Fishing forum > in rembrance of our vets

Author Topic: in rembrance of our vets

if you can imagine yourself at 20 years old and this happening. this is a true story about my uncle Bob.

Robert G Rogers, Air Gunner, Pilot Officer, Middleton ST.
George, Durham England.
---Missing--- DNCO (duty not carried out).
My Royal Canadian Air Force Log records the following entry for December
29, 1944.
Let me tell you the story behind this entry.
On December 29, 1944, I was a member of 419 (moose) Squadron which was
based at Middleton ST. George, Durham.
I was the rear gunner of the Lancaster bomber "L" for Love which was
skippered by Pilot Officer Ray Adam. .

That day we were briefed for a bombing mission against oil refineries at
Scholven near Essen. Our time on target was 19:05 thousand and our
bombing height was 19,000 feet. It was with some trepidation we buckled
up for the operation, not forgetting the harrowing experience we had 5
days previously. On that raid we were hit by flak over Dusseldorf and
forced to make an emergency landing at Woodbridge in England.

Everything went according to plan until we approached our target area.
Flak was all around us. Suddenly, I noticed predicted flak on our port
quarter and notified the the skipper ; he immediately commenced evasive
action. Just then I heard the navigator, Paul Wakely , tell the skipper
not to alter course as we were only 20 seconds from the target.
Suddenly there was a terrific explosion as our bomber was hit by flak.
I was blown clear of the turret as a result of the explosion. My face
was on fire and I felt a burning sensation in my left leg as I was hit
by shrapnel. With my right hand I extinguished the flames on my face and
with the next motion pulled the rip cord on my seat parachute.

The war for me really began when my parachute opened. I was horribly
sick from the stench of burnt flesh, the smell of cordite in the air,
and the constant swinging back and forth on the parachute. Suddenly, I
looked down and there was the ground rushing to meet me. I landed
heavily on cobbled stones in a courtyard surrounded by three story
buildings. My right ankle was badly injured in the landing.

Although both my legs were injured, I managed to hobble out to the
street where I was apprehended by a civilian and taken to a police
station. There I was searched and interrogated about the raid and my
squadron. I learned from my captors that I was on the outskirts of
Essen. I was taken to an air raid shelter where my burns and wounds were
treated. The mood at the air raid shelter was extremely ugly. Comments
like, "Bastard baby killer" and 'Swine" were hurled at me. I actually
feared for my life. fortunately, the guards would not let the civilians
close to me. That night I spent in a cold dark cell in the basement of a
police station. How I wished I was back with the squadron at middleton.

The next morning I was transported in the back of an open truck to a
Luftwaffe rest home. I simply could not believe the damage that the
allied air forces had inflicted on the city of Essen. Buildings,
structures, trains and other vehicles were smashed or demolished. It was
a real eye opener for me, since I as a flier had caused part of this
damage. At the rest home a Luftwaffe Medical officer ordered me removed
for further treatment to a French prisoner of war hospital in Dusseldorf.

It was hardly a hospital by our standards. There was no level of
cleanliness apparent, as it was infested with vermin. I saw prisoners of
war with limbs amputated due to wounds or from infections caused by
gangrene. Others were so badly scarred that it was revolting to look at
them. Medical supplies were non-existent to help these unfortunate men;
especially one 22 year old Canadian Pilot whose right arm and left leg
were amputated. My injuries seemed insignificant in comparison.

Toward the end of January, I was moved along with the other Air Force
prisoners from the hospital to the Luftwaffe detention and
interrogation camp at Frankfurt. I was told by an interrogation officer
at the camp that none of my crew had survived the explosion. I was
shocked and devastated to hear this sad news. I thought surely someone
besides myself had survived.

After a week at the interrogation center, I was moved to a make-shift
camp outside the city of Nuremburg where I stayed for approximately two
months. It was during this time that I was to experience the full fury
of the allied bombing. Three separate raids were launched against the
city of Nuremburg. It was a terrifying experience. How the German
people survived these raids I will never know. Myself I was physically
and mentally exhausted after each raid. With the allied armies
advancing from the West and East, we were herded into boxcars for our
next destination, Munich. During the trip we were strafed by allied
fighters. Again I survived this friendly action. We eventually reached
Munich where we remained captives until we were liberated by General
George Paton's 6th armored division on April 29, 1945. two weeks later
I was flown back to England.

I am a survivor of the raid of december 29th 1944.

I can't begin to think how he and others survived that horror. My hat goes off to your uncle and all uncles during the wars. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you we have no Canada or freedom.


wow, that is an incredibly intense story. I have nothing but respect for your uncle's service to his country. Thank you

Thank you for sharing this story about a remarkable man.

ah, but there is more. imagine this coming in the mail. Ed

and then reciving this. Ed

i really got a kick outta doing something for the person who packed the chute. Ed

anyone care to translate, does it say what stalag #. neat if it was stalag 13, perhaps with hogan and the gang. lol Ed

also found this on a govt. search. Ed

Those are very interesting documents etc. Can u imagine getting that telegram or the death announcement. My wife was reading it too and she got shivers just thinking about it. It really brings it home doesn't it. God Bless the Vets

yeah, it sure does bring it home. when i was 21 it was women, rye as i dislike beer and having fun. at the moment a friend of 33 years is in afghanistan. although he investigates friendly fire accidents so is not on the front lines. he also knew my Uncle. Ed

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