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Thread: Great Escape 24/25 March 1944

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    Default Great Escape 24/25 March 1944

    Is there an official listing of those who participated in the "Great Escape" ?

    I am looking for F/L Colin Frank Sorensen (232 Sqdn.) who, according to his obit., was number 81. However I am told number 81 was Denys Maw and 82 was Joe Moul. Then came Clive Saxelbye and Ken Rees.

    Regards,
    Christian

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    Hi Christian,

    Just my opinion but I am in agreement with Dick in his Post #2 from this thread:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?8421-Great-Escapers

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Hi Dave,

    Thanks. I am in touch with Sorensen's family and have copies of some of his material. The family approached a local newspaper about interviewing their father while he was still alive a number of yrs. ago. However the paper was not interested and just recently, after Frank passed, showed an interest in doing a story.

    Frank always told the family he was number 81 and says in a letter to his brother that he said that he was among the next five to go down the hole. Therefore I am just trying to verify facts for the family.

    Regards,
    Christian

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    Christian
    My cousin by marriage, Flt /Lt RV Kierath RAAF was one of the escapers but "murdered" on recapture.
    http://www.cwgc.org/search/certificate.aspx?casualty=2194316

    This website [via Google] gives a list of those shot as well as survivors -not numbered
    http://www.elsham.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/gt_esc/index.html

    Anne

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    Dear Christian
    Good to hear the interest in this one has come up again, though sad to hear that a newspaper was only interested after it was too late to conduct the interview.
    Re reading through the last thread in this, I think you could say that Frank was 98% accurate in his number, after all he was there and we were not. My 2% proviso would be that there is a chance that numbers were re ordered, eg in Dave's posting "Flying Officer Wally MacCaw of Regina had a gut feeling that something bad was going to happen and gave his spot in the escape order to Jimmy Wernham."
    Also as Dick said, the security situation would mean that any written lists would have been destroyed. This along with the fact that so many of those high up on the list were murdered, along with their knowledge, may mean we will never know.
    As much as we may want to believe exactly what we are told by a loved one, we cannot always take it "as gospel" just because we love them. We are all human and all make mistakes. We cannot be infallible, but there are some instances in life that are seared on to the memory, and I would rather take Frank's memory that he was number 81 than a third hand newspaper report written by someone who had never heard of the Escape until yesterday.
    Sometimes it is good to learn the truth, even if it hurts, other times it can be better to live the fairy tale. What a shame Frank was not able to record his tale of the events. I'm sure it would have been better than any Hollywood re-write.
    Hopefully this new thread may come to some new Forumites who may add a few more names into the cooking pot, and while it may be possible to add to the names on the list I don't think we will ever actually get the running order.
    Thank you to all those who are keeping this going. Hopefully Christian you will be able to show Frank's family that he is very much alive in our corner of cyber space.
    Best wishes
    James

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    Thanks Anne. I had seen this website before as my main interest is in F/L Gordon Arthur Kidder who was among the 50 airmen murdered.

    Thanks James for your message which I have forwarded onto Frank's family. His family has a wealth of material that he left behind...his MIA letter, his Notification of POW status, his POW ID card, his Notification of Liberation letter, etc...that all confirm his story. They were just seeking, if possible, confirmation on his number. However as you mentioned the exact number and order may never be known.

    Regards,
    Christian

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    Hi Anne,

    I was lucky enough to meet Reg Kierath's two nephews in Dubbo and Narromine a number of years ago and his nephew in Narromine took me over to the house where he allowed me to photocopy his letters and log book. My mother went out with Paul Brickhill on the boat going to England in 1949 when Paul was going over to research and write the book "The Great Escape" in fact he married one of Mum's friends who she went with.

    Regards,

    John.

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    John
    Goodness what a small world !
    I think my mother knew Paul Brickhill as well .My father, Bob Millar [F/O TR Millar] was born in Narromine and his family were Narromine pioneers, his maternal great aunt married a Kierath .
    I'll email you separately .
    Thanks

    Anne

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    Default 33 Squadron, Reg Kierath, Don Edy

    Anne and John,

    Reg Kierath and Don Edy were pilot officers who served together in RAF No. 33 Squadron 09/41-01/42. Both were shot down, both were PoW Stalag Luft III, Reg being one of the 50 murdered.

    During those months 33 Sqn was based at LGs in the Western Desert, up to and including the big push, Operation Crusader, moving from Gerwala, Gialo, LG 125, Msus, Antelat and back to Msus.

    Don calls Reg ‘Rusty’.

    Mr. Edy had hoped to send the Kierath family some photos of Rusty. If anyone does have contact with the Kierath’s, or any surviving 33 Sqn or their families, please have them contact Mr. Edy online through the email link found at www.goonintheblock.com or myself in this link.

    Partial list of fellows in 33 Squadron, Sept. 1941 to Jan. 1942:
    * indicates photo ** trained with Edy

    F/O ‘Andy’ ANDERSON *
    F/O Peter CHARLES *
    F/L John Henry CLOETE * (81012, RAFVR)
    Charlie DALLAS *
    Sgt Doug ‘Davo’ DAVIDSON * (RAAF)
    Dudley DOVE * (SAAF)
    Don EDY * (RCAF)
    SQ/L G. ‘Eric’ GENDERS * (D1950)
    SQ/L Derrick L. GOULD * 41173
    ‘Doc’ HENDERSON *
    Sgt GEORGE ‘Bubbles’ INGLESBY *
    John ‘Mark’ H. Jewell * OBE (also PoW with Don but escaped, d1946)
    Sgt. KELSALL *
    Reginald ‘Rusty’ KIERATH * (d1944)
    LOWRY
    P/O Creighton ‘Crabby’ LOWTHER (RCAF J/5029) (d1941)**
    P/O Don LUSH * (RCAF d2005) **
    SQ/L J.W. MARSDEN *
    “Mac” MacKENZIE* or McKENZIE *
    David MOIR *
    MOORE *
    ‘Tony’ F.V. MORELLO (RAAF) *
    NEWMAN *
    F/L “NJ” G. D. Noel NOEL-JOHNSON *
    F/O Tommy Patterson * (d1941) **
    F/Sgt “Bobby” Robert Buckton Price * (d1941)
    George RUMSEY *
    Sgt Seymour
    Sgt “Kay” Kenneth Searby STAMMERS *
    Sgt George Alfred STROUD
    F/O “Tiny” TOFIELD *
    LC Lance WADE * (posted w Edy, later rescue bid of Edy by LC) (d1944)**
    P/O D.S.F. ‘Bill’ ‘Winnie’ WINSLAND (RAF d2001) *
    Sgt. WOOLER * WOOLLAT *
    Intelligence
    FO BADCOCK *
    FO GREEN *
    other
    MCGEACHY *
    Jock NORRIS *
    Jock PEASANT *
    “Doc” BIRD * of the Dukes Regiment South African

    Most of these friends are mentioned in Don’s memoir.

    "In nine days 33 Squadron lost four pilots, two of them being good friends of mine. -D.Edy"

    It would be nice if anyone knows of any 33 squadron member or family, or by any slim chance a surviving member, so Don will know ‘whatever became of friends who survived after the war’. Thank you.

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    Bubby
    Thanks very much for the information and link to Don's website .I have emailed him & sent a private message to you
    RV Kierath was my father's [F/O TR Millar RAAF] distant cousin by marriage to a great aunt .
    They lived in Narromine, NSW, Australia.

    Anne

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