A True Story of the Great Escape: A young Australian POW in the most audacious breakout of WWII
Shot down in 1942, young Australian fighter pilot John Williams DFC became a POW in the notorious Stalag Luft III camp in Germany. John had joined the air force shortly before the outbreak of war and, in the larrikin tradition, led his squadron into air combat over the deserts of Libya and Egypt dressed in sandals and shorts.
John and his best mate Rusty Kierath were among the 76 POWs who tunnelled their way out of the supposedly escape-proof camp under the noses of their German guards in what later became the Hollywood blockbuster, The Great Escape. Their families never learned what really happened once the pair made it out into the forest.
John's niece Louise Williams has pieced together his life, from his upbringing in a tight-knit family hit hard by the Depression, to his exploits in the air, and the many missing details of the tragic escape. It is a powerful and intimate story of one of the most dramatic episodes of World War II.
'A riveting tale, superbly told' - Peter FitzSimons, author and journalist
'A brilliant achievement. Louise Williams reminds us that the story of the Great Escape should not be owned by Hollywood, but rather by the families of those who made the greatest sacrifice.' - Guy Walters, author of The Real Great Escape
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
23 Flipping the Bird
24 A Big Flap
25 While We Still Have Breath in Our Bodies
26 Down But Not Out
27 The Face of the Enemy
28 In the Bag
29 Big X
30 Second Time Unlucky
8 In Search of a Decent Education
9 The Arrest
10 The Rise of an Aussie Icon
11 Choosing the Future
12 The Mother Country
13 Ivo Tonder The Last Glimpse
14 In Search of the Elusive English Gentleman
15 Scotland and the Brave
16 The First POW
17 The Australians are Coming
18 Out in Africa
19 A Tale of Two Men and Two Messes
20 To War in the Desert
22 Holding Your Nerve
31 The Swimming Pool
32 Another German Friend
33 Cooking and Carpentry
34 A Ticket in the Lottery
35 Shuffling the Cards
36 The Bereaved Mothers Badge
37 In Memoriam
38 Surfing at Manly
Postscript the Lost Letter Found
Other editions - View all
A True Story of the Great Escape: A Young Australian POW in the Most ...
No preview available - 2017
A True Story of the Great Escape: A young Australian POW in the most ...
No preview available - 2015
450 Squadron RAAF accessed Africa aircraft aircrew Alamein Allied arrived audio file Australian War Memorial battle bomber boys Britain British Bulawayo Bushell Camp History catalogue number club crew Czech Desert Air Force enemy fighter pilot flight Flyer flying friends German Gestapo going ground Hans’s Hillary Hitler huts Imperial War Museum instructors IWM interview Jerzy John’s June kids Kittyhawks kriegie later letter lives London look Luftwaffe Manly Beach Manly Council March metres Michal Mildred Mildred’s military Moorehead mother Narromine National Archives Nazis never Nicky Barr night officers operational Peter Kierath planes POWs prisoners RAF Museum Real Great Escape Rommel Royal Air Force Rusty and Snow Rusty’s Sagan sand seemed Shore Squadron Leader Stalag Luft Stalag Luft III story Surf in Australia surf-lifesaving swimming Sydney Morning Herald Sydney’s things told troops tunnel wartime Western Desert Williams family collection wooden wrote young Zealand