Geoffrey North rewritten account of being shot down and time as prisoner of war

BNorthGJNorthGJv2.pdf

Title

Geoffrey North rewritten account of being shot down and time as prisoner of war

Description

A day by day account consisting of three parts. Part one covers his being shot down on 21 February 1945, his capture and journey to prisoner of war camp arriving 15 March 1945 including an mention that his train was bombed by Marauders. Part two covers forced march from prisoner of war camp 'Kreigsgefaninenlager der Luft 3' from 4 April 1945 to to Moosburg on 20 April 1945 and includes account of being strafed by Thunderbolts. Part three covers liberation by United States army on 29 April 1945 to his repatriation by C-47 and Lancaster on 10 May 1945. In part 3 he writes enthusiastically about the meals and food. The account is written lined paper. At the end footnotes concerning Kassel, Oberursel, Neidenhausen, Moosburg, Kriegie and Juvincourt. Followed by some research notes and descriptions of Geoffrey North's flying after his repatriation.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Contributor

Sue Smith
David Bloomfield
Anne-Marie Watson
Emily Jennings

Rights

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.

Format

Six page handwritten document

Language

Identifier

BNorthGJNorthGJv2

Transcription

GEOFFREY JOHN NORTH. REAR GUNNER.

PART 1. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”.
21/2/45 20.05 [inserted] R [/inserted] LANCASTER F/LT TROPMAN D.F.C. REAR GUNNER. OP.DUISBERG.
21.02.45. Bailed out at 23.05, landed 23.20 S/C 23.59.
Walked 12 miles.
22.02.45 Captured 10 am by civil police. 10.12 police station. 12.02 jail. 14.06 motorbike to front line. Watch etc. taken. Marched 8 miles via transit camp with 8 soldiers to burning village. Slept on straw in abandoned school.
23.02.45. First food – bread, marg, tinned meat, tea. Marched 14 miles via Rhine Ferry to transit camp. Lt. Lindsey - ? one of “Geoff’s” crew.
24.02.45. Soup! Horse and cart to Stalag at Bocholt. Five to a cell, radiator, pallias[?] & 1 blanket. Comfort!
25.02.45 – 26.02.45 Bocholt Stalag (POW camp).
27.02.45 Bocholt to Hansderf(?) marched 8 miles Munster.
28.02.45 Left Hansderf.
1.03.45 Travelling.
2.03.45 Arrived Kassell, “Legless” Aussie – as in “no legs”.
3.03.45 Arrived Oberursel [left to right arrow] 6/03.45.
7.03.45 Arrived Dulag Luft. Hot shower, food, beds, clothing, soap, hair cut etc.
8.3.45 Left Dulag.
9.03.45 Train bombed at Neidernhausen by U.S.A. marauders, walked 5k to Eppstein.
10.03.45. Eppstein. 11.03.45 Left Eppstein at night.
12.03.45 – 14.03.45 Travelling.
15.03.45 Arrived at Stanlayer? [?] Staumlager? [?] THANK GOD.

PART 2 The Trek.
[deleted] Lasted until [/deleted]

[page break]

04/04/45. Left kreigsgefanginenlager [sic] der Luft 3 POW camp, on the march, slept in pine woods.
5.04.45 Dive-bombed by USA Thunderbolts. Reached outskirts of Neumarket at 15.00 hrs. Raining at 18.00, soup at 23.00.
6.04.45 Fall in at 02.00, marched in rain until 06.00, slept in pine wood in rain. S/C 10.00. Reached Berching Stadt. Issued bread, honey, tinned meat. Traded for bottles and matches. Slept church.
7.04.45. Left column just after Beilingries [Beilngries] bathing pool.
8.04.45. Lift to top of hill, walked on alone, caught up with column. Frosty.
9.04.45. With column all day. Issued parcels at Neustadt. Bridge mined.
10.04.45. Stayed near Neustadt all day with sick Lou, Joe, Darky/Darby Ben. Wizard farm, barn, eggs, all our own.
11.04.45. French parcel. Bullock wagon for 11km. break at midday, forts? fortress bombing all round us.
12.04.45 Stayed in same village. Lou Green, Joe, Darky/Darby, Ben, Chris & pal. Orchard.
13.04.45 Rejoined main party on the road, marched 5km.
14.04.45 – 15.04.45 Stayed put. Old lady “no trade”.
16.04.45 Marched 10km to Pfeffenhousen.[sic] Kiwi and myself. Large spud issue.
17.04.45 Marched 10km. to Obermunchen. 3 eggs. 20 french fags.
18.04.45. left Obermunchen 17.00, marched 7km. to Neider Munchen.
19.04.45. Stayed at Neider Munchen. Acquired a new bottle.
20.04.45. Marched 8km, arrived Moosburg Stalag.

PART 3.
KRIEGIE NO MORE.

[page break]

29.04.45. Fighting heard at 09.00. Stars and Stripes raised in camp at 12.30. Tanks and jeeps in compound at 14.30.
01.05.45. Issue white bread, flour, good soup. Kiwi acquired frying pan, rhubarb.
02.05.45. Rice and rhubarb pancakes.
03.05.45. Doughnuts.
04.05.45. Into town. Mirror, pictures, rhubarb, potatoes. Killed pig.
05.05.45. Wood from house. Celery onions and parsnips acquired. Pork shop and chips for breakfast.
06.05.45. Pork chops, roast and mashed spuds, parsnips. Plum pudding. Killed a rabbit. Announced 10,000 leaving tomorrow (Moosburg – 80,000 detained).
07.05.45 Breakfast pork chop & chips. Deloused. Rabbit stew. Corned beef hash, prunes, [underlined] tooth-paste blancmange. [/underlined]
08.05.45. Kiwi and Tom left at 05.30. Fried eggs, spam, spuds, bread, cereal. Victory fudge. Moved out at 5 minutes notice; left camp at 13.15. Convoy to Landshut [deleted one letter] airfield Back to Landshut, in billet 18.00. Krations, bouillon, corned[?] pork roll, plum pudding. GERMAN BEER!!!
09.05.45. Ham and eggs, toast & marmalade. Airfield all day Landshut. Bouillon, corned pork load, spam and tomatoes.
10.05.45. Shredded wheat, ham and eggs. LT. HARRINGTON DAKOTA.B09.35 2.25 to Rheims. Lorry to camp. Meal, corned beef peas potatoes, peaches, coffee. Lorry to Jurincourt. W/O BELIVEAU, Lancaster 18.25/01.35 hrs. to Westcott.
11.05.45. 00.30 lorry to Leighton Buzzard. Train to Cosford. Registration, telegram. Bath, breakfast, bed. 14.00 – 17.00 Doctor, clothing etc.

[page break]

Footnotes.
Kassell – HQ for WEHRKREIS IX, & local sub-camp of Dachau concentration camp; provided forced labour for Henschel facilities. SEVERELY BOMBED.

Oberursel – North West of [deleted] Franf [/deleted] Frankfurt, east of Kronberg. U.S. & G B Airmen passed through, interrogated & “processed” into P.O.W. system. “Transit camp of Luftwaffe”, in town. Name shortened to Dulag Luft, or Dulag.

Neidernhausen – Allies advance in ’44 due to strategic rail importance. Heavily bombed especially on 22.02.45.

14/4/45. Old lady no trade – Geoff told me they had tried to barter with her in exchange for food, but she refused. Maybe terrified of recriminations?

Moosburg – Stalag (POW camp). Originally planned to hold 10,000 prisoners, by end of war some 80,000 detained.

[deleted] Keirgie [/deleted] Kriegie – slang for Allied POW in WWII German POW (internment) camp.

Jurincourt – abandoned (now) military airfield, in Aisne region of France. Built by French air force before WWII, grass runways. Taken over and expanded to become one of the main Luftwaffe air bases during German occupation – fighter and bomber planes. Seized by Allies in ’44, became major USAF base for fighter, bomber, & transport units, for remainder of war.

[page break]

Hasderf / Hansdorf )
Stamlayer /Staumlager ) no trace on internet for these spellings.

11/4/45 “forts bombing - ? Fortress planes?

[page break]

Three months after repatriation Geoff was flying again, 35 Squadron 8 Group, Grarely. [?] He flew three missions in Lancasters, 2 with F/Lt. Ashwell, one with Sq/Ld[?] Baldwin DFC, DFM, DSO.

In September 45, he flew twice as a passenger from Graveley – Tibbenham – Berlin, with F/Lt. England and returning Berlin – Tibbenham – Graveley.

His total Daylight flying time shows 289.40
His total Nightime [sic] flying time was 381.15
Total flying hours 670.55

Citation

Geoffrey North, “Geoffrey North rewritten account of being shot down and time as prisoner of war,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed November 14, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8035.

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