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Remembering the men of The Great Escape

Today we remember the 50 men who were murdered by the Gestapo after escaping from Stalag Luft III in The Great Escape.

The names of the men are are listed below:

Flight Lieutenant Henry J Birkland, Canadian, born 16 August 1917, 72 Squadron (shot down 7 November 1941, Spitfire Vb, W3367), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 31 March 1944; murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

Flight Lieutenant E Gordon Brettell DFC, British, born 19 March 1915, 133 (Eagle) Squadron (shot down 26 September 1942, Spitfire IX BS313), recaptured Scheidemuhl, murdered by Bruchardt 29 March 1944, cremated at Danzig.

Flight Lieutenant Lester G Bull DFC, British, born 7 November 1916, 109 Squadron (shot down 5/6 November 1941, Wellington IC, T2565), recaptured near Reichenberg, murdered 29 March 1944 by unknown Gestapo, cremated at Brux.

Squadron Leader Roger J Bushell, South African born but in the regular RAF, born 30 August 1910, 92 Squadron (shot down 23 May 1940, Spitfire I, N3194), recaptured at Saarbrucken, murdered 29 March 1944 by Schulz, cremated at Saarbrucken.

Flight Lieutenant Michael J Casey, British, born 19 February 1918, 57 Squadron (shot down 16 October 1939, Blenheim I, L1141), recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31 March 1944 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz.

Squadron Leader James Catanach DFC, Australian, born 28 November 1921, 455 (RAAF) Squadron (crash landed in Norway, 6 September 1942, Hampden I AT109), recaptured at Flensburg, murdered 29 March 1944 by Post, cremated at Kiel.

Flight Lieutenant Arnold G Christensen, New Zealander, born 8 April 1921, 26 Squadron (shot down in Mustang AL977 and POW 20 August 1942), recaptured at Flensburg, murdered 29 March 1944 by Post, cremated at Kiel.

Flying Officer Dennis H Cochran, British, born 13 August 1921, 10 OTU (POW 9 November 1942), recaptured at Lorrach, murdered 31 March 1944 by Priess and Herberg, cremated at Natzweiler.

Squadron Leader Ian K P Cross DFC, British, born 4 April 1918, 103 Squadron (shot down 12 February 1942, Wellington IC, Z8714 PM:N), recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31 March 1944 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz.

Lieutenant Halldor Espelid, Norwegian, born 6 October 1920, 331 Squadron (shot down by flak 27 August 1942), Spitfire Vb BL588 FN:A east of Dunkirk, recaptured at Flensburg, murdered 29 March 1944 by Post, cremated at Kiel.

Flight Lieutenant Brian H Evans, British, born 14 February 1920, 49 Squadron (shot down 6 December 1940), Hampden I, P4404 EA:R, recaptured at Halbau; last seen alive 31 March 1944, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Liegnitz.

Second Lieutenant Nils Fuglesang, Norwegian, 332 Squadron (shot down and belly landed in Holland Spitfire IX BS540 AH:E, 2 May 1943), recaptured at Flensburg, murdered 29 March 1944 by Post, cremated at Kiel.

Lieutenant Johannes S Gouws, South African, born 13 August 1919, 40 Squadron SAAF (shot down in Tomahawk AN377 and POW 9 April 1942), recaptured at Lindau, murdered 29 March 1944 by Schneider, cremated at Munich.

Flight Lieutenant William J Grisman, British, born 30 August 1914, 109 Squadron (believed shot down 5/6 November 1941, Wellington IC, T2565), recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 6 April 1944, murdered by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

Flight Lieutenant Alastair D M Gunn, British, born 27 September 1919, 1 PRU (shot down in Spitfire PR.IV AA810 and POW 5 March 1942), recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 6 April 1944, murdered by unknown Gestapo, cremated at Breslau.

Flight Lieutenant Albert H Hake, Australian, born 30 June 1916, 72 Squadron, (shot down 4 April 1942, Spitfire Vb AB258), recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31 March 1944 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz.

Flight Lieutenant Charles P Hall, British, born 25 July 1918, 1 PRU (shot down in Spitfire AA804 and POW 28 December 1941), recaptured near Sagan, murdered 30 March 1944 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Liegnitz.

Flight Lieutenant Anthony R H Hayter, British, born 20 May 1920, 148 Squadron (shot down in Wellington BB483 and POW 24 April 1942), recaptured near Mulhouse, murdered 6 April 1944 by Schimmel, cremated at Natzweiler.

Flight Lieutenant Edgar S Humphreys, British, born 5 December 1914, 107 Squadron (shot down 19 December 1940, Blenheim IV, T1860), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 31 March 1944, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Liegnitz.

Flight Lieutenant Gordon A Kidder, Canadian, born 9 December 1914, 156 Squadron (shot down 13/14 October 1942, Wellington III, BJ775), recaptured near Zlin, murdered 29 March 1944 by Zacharias and Knippelberg, with drivers Kiowsky and Schwartzer, cremated at Mahrisch Ostrau.

Flight Lieutenant Reginald V Kierath, Australian, born 20 February 1915, 450 Squadron (shot down Kittyhawk III FR477 and POW 23 April 1943), recaptured near Reichenberg, murdered 29 March 1944 by unknown Gestapo, cremated at Brux.

Major Antoni Kiewnarski, Polish, born 26 January 1899, 305 Squadron (shot down 28 August 1942, Wellington X, Z1245), recaptured at Hirschberg, murdered there 31 March 1944 by Lux, place of cremation unknown.

Squadron Leader Thomas G Kirby-Green, British, born 28 February 1918, 40 Squadron (shot down 16/17 October 1941, Wellington IC, Z8862 BL:B), recaptured near Zlin, murdered 29 March 1944 by Zacharias and Knippelberg, with drivers Kiowsky and Schwartzer, cremated at Mahrisch Ostrau.  

Flying Officer Wlodzimierz Kolanowski, Polish, born 11 August 1913, 301 Squadron (shot down 8 November 1942, Wellington IV, Z1277 GR:Z), recaptured near Sagan, shot at Liegnitz 31 March 1944 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Liegnitz.

Flying Officer Stanislaw Z Krol, Polish, born 22 March 1916, 74 Squadron (shot down 2 July 1941, Spitfire Vb, W3263), recaptured at Oels, shot at Breslau 14 April 1944 probably by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

Flight Lieutenant Patrick W Langford, Canadian, born 4 November 1919, 16 OTU, (shot down 28/29 July 1942, Wellington IC, R1450), recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 31 March 1944, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

Flight Lieutenant Thomas B Leigh, Australian in RAF, born 11 February 1919, 76 Squadron (shot down 5/6 August 1941, Halifax I, L9516), recaptured in Sagan area, last seen alive 12 April 1944, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Breslau.

Flight Lieutenant James L R Long, British, born 21 February 1915, 9 Squadron (shot down 27 March 1941, Wellington IA, R1335 WS:K), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 12 April 1944, murdered by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

Second Lieutenant Clement A N McGarr, South African, born 24 November 1917, 2 Squadron SAAF (shot down Tomahawk AK513 and POW 6 October 1941), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 6 April 1944, murdered by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

Flight Lieutenant George E McGill, Canadian, born 14 April 1918, 103 Squadron (baled out of a damaged Wellington, R1192, 10/11 January 1942), recaptured in Sagan area, last seen alive 31 March 1944, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

Flight Lieutenant Romas Marcinkus, Lithuanian, born 22 July 10, 1 Squadron (shot down 12 February 42, Hurricane IIc BD949 JX:J), recaptured at Scheidemuhl, murdered 29 March 1944 by Bruchardt, cremated at Danzig.

Flight Lieutenant Harold J Milford, British, born 16 August 14, 226 Squadron (believed shot down Boston AL743 and POW 22 September 1942), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 6 April 1944, murdered by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

Flying Officer Jerzy Tomasc Mondschein, Polish, born 18 March 09, 304 Squadron (shot down 8 November 1941, Wellington IC, R1215), recaptured in Reichenberg area, murdered Brux 29 March 1944 by unknown Gestapo, cremated at Brux.

Flying Officer Kazimierz Pawluk, Polish, born 1 July 06, 305 Squadron (shot down 29 March 1942, Wellington II, W5567 SM:M), recaptured at Hirschberg, shot there on 31 March 1944 by Lux, place of cremation unknown.

Flight Lieutenant Henri A Picard Croix de Guerre, Belgian, born 17 April 1916, 350 Squadron (shot down Spitfire BM297 and POW 2 September 1942), recaptured at Scheidemuhl, murdered 29 March 1944 by Bruchardt, cremated at Danzig.

Flying Officer John P P Pohe, New Zealander, born 10 December 1921, 51 Squadron (shot down 22/23 September 1943, Halifax II, JN901), recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31 March 1944 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz.  Also known by his Maori name of Porokoru Patapu.

Sous-Lieutenant Bernard W M Scheidhauer, French, born 28 August 1921, 131 Squadron (ran low on fuel and landed by mistake on Jersey, 18 Nov 1942, Spitfire Vb EN830 NX:X), recaptured at Saarbrucken, murdered 29 March 1944 by Spann, cremated at Saarbrucken.

Pilot Officer Sotiris Skanzikas, Greek, born 6 August 1921, 336 Squadron (shot down Hurricane HW250 and POW 23 July 1943), recaptured at Hirschberg, murdered 30 March 1944 by Lux, place of cremation unknown.

Lieutenant Rupert J Stevens, South African, born 21 February 1919, 12 Squadron SAAF (shot down in Martin Maryland AH287 and POW 14 November 1941), recaptured at Rosenheim, murdered 29 March 1944 by Schneider, cremated at Munich.

Flying Officer Robert C Stewart, British, born 7 July 1911, 77 Squadron (shot down 26/27 April 1943, Halifax II, DT796) recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 31 March 1944, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Liegnitz.

Flight Lieutenant John G Stower, British, born 15 September 1916, 142 Squadron (shot down 16/17 November 1942, Wellington III, BK278, QT:C), recaptured near Reichenberg, murdered 31 March 1944 by unknown Gestapo, place of cremation unknown.

Flight Lieutenant Denys O Street, British, born 1 April 1922, 207 Squadron (shot down 29/30 March 1943, Lancaster I, EM:O), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 6 April 1944, murdered by Lux; cremated at Breslau. Street is the only victim whose ashes are not at Poznan; his rest at the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.

Flight Lieutenant Cyril D Swain, British, born 15 December 1911, 105 Squadron (shot down 28 November 1940, Blenheim IV, T1893), recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 31 March 1944, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Liegnitz.

Flying Officer Pawel W Tobolski, Polish, born 21 March 1906, 301 Squadron (shot down 25/26 June 1942, Wellington IV Z1479, GR:A), recaptured at Stettin, shot at Breslau 2 April 1944 probably by Lux, cremated at Breslau.

Flight Lieutenant Arnost Valenta, Czech, born 25 October 1912, 311 Squadron (shot down 6 February 1941, Wellington IC, L7842 KX:T), recaptured near Gorlitz, last seen alive 31 March 1944, murdered by Lux and Scharpwinkel; cremated at Liegnitz.

Flight Lieutenant Gilbert W Walenn, British, born 24 February 1916, 25 OUT (shot down Wellington N2805 and POW 11 September 1941), recaptured at Scheidemuhl, murdered 29 March 1944 by Bruchardt, cremated at Danzig.

Flight Lieutenant James C Wernham, Canadian, born 15 January 1917, 405 Squadron (shot down 8/9 June 1942, Halifax II, W7708 LQ:H), recaptured at Hirschberg, murdered 31 March 1944 by Lux, place of cremation unknown.

Flight Lieutenant George W Wiley, Canadian, born 24 January 1922, 112 Squadron (shot down Kittyhawk III 245788 and POW 12 March 1943), recaptured near Gorlitz, murdered 31 March 1944 by Lux and Scharpwinkel, cremated at Gorlitz.

Squadron Leader John E A Williams DFC, Australian in RAF, born 6 May 1919, 450 Squadron (shot down Kittyhawk III FR270 and POW 31 October 1942), recaptured near Reichenberg, murdered 29 March 1944 by Lux, cremated at Brux.

Flight Lieutenant John F Williams, British, born 7 July 1917, 107 Squadron (shot down 27 April 1942, Boston III Z2194), recaptured near Sagan, last seen alive 6 April 1944, murdered by unknown Gestapo, cremated at Breslau.

(The names have been taken from 'Great War to Great Escape' by Laurence Green and based upon research carried out by Rob Davis.)

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