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GIBRALTAR, 30 Sep 42.
R.A.F. Service: 2 years. 3 months.
I baled out and did not see where the aircraft crashed. I ran into wood and remained in hiding till 3 Sep 42 living on emergency rations. On 3 Sep I was seen by a civilian who gave me some clothes. He also bought me a ticket to BRUSSELS and went there with me. In BRUSSELS he bought me a ticket to FLORENVILLE where I went alone. here I met e Belgian who had just returned from the prison camp in Germany, who showed me the way over the frontier to OCCUPIED FRANCE and I gave him 120 francs. I saw no German post on the frontier. I slept that night at the farm just inside France and the next day 4 Sep I walked to the little town of CARIGAN about 6.5 miles from the frontier. I saw some Germans at the railways station, but they were but they were not controlling papers and I bought a ticket to RETHEL which is on the red line where I went that afternoon. The Germans control all people on the trains going over the the Line but not those leaving the station. there is a centre for repatriated P/W here. I walked across the Line without difficulty and started in a direction of RHEIMS. After walking for 10 kms I decided to stop and sleep in a field until morning, because it was dark and it is not safe to walk in OCCUPIED FRANCE by night.
Next morning (5 Sep) I continued on my way and reached RHEIMS at 1600 hrs. There are many German soldiers and also German settlers between RETHEL and RHEIMS and I thought it unwise to ask for help. In RHEIMS I went to a little cafe and after making sure that the people were anti-German I asked their advice. They advised me to go to PARIS by train which I did, arriving at night. In PARIS I slept in a room with a prostitute, because I had no documents and no hotels would take me in without them. Next morning (6 Sep) I went to the Gare d"Orelans and bought a ticket to VIERZON. The train went only as far as ORLEANS which it reached at 1200 hrs, and I had to wait there till 1930 hrs before I could get a train to VIERZON.
The demarcation line runs through VIERZON and there is a curfew there at 2000 hrs. I therefore got outside the town as quickly as possible. I found a Frenchman outside the town who took me to his home where I slept that night. Next morning (7 Sep) he gave me information about crossing the Line and I went with some workers to a factory which is about 5 kms to the East of VIERZON and 200 meters from the River CHER, which constitutes the Line at this point. I swam across the river and went to the part of VIERZON which is in UNOCCUPIED FRANCE. At 1500 hrs I got a bus to ISSOUDUN. On the bus two French Secret Police Agents were controlling papers. The bus was very crowded and I was sitting next to a gendarme who was helping these two Agents by passing the passengers' documents along. I started to help too and as I passed other peoples' papers along the Agents thought that I had passed my own. There was another control at VATAN, but I said I had shown my identity card already in VIERZON and as I seemed to be a friend of the gendarme sitting beside me, I got away with it again.
At ISSOUDUN I caught a train at 2320 hrs to TOULOUSE. There was another control on the train, but a lady whom I had met on the bus hid me with herself in the first class lavatory. When the inspector came along the corridor, she came out of the lavatory giving the impression that there was nobody in it.
From TOULOUSE I went on by train to MARSEILLES arriving there on 8
Sep. I went to the American Consulate where I was told that there was
a Polish Office in the former Polish Consulate buildings. The Polish
Office directed me to the Polish Hospital which is where the old rest
house for British seamen used to be. From the hospital I was taken
over on 19 Sep by the organisation which arranged for my repatriation.