- Oflag11b during the Second World War -
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Those known to have been held in or employed at
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Caven J. A.. Lt.
- Parsons William Walter. Sub Lt. This page is new, as yet no names have been submitted.
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Sub Lt. William Walter Parsons Observer 827 Albacore SquadronWill Parsons was my grandfather, he used to tell me tales of what he did in WWII - It was only when I saw his photo in a book 'From Coastal Command to Captivity' in Oflag XXIB with the author Jim Hunter, that I thought to research a bit more and come across this website. In the book he is in picture 11, 2nd right but he is not in picture 12, even though it has his name listed). So I thought I'd share some of his memories with you;
Will Parsons was shot down in the Kirkenes raid, during torpedo attack on ships anchored in Boksfjord on the 30th July 1941, they got caught up in flak from the ships, flak from the land and shot at by German fighters and eventually hit so badly that they had to ditch in the Fjords. Will told the pilot to make sure he hit the sea tail first, as he knew that if he hit nose first they'd flip over, it worked and they all got out safely.
They were picked up by a Norwegian fishing boat and were nearly shot as spies when the Germans boarded, but the Norwegian captain pointed to their uniforms hanging up to dry and saved their life! My grandfather corresponded with this chap for years after the war.
I'm aware that he ended up in various camps, including Oflag XIB and Stalag Luft III East, he told me that he was one of the PT fellows who got people to jump over the wooden horse, he dug tunnels and also made compasses with the magnet in the base of his razor, which he had won in a swimming competition
One story he told me was how Douglas Bader used to throw snow balls at the German's in the middle of the parade ground, but they couldn't touch him as he was too much of a prized asset, however the German's took reprisals on the other POW's, Bader wasn't a popular figure...
Finally he mentioned about the long forced march from Sagan, through that harsh winter, where he said he'd pushed a wheel barrow for hundreds of miles. He had a ring that he always wore which became bent due to the wheel barrow and kept it ever since, until it was stolen by burglars a few years back.
Will Parsons became a Teacher after the war and died in 2002 aged 83 I would be interested in hearing from anyone who knew Will Parsons from his Squadron or POW camps. I am trying to find out which other camps he was held in.Paul Hewitt
Lt. J. A. Caven 115th Field Regiment, 240 Bty. Royal ArtilleryI am researching a rare book, which is inscribed with the name Lt. JA Caven and the number 507, of Leicester, England. It bears the stamp of Oflag V11B with the word 'Gapruft' and appears to have been sent to him as a gift. Does anyone have any information as to the service details of this officer?Simon Warner
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