Of one of his ops, Aex says.....”over the target, another aircraft about 75 directly above us dropped their bombs precisely at the same time we did. All bombs passed between the wings and tail of our aircraft”. On another occasion, Alex says “we landed at our home base, Lissett, and our tail-wheel struck a bomb which had been dropped from and aircraft which landed immediately before we did”.
Alex’s first flight in a Halifax ended ignominously when they crash landed after aborting a normal landing while on circuits and bumps.
Tragedy struck on the crew’s 25th OP- on Goch, Germany - on February 7, 1945. Alex describes the event “We had been called down to 4,000 feet and were having difficulty identifying the target when the raid was called off. We were turning for home when there was a violent explosion. I turned to help the skipper who was struggling to maintain control. The nose section forward of the pilot’s cockpit was missing completely. The skipper ordered us to bail out ..... After struggling with the ripcord, my parachute deployed and I was descending when there was another explosion. I assumed this to be the aircraft crashing....Almost immediately I hit the water and realized that I was in either a river or a canal”. Alex continues: “ After releasing my parachute and quickly disposing of it under water, I waded to the bank and vacated the area as quickly as possible. When it began to get light, I found shelter in a wooded area and got out my map and compass.......I
travelled for three or four days and was seemingly making little progress....I came upon three or four German soldiers and was immediately taken prisoner and transported to the local burgomaster’s house. After spending the night there, the Luftwaffe Feldwafel escorted me to the neares t station. After being interrogated, I was transported to Wesel where I was interned in hospital because of a badly sprained ankle and frostbite.
Alec describes teaming-up with Typhoon pilot and eight other mixed military prisoners as they were transported by train to Munster, then by flak train towards Magdeburg. They transferred to another train heading for Frankfurt on Main when they were attacked by a fighter bomber. After further interrogation over a week and a period of solitary confinement, the prisoners settled into POW life in Nurenberg. With the Americans advancing on the area, they were again moved to Moosburg around April 14. On April 29, they were released from campby the American Third Army. Alex was flown home to England via Brussels. When he reached home, he learned that on the previous day, his parents received a telegram reporting that he must now be presumed to have been killed.