Flying Officer Stephen Peter Broad
National Archives catalogue reference - WO 208/3322/8
Name: 152211 F/O Stephen Peter Broad, 1862059 Sgt. Summers, Duncan Roy
Unit: 166 Squadron, Bomber Command, R.A.F.
Left: France, 28th August 1944.
Arrived: U.K., 28th August 1944.
Date of Birth: 9th April 1920.
R.A.F. Service: T.A. since 1939, transferred R.A.F., 7th January 1941.
O.T.U.: No.28 (Wymeswold).
Conversion Unit: No.1662 (Blyton).
Post in crew: Bomb aimer.
Peacetime Profession: Laundry machine sales representative.
Private Address: Suffolk House, 9 Liebenrood Road, Reading.
Date of Birth: 16th July 1924.
R.A.F. Service: Since January 1942.
Conversion Unit: No.1662 (Blyton).
Post in crew: Engineer.
Peacetime Profession: Clerk.
Private Address: 72 Woodlands Road, Gillingham, Kent.
Other members of the crew:
P/O McLAREN (pilot) )
Sgt. COLLINS (mid-upper gunner) ) Killed.
Sgt. CHALK (rear gunner) )
F/O ELLERKER (navigator) )
Sgt. PATON (wireless operator) (No information).
We were members of a Lancaster aircraft which took off from KIRMINGTON about 2200 hrs. on 12 Jul 44 to bomb RAVIGNY. We circled our target for about five minutes and then received a message ordering us to return to base with our load. About six minutes later we were attacked by a fighter. The aircraft was set on fire and we received the order to bale out.
We came down within a short distance of each other in the area of MONTIER-SUR-SAULX (FRANCE, 1:250,000, Sheet 17 Z 19.)
I was unconscious during my descent, and when I came to I found myself suspended in a tree. I freed myself and went to a nearby farm where I was given some food. I then carried on to another farm where I was taken in and put to bed for three days.
After I touched down I crawled into the woods and a little later I made my way to a farmhouse where I later met F/O BROAD. At this house we also met F/Sgt. RAFTERY, a wireless operator, R.A.A.F., and Sgt. WADE, R.A.F. who were members of the same crew.
F/O BROAD & Sgt. SUMMERS.
Until 24 Jul we were hidden in the woods near MONTIER-SUR-SAULX and during this time we were provided with food by the people who had sheltered us.
From 24 - 27 Jul we stayed at another farmhouse in the same neighbourhood. While we were there F/O BROAD was taken by a forester to a camp in the woods where he met F/O BANVILLE, R.C.A.F., Sgt. HOYLES (wireless operator) and Sgt. NICHOLSON (engineer) all of 166 Sqn. and all members of the same crew. They had been badly burned and were being looked after by a French doctor. F/O BANVILLE told BROAD that his navigator Sgt. JULIER had been killed and was buried at MORLEY (HAUTE MARNE).
On 27 Jul we were taken to a Maquis camp run by British and Canadian officers near LEVIGNY (Y 77) from whence we were told we would be returned to the U.K. by air, When we arrived we were told that this would not take place, and as we had no boots we were forced to wait until a supply of shoes was dropped by aircraft. The leaders of this camp did all they could to help us.
About 6 Aug the camp was moved to VERNONVILLIERS (Y 77) and we remained there until 13 Aug. On that day the camp was raided by the Milice. Together with Sgt. CRAYDEN (S/P.G.(-)2189), Sgt. REID (S/P.G.(-)2190), F/O. DESAUTELS (S/P.G.(-)2184) we were taken P/W. We were sent to TROYES (Sheet 16, Y 27) where SUMMERS and I were badly knocked about. I believe we were taken for members of the Resistance.
Arrangements were made to hand us over to the Germans. This, however, did not take place, as on 22 Aug the Milice evacuated to DIJON. Our party all agreed to hide and get away singly. BROAD hid under some straw in a loft for seven and a half hours and then climbed over a wall into a neighbouring convent. The nuns gave him civilian clothes and sheltered him for the night in a nearby building.
The next day he was taken to a house where he met CRAYDEN and REID. However, almost immediately they were forced to evacuate from this house and were guided by a priest to the house of another helper. They remained here until 26 Aug when U.S. troops arrived in TROYES.
On 22 Aug SUMMERS hid with F/O DESAUTELS and his story is as told in DESAUTEL's report. (S/P.G.(-)2184).
BROAD and SUMMERS were taken to ORLEANS from whence they left for the U.K. on 28 Aug.
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