Skip to comments.Jimmy James, the Great Escapee, dies
Posted on 01/31/2008 1:28:30 PM PST by brityank
Jimmy James, the Great Escapee, diesBy Richard Goldstein
Published: January 31, 2008
Jimmy James, a British flier in World War II who was obsessed with escape plots during his five years in German captivity, most prominently the breakout portrayed in the movie "The Great Escape," died Jan. 18 in Shrewsbury, England. James, who lived in Ludlow, England, was 92.
His death was confirmed to the British Broadcasting Corp. and The Birmingham Post by Howard Tuck, a military historian who said he had been working on a book with James.
On the night of June 5, 1940, Flight Lieutenant James, co-pilot of a Wellington bomber, was on the way to a mission over Germany when his plane was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over the occupied Netherlands. He bailed out about 40 kilometers, or 25 miles, south of Rotterdam but was captured and taken to the prisoner-of-war camp Stalag Luft I on the Baltic coast of Germany.
James made at least seven unsuccessful attempts to tunnel out of that camp. Then he was transferred to Stalag Luft III, southeast of Berlin. By the time he was liberated by U.S. troops in Austria in May 1945, a few days before Germany surrendered, he had tried to escape at least 11 times from POW camps and a concentration camp and had succeeded twice, only to be recaptured.
"I was just a guy who wanted to get home; I was no hero,"
(Excerpt) Read more at iht.com ...
RIP, Jimmy. You will be remembered, and missed.
A ping to you both; for a hero of my past.
The Greatest Generation!
Ping for one of WWII’s best. He may have been Royal Air Force, but he epitomized “Adapt and Overcome”.
I just saw that movie again for the first time in many years. Great film!!
I remember when I was a little boy, so long ago, looking forward every year with the other kids in the neighborhood to watching it on TV. They usually showed it once a year in September, if my memory serves correctly, over two nights since it was over 3 hours long. It was a major event for us.
Rest in Peace, Jimmy.
I consider it no sacrifice to die for my country. In my mind, we came here to thank God that men like these have lived rather than to regret that they have died.
General George S. Patton
Rest In Peace, Jimmy James.
Definitely one of Great Britain’s finest.
Damn he’s good. He just made the ultimate escape.
Sorry to hear of his passing, but I don’t think I’ve heard of the guy before.
School kids today would probably believe we had no right attacking Germany.
Thanks for posting! A truely great story of a man who simply refused to give up to tyranny. He was not only great at escape, but was great at survival in some of the Nazi’s worst concentration camps.
Lots more about Jimmy and the Great Escape, including an audio link to an interview with him:
Thanks for that link; quite an inventive and ingenious bunch.
The Beeb does do some very well-crafted and, as far as historical info from more than 15 years ago truthful, stories and documentaries. I won’t trust them with anything political in the current era, as they magnify beyond reason Western Civ’s shortcomings while amplifying every tiny ‘good’ detail in every socialist screed they do.