Life In Stalag L3

Ian Fowler


Rank: Flight Officer
Squadron: 141
Aircraft: HJ943 Mosquito
Date: 24/2/1944
Target: On Patrol
Stalag L3
POW# 3603

"Caedimus noctu (We slay by night),"

"For You The War Is Over"

The 141 Squadron's motto was: "Caedimus noctu (We hunt by night)," and it lived up to its reputation by shooting down German aircraft from the he177 to the BF110. The main task of these night fighters was to seek out enemy targets over Germany and provide RAF Bomber support.

I bailed out over Holland during the night of February 24, 1944. after a German fighter severely damaged the mosquito fighter intruder in which I was the radio navigator. My pilot Des Snapes of Australia went down with the plane.

I was the new boy on the block . But instead of being considered a junior, I was given special privileges. The other eleven prisoners in my hut decided to give me extra food from their small rations until my stomach got adjusted. For more than two months I was singled out for this treatment. And when ever anyone received a Red Cross parcel, it was shared between all twelve room mates.

We lived in a cramped ugly room, and there we got to know each other's joys and sorrows, strengths, and weaknesses. There was only one of our group that was a difficult at times- he was an Irishman who was happy one day and gloomy the next. We formed a bond that remains and it remains strong today. The ensuing long months as a POW were bad enough but there were worse things in store.

Afterwards I was part of the death march from L3 to Tarmstad near Bremen. I had to endure bitter cold and near starvation, curses and spitting from the German civilians, as well as being straffed by Allied fighters who mistook the straggling prisoners for enemy soldiers.

In 1987 my wife Dorothy and I attended a reunion in Southampton, England. Canadians formed the majority of attendees. Others came from Australia, New Zealand and Britain.

We Will Remember

animated maple leaf

Thank you, Veterans,

With sincere gratitude from all Canadians

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