Flight Sergeant Edwin Francis Butler

 

National Archives catalogue reference - WO 208/3320/103

 

Name: R 88245 F/Sgt. Butler, Edwin Francis.

Unit: 35 Squadron, Bomber Command, R.A.F.

Left: Casablanca, 9th July 1944.

Arrived: U.K., 10th July 1944.

Date of Birth: 7th June 1920.

R.A.F. Service: R.C.A.F. since January 1941.

O.T.U.: Not at O.T.U.

Conversion Unit: Not at Conversion Unit.

Post in crew: Mid-upper gunner.

Peacetime Profession: Student.

Private Address: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada.

 

Other members of the Crew:

W/Cdr. ROBERTSON (pilot)

F/Lt. MIDDLEMAS (navigator)

F/Sgt. HOLLIDAY (bombardier)

F/Sgt. POTTER (engineer)

Sgt. SOLWAY (wireless operator)

F/Sgt. BRUCE (rear gunner)

 

1. CAPTURE.

 

I was a member of a Halifax aircraft that took off from GRAVELY on 18 Nov 42 to bomb TURIN.

 

We completed our mission and on the way home we were shot down by Flak.

 

I baled out and came down in the mountains somewhere between SUSA (ITALY, 1:250,000, Sheet 8, (Q) H 53) and TURIN (Sheet 9, (Q) J 02). With the exception of W/Cdr. ROBERTSON, whose fate I do not know, the whole crew was picked up in the mountains the next day.

 

2. CAMPS IN WHICH IMPRISONED.

 

Campo 3 (POGGIO MIRTETTO)  20 Nov - 6 Dec 42.

Campo 59 (SERVIGLIANO)         6 Dec 42 - 13 Sep 43.

 

3. ATTEMPTED ESCAPES.

 

Nil

 

4. LEFT CAMPO 59 (SERVIGLIANO).

 

The personnel at Campo 59 were still under orders not to attempt to escape when Sgt. John HILL, a Rhodesian, Paratrooper George BRYAN, and I left on 13 Sep 43 by climbing over a wall.

 

We made for a forest near the camp and stayed there for two days. We then started walking South, and when we were somewhere near MONTEFALCONIE (Sheet 25, (W) X 5989) we were picked up by an Italian who took us back to his house. I remained with this family for two weeks and during this time my two companions went on. By the end of Sep the snow had come and I, therefore, remained with different families in the neighbourhood until Apr 44.

 

On 10 Apr 44 I again started walking South and between CERMIGNANO (Sheet 29, (R) B 8443) and POGGIO D ROSE (R) B 8342) I was sheltered by different Italian families until 15 Jun.

 

On 15 Jun Polish troops arrived in the neighbourhood and I was taken by an English officer to Army headquarters somewhere South of ORTONA. I was then sent to NAPLES where I filled a questionnaire relating to my experiences. From thence I was sent to ALGIERS and CASABLANCA.

 

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