There are two distinct sections in Percy Carruthers book about his wartime experiences.
The first section covers his eventful operational career as a pilot with No 223 Squadron, part of the Desert Air Force. He flew Blenheims, Bostons and Baltimores in North Africa, and saw action at Tobruk, Mersa Matruh, Benghazi and Alam-El-Halfa until his battle-scarred Baltimore was finally shot down over enemy territory.
Percy, the only survivor, was taken prisoner. Thus began a new chapter in his wartime experiences.
The hardships, indignities and cruelties he and his fellow ‘kregies’ endured at the hands of their German captors are well described, and may well shock modern-day readers. He was imprisoned at Stalag Luft 1 (Barth), Stalag Luft 6 (Hydekrug) -- from where he briefly escaped -- and endured the further ordeals of a Baltic Sea crossing (SS Insterberg) and forced marches during winter conditions as the war drew to a close and the German guards tried to keep their prisoners from being liberated by the advancing allied armies.
But Percy also fondly recalls the comradeship and defiant sense of humour that enabled the POWs to survive their many trials and eventually emerge triumphant at the end of their ordeal.
An excellent story, well told and containing much authentic detail.