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Home for VE Day

by duxford04

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People in story: 
Lt T.M. Carmichael
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19 November 2004

I was flying over the channel in a Lancaster bomber (very uncomfortably) at the actual time that Churchill announced victory in Europe, commemorated thereafter, on VE Day, 8th May.

I had been a Prisoner of War for five years since the campaign to defend Dunkirk in 1940.

In the last days of my captivity we had been marching through South West Germany to an enormous camp at Moosburg.

On leaving our permanent camp in daylight we had been strafed by friendly fire from American fighters, and had suffered several casualties.

Consequently the marches were at night over 10 days from the 15th April. During the days we rested in farms, in straw barns and ate more eggs than our stomachs could deal with.

After a week in Moosburg, we were released by General Patton’s Army and taken up to Reims, where we were kitted out in a variety of uniforms and after two more days we were flown home to an aerodrome in Oxfordshire in fine summer weather.

I remember the English countryside looked brilliant with May trees in flower and fresh green everywhere.

In the reception centre we were given new uniforms and “de-briefed” very quickly. We were given railway warrants to pay for our journeys to wherever we wanted to go.

I was reunited with my parents and sister on May 10th and with my girlfriend on her birthday, May 11th.

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