Shot down near
I was the wireless operator in a
Wellington Mk II which left LINDHOLM aerodrome at 2230 hrs. on 6 Aug
41 to bomb ARCHEM. We were attacked by a ME.110 night fighter over
Belgium, and shot down. I think we shot the ME down also. I landed by
parachute at MARCHE, South-West of LIEGE at 0045 hrs. on 7 Aug 41.
I hid in the woods for 12 hours and so
escaped capture. I then walked on to PESSOUX, near MARCHE. A Belgian accosted me in the street there and told the German were looking for
me. He took me to his house, where he gave me civilian clothes and
1000 Belgian francs collected from friends who wanted to help. I
stayed les than half an hour in this house. A man, who was there took
me to another house which was three miles out of PESSOUX and said he
would take me to BRUSSELS next day.
At 0400 hrs. on 8 Aug 41, this friend took me
to the nearest railway station, which was at CINEY, and there we
caught the train to BRUSSELS.
At BRUSSELS, we went to the American
Consulate, but found it had been closed by the Germans, so we went to
the Portuguese Consulate. There I discovered that the secretary was attached
to an organisation. My Belgian friend left me there. The Portuguese
secretary took me took me to the house of a Belgian woman, where I
stayed from 8 Aug till 27 Sep. A Scotsman, whose name I have
forgotten, often visited that house. He was being sheltered in another
Belgian house in BRUSSELS, and had been there for 18 months. - Sgt. A.
COWAN, 4 Camerons, and Pte. B. CONVILLE, 1 Glasgow Hrs (interviewed by
M.I.9(b) 7 Jan 42).
I stayed there till 8 Oct 41 when I returned
to the first house, as the lady of the second house was ill. I stayed
there till 10 Oct, and while there met Sgt. TOMICKI (S/P.G.(-)630),
who had been in the same plane with me.
On the 10 Oct, about 2000 hrs. we were taken
with a guide to the Gare du Midi and there we met on the train Sgt.
Obs. J.L. IVES (S/P.G.(-)632), and my story from now on is identical
The other members of my crew were:
1st. pilot: - S/Ldr S. SCIBOR. He was taken
by the Germans in BRUSSELS after he had been at large for nine days. I
think that he was denounced.
Rear Gunner: - F/O M. SAFERNA. He was found
in the trees near our crashed plane with his parachute open, but he
was dead. I think that he was hit on the way down by one of the wings
of the plane, which broke off.
Observer: - F/O J. SUKIENNIK. He jumped out
of the plane without his parachute, and was found dead about 100
meters from the crashed plane.
2nd. pilot: - Sgt. TOMICKI.
Front Gunner: - Sgt. RYBAK. He was killed in
the plane. I think he was blacked-our before the crash.
Our plane was destroyed on crashing and the automatic device for
destroying the I.F.F. had been connected and the detonator was in
I left in the plane my log-book and on rice
paper there was a list of enemy beacons and X-code.
The observer's and Pilot's maps were also
left in the plane, but they were unmarked. Photographs of the target
and Syko machine were also left in the plane. I have heard on several occasions
that the Belgians, when they know there is a crashed British plane in
the neighborhood, go out and destroy all equipment that might be
useful to the enemy.
INTERVIEWED by M.I.9. and A.I.1(k) 6 Jan 42
APPENDIX A - List of helpers
Distribution: M.I.9 (I.S.)
A.I.1. (a) P.W. M.I.9.(I.S.) M.I.6.
APPENDIX D - Secret Intelligence
S.I.O., H.Q. Bomber Command, R.A.F.
" Fighter Commnad, R.A.F.
" Coastal Commnad, R.A.F.
" Army Co-operation Commnad, R.A.F.