Welch, Patrick Palles Lorne Elphinstone (IWM interview)

Catalogue number
  • 10643
Production date
Subject period
Alternative Names
  • object category: IWM interview
Object description

British NCO served as flying instructor in GB, 1938-1942; officer served as pilot with 25 Operation Training Unit, RAF in GB, 1942; POW at Stalag Luft III, Sagan and Oflag IV C, Colditz in Germany, 1943-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Aspects of period as sergeant flying instructor with RAF in GB, 1939-1941: background to enlistment in Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 1938; attitude towards Nazi Germany; reaction to outbreak of Second World War; role as flying instructor in GB, 1939-1941. Recollections of operations as officer with 25 Operational Training Unit in GB, 1942: acting as second pilot during Thousand Bomber Raids, 1942; flying Vickers Wellington; shooting down over Netherlands, 1/8/1942. Aspects of capture and interrogation at Dulag Luft in Germany, 1942: capture by Germans; escape attempt in Amsterdam. REEL 2 Continues: interrogation at Dulag Luft; train journey to Stalag Luft III at Sagan. Recollections of period as POW at Stalag Luft III at Sagan, 1942-1943: role making escape equipment; memories of Roger Bushell; details of his escape from camp; escape equipment carried; attempt to steal aircraft; recapture by Germans on airfield attempting to start aircraft. Recollections of period as POW at Oflag IV C, Colditz, 1943-1945: reasons for being sent to camp; physical setting of castle. REEL 3 Continues: account of his involvement in construction of Colditz Glider; question of myth and accuracy of presentation of Colditz story; friends he had in camp; POW mentality; access to radio; liberation by US Army; question of adjusting to daily life after period as POW; attitude towards Germans. Question of how his aircraft was shot down over Netherlands.

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