Veteran Stories:
Ward “Bud” Roach

Air Force

  • Personnel of No. 419 (Moose) Squadron, R.C.A.F., with an Avro Lancaster B.X aircraft, Middleton St. George, England, 1944.

    Faces Of War #3614987
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"When they were good, things were fine. When they were bad, they could make life miserable for you."

Transcript

When I got to England, I was attached to the RAF. We were consequently put on maneuvers with the RAF and sent to Cornwall, St. Eval. And there, we were flying out with [Armstrong Whitworth] Whitleys and into the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay on anti-sub patrols. The 8th of October, of same year, 1942, we were flying an inside track in the Bay of Biscay and were shot down off of Cherbourg [France] by ack-ack [anti-aircraft fire]. Unfortunately, we drifted ashore at Cherbourg only to be picked up by the German Army and taken POW [Prisoner of War]. As soon as we set foot on the beach, the Germans took us in custody and held us overnight, then put us on the train to Frankfurt, Germany with Dulag Luft centre for air force. And from Frankfurt, we were sent to the Prisoner of War camp [Stalag] VIII-B, outside of Lamsdorf [Germany]. When the Germans were gone, we got the Red Cross parcels, English Red Cross parcels. When they were good, things were fine. When they were bad, they could make life miserable for you. There was roughly 200 or 300 Canadian Prisoners of War from Dieppe Raid. And at that time, they started to tie us up because make up for the Canadians tying up some Germans they took prisoner at Dieppe. And they were chained up with actual two rope chains. And then when they finally took pity on us, apparently, and only tied us up with binder twine. Starting in January of 1945, we started to walk, all across Germany, right through to Kassel. And we were still controlled by the Germans, only four or five of us broke off from the party, hid in the woods and harried from the firing going on and everything else and we ended up getting picked up by Americans.
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