Sergeant Roy Clare Brown
National Archives catalogue reference - WO 208/3322/31
Name: R.185580 Sgt. Brown, Roy Clare.
Unit: 425 Squadron, Bomber Command, R.A.F.
Left: Amiens, 6th September 1944.
Arrived: Northolt, 6th September 1944.
Date of Birth: 22nd August 1923.
R.A.F. Service: Since 15th August 1942.
Peacetime Profession: Service Station Att.
Private Address: 1542, Third Avenue, Trail B.C., Canada.
I was a member of a Halifax aircraft that left THOLTHORPE at 2359 hrs on 9 May 44, on a bombing mission. I baled out and landed at ESPIERRES (N.W. EUROPE, 1:250,000, Sheet 2, H 9145).
I hid my parachute and mae west in a field of long grass. I moved on foot for about an hour and then hid in the grass and went to sleep. In the morning a farmer came to me. I stayed in the grass until the morning of 12 May. I was given bread. The farmer contacted a Resistance group.
On 12 May a man who spoke English came with a bicycle and some civilian clothes. I changed into the clothes and then we went to MOUSCRON (H 84). There a woman came for me and took me to her house for the night. Next morning (13 May) the woman took me back to MOUSCRON on a bicycle. A man called for me and took me to a farm, where I stayed three days. On 16 May a man took me to TEMPLEUVE (H 8737) to a little house where I stayed until 15 Aug. I was given a Belgian Identity card. During my stay a man gave me a Turkish identity card and took the Belgian one away. He said he would try to get us away from SWITZERLAND. 2/Lt. LEVY (U.S.A.A.F.) was also staying in the house.
On 1 Aug a man called for us in a car and took us to BRUSSELS (L 65) with three other evaders. (Note: F/O PANZER (S/P.G.(-)2418) was also in this party.) We went to a house and stayed there two days. On 3 Aug we were taken by car to a large house in the town. We were told we were being taken to SWITZERLAND. While at this house we were given a form to fill in by three men who said they were members of a Resistance movement. We filled in our name, number, rank, squadron, station, home address, where we came down, and target. We were told we would be moved to another house for the night and would proceed to SWITZERLAND the next day. We went by open truck to the house and were met by two German guards. They got into our truck and took us to some H.Q. in BRUSSELS. We were searched, our money, identity cards, etc. - in fact everything except our handkerchiefs and combs - were taken. We were taken to ST. GILLES prison, BRUSSELS.
About 30 Aug we were taken back to the last house and were interrogated separately. We were asked to give the names of our helpers. It we did not, we would be treated as spies. I gave no information. The man who interrogated me was one of our three "helpers". He was now dressed in Luftwaffe uniform. We were take back to ST. GILLES.
On 2 Sep the Germans started to evacuate the prison. We were taken to the railway station with 42 Allied prisoners. We were going to be sent to a P/W camp in GERMANY. We started off, but spent the night in a siding. We returned to BRUSSELS in the morning. That afternoon we set off for GERMANY again, but, owing to partisan activity, we could not get through. We could see our own Army advancing. The carriage with all the Allied men was derailed, and the Germans left us and went to the front of the train. About 1630 hrs F/O CUNNINGHAM, Sgt. MURPHY, Sgt. MASON and I left the train and went to a house near the station. We asked if we could hide there until the British arrived. We stayed in a shed until next morning (4 Sep), when a Roman Catholic priest took us to a British Major. We were finally evacuated via AMIENS, and arrived in the U.K. on 6 Sep.
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