31-Mar-44; murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

    61053 F/L E Gordon Brettell DFC, British, born 19-Mar-15, 133 (Eagle) Sqdn (shot down 26-Sep-42, Spitfire IX), recaptured Scheidemuhl, murdered by Bruchardt 29-Mar-44, cremated at Danzig.

    43932 F/L Lester G Bull DFC, British, born 7-Nov-16, 109 Sqdn (shot down 5/6-Nov-41, Wellington IC, T2565) recaptured near Reichenburg, murdered 29-Mar-44 by unknown Gestapo, cremated at Brux.

    90120 S/L Roger J Bushell, British, born 30-Aug-10, 92 Sqdn (shot down 23-May-40, Spitfire I, N3194) recaptured at Saarbrucken, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Schulz, cremated at Saarbrucken.

    39024 F/L Michael J Casey, British, born 19-Feb-18, 57 Sqdn (shot down 16-Oct-39, Blenheim I, L1141), recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31-Mar-44 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz.

    400364 S/L James Catanach DFC, Australian, born 28-Nov-21, 455 Sqdn (crash landed in Norway, 6-Sep-42, Hampden I AT109), recaptured at Flensburg, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Post, cremated at Kiel.

    413380 F/L Arnold G Christiansen, New Zealander, 26 Sqdn, born 8-Apr-21, PoW 20-Aug-42, recaptured at Flensburg, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Post, cremated at Kiel.

    122441 F/O Dennis H Cochran, British, born 13-Aug-21, 10 OTU, PoW 9-Nov-42, recaptured at Lorrach, murdered 31-Mar-44 by Priess and Herberg, cremated at Natzweiler.

    39305 S/L Ian K P Cross DFC, British, born 4-Apr-18, 103 Sqdn (shot down 12-Feb-42, Wellington IC, Z8714 PM:N), recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31-Mar-44 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz.

    378 Lt Halldor Espelid, Norwegian, born 6-Oct-20, 33 Sqdn, PoW 27-Aug-42, recaptured at Flensburg, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Post, cremated at Kiel.

    42745 F/L Brian H Evans, British, born 14-Feb-20, 49 Sqdn (shot down 6-Dec-40, Hampden I, P4404 EA:R), recaptured at Halbau; last seen alive 31-Mar-44, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

    742 Lt Nils Fugelsang, Norwegian, 339 Sqdn, PoW 2-May-43, recaptured at Flensburg, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Post, cremated at Kiel.

    103275 Lt Johannes S Gouws, South African, born 13-Aug-19, 40 Sqdn SAAF, PoW 9-Apr-42, recaptured at Lindau, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Schneider, cremated at Munich.

    45148 F/L William J Grisman, British, born 30-Aug-14, 109 Sqdn, (believed shot down 5/6-Nov-41, Wellington IC, T2565) recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 6-Apr-44; murdered by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

    60340 F/L Alastair D M Gunn, British, born 27-Sep-19, 1 PRU, PoW 5-Mar-42, recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 6-Apr-44, murdered by unknown Gestapo, cremated at Breslau.

    403281 F/L Albert H Hake, Australian, born 30-Jun-16, 72 Sqdn, PoW 28-Dec-41, recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31-Mar-44 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz.

    50896 F/L Charles P Hall, British, born 25-Jul-18, 1 PRU, PoW 28-Dec-41, recaptured near Sagan, murdered 30-Mar-44 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Liegnitz.

    42124 F/L Anthony R H Hayter, British, born 20-May-20, 148 Sqdn, PoW 24-Apr-42, recaptured near Mulhouse, murdered 6-Apr-44 by Schimmel, cremated at Natzweiler.

    44177 F/L Edgar S Humphreys, British, born 5-Dec-14, 107 Sqdn (shot down 19-Dec-40, Blenheim IV, T1860), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 31-Mar-44, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Liegnitz.

    J10177 F/L Gordon A Kidder, Canadian, born 9-Dec-14, 156 Sqdn (shot down 13/14-Oct-42, Wellington III, BJ775) recaptured near Zlin, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Zacharias and Knippelberg, with drivers Kiowsky and Schwartzer, cremated at Mahrisch Ostrau.

    402364 F/L Reginald V Kierath, Australian, born 20-Feb-15, 450 Sqdn, PoW 23-Apr-43, recaptured near Reichenburg, murdered 29-Mar-44 by unknown Gestapo, cremated at Brux.

    P0109 Maj Antoni Kiewnarski, Polish, born 26-Jan-1899, 305 Sqdn (shot down 28-Aug-42, Wellington X, Z1245), recaptured at Hirschberg, murdered there 31-Mar-44 by Lux, place of cremation unknown.

    39103 S/L Thomas G Kirby-Green, British, born 28-Feb-18, 40 Sqdn (shot down 16/17-Oct-41, Wellington IC, Z8862 BL:B), recaptured near Zlin, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Zacharias and Knippelberg, with drivers Kiowsky and Schwartzer, cremated at Mahrisch Ostrau. Described to me as "a tall, suave aristocrat."

    P0243 F/O Wlodzimierz Kolanowski, Polish, born 11-Aug-13, 301 Sqdn (shot down 8-Nov-42, Wellington IV, Z1277 GR:Z), recaptured near Sagan, shot at Liegnitz 31-Mar-44 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Liegnitz.

    P0237 F/O Stanislaw Z Krol, Polish, born 22-Mar-16, 74 Sqdn (shot down 2-Jul-41, Spitfire Vb, W3263), recaptured at Oels, shot at Breslau 14-Apr-44 probably by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

    J1631 Patrick W Langford, Canadian, born 4-Nov-19, 16 OTU, (shot down 28/29-Jul-42, Wellington IC, R1450) recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 31-Mar-44, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

    46462 F/L Thomas B Leigh, Australian in RAF, born 11-Feb-19, 76 Sqdn (shot down 5/6-Aug-41, Halifax I, L9516), recaptured in Sagan area; last seen alive 12-Apr-44, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Breslau.

    89375 F/L James L R Long, British, born 21-Feb-15, 9 Sqdn (shot down 27-Mar-41, Wellington IA, R1335 WS:K), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 12-Apr-44, murdered by Lux; cremated at Breslau.

    95691 2/Lt Clement A N McGarr, South African, born 24-Nov-17, 2 Sqdn SAAF, PoW 6-Oct-41, recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 6-Apr-44, murdered by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

    J5312 F/L George E McGill, Canadian, born 14-Apr-18, 103 Sqdn. (I was puzzled because I could not tie him up with an aircraft loss. He and 3 others baled out of a damaged Wellington R1192 10/11-Jan-42 over Germany, on an operation to Wilhelmshaven. The Wellington managed to limp back to Elsham Wolds.) Recaptured in Sagan area, last seen alive 31-Mar-44, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

    89580 F/L Romas Marcinkus, Lithuanian, born 22-Jul-10, 1 Sqdn, recaptured at Scheidemuhl, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Bruchardt, cremated at Danzig.

    103586 F/L Harold J Milford, British, born 16-Aug-14, 226 Sqdn, PoW 22-Sep-42, recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 6-Apr-44, murdered by Lux; cremated at Breslau.

    P0913 F/O Jerzy Tomasc Mondschein, Polish, born 18-Mar-09, 304 Sqdn (shot down 8-Nov-41, Wellington IC, R1215), recaptured in Reichenburg area, murdered Brux 29-Mar-44 by unknown Gestapo, cremated at Brux.

    P0740 F/O Kazimierz Pawluk, Polish, born 1-Jul-06, 305 Sqdn (shot down 29-Mar-42, Wellington II, W5567 SM:M), recaptured at Hirschberg, shot there on 31-Mar-44 by Lux, place of cremation unknown.

    87693 F/L Henri A Picard Croix de Guerre, Belgian, born 17-Apr-16, 350 Sqdn, PoW 2-Sep-42, recaptured at Scheidemuhl, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Bruchardt, cremated at Danzig.

    402894 F/O John P P Pohe, New Zealander, born 10-Dec-21, 51 Sqdn (shot down 22/23-Sep-41, Halifax II, JN901) recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31-Mar-44 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz. Also known by his Maori name of Porokoru Patapu.

    30649 Sous-Lt Bernard W M Scheidhauer, French, born 28-Aug-21, 131 Sqdn, PoW 18-Nov-42, recaptured at Saarbrucken, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Spann, cremated at Saarbrucken.

    213 P/O Sotiris Skanzikas, Greek, born 6-Aug-21, 336 Sqdn, PoW 23-Jul-43, recaptured at Hirschberg, murdered 30-Mar-44 by Lux, place of cremation unknown.

    47341 Rupert J Stevens, South African, born 21-Feb-19, 12 Sqdn SAAF, PoW 14-Nov-41, recaptured at Rosenheim, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Schneider; cremated at Munich.

    130452 F/O Robert C Stewart, British, born 7-Jul-11, 77 Sqdn (shot down 26/27-Apr-43, Halifax II, DT796) recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 31-Mar-44, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

    107520 F/L John G Stower, British, born 15-Sep-16, 142 Sqdn (shot down 16/17-Nov-42, Wellington III, BK278, QT:C), recaptured near Reichenberg, murdered 31-Mar-44 by unknown Gestapo; place of cremation unknown.

    123026 F/L Denys O Street, British, born 1-Apr-22, 207 Sqdn (shot down 29/30-Mar-43, Lancaster I, EM:O), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 6-Apr-44, murdered by Lux; cremated at Breslau.

    37658 F/L Cyril D Swain, British, born 15-Dec-11, 105 Sqdn (shot down 28-Nov-40, Blenheim IV, T1893), recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 31-Mar-44, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

    P0375 F/O Pawel Whilem Tobolski, Polish, born 21-Mar-06, 301 Sqdn (shot down 25/26-Jun-42, Wellington IV, GR:A), recaptured at Stettin, shot at Breslau 2-Apr-44 probably by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

    82532 F/L Ernst Valenta, Czech, born 25-Oct-12, 311 Sqdn (shot down 6-Feb-41, Wellington IC, L7842 KX:T), recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 31-Mar-44, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

    73022 F/L Gilbert W Walenn, British, born 24-Feb-16, 25 OTU, PoW 11-Sep-41, recaptured at Scheidemuhl, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Bruchardt, cremated at Danzig.

    J6144 F/L James C Wernham, Canadian, born 15-Jan-17, 405 Sqdn (shot down 8/9-Jun-42, Halifax II, W7708 LQ:H), recaptured at Hirschberg, murdered 31-Mar-44 by Lux, place of cremation unknown.

    J7234 F/L George W Wiley, Canadian, born 24-Jan-22, 112 Sqdn, PoW 12-Mar-43, recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31-Mar-44 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz.

    40652 S/L John E A Williams DFC, Australian, born 6-May-19, 450 Sqdn, PoW 31-Oct-42, recaptured near Reichenberg, murdered 29-Mar-44 by Lux, cremated at Brux.

    106173 F/L John F Williams, British, born 7-Jul-17, 107 Sqdn (shot down 27-Apr-42, Boston III), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 6-Apr-44, murdered by unknown Gestapo; cremated at Breslau.

    (Polish officers have their RAF ranks quoted)

    The Survivors

    F/Lt Peter Bergsland (aka "Rocky Rockland") and Jens Muller (both Norwegian) reached England via Sweden, in March. Bergsland born 17-Jan-19, died 22-Jun-92.

    F/Lt Bob van der Stok (Dutch, 914 Sqdn) reached England via Spain, in July. Born 13-Oct-15, died 1992.

    F/Lt Henry C "Johnny" Marshall 36103 gave evidence (by then, a Wing Commander) at the trial of the accused murderers (he has since died), F/Lt Paul Royle 42152 (53 Sqdn RAAF), F/Lt Alistair T McDonald 115320 (since died), F/Lt Bernard "Pop" Green 76904 (since died), Lt Douglas A Poynter (Fleet Air Arm, born 1921), Lt Alexander D Neely (825 Sqdn Fleet Air Arm, born November 1917), Lamond (Carter?), F/Lt Thomas R Nelson 70811 (37 Sqdn, born March 1915), F/Lt Richard S A Churchill 41255 (144 Sqdn, born 1918), F/Lt Albert Armstrong 109946 (268 Sqdn, since died), F/Lt R Anthony Bethell 120413 (268 Sqdn, born 9-Apr-22) , F/Lt Leslie C Brodrick 122363 (106 Sqdn, shot down Stuttgart, 14/15-Apr-43, Lancaster ED752 ZN:H, born May 1921), F/O William J Cameron J6487 (RCAF, since died), F/Lt Michael M Shand NZ/391368 (485 Sqdn RNZAF, born 18-March-15), F/L Alfred B Thompson 39585 (since died) and F/Lt Keith Ogilvie DFC 42872 (Canadian, 609 Sqdn, born March 1915) were returned to Sagan.

    F/Lt Desmond L Plunkett 78847 (Zimbabwean, 218 Sqdn, shot down Emden 20/21-Jun-42, Stirling I W7530, HA:Q, born February 1915) and F/Lt Ray van Wyneersch 30268 (174 Sqdn Free French Air Force, born September 1920) were taken to Sachsenhausen and later returned to Sagan.

    F/Lt Ivor B Tonder 83232 (Czech, 312 Sqdn, born April 1913) and F/Lt Bedrich Dvorak 82542 (since died) were sent to Colditz, arriving on 9-Jan-45.

    Maj Johnnie Dodge DSO DSC MC (born 1896, since died), W/C Harry A "Wings" Day DSO OBE 5175 (since died), F/Lt Sydney H Dowse MC 86685 (PRU, born 1919) and F/Lt Bertram A James MC 42232 (9 Sqdn, shot down Duisburg 5/6-Jun-40, Wellington IA P9232 WS:M, born April 1915) were sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and later escaped, to be recaptured. Dodge, related to Winston Churchill, was released into Switzerland by the Germans in an unsuccessful attempt to sue for peace.
    [img][/img]


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    Adam

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