Desertion by American GIs in Britain?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by andrewdj, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. andrewdj

    andrewdj Junior Member


    I'm in the process of researching for a novel, in which the final act is set in Devon in the final years of the war and the years just after, 1944 to 1946.

    I've done a fair bit of research so far in terms of the impact of the war and returning British soldiers on wives and families, the impact of American soldiers in the UK, the bombings of Plymouth and Exmouth and the rebuilding after, Exercise Tiger, Operation War Bride, and Balt Cygnet, and other elements that will help set the scene, both of the era and the area.

    But one of the key elements of the story that I've yet to fully flesh out is the arrival of a charming young American GI to a Dartmoor village. My two options are that he remained in the UK after the war ends and turns up in 1945-1946, with no intention of going back to the US, or alternatively, preferably, that he deserts and hides in the village from around 1944, prior to D-Day, perhaps as a survivor of Exercise Tiger.

    While there is a fair bit of information about American GIs in Britain and even in Devon specifically, I've not yet been able to find any accounts or confirmation of either scenario above, where a US soldier remained in the UK either with permission or by deserting, though I'm pretty confident such a situation would have arisen.

    Could anyone point me in the direction of material that would aid this research?

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