Prisoner of War

I encourage anyone that  has more information (Flight Log Book entries) or photos on 112 Squadron please send an e-mail to before the history is lost.

112 Sqdn

BURCHAM, John: 119713 POW Stalag Luft III - his violin
112 Sqn

from RAF Ex-POW Association: CYH16: On the 7th March 1944 John Burcham was flying a Kittyhawk of 112 Squadron over Italy, was hit and crash landed near Trasacco. He evaded capture for a few days but was eventually caught and landed up at Stalag Luft 3, while there he acquired a violin which he taught himself to play sufficiently well to join the orchestra. The violin has now been given to a school in South London - "to be used by an outstanding pupil". It has been described as "although not a 'Strad' it is an exceptionally good instrument".

Camp POW No Surname Names Unit A/C Serial Service No Force Date of Loss
L3 1449 Adye Edward "Ted" B 112 Sqdn AK988 776184 RAF 11/6/42
. . Alves John 112 Sqdn AK476 1001427 . 12/12/41
N/A N/A Barlow Lawrence Daniel Patrick (American) 112 Sqdn AK746 83050 RCAF 28/9/42
Sulmona . Bartley (Can) Leonard Lawrence (escaping from Greece) 112 Sqdn (captured by submarine Ardua, escaped 1943)

From this base, on the 24th, it left to move on a patrol in the waters between Alexandria and Crete. On June 3rd, 1941,  off Cape Littinos, the ADUA intercepted a small motor barge on which 72 British soldiers were trying to reach the Egyptian coast. After having captured 8 officers, the lighter was forced back to Crete. Thereafter, the boat left the patrol area to return to Taranto where it would undergo refitting for about three months.

 42182 RAF 31/5/41
Sulmona later L3 228358 Bennett Richard  John 112 Sqdn (captured by submarine,) 40982 RAF 31/5/41
L3, Stalag Luft 3 at Żagan, Poland N/A Bowker Neville 112 Sqdn AN218 89773 RAF 27/12/41During the defense of Heraklion Bowker was slightly wounded and captured. He managed to escape from the field hospital and reached Egypt, where he rejoined his squadron. Bowker spent the rest of the year flying Tomahawks over the Desert. He was shot down and captured again later in the war, sometime after capture, his legs where badly damaged, surgery after the wars end allowed him to walk again.
L3 (Zagan and Belaria) 4325 Burcham John Alexander 112 Sqdn FR824,GAA 119713 RAFVR 7/3/44
L3,Stalag Luft 3 at Żagan, Poland 22728 Butcher A.R. "Jack" 112 Sqdn No plane involved 70104 RAF 30/10/40, From Flt Lt Fraser's log book -  killed in bayonet charge MALEME, CRETE.  later found out he was P.O.W.
L3 2665 Carson Kenneth Francis 112 Sqdn AK672 404233 RAAF 9/1/42
Stalag XXA, 357 (Kopernikus) 3264 Carter (WO) H W  112 captured in Crete 1237091 RAF 31/5/41, From FLT Lt Fraser's log book - F/Lt Fry, F/O Bennett, W/O Carter killed by parachutists CRETE.  later found to be  P.O.W.s
. . Churchill H F 112 Sqdn FX800, GAR 207324V SAAF 5/6/44
L6 (Heydekrug) 315 Critchton Joseph  M S  112 Sqdn FR216, GAP J/5032 RCAF 11/1/43
L3 3339 Fry Charles Horace 112 Sqdn 33 Sqdn Hurricane V7857 confirmed 40047 RAAF 18/5/41


Greaves Dennis Franklin 112 Sqdn FR248 131855 RAF


L7 (Bankau, near Kreulberg, Upper Silesia)


Grubb Derrick Warren 112 Sqdn FX544, GAK 1323923 RAF




Guess Ray Douglas "Goose" 112 Sqdn FR429,GAP J10277 RCAF




Hogg Wallace Daniel 112 Sqdn FR286,GAT 420401 RAAF




Harrison Henry Willoughby 112  Sqdn escaped from Crete 40910   RAF

trouble escaping Crete,



Johnson William Alexander Jenkinson "Johnny" 112  AK603 code Unknown 115625 RAF

24/7/42 to May 1945

Adi Ugri


Kirk Harold "Harry" Bell 112 Sqdn Gladiator K7969 RT-N 70808 RAF


released during the British Advance



Lecours Jerard G R 112 Sqdn FL730 R/79289 RCAF




Leu Rudolf Maurice 112 Sqdn AL225,GAT 404178 RAAF




Liebenburgh C J 112 Sqdn FB263, GAM 542464V SAAF




Loree Joseph  Ernest 112 Sqdn ET1017/ GAV J7414 RCAF




Molloy Richard ? "Dick" 112 Sqdn  Ground Crew . RAF

A Yorkshire lad who had been taken prisoner then escaped from Crete in a dinghy with another escapee.

Crete, Lamsdorf, Luft 3 and Belaria Held for duration of the war Paddock Leonard Francis "Paddy" 112 Sqdn

Ground Crew airframe fitter Master Tecnician

546274 RAF .


Prentice D F 112 Sqdn Mustang Mk. III HB908/ GAW 329061V SAAF




Rees P L 112 Sqdn FX670, GAW 930745 RAF




Sayle Robert G 112 Sqdn FR 214, GAA 115773




Smith Robert Rutherford 112 Sqdn FR325, GAV 40952 RAF


344 (Lamsdorf)


Snowden Robert 112 Sqdn LAC, captured in Crete 701292 RAF




Thomas H G E 112 Sqdn AK701.GAT NZ405000 RNZAF 5/9/42


Thomson Stanley Edward


confirmed 112 Sqdn 406604 RAAF ??/5/41
Stalag Luft ?


Warburton Kenneth Crawford 112 Sqdn FR857, GAV 1435351 RAF 7/4/44
344 then Dachau


Watson D S "Butch" 112 Sqdn FR320, GAJ 516585 RAF 13/1/43
L1 (Barth Vogelsang)


Watts Walter Kenneth 112 Sqdn FR811,GAM 400827 RAAF 6/4/44


Wiley George William 112 Sqdn 42-45798, GAD J7234 RCAF 10/3/43


Wilkinson Robert Matthew "Hawkeye" 112 Sqdn FR864,GAM 135092 RAF 20/12/43


Wilson Ronald Kenneth 112 Sqdn AL196 115949 RAF


344 Silesia  then


Woolley Frank W 112 Sqdn, Rigger evacuation from Greece / Crete 645591 RAF 1941

Both Canadians RR Smith is mentioned on personnel page

Frank Wooley's Capture in Crete

This story was submitted to the people's war site by James Barton of the County Heritage Team on behalf of Frank Woolley (the author).

I joined the RAF in May 1939. After square bashing, went to 112 squadron in Norfolk, working as a flight rigger on Blenheims.
In January 1940 we were sent to Egypt, stationed near Cairo, then to the Western Desert where we lived in tents. In October 1940 I was posted to Athens, working on Gladiators and then transferred to the north of the country as Greece was fighting the Italians. At this point Germany became involved and we were evacuated back to Athens, then on to Crete. When Crete capitulated in 1941 I was taken, as a prisoner of war, to Silesia and joined a working party.

In July 1943 whilst a prisoner in Stalag 8b (see e-mail below for location), a friend and I escaped through a short tunnel dug beneath our hut. We were free for 8 days and after our re-capture were placed in solitary confinement for 28 days. We went back to the working party.

In January 1945 the Russians were advancing on Silesia and we were evacuated to an area closer to Nuremberg. This meant walking from January to April 1945 with poor clothing and very little food. Once there we were put into another camp. Then, as the Russian advance came closer we were moved further inland and I was able to escape once more and found shelter. I could hear gunfire in the distance and next morning American tanks came through and I was able to get a lift from them.

From Nuremberg I flew to France and at Le Havre was put on a troop transporter back to Southampton, then a train to London and RAF H.Q.
where I was medically examined. After some home leave I was sent for rehabilitation in Scarborough. I was demobbed in September 1945.

I met my wife at a Youth Hostel in North Wales in 1946 and we married in 1947


E Mail from Mark Haycock 


I came across your excellent website, while I was trying to find some information on 112 Sqdn while they were in Crete.

I am research 701292 LAC Robert SNOWDEN, I recently came across his newly released P.O.W Report from the National Archives Kew, London (WO344). This indicates he was serving with 112 Sqdn when captured on 

Crete 6/6/1941 and when captured he was wounded. 

He was later sent to Stalag VIIIB Lamsdorf 22/8/41 -22/2/45 - 

Memmingen 26/2/45-19/3/45

Stalag 383 Hohenfels 23/3/45-29/4/45.

The reason I am research Snowden, is due to the fact that prior to WW2 conscription was started by calling men Aged 20-21 to serve in tne British Army Militia. Many of these men served at Dunkirk. The R.A.F called up over 2,000 prior to September 1939, Snowden was one of these men. So far I have found that about 100 of this group died during WW2 and that 10 of them became P.O.W of the Germans!

I was wondering if you had anymore information on squadron personnel who were also taken prisoner on Crete.


Mark Haycock


Royal Australian Air Force Service badge
Flight Lieutenant

Service Royal Australian Air Force
Date of Birth 23 August 1922
Place of Birth RANDWICK, NSW
Date of Enlistment 7 November 1941
Place of Enlistment SYDNEY, NSW
Date of Discharge 24 September 1945
Posting at Discharge RAF STN ALUI SWIR
Prisoner of War Yes

DFM - Distinguished Flying Medal
Flight Lieutenant

Service Royal Australian Air Force
Date of Birth 1 February 1915
Place of Birth NELSON BC, CANADA
Date of Enlistment 21 June 1940
Place of Enlistment BRISBANE, QLD
Next of Kin LEU, EDWARD
Date of Discharge 10 December 1945
Posting at Discharge 450 SQUADRON
WW2 Honours and Gallantry Distinguished Flying Medal
Prisoner of War Yes


Born in Canada but taken to South Africa as a baby and then to Madagascar from where he was sent to England for his education.
Leu joined the RAAF in June 1940 after moving there in 1934. He was then posted to the Middle East, joining 112 Squadron in June 1941. On the 12th October he was shot down but bailed out, returning to the Squadron 2 days later.
On the 21st June his aircraft was hit and he crash landed, suffering burns he remained in an axis hospital for 2 months. He was then despatched to Italy as a POW, but escaped in September 1943. 7 weeks later, still on the run, he was captured again and sent to Stalag Luft III.
He returned to Australia in September 1945 where he became a farmer and died in the late 1980's.


Flight Lieutenant
RAAF No 267607 RAF no. 40047

Service Royal Australian Air Force
Date of Birth 29 October 1914
Next of Kin FRY, HORACE
Date of Discharge 27 February 1946

DFC - Distinguished Flying Cross
Flight Lieutenant

Service Royal Australian Air Force
Date of Birth 10 August 1915
Place of Birth BOULDER, WA
Date of Enlistment 9 November 1940
Place of Enlistment MELBOURNE, VIC
Next of Kin WATTS, N
Date of Discharge 26 November 1945
Posting at Discharge 1125 Squadron
WW2 Honours and Gallantry Distinguished Flying Cross
Prisoner of War Yes
Additional Notes Ken Watts suffered severe injuries at the hands of the Gestapo and the brutal beatings he received at that time eventually resulted in him being wheel chair bound for the latter part of his life. Ken was held at Stalag Luft No1 until his release by Russian Troops in 1945.

Squadron Leader KENNETH LEE DFC  

Ken 'Hawkeye' Lee, was posted to 501 Squadron at the outbreak of war. He went to France in May 1940 and claimed two quick victories, and two more over Dunkirk. On 10 June, his Hurricane blew up but he bailed out, and on 18th August he was shot down by Gerhard Schopfel of JG-26, but again managed to bail out. With his tally standing at 6 he was posted to the Middle East, flying P-40 Kittyhawks with 112 Squadron and then 260 Squadron. Here he scored his 7th victory. In March 1943 he took command of 123 Squadron and in July led a formation of 109 Hurricanes in a strafing attack on Crete, during which he was brought down by ground fire. He spent the remainder of the war as a POW. 


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