Flight Lieutenant Les Brodrick RAFVR – “Great Escaper”, Dies Age 92

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Flight Lieutenant Les Brodrick RAFVR

Flight Lieutenant Brodrick, was the 52nd man to escape from the tunnel on March 24th 1944; he was one of 76 men to escape that night, however nearly all were rounded up and 50 were executed by firing squad on Hitlers orders.

Les was a Flight Lieutenant in the RAFVR and signed up when he was just 22, his Lancaster bomber was shot down over France while he was serving with 106 Squadron in 1942, off the seven men on board just three survived to be taken to Stalag Luft III, near Sagan Balaria in Poland, which was an air force PoW camp holding 10,000 prisoners.  He was enlisted into the escape plan masterminded by RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, which was supposed to see 250 men escape simultaneously to spread chaos around German-controlled territory.

This man and the 75 others, embodied the spirit of the British officer, to whom it was a sworn duty to attempt to escape and to cause havoc for the enemy whilst in captivity.

These are the 50 men killed in cold blood; Murdered (executed denies the fact these men were unarmed uniformed combatants and belies the total disregard for the Geneva convention), in batches by the Gestapo, and others.

Name

 

Rank

Number

Service

Died

Age

Grave No.

Birkland

Henry

Flight Lieutenant

J/5233

RCAF

31/03/44

25

7.C.3

Brettell

Edward Gordon

Flight Lieutenant

61053

RAF(VR)

29/03/44

29

Coll. 9.A

Bull

Leslie George

Flight Lieutenant

43932

RAF

29/03/44

?

7.C.1

Bushell

Roger Joyce

Squadron Leader

90120

RAF

29/03/44

33

Coll. 9.A

Casey

Michael James

Flight Lieutenant

39024

RAF

31/03/44

?

7.D.3

Catanach

James

Squadron Leader

400364

RAAF

29/03/44

22

Coll. 9.A

Christensen

Arnold George

Flight Lieutenant

413380

RNZAF

29/03/44

21

Coll. 9.A

Cochran

Dennis Herbert

Flying Officer

122441

RAF(VR)

31/03/44

23

Coll. 9.A

Cross

Ian Kingston Pembroke

Squadron Leader

39305

RAF

31/03/44

25

7.C.2

Espelid

Halldor

Lieutenant

378

Norwegian

29/03/44

23

?

Evans

Brian Herbert

Flight Lieutenant

42745

RAF

31/03/44

24

7.C.6

Fugelsang

Nils

Lieutenant

742

Norwegian

29/03/44

?

?

Gouws

J.S.

Lieutenant

103275

SAAF

29/03/44

24

Coll. 9.A

Grisman

William Jack

Flight Lieutenant

45148

RAF

06/04/44

29

8.C.4

Gunn

Alastair Donald Mackintosh

Flight Lieutenant

60340

RAF(VR)

06/04/44

24

8.D.7

Hake

Albert Horace

Warrant Officer

403218

RAAF

31/03/44

27

7.D.4

Hall

Charles Piers

Flight Lieutenant

50896

RAF(VR)

30/03/44

?

Coll. 9.A

Hayter

Anthony Ross Henzell

Flight Lieutenant

42124

RAF

06/04/44

23

Coll. 9.A

Humphreys

Edgar Spottiswoode

Flight Lieutenant

44177

RAF(VR)

31/03/44

29

8.C.5

Kidder

Gordon Arthur

Flight Lieutenant

J/10177

RCAF

29/03/44

29

8.D.5

Kierath

Reginald Victor

Flight Lieutenant

402364

RAAF

29/03/44

29

8.D.3

Kiewnarski

Antoni

Major

P0109

Polish

31/03/44

45

?

Kirby-Green

Thomas Gresham

Squadron Leader

39103

RAF

29/03/44

?

7.D.7

Kolanowski

Wlodzimierz

Flying Officer

P0243

Polish

31/03/44

30

?

Krol

Stanislaw Z.

Flying Officer

P0237

Polish

14/04/44

27

?

Langford

Patrick Wilson

Flight Lieutenant

C/1631

RCAF

31/03/44

24

7.C.7

Leigh

Thomas Barker

Flight Lieutenant

46462

RAF

31/03/44

25

7.C.4

Long

James Leslie Robert

Flight Lieutenant

89375

RAF(VR)

13/04/44

?

8.D.6

McGarr

Clement Aldwyn Neville

Lieutenant

95691

SAAF

06/04/44

?

7.D.6

McGill

George Edward

Flight Lieutenant

J/5312

RCAF

31/03/44

?

8.C.7

Marcinkus

Romas

Flight Lieutenant

89580

RAF(VR)

29/03/44

?

Coll. 9.A

Milford

Harold John

Flight Lieutenant

103586

RAF(VR)

06/04/44

?

Coll. 9.A

Mondschein

Jerzy Tomasc

Flying Officer

P0913

Polish

29/03/44

35

?

Pawluk

Kazimierz

Flying Officer

P0740

Polish

31/03/44

27

?

Picard

Henri Albert

Flight Lieutenant

87693

RAF(VR)

29/03/44

?

Coll. 9.A

Pohe

Porokoru Patapu

Flying Officer

402894

RNZAF

31/03/44

29

Coll. 9.A

Scheidhauer

Bernard W.M.

Sous-Lt

30649

French

29/03/44

22

?

Skanzikas

Sortis

Pilot Officer

213

Greek

30/03/44

22

?

Stevens

R.J.

Lieutenant

47431

SAAF

29/03/44

24

Coll. 9.A

Stewart

Robert Campbell

Flying Officer

130452

RAF(VR)

31/03/44

33

8.C.6

Stower

John Gifford

Flight Lieutenant

107520

RAF(VR)

31/03/44

?

Coll. 9.A

Street

Denys Oliver

Flight Lieutenant

123026

RAF(VR)

06/04/44

21

3.A.24

Swain

Cyril Douglas

Flight Lieutenant

37658

RAF

31/03/44

?

8.C.1

Tobolski

Pawel Whilem

Flying Officer

P0375

Polish

02/04/44

38

?

Valenta

Arnost

Flight Lieutenant

82532

RAF(VR)

31/03/44

?

Coll. 9.A

Walenn

Gilbert William

Flight Lieutenant

73022

RAF(VR)

29/03/44

28

Coll. 9.A

Wernham

James Chrystall

Flight Lieutenant

J/6144

RCAF

30/03/44

27

8.C.2

Wiley

George William

Flight Lieutenant

J/7234

RCAF

31/03/44

?

7.D.2

Williams

John Edwin Ashley

Squadron Leader

40652

RAF

29/03/44

24

8.D.1

Williams

John Francis

Flight Lieutenant

106173

RAF(VR)

06/04/44

26

8.C.3

This information obtained from: http://www.stephen-stratford.co.uk/the_50.htm an interesting little site and well worth a read.

The following sites were used for information and as general reference:

http://www.hatfield-herts.co.uk/aviation/gtespguide.html

http://www.raf.mod.uk/project104/news/index.cfm?storyid=D4D0C5BF-1143-EC82-2E34F97B029FD2DA

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2308039/Survivor-Great-Escape-spared-firing-squad-Hitler-dies-aged-92.html

http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/amanzimtoti/amanzimtoti-news-general?oid=4971430&sn=Detail&pid=4197417&Leslie%E2%80%99s-Great-Escape-tunnels-unearthed

 

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