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Thread: The Long March

  1. #1
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    Default The Long March

    Gents,

    Does anyone have a list of fatalities from the march from Stalag IXb in April 1945. Trying to confirm if a Sergeant Harry Bliss RAFVR was killed during this march or by RAF Typoons. His date of death is April 9th 1945.

    TIA

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Steve,

    If this is your man he shows a date of death as 30 March 1945:

    http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2107152/BLISS,%20HARRY

    http://www.doverwarmemorialproject.org.uk/Casualties/WWIInot/SurnamesB.htm

    shows

    There is a report from the Dover Express, dated 18 May 1945, entitled "Dover Prisoner of War Death"

    "[the conditions are] shown to be responsible for the death at a prisoner of war camp of W.O. Harry Bliss, RAF. Son of Mr and Mrs R. Bliss, 46, Maison Dieu Road, Dover, which reported in the Express of May 4

    In a letter to his parents, a comrade E. Hunnable describes how W.O. Bliss was made to travel for 36 hours in a cattle truck so tightly packed that he, an ill man, could not lie down, and was kept without water

    At the destination he was taken to hospital and operated upon, but never recovered. The origin of his illness was when changing camps they had to move two miles, and the German guards made them run all the way carrying full kit. The Germans prodded the men with bayonets to make them hurry, and set dogs on them with the same objective. W.O. Bliss received three bayonet wounds in the thigh. He had to be admitted to hospital, and was never the same[...]"

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Hi Steve,

    The CWGC has his date of death as 30/3/45. 'Footprints on the sands of time' has him as died at Fallingbostel (L1) ? So to answer your question I am not sure if he was killed by Allied aircraft or not.

    Regards,

    John.

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    Dear Both,

    Thanks for the update, it finally brings to a conclusion a myth within the association that Bliss was killed while on the long march. Strangely the Bomber Command Loss Card gives a date of death as April 9th 1945.

    Thanks chaps

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Gents,

    Following on from the above posts I am trying to identify E. Hunnable, I have used Footsteps in the hope this individual was Air force, it appears not.

    Anyone have a list of brown job POWs, or is there anyway to find who this individual served with. Any pointers welcome

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Hi Steve

    I have a list of Army PoWs and the nearest to Hunnable is Pte C Hunneybell of the Kings Own Royal Regiment.

    However, there was an AC2 C L Hunnable RAF so he was probably captured in a ground engagement and wasn't in Bomber Command, hence why he's not in 'Footsteps'

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcolm_raf; 10th October 2012 at 10:08.

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    Slight deviation. Who led the 'Long March? I have it as the SBO, Stalag Luft III Sagen, RAAF Group Captain D. Wilson previously Stn Cdr RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor, taken PoW in Paris during August 1943, but all unconfirmed
    Last edited by namrondooh; 10th October 2012 at 12:39.

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    Default Norman's deviaton

    Dear Norman
    Who led it?
    My understanding is that The Long March (and its many other names) is a generic term for all the forced marches of POWs from the East towards the West in the early spring of 1945. There were many different camps and ultimately many different destinations. Some walked hundreds of miles while others had a combination of walking, trucks and trains. Destinations varied from the Baltic coast, Marlag & Milag, Halle, Munich to name but a few. Some were liberated by the British, others by the Russians or Americans depending on their ultimate destination. Even within the POWs from Sagan there were men who for one reason or another ended up in Munich, Halle or M&M (there may well have been other destinations) via places like Stalag 3A.
    I am sure that Wilson may have led one of these groups, but as each camp splintered at each opportunity it came to a stop there may be other contenders for leadership roles.
    Sorry to confuse the matter.
    James

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    Here is Wilson's account of the evacution of Sagan

    http://www.trasksdad.com/PopsProgress/Stalag3March/March.html

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    Thanks David, thanks James for the very interesting information. I now have sufficient to be getting along with.

    Thanks Steve for alloiwing this slight deviation from your original question.

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 11th October 2012 at 23:24.

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