POWs held in concentration camps

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by canuck, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Edit by Owen : Moved these posts from here Was Vincent McQueen held in a concentration camp ? to create a new one specific to the thread title.

    The story I am most familiar with is that of Squadron Leader Edward W. "Teddy" Blenkinsop, RCAF, of 405 RCAF Pathfinder Squadron . DFC, Croix de Guerre (Belgium).

    He died of died of exhaustion and TB in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in early 1945.


    More details in the article link below:

    One Who Almost Made It Back
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2019
    CL1, alieneyes, TriciaF and 1 other person like this.
  2. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Teddy Blenkinsop , Sgt Frederic Habgood and the 168 USAAF and RAF airmen in Buchenwald.
    canuck, CL1 and Tricky Dicky like this.
  3. Trackfrower

    Trackfrower Member

    Some of the "great escapers" were put in a concentration camp and escaped again!
    CL1 and alieneyes like this.
  4. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    S/Ldr Bertram "Jimmy" James and the Sachsenhausen mob.

    Wings Day, F/Lt Sydney Dowse, Major Johnnie Dodge and Lt Colonel "Mad Jack" Churchill
    Tricky Dicky, canuck and CL1 like this.
  5. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    NZ403460 S/Ldr Philip John Lamason, DFC found himself as the senior officer for 168 RAF and USAAF airmen rounded up in the summer of 1944 and sent to Buchenwald.

    They were not supposed to return.

    Lamason's report is found at TNA WO311/158. Lamason report from SL III WO 311-158_Page_1.jpg Lamason report from SL III WO 311-158_Page_2.jpg Lamason report from SL III WO 311-158_Page_3.jpg Lamason report from SL III WO 311-158_Page_4.jpg Lamason report from SL III WO 311-158_Page_5.jpg Lamason report from SL III WO 311-158_Page_6.jpg
    Tricky Dicky, canuck, Owen and 2 others like this.
  6. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Stokers 1st Class Andrew White Robertson and William Holt, submariners from HMS/M Saracen, were held firstly in Dachau and then in Buchenwald before being transferred to Markt Pongau (Austria) in January 1944. They were then both sent to a work party at Uttendorf, where Stoker Holt died on 1 March, 1944.

    All this is described by Stoker Robertson in his Liberation Report, (attached)

    Robertson p4.jpg robertson p1.jpg robertson p2.jpg Robertson p3.jpg

    Edited to add that with them in Dachau was multi-escaper 3957688 Sgt. Evan Llewellyn Edwards of The Welch Regiment who gave evidence at the Nuremberg trials. To read Sgt. Edwards' story visit iwasindachau.blogspot.com.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    TriciaF, alieneyes, Owen and 2 others like this.
  7. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member


    Attached Files:

    vitellino and alieneyes like this.
  8. alieneyes

    alieneyes Senior Member

    Missing from S/Ldr Lamason's report is the story of C27788 F/O Joel Matthew Stevenson, RCAF of Sweetwater, Texas, a No. 419 Squadron pilot on the same train.

    From Hugh Halliday's Honours and Awards database:

    STEVENSON, F/O Joel Matthew (C27788) - Croix de Guerre (France) - No.419 Squadron (AFRO gives unit only as "Overseas") - Awarded as per AFRO 1619/45 dated 19 October 1945. American in the RCAF; born 6 January 1923; home in Sweetwater, Texas (Western Union delivery clerk); enlisted in Regina, 8 August 1941 and posted to No.2 Manning Depot. To No.2 ITS, 13 September 1941; graduated and promoted LAC, 21 November 1941 when posted to No.12 EFTS; graduated 31 January 1942 when posted to No.5 SFTS; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 5 June 1942. To Trenton, 20 June 1942. To No.12 EFTS, 9 August 1942 to instruct as civilian on Leave Without Pay. Recalled to RCAF status, 1 December 1942. Promoted Flight Sergeant, 5 December 1942. Promoted WO2, 5 June 1943. Subsequently commissioned with effect from 18 March 1943. To No.1 SFTS, 13 June 1943. To “Y” Depot, 11 July 1943. To RAF overseas, 2 August 1943. Promoted Flying Officer, 18 September 1943. Reported missing, 4/5 July 1944 (Lancaster KB727, No.419 Squadron). Reported safe, 3 September 1944. Repatriated, date uncertain; to No.5 OTU, 13 November 1944. To “Y” Depot, 18 February 1945. To United Kingdom, 10 March 1945. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 1 April 1945. Repatriated 23 July 1945. To No.5 Release Centre, 5 September 1945. Retired 12 September 1945. RCAF photo PL-45058 (ex UK-22456 dated 5 July 1945) taken following investiture at Buckingham Palace - left to right are F/L J.G. Middlemass (DFC, Toronto), F/O J.M. Stevenson (Texas), Corporal A. Anderson (Woodstock), and F/L H.J. Jennings (DFC, Toronto). Public Records Office Air 2/9645 has citation.

    Flying Officer Stevenson took part in nine attacks on German installations in France prior to being shot down on the night of 4th July, 1944. During the time when he was operating with the Maquis, this officer showed great bravery and daring. Flying Officer Stevenson has at all times shown a keen, aggressive spirit and devotion to duty far above the average. As captain of aircraft his work has resulted in many successful sorties against vital German installations.

    STEVENSON, F/L Joel Matthew (C27788) - Mention in Despatches - No.419 Squadron - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 388/46 dated 12 April 1946. Identified in AFRO as "Overseas". McEwen papers (CWM) has list of recommendations for Mentions in Despatches, 1 February to 31 July 1945 which identifies unit.NOTE: Public Record Office WO 208/3325 has his MI.9 report based on interview of 2 September 1944. It noted he had been captured in Paris on 14 July 1944, escaped 18 August 1944, left Bayeux on 4 September 1944 and arrived in Britain that day. Other members of his crew had been Sergeant W.R. Gibson (rear gunner, POW),Warrant Officer L.F. Head (wireless operator, POW), Sergeant J.T. Pett (mid-upper gunner, POW), F/O J.E. Prudham or Prudomme (navigator, POW), F/O J.A. Smith (bomb aimer, POW) and Sergeant Vinecourt (RAF flight engineer, POW).

    We left Middleton St.George in a Lancaster aircraft about 2000 hours on 4 July 1944. All the members of the crew baled out safely, landing in the neighbourhood of Chartres (Northwest Europe, 1:250,000, Sheet 7, R 30) in the early hours of 5 July.

    Having buried my parachute in a wheat field, I set off with my tail gunner, Sergeant Gibson, walking northwest for about 18 miles. As it got light we hid in a wheat field and slept until noon. I got rid of my revolver and ammunition, but was still wearing uniform. About 1700 hours I approached a French farmer who brought us some food, and later took us to his house for a few hours. In the evening, this farmer led us to another farm house, where we spent the night.

    Next day the first man brought my wireless operator in to the farm, and also provided food and civilian clothes for us.

    On 6 July the mid-upper gunner of Flight Lieutenant Yunker’s crew arrived, and told us that we were in the care of the underground movement. He advised us to await further instructions. I understood that he had been shot down the same night as we were.

    On 10 July we were taken to another farm house where we met Flying Officer Prudhomme, our navigator, also the bomb aimer and the mid-upper gunner from Flight Lieutenant Yunker’s crew. The next day Flying Officer Harvey of Flying Officer Baird’s crew was brought in.

    On 12 July the six of us were taken to Paris in a car driven by the son of a French doctor. We stayed the night in an empty house with a member of the movement. Next day we were split into groups, Gibson and Head together, and Prudhomme with me. We two were taken to a hotel on the outskirts of Paris, and there told how we should proceed through [illegible - Srate ?].

    During the afternoon of 14 July we were visited by an American who said he had just arrived from Barcelona. He asked questions about our Air Force, and we were immediately suspicious. I had been told by Head that an American, who stated he had come from Pasadena, had tried to get information from him, so I refused to talk.

    Later in the afternoon the four of us were driven to Gestapo Headquarters by the same driver who had driven us to Paris. There I was asked questions about my civilian employment, age, religion, and my feelings towards the Russians. We were then taken in a police wagon to Fresnes prison, outside Paris. Flying Officer Baird and the bomb aimer and mid-upper gunner from Flight Lieutenant Yunker’s crew were also in the wagon with us. In prison we were deprived of everything except our underwear, shirts and trousers. While in Fresnes I tried to escape by cutting the bars with my escape saw, but someone reported my attempt to a German officer.

    On 15 August 1944 we were taken by truck from the prison to the Gare de l’Est and there loaded into box cars, 70 men to a car. In the car were all the people I had previously travelled with, including the wireless operator, engineer and mid-upper gunner from Flight Lieutenant Yunker’s crew, also Flying Officer Harvey, Flying Officer Prudhomme, Flying Officer Smith, WO1 Head, Sergeant Gibson, Sergeant Vinecombe, and the wireless operator of Flying Officer Frake’s crew. Also the navigator and bomb aimer from Flying Officer Vickerman’s crew (No.432 Squadron). On the second day 20 more men were put into the car. We were given one loaf of bread every three days, but the Swiss and the French Red Cross provided us with extra food.

    We sawed a hole through the floor and on the morning of 18 August I dropped out while the train was travelling at about 25 miles per hour. Two French officers escaped with me, and we made for the undergrowth. It was about 0240 hours when we left the train, and we were about 40 kilometres east of Paris at the time, I think.

    We walked to Mezy-Moulins (Northwest Europe, 1:250,000, Sheet 8, S 96) and I spent the next two nights in a house there. The two Frenchmen went back to Paris. The owner of the house fetched a woman who arranged for me to go to Chateau Thierry (S 86) and I hid above a shop until the Americans arrived on 28 August. I was interrogated by I.S. 9 (W.E.A.) and returned to the United Kingdom on 4 September 1944.

    A letter dated 16 September 1944 in RCAF file 50-1, “Correspondence on Escapees/Evaders/Pathfinders”, DHH document 75/302 (Air Commodore J.E. Fauquier No.6 Group, to RCAF Overseas Headquarters) adds some detail to the circumstances of his being shot down:

    On the night of July 4th, 1944, this officer was shot down after repeated attacks by a Ju.88, a Fortress [sic] and sustaining considerable Flak damage. It is reported that the Ju.88 was probably accounted for by F/O Stevenson’s Bomb Aimer. This officer had completed his bombing mission over Villeneuve when attacked. The orders were given by him to bale out over Chartres and he himself baled out at 700 feet.



Share This Page