Some of the squadron's most experienced airmen made up the crew on this sortie. The Pilot of
Halifax LW240, F/L Quaile was the Deputy Commander of "B" Flight, the
rear gunner F/L Kenyon was the Squadron Gunnery Leader and the Mid-Upper Gunner was the "B" Flight Gunnery Leader.
This was also the first time so many of one crew evaded capture. Although three of the crew were captured in a
few days, the five others evaded capture.
Four of which were able to return to
Britain in late 1943 or early 1944. F/L Kenyon, one of the evaders
was eventually captured after ten days.
While F/O George Graham,
F/O Harry Smith and F/S T.J. Bright along with Sgt. Martin (later Pilot Officer)eventually made the long trip back to Britain.
Landing in Enemy Territory
Sergeant Martin's journey began with his landing North East of Fervaques. The landing was not complete as he
had become snagged in a tree branch 30 feet above the ground. After almost an hour of trying to free himself
he tried once more at
pulling on the parachute riser cords. This time he it worked and the parachute was dislodged from the branch
bringing Martin down hard on the ground.
He hit his head and was unconscious for a short time, but sustained no
injuries from the final drop to the ground..
The disposal of his gear came next then a quick look around before deciding on crossing a pasture nearby. The
pasture was not as empty as he had thought. The size and looks of the bull he found made the decision to get out
of the field an easy one.
He stayed close to the edge of the forest now until he reached a small country road. he carefully crossed the road
and continued on. His path took him to the River Touques, he swam across to the West side, climbed a small hill to
scout out his next direction. The fields he saw to the West were wet and marsh like which would make the walking slow
and tiresome. He re-crossed the river back to the East bank, again in full uniform less the one boot lost in escaping the
Heading south and avoiding the roads he came to the outskirts of Fervaques. He circled the village on the West side
and came to a cross roads South of the village. Martin decided to continue South on this road. Rain was now falling
on his uniform which had been water logged from the two swims. The energy he had used in the walking and swimming
was catching up with him after a mile he crossed a field to house he saw faintly from the road.
As he hid from sight he saw a women waving goodbye to a departing visitor. The woman stayed at the window,
Martin caught her attention and via signs and gesturing asking if the road was clear to cross.
He was fortunate; the woman took him into her house. She then went and brought back another man.
This man led Sgt. Martin off to a place of concealment, where he was looked after. In time he was in the
hands of an organization who then led him over the Pyrenees through Spain and then on to Gibraltar.
Arriving back in Britain about mid-January 1944.