John Pope - Escape into American lines

Running time
3 min 9 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Anyway they took us from this underground factory, it was actually built into the hill, virtually a whole township in the mountain. They took us to another POW out camp and we were out in the yard and actually that camp had an air raid shelter attached to it and when the American aircraft came over, the siren went and the German guards were in front of us, the three of us , actually there were no guards behind us, they'd gone into the shelter and up…as we were going in and so the three of us departed and went into the garden of a very well kept home of lawns and what have you so we could hear the Americans crossing the Rhine and the sound of the, so we knew they were approaching so we just stayed there for the morning and the afternoon and they, the actual Yanks did come through.

One of the hardest things was getting down to greet them because anything that moved, they were shooting but anyway I had an Australian slouch hat, whether it did any good or not, waving it and creeping down to meet them and the American in charge he accepted us as being genuine ex-Australian prisoners of war and he said, "Oh, I suppose you'll want to get out of here" and we said, "Well, you know, if we can help?"

We weren't in particular good nick I might add.

He said, "No" and there was a German major sitting in his car and he'd just been taken prisoner of war and the Americans just kicked him out and said, "Here's your transport down to Paris."

Was this page helpful?