Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

LITTLE STAUGHTON - No 109 Squadron -
Ray Hutchings Logan and C.K. "Fritz" Chrysler

World War 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright ©
CRASH Foundation (Crash Research in Aviation Society Holland) 2006
Text: Corin Gelderblom, Richard Kist and Lydia Lucke.

This section details of the mission, and what happened to, Ray Hutchings Logan and C.K. "Fritz" Chrysler.

The story was told by Mr. Chrysler himself in May 2005 to the people of the CRASH Foundation (Crash Research in Aviation Society Holland). They also have an Air War and Resistance Museum in Lisserbroek, The Netherlands ( Mr. Chrysler was in Holland because the propeller of his Mosquito had been found. It was his first time back in Holland since 1943. His story was recorded and a transcription appeared in their magazine "Contrails". Sadly Mr. Chrysler passed away on 10th September 2006, but he did check the story.

Visit by “Fritz” Chrysler to CRASH museum

The most beautiful aspect of historic research of airplane crashes, like the Crash Research in Aviation Society Holland '40-'45 (CRASH '40-'45) does, will for some people be the excavation itself, but more often this work has an extra dimension because of the story of eye witnesses, the story behind the crash.

Very seldom one gets in touch with the ones most directly involved: the pilots themselves. It is very emotional and an honour to connect these pilots after decades with eye witnesses, parts of his own plane or the grave of one of his brothers in arms.

This honour was granted to CRASH during the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Holland in the beginning of May 2005. A Canadian veteran returned to Holland after 62 years to make an emotional trip by locations he had been so many years ago and people who played an important role after he crashed in Holland. It became a week that neither the veteran an his family or the employees of CRASH will ever forget.

Pathfinder mission

After more than a year and a half intensive research for a Mosquito B.Mk.IV that had crashed on the 28th of May 1943 above Bleskensgraaf a propellor was found and excavated. From research it turned out that the plane, that was equipped with the Oboe navigation system, was on its way back to England from a so-called Pathfinder Mission to Essen in Germany. The Mosquito, with a Canadian crew, was shot down by a German Nightfigther in the early morning around 2.00 am. In this crash the navigator, Pilot Officer Ray Hutchings Logan, got killed. The pilot, Flight Sergeant C.K. "Fritz" Chrysler, got wounded and was taken prisoner of war. The complete story of these two men will be published in two parts in our next two Contrails Magazines.

Research showed that C.K. Chrysler has survived the war and returned to Canada. To track him down several organisations were contacted, without result. Finally the Canadian Veterans Legion advised us to place an advertisement in the Legion Magazine of july/august 2004. Via Henk Welting, honorary member of the Royal Canadian Legion, contact was made with Fritz Chrysler, through another contact in Canada, Alan Soderstrom.

After that the first contact was with his daughter, who had send a first e-mail to Corin Gelderblom on the 23rd of August 2004. After a lot of contact Fritz agreed to come to Holland. It would be the first time in 62 years that he was coming back.

He stated he had never had the need to come back here, unless it would be for a special occasion. The fact that parts of his airplane were excavated, was a good enough reason for him. On April 30, 2005 he landed at Schiphol Airport.

Return to Holland

That week Fritz and his daughters Karen en Judy visited, with employees of CRASH, several locations in Holland that were important to Fritz. On Monday May 2 they visited the crash-location in Bleskensgraaf.

First there was a meeting with Arjan Wemmers, who instigated the search for (parts of) the airplane. His neighbour, Mrs. Bakker was there too. She had seen the plane crash and later saw Fritz Chrysler being taken prisoner by the Germans.

It was a special reunion for her. She had written down the story in her diary. The people present translated that part of this diary. Then the highlight of the day, a visit to the propeller of Chrysler's plane that is temporarily placed in the barn of the farmer in whose land the propeller was found. It was a very special experience for Fritz Chrysler to be able to touch this part of his airplane after 62 years. He couldn't keep his eyes off of it. The crash-location and the site of the propeller and the spot where he landed with his parachuted were visited also. In 1943 the first contact he had was with Mr. Tukker, who had taken him to his farm. There his wounds were taken care of by a doctor. Chrysler immediately recognized the dark wooden shed that is still standing opposite the farm. A bit further in the street is the house of the local policeman, where he had spend the night in the kitchen awaiting transportation by the Germans.

Navigator Ray Logan

The next stop was the cemetery in Rotterdam-Crooswijk, where Ray Logan, his navigator, was buried. This visit was very emotional. His daughters placed a Canadian flag on the grave. Ray Logan was commemorated in silence.

Chrysler had also been in detention in the police headquarters at the Haagseveer in Rotterdam. This would be the next place to go. The surroundings have changed a lot, but Fritz did recognize the building.

On May 5 Fritz and his daughters were picked up at their guest family in Nijverdal again. This time to go to the CRASH Air War and Resistance Museum '40-'45 for a visit and to witness the War Bird Memorial Flight above the museum.

Chrysler opened the new exposition of a show case with parts of the Wellington that crashed in the night of 3 to 4 May at Wilnis, Holland. This plane too had a Canadian crew. For the Chryslers it was a memorable day. Fritz enjoyed everything that happened and the attention he got. He told a lot of what he experienced during the war and after.

On a rainy Saturday May 7 the employees of CRASH that had accompanied them this week, took off to Nijverdal once again to attend the Parade of Keep Them Rolling. For Fritz they had organised a nice dry spot at the Town Hall. The soldiers present loved him and gave him a military raincoat. During the parade he was sitting in front where a reporter of the local radio station frequently interviewed him.

Excavation Stirling bomber

On the last day in Holland a visit to the excavation of a Short Stirling bomber at Bentelo by the Salvage Department of the Dutch Royal Air Force was on the program. Captain Spierings has told and showed us a lot about this excavation on the crash site. Chrysler was very impressed by the work of the Air Force.

He found it very special that so much is still done to find crew members who are still mentioned as 'Missing in Action' and give them a proper burial after all these years. On this day we said goodbye to Fritz and his daughters Karen and Judy. It was an honour to meet them and to experience this emotional trip together with them. We promised to visit them in Canada.

The story of Mosquito pilot Chrysler – part 1

On January 11, 2004 the Historical Research Team of the CRASH Foundation '40-'45 (CRASH) started the research of the crash of the Mosquito B.IV in the surroundings of Bleskensgraaf in May 1943.

This research was started because of a request from a contributor of CRASH, mr. Arjan Wemmers from Bleskensgraaf. It concerned a registered crash of a Mosquito B.IV of which, according to eye-witnesses, there must be engines in the ground.

After Arjan Wemmers indicated where the crash site was, member of the Historical Research Team of CRASH started measuring, but with no result. Later that year Arjan Wemmers reported that he had located the propeller. It turned out this propeller was found only a few inches under surface level, even after 62 years!

From the landowner we learned that the propeller had been sticking out for years. Because the local youth couldn't keep their hands of it, the previous landowner sawed of a piece of the propeller that was sticking out, after which the ground was evened.

The crashed plane was a Mosquito B.IV with code DZ432/HS-N of the 109th Squadron van de 8the Group (Pathfinder Force, in short PFF) of Bomber Command.

The crew was from the Royal Canadian Air Force (R.C.A.F) and consisted of pilot Flight Sergeant Cameron Kent “Tubby” Chrysler and navigator Pilot Officer Ray Hutchings Logan.

On May 27, 1943 between 22.30 and 0.00 hour the crew of the DZ432 took off from air base Wyton in England for a so called Pathfinder mission to bomb Essen. The plane was taking the lead in front of a main force of a huge attack on Essen with a total number of 518 different planes. The task of the Mosquito was to mark the target. The mission was executed by 274 Lancasters, 151 Halifaxes, 81 Wellingtons and 12 Mosquito's. 23 planes were lost, of which the Mosquito was one.

The percentage of losses was 4,4 %. Weather conditions, heavy clouds, made marking the target necessary.

The bomb pattern was scattered due to "undershooting" of the target by many of the planes.

Because of this Essen was only slightly damaged in the centre and in the north of the city.

It would be the 13th and last flight of Chrysler and Logan. When all 4 target indicators were dropped, Chrysler set course to their home base in Wyton. They would not reach it. Through the air above the Waddenzee they flew into Germany on 30.000 feet on a North-South course. After dropping their four flares, target indicators for the bombers behind them, they were hit by FLAK above the target area, that caused a defect in one of the engines. Pilot C.K. Chrysler tried to put the propeller in feather position while he was descending to a height of 18.000 feet to fly back to England on one engine. While descending the plane was unexpectedly shot from the below by a nightfighter, a Me 110 Zerstörer that intercepted the plane. The Mosquito crashed on May 28, 1943 at 01.54 o'clock at about 10 kilometers north east of the town of Dordrecht near Bleskensgraaf and Hofwegen (Southern Holland). This nightfighter was coming from the air base Deelen and was fllown by Hauptmann Heinz Strüning (2de Gruppe Nachtjagdgeschwader 1).

In consequence of this attack the fuel tank caught fire, causing the larger part of the plane to burn in a short while. The plane spinned down. C.K. Chrysler ordered R.H. Logan to leave the plane.

Then Chrysler saw that Logan bent forward to buckle up his parachute. At that moment the plane exploded. Chrysler was blown out of the plane with his seat. He got hurt in the face, because of the fact that his oxygen mask was torn from his face. He also got hit by pieces of the wreckage of his plane. He also lost one of his flying boots that was later found and was kept for years after the war. It is a shame the boot was untraceable when Chrysler visited Holland in May 2005. After Chrysler released himself from his seat and was coming down on his parachute in the pitch dark night, he felt his eyes were filled with blood. After he wiped the blood from his face with one hand, he tested his eye sight by covering one eye at a time with his hand. His reference point was the difference in light between the ground and the horizon. It turned out both his eyes were fine. Then he tried to find out the distance to the ground so he could break his fall when landing. Because of the darkness he wasn't able to do so, as a result of which the landing came as a surprise. He sprained his ankle.

Then he crawled through the meadows, over fences and through ditches until he arrived at a barn where a girl of about 12 years old was milking a cow. When the girl saw the pilot she ran away, but she came back with an unknown man. Later on it turned out to be the son of the farmer, mr. Tukker. However, he didn't speak English. Chrysler showed him the European money that he had received in his survival kit. The man pointed at the Dutch bill. Then Chrysler knew for sure he was in Holland.

Mr. Tukker motioned Chrysler to come with him to his brother who did speak English. He was brought to the kitchen of the farmhouse. This farmer spoke some English, so a conversation was possible. He explained Chrysler the crash of his plane did not go unnoticed in the village and that because of it the chance of betrayal was present.

A doctor was called to treat his head injury. When the Tukker family offered him a bicycle to get away, Chrysler answered that he was not in a position to escape, because of the injuries to his legs. Above all he did not want these people to get into trouble by concealing an allied pilot.

They all decided to send for the local village policeman, A. de Groot. He came and took Chrysler to his house. There he had a cup of coffee in the kitchen. The policeman notified the German occupying force of the presence of an allied pilot.

The next morning the body of navigator Logan was found close to the plane. Considering the nature of his injuries it was assumed that Logan was thrown from the plane without his parachute, due to the explosion. His body was placed in a coffin and put on a carriage drawn by horses. Chrysler was to take place on this coffin. One of the German soldiers had consideration with Chrysler's feelings and offered to sit on the coffin. Logan was buried on the cemetry 'Algemene Begraafplaats' at Rotterdam-Crooswijk (Ref. Plot LL. Rij 1, graf 40).

The pilot of the Messerschmitt, Heinz Strüning, passed away on december 24, 1944. At that time he has shot down 58 enemy planes and received the Ritterkreuz and the Oak Leaf – Kreis Soest. Years later it was revealed that his plane was shot down above Werl in Westfalen, Germany. When he bailed out, he was hit by parts of his aircraft and got mortally wounded.

Contrails - March 2006

The story of Mosquito pilot Chrysler – part 2

In the edition of our “Contrails”, December 2005, you could read part 1 about Fritz Chrysler, pilot of the Mosquito B.Mk.IV, serial code DZ432/HS-N, belonging to the 109th Squadron of the 8th Group, Pathfinder Force (PFF) of Bomber Command.

Chrysler told that he was brought to an airfield of which he did not know the name. However this must have been the airfield Waalhaven near Rotterdam. There he was brought to a canteen where German soldiers sat and eat. A German woman who spoke English - probably a secretary - asked him about the United Kingdom. He got something to eat and sat near a kind of card table, on which at one side stood a bust of Hitler and on the other side a bust of Göring. Then Chrysler was placed in a truck and was transported to the police headquarters at the Haagseveer in Rotterdam. There he was put into the brick where other Allied airmen were detained. Because there were no toilets in that part of the police headquarters he had to walk to the other side of the building. In the toilet room he saw at the upper part a small window trough which he could see the surroundings. He saw that the building stood near a small canal. Despite the awareness of a guard in front of the door of the toilets, C.K. Chrysler tried to escape through the window. Apparently the guard in front of the door heard something and entered the toilet room and caught C.K. Chrysler before he escaped through the window. Subsequently C.K. Chrysler was brought back to the brick where he stayed for a few days during which time his the wound to his leg healed.

Then he was transported in a heavily guarded train, together with another 21 persons, to Dulag Luft in Oberursel, Northwest of Frankfurt am Main. The abbreviation Dulag Luft stands for “Durchgangslager of the Luftwaffe”. C.K. Chrysler doesn't recall the length of time he spent there. The Germans thought he was on an so called Night-Intruder mission when he was shot down. Such a mission implies that a lonely fighter-bomber attacks targets of opportunity.

For that reason he - as Prisoner Of War number 28 - was transported to recently built roundup-point for captured Allied airmen, Stalag Luft VI (Stammlager of the Luftwaffe) in Heydekrug, near the old Prussian- Lithuanian border. Before he was led into the camp, he was brought back to Dulag Luft for further interrogation. The reason for this was that in the plane no arms had been found, but remains of the Oboe guiding system (1). The Germans wondered what his intentions were. They were anxious to know more about this guiding system and C.K. Chrysler thinks that the special attention they had for him was based on the fact that they kept him for the navigator instead of the pilot. His Mosquito happened to be the first aircraft to crash with the Oboe system on enemy-held territory. There was a button on the device for self-destruction by explosives to prevent the enemy finding out how the system functioned.

In the beginning of his captivity as a Prisoner Of War, he was repeatedly transported to Dulag Luft for further questioning. Chrysler tells that the transport from the prison camp to Dulag Luft was very pleasant. When they left the prison camp, they went straight to Køningsberg, where they had to spend the night for catching the train back to Stalag Luft VI.

Køningsberg was a town situated on the coast between Germany en Lithuania, presently Russia and now known as Kaliningrad.

The four guards by whom he was accompanied searched for a place to spend the night. The first opportunity was a Prisoner of War camp in which only French were held. He was there for only 20 minutes, because the guards of that camp discovered who he was and didn't want him in their camp. The guards were afraid that he might escape and they didn't want any trouble. (Note authors: French POW’s were in generally not thrilled to escape in contrast to Allied airmen). Next he was imprisoned in a German military prison in Køningsberg.

He stayed there only one night in the cellar where he was not allowed to have direct contact with the guards, although they had an interpreter who spoke both English and German. C.K.Chrysler understood rather much of the German language which was noticed by his guards. C.K. Chrysler heard from this interpreter that he was about to be brought back to Berlin. On that journey he was accompanied by a corporal, a sergeant and two soldiers. The corporal was armed with a “Schmeisser”-machine gun, the soldiers with ordinary guns and the sergeant was armed with a pistol. They didn't want to take the local train, because the ride would last at least a complete day. So they decided to wait for a troop-train which came from the Russian front and would go directly to Berlin. However this train didn't stop in Køningsberg that's why - to get on - they had to run along the train to jump on it. All the German soldiers in that train were on leave and were excited to go home. They were told that Chrysler was a Mosquito pilot. Every time the train stopped, german housewives came to the train with food, biscuits etc. At such moments C.K. Chrysler yelled also he would like to have some and reached as far as possible out of the train to grab some cookies. They tasted deliciously. He had to spent one night in the train. Once arrived in Berlin, they had to find a train again which brought them ultimately to Frankfurt Am Main. They visited a German military barrack to take a shower and refresh themselves. And at last he could shave himself too. They took a seat in a corner of the canteen where the Germans took a seat around him. The Geman ordered beer and gave C.K. Chrysler one too. While drinking his beer, he saw outside the canteen a bunch of women. (Note by the authors: while telling this story C.K. Chrysler was laughing enthusiasticly) He then yelled to the Germans around him, “Let’s go”. Apparently the Germans understood what he said because immediately after the Germans started to argue whom of the women was the most beautiful.

The Austrian guard, (the corporal with the Schmeisser machine gun and with a small posture) thought only women from Vienna beautiful, mainly because he himself was from Vienna. When the time was there to catch the train to Frankfurt Am Main, they walked to the underground railway. While descending the stairs, Military Policemen –by the Allied Prisoners Of War called "chain dogs" because of the chain with a plate around their neck - were checking persons for their identity papers (so called Ausweisses). Of course Chrysler had none. However he just calmly walked past the Military Policemen and tried to escape by walking through the crowd.

The moment he looked around, he was tapped on his shoulder and he realized his escape attempt had failed. Despite this he kept on walking straight ahead. The Military Policeman did not believe what he saw. Without a passage-pass and clothed in his "battle dress jacket" with his “wings” on it, C.K. Chrysler kept on walking. Then all of a sudden the penny dropped!. But Chrysler already took a lead. Everyone had to catch up with him and during this pursuit a lot of people were pushed aside. A German policeman caught him at last and before anyone could ask anything, Chrysler’ s guards told them that he belonged to them and that everything was allright. After this they stepped into the underground railway and there he was told by Military Policemen to do "the black coat up". (the authors assume that this was told for his own security, because Allied aviators were for obvious reasons not very popular among the German people. The Allied bombing campaign against German cities was going on heavily. And in the darkness and obscurity he could be everyone).

When he called one of the policemen "dumb cop" and "pigheaded" the man became very angry. Chrysler was subsequently rattled off after which the policeman grabbed his pistol. His German guards however thought it extremely marvellous that Chrysler had the guts to say something like that against a policeman. At one moment during the journey, his guard with the Schmeisser machine gun handed over his weapon Chrysler to put it in an empty luggage rack. After they arrived in Dulag Luft, he was immediatly locked up. Almost immediately the heating was set higher. Chrysler found out very rapidly how he was able to cool down. Shortly after the door opened, the guard gave him a cigarette. When food was brought, Chrysler thought it was intended for him , but it was not. Apparently, in this manner, the Germans still tried to get information out of him. But Chrysler did not break.

After one of the many interrogations, Chrysler saw a worldmap lying on a table on which the positions of the Germans in North Africa were clearly visible. His remark was: "You'd better can update this map, because last week we kicked you out of there!” Eventually the Germans realized that Chrysler was only the pilot of the aircraft. The reason why the Germans wanted to interrogate the navigator was that they assumed that navigator was the key-person who operated the secret Oboe device and the pilot was just the bus-driver. That Chrysler knew very well how the Oboe system worked, was something the Germans never knew.

Anyhow, they send Chrysler back to the prison camp to reunite with his fellow Prisoners Of War. The first man he saw when he came back in the camp, was the Feldwebel (sergeant-majoor), whom he recognized from the interrogation centre in Frankfurt. The Feldwebel ran to Chrysler and called: "Ah, Herr Chrysler!" and they shook hands. They had a pleasant time together. The Feldwebel turned out to be the security master of the camp. Because of the fact that all the Allied Prisoners of War saw his friendly relationship with the German, he was soon interrogated by a Wing Commander who was also a P.O.W. Chrysler had to explain to him the seemingly friendly relation he underheld with this Feldwebel.

Not much later Chrysler was sent to Stalag Luft VI, the prison camp he was initially sent to when he left Dulag Luft in Oberursel near Frankfurt Am Main, and from which he had to return immediately after arrival in this camp. This time he was imprisoned in the camp. However he did not remain there very long. Subsequently Chrysler was transported to Stalag 357 Kopernikus in Poland.

As a result of the advance of the Russian Red Army, Chrysler was next transported from Stalag 357 Kopernikus/Poland to Western Germany where he was imprisoned in a camp in Oerbke near Fallingbostel close the Lunenburger Heide, which was also called Stalag 357 (formerly Stalag XI B). Both these camps were no Stalag Luft's, but ordinary military prison camps. (Mannschaftsstammlager). In March 1945 the Prisoners of War were again forced by the Germans to march, this time to the east because of the advancing western Allied armies. During that march in eastern direction to the river Elba, Chrysler got enough of what he thought was nonsense. Together with three others he succeeded in escaping during the night when they were resting in a barn. He escaped together with two South-Africans and an Englishman. They crawled out of the barn, through a cordon of guards and disappeared in the dark. They fled to the west where the Allied armies were advancing. During their escape they kept alive with chickens which they robbed from farms. Fortunately there were no dogs on the farms. Chrysler was used to the life at the farm, so were the Sout-Africans. But Bill Johnson, an Englishman, had never lived at a farm.

Chrysler recalls:
Once we made a mistake. We ordered this Englishman to go in in a henhouse with the assignment to grab one of the chickens of the ground. When you grab a chicken from its perch, all the sleeping chickens will awake. Bill had to work silently. However Bill wanted to grab a fat chicken and those were all on the perch. So you can imagine what a tumult those chickens made during the night.

During the journey to the western front in Germany they always moved at night. During the daytime they had to hide in the woodlands. One night they walked along a road when Chrysler heard German troops marching through the woods besides the road. So they left the road and went into the woods. It appeared that the German troops had rested in that area and that they were now walking through the German troops, but they were not recognized as fleeing Prisoners of War because it was pitch-dark .

Chrysler recalls:
"Especially now I had to remain quiet". He looked around for his comrades. Luckily they found each other rather soon. While they were walking to the front, they arrived at a river. From a spit of land they saw that the German troops were withdrawing. They headed straight at them. There they stood, clearly visible. They expected to be taken prisoner again. All of these German troops passed a footbridge near the fleeing men. As soon the German troops passed the bridge, they spreaded out very fast. This all happened behind Chrysler and his men. This was a happy ending but the endeavours were not over yet. It got thrilling when shelling started from the British frontlines. During the British advance the shelling moved and eventually the shells started to fall around them. To protect themselves they had to dig in. At that moment Chrysler was very happy that he was only 5 feet tall. He had to dig less than the others. He digged his man-hole with a field-kettle was already lying in safety long before Phil Cohen with his 7 feet had dug in. After the shelling stopped they went downstream to the bridge across the river.

At the other side of the river a British flame-throwing tank appeared. This tank took out an 88mm anti-tank position which controlled the road along the river. After that other British tanks approached over the riverbank and despite the 88mm was taken out, the danger of German snipers was still real. Therefore the shutters of the tanks remained closed.

Chrysler and his comrades behaved themselves as a bunch of idiots by dancing and jumping alongside the road to draw attention of the tank crews. When the danger of snipers was over one of the tank crewmembers openend his shutter and asked who they were. They told him they were escaped prisoners of war on which they received some gifts like cigarettes. Now they really were out of hands of the Germans.

(1) 109th Squadron RAF was the first squadron that used the new and very accurate blind-bombing target-marking technique which was called Oboe. The plane flew along smallband radiobeam that was aimed at the target which was directed by a ground station which also transmitted an indicatorbeam. At the crossing of both beams the Mosquito dropped its flares and markers above the target so that the bombers could see these.

Contrails – June 2006

The story of Mosquito pilot Chrysler – part 3

They went back to the inactivated 88 mm gun to see if there was food to be found. The ammunition was still burning, because the Germans didn't put it in wooden boxes, but in straw. Then they walked back to the road. They saw a motorcycle with a sidecar coming. On it was a tall man, who turned out to be a Major of the Medical Service. This major was armed though. It was the first time Chrysler saw someone of the Medical Service carrying arms. The major stopped and Chrysler and his fellow Prisoners of War got in. The first thing this major told them that he could only take them to a hospital, but that is was a problem that they were not injured.

This meeting with the British occured after being on the run for a long time. Chrysler couldn't remember the time between their escape and this meeting, but he thinks the meeting took place in march or april 1945. Later it turned out they were on the Lunenburger Heath, near the village Celle where the Luftwaffe air base used to be.

It was possible to bring them to a so called Field Security Detachment. This was a camp where German Prisoners of War were gathered for interrogation and to group them for transport to POW-camps. So they were brought there. The first soldiers they met there were the ones on a truck telling them they were going to the frontline. They invited Chryslers and his fellow POW's to come with them. (Note of the authors: Chrysler now tells laughing that they said: "No thanks, we just got away from it!") They didn't want to come.

In the detachment they were given weapons to help guard the German prisoners.

One German prisoner spoke English well. He turned out to be an officer and they decided to take him away from the group. This officer asked for something to eat, but Chrysler explained him that he was nog officially registered as Prisoner of War and therefore he didn't get anything to eat. After this remark the discussion was closed right away and the German kept his mouth shut after that.

Finally they were brought from the detachment to Celle in a Jeep. They were stationed temporarily in a Luftwaffe barrack. The first thing they noticed was the smell of sweet condensed milk, butter – no margarine, but real butter – and cookies. They had their first good meal since long. The three of them stayed together. One of them got sick, however.

Chrysler had het idee dat terugkeer naar Engeland in volgorde van aankomst in het kamp zou gaan. Maar in het leger bleek dat niet zo te werken. Tijd van terugkeer was afhankelijk van rang. Chrysler was Warrant

Philip was een sergeant en Chrysler dacht dat Brown – die uit Rhodesië kwam – een korporaal was.

Chrysler thought the homeward journey to England would be in order of arrival in the camp. But in the army it turned out to be different. The time of return was depending on rank. Chrysler was Warrant Officer First Class, just like Bill Johnson. Philip was a sergeant and Chrysler thought that Brown – the guy from Rhodesia – was a corporal.

Chrysler told he was a Warrant Officer First Class and had had enough of this nonsense and the only they wanted was to go home. The army asked him for proof of his rank. Luckily Chrysler could show the necessary papers, because he still had them. He didn't expect to stay at Celle for longer than two nights, but they were there for about a week. Then they were put on a plane – a Dakota – that brought them to Bruxelles, where he had to report again in a meeting point. Here he lost track of his three buddies.

Chrysler tells, now smiling, that wherever they came, they were deloused with DDT. That was just thrown over them. They didn't mind, but then at the time they didn't know what hazardous matter DDT was. They tried to convince Chrysler that he had lice, but he knew better.

From the air base in Bruxelles they, two Canadian pilots - one French-Canadian – and a lot of men who were forced to work for the Germans. Actually they were POW's, but they were put to work in the coal mines. These men didn't speak English at all, but were brought to England anyways. None of them knew where they were going exactly.

De Britse bemanning die het toestel vloog, vertelde hen waar ze naar toe gingen, nl. naar Engeland. Chrysler vertaalde dit voor de dwangarbeiders. Ze zijn geland op vliegbasis Ford. Chrysler weet niet meer naar welke plaats ze toen zijn gebracht. Uiteindelijk zijn ze in Engeland aangekomen, maar daar wist men nauwelijks wat ze met hen aan moesten. Voor de twee Engels sprekende mannen hadden ze wel een tijdelijke oplossing. Ze kregen reispapieren en werden naar Londen gestuurd.

The British crew flying the plane, told them where there were headed, namely England.

They arrived at Ford, then to London and finally to Bournemouth. The group of men lost each other, because after they had a good meal, they were free to go. That's why Chrysler has got no idea what happened to the other guys. He was not anxious to go home to Canada, because he had a girlfriend, Betty, in London. He met her before he left on his mission. He had a wonderful time with his girlfriend.

He didn't have any uniforms with him. Chrysler tells about the clothes he was wearing at the time. Sneakers, his battle dress trousers, a jacket and a woollen cap of the American army (so no air force jacket) and a shirt of the British army.

So that how he was dressed and he also had his identity tag of the period that he was a POW. The first thing that happened when he arrived in downtown Bournemouth, was that the American Military Police stopped him. Chrysler now tells laughing at the thought of this occasion: "I showed him my POW-tag and the officer said: "Well, you can keep that!"

When asked if he wanted to stay in Bournemouth he answered that that was not the case. He wanted to go on leave and he finally got that. He was given a suitable uniform and he left.

He wanted to see Betty. In London he went to bars he had been visiting frequently before he went on his mission. There they remembered him. He stayed at the Bow Hotel. His favourite beer in England was Worthington IPA, the abbreviation means India Pale Ale (Note of the authors: Worthington's White Shield). While he was in the POW-camp he had written them to put aside a crate of IPA for him. He wrote he would come around for it. During this period in the war, there wasn't a bottle of beer to be found in England. He told them he had send a telegram to say he was back in town and that he needed a room. When he entered the bar in the Bow Hotel, the waitress at the bar reached under the bar and put down a bottle of IPA in front of him. The Englishman next to him looked at it and his eyes popped out. He looked at us and said he would like to have one of those to. The waitress said: "That's not going to happen, because this one is stored especially for this guy, he just came back from a POW-camp". Things like this could only happen in England.

Chrysler tells he has a whole history in England. He thought it very special they had kept the beer especially for him. They could have easily sold it. Because Betty didn't want to come, Chrysler finally left on a boat to Canada. This was a trip that took several weeks.

With this his time and experiences in the Second World War really ended. After the war Chrysler had a turbulent life in which he has flown almost every type of airplane in the Canadian Air Force until the '70's. He also worked for the secret service during the Cold War. He now lives in British Columbia, where he enjoys his pension.

Chrysler was and still is a remarkable man with a strong mind in a strong body, as we experienced during his visit. It was an honour for us to listen to his story and put it in our Contrails magazine. People like Chrysler are in all their modesty impressive war heroes to us, who fought for our freedom and put their lives on the line.

Last updated: 18 February, 2009

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