Lou Torpe

Lou Torpe

RCAF

RCAF
Rank: WO 2
Squadron: 408
Aircraft: LL631 Lancaster
Date: 2/1/1944
Target: Kassel
Stalag 4B
POW# 269885

408 Squadron

Lou was born in Metiskow, Alberta, on December 5, 1922. He lived on the family farm until he joined the RCAF in 1941. Lou served with the air force for 5 years during WWII. He was part of the 408 Goose Squadron. Shot down over Berlin while on a bombing raid, he was taken POW and was consequently taken to Stalag 1 for interrogation, and then transferred to Stalag 4B, where he spent the remainder of the war. He was returned to England in May of 1945, and received his discharge papers in Calgary.

Lou married Dorothy Cockburn in 1949. Lou nreinlisted in the Air force in 1952 as a Fighter Controller. He served in most Canadian provinces with NORAD and also with NATO in Europe.

On leaving the Air Force, Lou worked with Consumer and CorporateAffairs, retiring in 1982.

Lou enjoyed his retirement volunteering with the Police Department, and Canada Olympic Park as a ski host, skiing until he was 81. He was a member of the Air Crew Association, the ex Prisoner of War Association, the Legion and the Seniors Alpine Ski Club.

Lou's great love was his horses, which he rode until he was 82 years of age.

Lou passed away in Calgary on Wednesday, Feb. 8th 2006, at the age of 83.

Farewell to one of Canada's heroes, veteran of WWII. We will remember him.

Below is an article about Stalag Luft 1 by the Canadian War Crimes Tribunal to show what Lou went through when he was captured.

An Article About Stalag Luft 1, by the Canadian War Crimes Tribunal

The organization

At Obrerusal, near Frankfurt, was established in 1941, a central German Air Force Interrogation Centre, officially termed "Auswertestelle West", meaning Evaluation centre West which was the principle Air Force Intellegence center for the whole of the Western Theater of Operations. Its chief function was to obtain information of an operational character relating to Allied Air Forces through the interrogation of captured crews of Allied planes. Information thus acquired was of course supplemented by the evaluation of documents sometimes recovered from crashed aircraft. The only information, which a prisoner is required to give consists of his true names and rank or regimental number. If he refuses such information he need not be accorded any privileges. There is nothing in international law which prohibits the interrogation of prisoners, provided no pressure of any sort is employed to extract (it).

It was the invariable practice that captured aircrew personnel passed first through this intelligence center for interrogation before being sent via a transit camp to an established prisoner of war camp. It became generally known as Dulag Luft, and is so termed throughout this trial.

Interrogation Procedure

Upon arrival at Dulag Luft, prisoners were undressed and their clothes searched. They were then put into cells described in solitary confinement. They were there visited by a reception officer, such as the accused Eberhardt, and sometimes by an interpreter as well if the reception officer was not fluent in the language of the prisoner. The reception officer would endeavor to persuade the prisoner to answer all the questions on the form... and would transmit this form together with his assessment of the character of the prisoner to Major Junge, the second accused who in turn would detail the most suitable member of his staff top conduct the questioning. These interrogations were sometimes held in the cells, but more often in the rooms of the officer detailed. Usually such interrogations were quite short, as, for instance in the case of an air gunner, who would have little information; but sometimes in the case of a pilot or prisoners who were particularly security minded, the interrogations might continue for three or four days, often twice per day. The interrogation officers would compile in the form of statements, the information which they had gleaned as a result of their oral examination of the prisoners, and these statements would then be forwarded to the German Air force Operations staff. The number of prisoners and staff in 1942: 3000 ; 1943: 8000 35-40 interrogation officers; 1944: 29,000 60-65 interrogation officers; 550 total in all depts.

Arrival Report Form

Date:
Name: Surname: Service number:
Rank:
Trade:
RAF, RCAF, RAAF, RNZAF, SAAF, USAAF, FAA
Date of Birth:
Where born:
Profession:
Religion:
Married:
How many Children:
Home address:
Next of Kin:
What was your payment during the war?:
When shot down:
By:
Where taken prisoner:
By:
Squadron: Group: Command:
Station: Station No:
Letters and Aircraft Number:
Type of Aircraft:
How is your health?:

Members of Crew:

Name:
Surname:
Number:
Wounded:
Killed:
POW:
Date:
Signature:

We Will Remember

animated maple leaf

Thank you, Veterans,

With sincere gratitude from all Canadians


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