Response to Pat McGregor

January 1, 2008 at 1:00 am (Uncategorized)

I am going to post this response the question Pat McGregor from the UK just asked via the comments section. I’m doing that to encourage anyone else who comes to this site to use it as a source for contacting those who may be involved or researching the Allied airmen in Buchenwald, my so-called Buchenwald Flyboys.

Yes Pat, I do have some info on the two your dad’s fellow airmen. But only a little. All of it comes from Art Kinnis and Stan Booker’s book called “168 Jumped Into Hell.” Not sure if you can find this book, but if not let me know and I will see if I can help you. It has the personal accounts of many of the flyers–not in a very good or professional form but it is great information for those interested. Unfortunately, neither Fernandez or Nuttall contributed their own personal accounts. It appears for one reason that at the time of the assimilation of the information (1999 about) J. J. Fernandez was deceased. I will closer for any more references about him in this book but he does appear on the complete list of the 168 on page 137 and again on page 156. His Buchenwald ID number was 78352.

Cyril Nuttal (78366) was apparently in the hospital or infirmary when the main group of flyers was rescued on October 20. He was released later but I am not certain if he also ended up in Stalag Luft III after his release. I will look through this book again to see if I can find some additional info.

Thanks for your inquiry and I hope this is helpful. I appreciate the reference to the book and I will see if I can find that. If you have any additional information or sources to share, that would be much appreciated. In the meantime, I hope you keep following this website as I get the chapters completed and please do comment.

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8 Comments

  1. Mrs Pat MacGregor said,

    Thanks for your response of 1st January.

    Unfortunately I cannot find “168 Jumped into Hell” on any of the new or used book websites that I know of. If you know where I might find a copy , this would be much appreciated.

    I did not know Cyril Nuttall or John Fernandez’s Buchenwald ID numbers and I am grateful for this information. I would be interested to know what is written about Ferdie on page 156 and any other information that comes to light.

    I knew that Ferdie had been released from Buchenwald on 20th October with the first contingent to Stalag Luft lll. I thought that Cyril was also in the first contingent. He was interviewed by I.S.9 on 4th August 1945 and the report gives the following information:
    “Concentration Camp [Buchenwald] Aug 44 – Oct 44
    Stalag Luft lll [Sagan] Oct 44 – Jan 45
    Marlag Milag Nord [Westertimke] Feb 45 – Apr 45
    He was liberated at Lubeck on 2nd May 1945 by units of the 2nd British army”
    [I thought those who had been left in the hospital at Buchenwlad did not arrive at Stalag Luft lll until November.]

    If I find or can think of anything else that may be useful, I’ll let you know.

    Pat MacGregor

  2. gbaron said,

    Hello Mrs McGregor, sorry for the slow response but have been on vacation and now on business travel to Washington DC.

    Art Kinnis, one of the authors of that book I referenced is still living although quite ill. I will inquire through Joe if he has some additional copies I could buy and send then send one to you. It was privately published and there may be some extras.

    Since I have been gone since the turn of the year I haven’t had a chance to look for more information about Ferdie and Nuttal. If his record indicates he arrived in Stalag Luft III in October, he must have been released fairly soon after the first group left. Although it appears he wasn’t with Joe and most of the others who were in Buchenwald at the time of the liberation because they were liberated from the camp in Moosberg by General Patton’s Third Army. I think it was Stalag VIIA but I will have to check my records on that.

  3. Mrs Pat MacGregor said,

    Apologies for the delay in responding to yours of 13th.
    My understanding, from several sources, is that 169 airmen left Fresnes Prison on 15th August 1944. One, F/O J M Stevenson RCAF, escaped from the train during the journey to Buchenwald, never to be recaptured.
    Of the remaining 168 that were at Buchenwald, 156 left there on 19th October’44 and arrived at Stalag Luft lll on 21st October. Cyril Nuttall and John [Ferdie] Fernandez were in this first group.
    Two airmen, F/O P D Hemmens RAF and Lieutenant Levitt C Beck USAAF died at Buchenwald.
    The 10 who had been too ill to move in October and had been left in the hospital at Buchenwald [1 Australian, 3 Canadians and 6 Americans] had all arrived at Slatag Luft lll by 29th November 1944.
    On arrival at Stalag Luft lll the airmen were given POW numbers in alphabetical order, according to whether they were Officers or NCOs, with the American airmen being given a different series of numbers. They may also have been accommodated in a different compound to the RAF/RAAF/RNZA/RCAF boys.
    There were 6 compounds at Stalag Luft lll. One was for the German guards and administration and 5 for the prisoners, one of which was situated remotely at Belaria. The evacuation of Stalag Luft lll commenced on 28th January 1945 as the Russians were approaching. The evacuation of the compounds was staggered owing to the vast numbers of prisoners to be moved.
    Some went to Marlag und Milag Nord, some to Stalag lllA Luckenwalde, others to Stalag 357 Fallingbostel and others, mainly Americans to Stalag VllA Moosburg. I think some other POW went to Stalag XlllD Langwasser-Nurnberg.
    I hope this is useful.

    • Emma Fernandez said,

      Mrs MacGregor
      John Fernandez was my granddad – he died in December 1992. Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything about his time in Buchenwald as he didn’t talk much about it(certainly not to us grandchildren anyway). Amongst his photos from the war were some postcard size photos from Buchenwald – I believe my brother now has these and will try and track them down.
      I know my grandma (Rose mentioned in your original post) was contacted after his death presumably by whoever was compliling the book mentioned (which I’d love to get a copy of) and they sent a copy of a pencil sketch done of granddad which my parents now have
      Sorry I can’t give you any more information – in fact the information detailed above is great for me to find out
      Kind regards
      Emma

  4. G Baron said,

    Yes, it is very useful. I just completed chapter 12 which provides some details of Joe’s time in Stalag Luft III. Clearly this time was not as memorable for Joe as he has less detail to share about the three months here than in Buchenwald. I did use the 1948 book about Stalag Luft III called “Clipped Wings” for much additional information. This book is focused on South camp while Joe was in North camp–but I’ve checked with Joe against some of the specifics. If you do review Chapter 12 on this site–Joe has not fact checked it yet and there are some specific questions for him embedded in the text.

    Your information about FO J M Stephenson being one that escaped from the train is the first name I have had attached to that. I don’t believe there are any names in Art Kinnis’ record– interesting since Art is also RCAF.

    Although a fairly minor point, I’d be interested in your source for the release from Buchenwald on October 19. Joe states it as October 20– a date I am going by for now as it is his story, but I will do some more checking on that as well.

    Actually, I think I just confirmed that you are right. I remembered that I still have Joe’s Stalag Luft III registration card (yes, the actual one– a minor miracle in itself) and it has an entry date of 21-10-44. Since it was at least a two day train ride that makes the 19th much more likely. I will go back and edit these changes.

    This shows how helpful such information is in writing history!

  5. Norman Hood said,

    Following the discovery of a war memorial deep in the forest of Rambouillet I am researching a Royal Air Force Lancaster of 514 Squadron which was sent to destroy a enemy railway complex near Paris on 8th June 1944. Soon after leaving the target, the aircraft was hit by flak / anti aircraft fire and exploded in the air. From a crew of seven airmen, four managed to escape by parachute. Of these four, two evaded capture, one was taken Prisoner of War and the fourth airman, although initialy evaded capture, was betrayed to the Paris Gestapo and sent to Buchenwald Concentration Camp. His name was: 1581581 Sergeant Jack/John CLARKE. Eventualy he was “rescued” by the Luftwaffe and sent to a Luftwaffe Prisoner of War Camp in Germany. I would like to know if he is mentioned in the “168 jumped into Hell book? and where I could get hold of a copy?. A permanent exhibition of these events is being organised in the village near to the crash site in the French forest. Thank you.
    Norman

    • gbaron said,

      From your description, I am certain that he is mentioned. I have promised another commenter that I would provide a complete list of the names who were in Buchenwald with Joe Moser. I will put them on Joe’s new website: http://www.joemoserstory.com. I have a copy of the book at home and I know Joe has one other copy. They were privately published and I don’t know where other copies might be available. Mr. Art Kinnis, one of the book’s authors is living in Victoria, B.C., but is not in good health. You may want to try and reach him.

  6. Norman Hood said,

    Hello and thank you Mr Baron for the information. I have now ordered yours and Joe Mercers book through a local book seller and look forward to reading it. Meanwhile, when you get time, I wonder if you could be kind enough to take a look at your copy of “168 Jumped in to Hell” and tell me if 1581581 Sergeant Jack/John CLARKE, Royal Air Force, is mentioned? He was shot down same time as Phil Lamason. I know he survived the war and lived in Leicestershire and finaly received compensation from the German government in 1964. He may be listed John Clarke (as John and Jack are the same over here) and also Clark is sometimes spelt with a “e” Thank you for your help. After I read your book I’ll get back in touch.

    Norman Hood
    England

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