Sergeant Gordon Bennett

 

National Archives catalogue reference - WO 208/3320/93

 

Name: 1063396 Sgt. Bennett, Gordon.

Unit: 108 Squadron, A.H.Q. Malta, R.A.F.

Captured: Sidi Barrani, 23rd September 1942.

Left: Campo 54 (Fara Nel Sabina), 11th September 1943.

Left: Casablanca, 9th July 1944.

Arrived: St. Mawgan, 10th July 1944.

Date of Birth: 8th November 1913.

R.A.F. Service: Since 9th October 1940.

O.T.U.: No.15 (Harwell).

Conversion Unit: Nil.

Post in crew: Wireless operator.

Peacetime Profession: Printer.

Private Address: 79 Cedar Cres., Newton Le Willows, Lancashire.

 

Other members of the Crew:

W/Cdr. HAW (pilot) (fate unknown);

Sgt. GREENSTEIN (navigator) (P/W);

Sgt. MILSOM (second pilot) (P/W);

Sgt. BERRY (front gunner) (P/W);

Sgt. DOUBLARD (rear gunner) (P/W).

 

All map references are to ITALY 1:250,000.

 

1. Capture:

 

I was captured at SIDI BARRANI (Western Desert) on 23 Sep 42.

 

2. Camps in which imprisoned:

 

BENGHAZI                                     1 Oct 42 - 4 Nov 42.

TAHOUNA                                     5 Nov 42 - 26 Nov 42.

SUANI                                            27 Nov 42 - 1 Jan 43.

Campo 66 (CAPUA)                       8 Jan 43 - 15 May 43.

Campo 54 (FARA NEL SABINA)  16 May 43 - 11 Sep 43.

 

3. Attempted Escapes:

 

Nil

 

4. Escape:

 

After the Armistice was signed the Italian guards left the camp and on 11 Sep 43 I walked out with Sgt. LECOURS, F/Sgt. GUERTIN, Sgt. SMITH, F/Sgt. GORDON and Sgt. NAGY, all R.C.A.F. We stayed at MONTE LIBRETTI (Sheet 28, F 9595) for two weeks.

 

On 18 Sep Sgts. GUERTIN and LECOURS were captured by the Germans, and on 26 Sep the remaining four of us were captured. We were sent to LAGO DI BRACRIANO (F 4990) where we remained till 5 Oct. On that day we were put on a train en route for GERMANY.

 

I escaped from the train near ORTE (A 6630) and walked South taking approximately the following route:- CORCHIANO (Sheet 27, A 6157) where I stayed from 18 Oct 43 till 27 Feb 44. From that day my journey and that of Lt. GREEN, U.S.A.A.F., whom I had met previously, was arranged for me.

 

On 22 Feb 44 I met F/Sgt GORDON near CORCHIANO. He told me he had succeeded in escaping from the Germans, and intended trying to contact the British Forces by walking South. I did not see him again.

 

I was sent to NAPLES on 16 Jun where I completed a questionnaire. I remained there until 8 Jul whence I was sent to ALGIERS and CASABLANCA en route for the U.K.

 

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