Personal recollections from world war two veterans and civilians.
SHOT DOWN OVER GERMANY IN WWIIWe were shot down by a German fighter, a ME 410,
we had bombed an oil refinery at Zietz,
and were heading west toward Holland ,
we were still over germany when we were attacked..
I was able to bale out, and met my wireless operator, on the ground,
he was badly burned and wished to surrender to get medical attention,
twenty minutes after we parted,
I heard shots from the direction he took. I found out later he was murdered..
I walked for several days west and found a border marker
which indicated i was crossing the border into Holland..
I got careless at this time as I was , burned, feet frozen, starving,
I watched a farm for awhile and decided to try to get aid,
as I walked up to the farm I was stopped by a German sentry
and taken to the farm house which was full of german soldiers..
I was driven from the farm a short distance to Oldenzaal,
where I was placed under guard in a warehouse
where there were already two allied pilots,
we later were marched back into Germany
and a few days later were taken to the Interrogation centre at Frankfurt..
When the war ended and I was back in England I went to the casualties centre
and was informed that the rest of my crew were dead.
Guess I was lucky, but lived for years with a guilty feeling,
why was I alive when the rest of the guys were dead..
Al Hymers - Rear gunner, RCAF
Al Hymers was send to a German POW camp. When the Russians advanced the prisoners where taken on a long march from one prison camp to the next to stay out of reach from the Russians. Alan survived but many POW's did not.
The crewmembers that lost their lives when Lancaster LM231 crashed where:
F/O (N) Douglas James Bailey (CAN)
P/O (AG) Donald Erwin Linington (CAN)
P/O (BA) William James Glass (CAN)
F/O (P) William Kerluk (CAN)
Sgt. (FE) Francis Joseph Tate (UK)
Sgt. (WAG) Gilbert John Harris (UK)
Read more of his wartime recollections