More on F/L Walter Blott et al:
Another crew grateful for Switzerland's neutrality was that of veteran Lancaster W4355, which was attacked by a night-fighter on the night of 15/16 March 1944 en route to Stuttgart. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Walter Blott, who believed that a rocket projectile had been fired at them, was hit in an arm by a piece of metal. When the aircraft began to shake violently and he was unable to control it, all seven of the crew baled out successfully over Switzerland. Blott himself landed heavily on his back in a wood near Kallnach, halfway between Berne and Bielersee. Making contact with a Swiss woman, he was given a bed in a nearby inn for the night.
After breakfast on the following morning he was visited by Swiss military police officers, who told him that they would be returning later in the day after they had collected others of his crew. Taken away in a car in which Sergeant G.D. Gill was already seated, they were driven to Aarberg hospital, where they met Sergeant D. Murphy and Flying Officer C. Nabarro, also of their crew. As Gill was not injured he left at once. Blott was left behind for his back and arm to be looked at and after a visit from Wing Commander R.D. Jones, assistant air attache at the British Legation , was taken to the Gurten-Kulm Hotel in Gurtendorf 'which was occupied principally by American airmen'. A few days later he was reunited with Gill and two more of his crew, Sergaent G.R. Mattock and Sergeant T.W. Forster. Also arriving at the hotel was 'Sgt Ruth, who was the sole survivor of another aircraft which had also crashed on 15 March.
After some three weeks at the Gurten-Kulm hotel the RAF aircrew and the Americans were transferred to the internment camp ar Adelboden where, Blott noted, there were some 600 army personnel and 500 Americans. The RAF were put in with the Americans. On 6 May Blott was taken to Berne, and given a passport and civilian clothes prior to being repatriated with the agreement of the Germans. In the small hours of 13 may he, six others from the same 100 Squadron crew, Gill and Pilot Officer R.G. Peter RAAF, were escorted to Basle by a Swiss courier and a Swiss military policeman. Travelling second class, the nine airmen and the courier left Switzerland by rail. As they crossed the frontier into Germany they 'were asked to pull the blinds down. At the first station after the frontier a German officer accompanied by an interpreter came into the carriage. He told us that we were being given safe passage and were expected to behave well.
Travelling through Freiburg they reached Baden Baden, and after a brief stop boarded the Vienna-Paris express late on 13 may, now travelling first class. In Paris they were met by a German officer and a civilian interpreter, Wolfgang, who told them that he had been at Cambridge University and that the previous day he had had lunch with the celebrated author P.G. Wodehouse. He also told the group, probably only to see what the effect would be, that they were not being returned to England but to Japan. Blott told him that that was of little matter, as they would eventually land up there anyway. the airmen were then treated to an excellent five-course lunch, which included a different wine with each course. Later that day, still with the Swiss courier, they boarded a train with a German captain and another interpreter and travelled, again first class, to Irun in Spain. From Irun they went to Madrid, and on 19 May to Gibraltar, being flown back by Dakota to Whitchurch airport, Bristol, five days later.
RAF Evaders:The Comprehensive Story of Thousands of Escapers and their Escape Lines, Western Europe, 1940-1945.