Jim Tyrie



Jim Tyrie


A biography of Jim Tyrie. He was called up on 1st September 1939 and learned to fly on Tiger Moths. He was shot down on his 7th operation over Berlin. In POW camp he was described as a dedicated tunneller. There is a list of the camps he was kept in with dates and details of their transport. After the war he stayed in the RAF until his eyesight meant he could no longer fly. He was transferred to air traffic control.

Temporal Coverage



Six handwritten sheets


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.




[centred] JIM TYRIE [/centred]

James Sedric Bruce [Tyrie] - b. Montrose Scotland 18.10.19

Educated Secondary School Dundee and took Scotts Higher Leaving Certificate in German

Joined General Accident Insurance Co. Dundee

RAFVR 1938 as A/C 2 but automatic promotion to Acting Sgt. to learn to fly.

Called up 1.9.1939, No 3 IPW Hastings Oct 1939.

No 1 EFTS May 1940 (Tiger Moths)

Cranwell as Officer Cadet July-Oct 1940 (Oxfords)

Commissioned P/O Oct 1940, posted No 10 OTU Abingdon.

Joined 77 Sq. Topcliffe (Whitleys, 4 Group Bomber Cmd.) as 2nd pilot.

Flew 7 Ops.

10.4.41 Target Railway Station in E.Berlin

Sgt Lee 1st pilot

F/Lt. Tyrie 2nd pilot

Sgt. Young Observer

Sgt. Budd Wireless Operator

Sgt Hull Rear Gunner

No of A/C Taking Part 98

No of A/C Lost 10

Hit by flak over target & set on fire

Famous Last Words:

Sgt. Budd "Do you know the Port Engine is on fire"

Sgt. Young wounded in leg, headed N for Sweden but forced to abandon A/C 15 mins later.

[page break]

Bailed out and landed in garden of house in Bernau

Followed down by searchlights and caught immediately on landing.

Taken to Police Station where midst [sic] much noise and chaos, Young's leg was bandaged by elderly VAD Lady. Photographed by all and sundry

Taken to Flak School cells, later interrogated and spent night in cell.

Next morning complained to visiting Luftwaffe officer of poor breakfast - rewarded by white bread, jam and some jellied meat. - also permitted to visit freely rest of crew.

About 10 am proceeded in wagon to Berlin, Anhalter Rly station, where caught train for Frankfurt - On - Main and Dulag Luft - arrived about midnight at cooler.

Interrogated and searched nex [sic] morning and allowed into main camp in the afternoon.

11.4.41 Telegram to J.B.Tyrie Esq. 1 Robson St Dundee - "your son reported missing as result of air operations on 10.4.41 [sic]

2.5.41 Telegram - now prisoner of war. - reported 'missing' in local press which stated he was in big raid on Kiel at beginning of week

17.4.41 - 9.4.42 Stalag Luft 1 Barth

"Among the most dedicated tunnellers [sic] of the early inmates at Barth was Jim Tyrie [sic]

[page break]

Jim Tyrie's tunnelling [sic] efforts also included one from his own block. Besides digging he copied maps, planned prospective escape routes and brushed up his German - He tried whenever he could to chat to the guards to perfect his German and exploit any opportunities conversation might present. Information on gate-passes and travel permits would be passed on via the escape cttee [sic] to Mike Bussey, a brilliant artist who was one of the first officers at Barth to apply his skills to forgery.

Towards the end of March '42 after a camp wide search of Stalag Luft 1 by SS and Gestapo it was announced that officers would start leaving for a new camp in 3 days time

The move was in 3 groups

1st group Friday 20th March '42

2nd group Sat. 7th April 42

3rd group, incl. Jim Tyrie moved Tues 10th April

11.4.42 - 20.3.43 Stalag Luft 3 (East Camp) SAGAN

30.3.43 - 29.2.44 Stalag Luft 3 (North Camp) SAGAN

29.2.44 - 28.1.45 Stalag Luft 3 (Belaria) SAGAN

28.1.45 - 4.2.45 By sledge, foot and cattle truck via Kunau, Gross Selten, [?] Birkenstedt, Raustein [?] Spremberg to Stalag 3A, Luckenwalde.

4.2.45 - 12.4.45 Stalag 3A (OFlag) Luckenwalde

12.4.45 - 14.4.45 in Cattle Trucks in Luckenwalde Goods Sation (intended destination ST.7A Moosberg nr Munich.[sic]

[page break]

14.4.45 Stalag 3A (Luckenwalde)

21.4.45 Germans evacuate camp.

22.4.45 (0603 hrs) Russian Tanks and Motorized Infantry Arrive

20.5.45 Proceed by Russian Transport to Elbe, where met by American Trucks and go to Halle, arriving 10 pm

25.5.45 By Air in DC3's to Nivelles (Brussels) arriving 2 pm - By lorry to Brussels

26.5.45 By lorry to Schaacht, by air in Lanc to Dunsford, by train to Cosford (106PRC)

27.5.45 By train to Dundee.

10.4.41 to 26.5.45 - 4 years 1 month 16 days

Worked tirelessly for SSAFA and Royal British Legion, organising The Poppy Appeal - organised a trip for volunteers to visit Poppy factory and I spent many hours with him counting the poppy collections in Shenfield Essex.

A real gentleman and a man I was proud to know.

[page break]

About middle of January 1945 a wager of One D-Bar was made between

Flight Lieutenant W H Culling [?] and

Flight Lieutenant J S B Tyrie

- the latter stating that the war would not be over by 15th of March 1945

- it has been decided mutually that in view of the present lack of parcels, the wager shall be

One good dinner in London - to be consumed when convenient to both parties - Expenses to be paid by loser who will present winner with a Half a [sic] pound of milk chocolate, to be consumed the same evening.

Both signed the above 26th Feb 1945 Luckenwalde.

2nd March '45 - autographed photo of Max Schmelling [?] obtained during his visit to Luckenwalde

- Reason of visit unknown, perhaps connected with visit of unknown SS Obergruppenführer - air raid alarm that morning for 2 hrs.

[page break]

Post-war. Stayed on in RAF

Joined 90 Squadron flying Avro Lincolns as F/L and short time as acting Sq cdr. [?]

Still as A/S/L four years in Germany (3 in Berlin) as interpreter with Foreign Office 1948-52.

Met Glemnitz at Gatow [?]

Then back to F/L.

Full medical in London revealed failing eyesight, so changed to Air Traffic Control at RAF Workshop [sic]

1953-56, a Meteor FTS.

Air Traffic Control Germany 1956-58, then Chivenor, North Devon.

RAF Shawberry as Ground Control Approach/Radar Instructor.

Cyprus, Akrotiti, Nikosea: [sic] led evacuation of families from Limmasol [sic] during Turkish Insurgence 1964.

Then RAF Walton, I/C joint military/civilian installation of area radar control.

Bishops Court NI.

Retd 1969 Joined Barclays Bank and spent fifteen years as First Cashier in various branches

Retd. 1984.

Jim Tyrie died in April 1993.



“Jim Tyrie,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 1, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22172.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.