The Turkey Trot

J. Frank Selman


Rank: WO2
Squadron: 467
Aircraft: ED768, Lancaster
Date: May 25, 1943
Target: Dusseldorf
L6, 357
POW# 1485

I was a Prisoner of War, and a few little memories of that time come to mind.

I remember sleeping on wooden bunks with a bag of straw as a mattress. There were tons of fleas that made sleeping miserable. Do you know that I’ve never seen another flea since I got back to Canada?!!

I remember the best turkey dinner I’ve ever had. In the POW camp in Poland I worked in the kitchen as a kitchen employee. One day we went into town under guard for to look for food. We were going to steal what we could. The German guards didn’t care what we got. That was the day we managed to steal a live turkey! It was a stroke of luck to spot that turkey.

We managed to find a rope about 3 feet in length. Oh, the only thing we could think of was a turkey dinner as we snuck up and caught this great big bird. We tied a rope to one of its legs. There were two or three of us POW guys herding this turkey along the road back to the camp. I can’t remember the other guy’s names at the moment.

We very carefully herded this huge hopping and flapping bird in front of us. Every once in a while the turkey tried to fly away, and we held our breath until it settled back down and went back to trotting along the road. Back at camp we dressed the bird and boiled it in a pot. I sure remember how good it tasted.

I remember being liberated. The British liberated our camp. We cheered as a truck pulled up with loaves of white bread. They knew we hated the black bread we had been forced to live on for so long.

I remember going home. A freight train came into the town where the camp was located, and we all piled onto boxcars, best we could, so deliriously happy to be going home.

We Will Remember

animated maple leaf

Thank you, Veterans,

With sincere gratitude from all Canadians

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