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On 15 March 1945, a force of sixteen Avro Lancasters from RAF Bomber Command’s Nos 9 and 617 Squadrons was despatched to attack a viaduct at Arnsberg. The fourteen aircraft from 9 Squadron carried Tallboys, whilst the two remaining Lancasters, from 617 Squadron, were loaded with Grand Slams.
During the mission, which failed to cut the viaduct, three crew members from one of the 9 Squadron Lancasters baled out from their badly-damaged aircraft over the eastern Ruhr. The author of this book, Flying Officer Squire Tim Scott, the Lancaster’s navigator, was one of those men.
All three airmen soon found themselves in quiet countryside but were quickly captured and imprisoned in a village jail. After a short time, they were moved to a prisoner of war camp in what was one of the strangest journeys of the Second World War.
Two German guards led the little group more than 120 miles across the crumbling Third Reich. With the German transport system in chaos, the party had to hitch rides on a variety of farm and commercial vehicles, though they did travel part of the way on one of the few trains still running in Germany.
Conditions on the journey were hash and the nights were bitterly cold. There was also the threat of danger, for the RAF was rife with tales of horrific violence when downed Allied bomber crews fell into civilian hands. But the two guards were sympathetic, and the small party was amazed by the civility of the local people.
At one stage their guards fell asleep and escape was considered, but eventually rejected and the trio was eventually handed over to the staff at a transit PoW camp. Before they were rescued by Allied forces, twenty days after baling out, the three had only spent fifteen days as prisoners and just thirty-six hours behind barbed wire.
Agent Paterson SOE
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With the SAS and Other Animals
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Tracing Your Second World War Ancestors
By: Phil Tomaselli
The Military History of Late Rome 361-395
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Tribes of Ancient Britain and Germany
Edited and Introduced by: Bob Curruthers
Daring Raids of World War Two: Heroic Land, Sea and Air Attacks
By: Peter Jacobs
A Motorcycle Courier in the Great War
By: W.H.L Watson
Edited by: Bob Carruthers
The Adventures and Inventions of Stewart Blacker
By: Barnaby Blacker
Star Shell Reflections 1914-1916
By: Jim Maultsaid
Edited by: Barbara McClune
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By: Paul N Pearson
Voices in Flight: The Night Air War
By: Martin Bowman
Reconnaissance Planes Since 1945
By: Frank Schwede
The US Eighth Air Force in Europe
By: Martin Bowman