Phil Elger/Bill Evans - Liberated by Americans

Running time
2 min 29 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We had several droppages but they were mainly just clothes, you know, because most of us were in our uniforms still and they dropped trousers and stuff like this but relief never came until the Americans came up from the south of France, in the second front, and they rescued us on 14 August I think it was, 1944, and we were taken back to the Channel ports to go back to England on trucks and things during which time there were two trucks and we were going back.

Anyway, they were driven by black men, Negroes, sorry, and they drive very fast and they went around a bend, the first truck, and all these men who were similar to me, you know, evaders, were thrown out, every one of them.

They finished up in a paddock and one bloke had his bottle of champagne and it didn't break, yeah. Anyway, no one was injured, you know, it was absolutely amazing because there would have been twenty of them who all went out of this big, big truck. Anyway, we went back. Oh no, we stayed in a POW camp and I've never seen so many men in my life. There were thousands. I think there was about sixty thousand or something captured on the peninsula there.

They were all in big paddocks and all the men were here and the officers all up in a corner together which I thought was very strange.

Anyway, from there we went back to Bayeux and they sent us, or they had a Dakota and we were taken back to England and interrogated there. I couldn't give them much information, you know, and I felt dreadful. Here I was, I'd been to France and the war was going on over there and I had no helpful information about troop movements or anything. I hadn't even seen a troop, you know.

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