Chapter 14

Things were starting to move fast now because we were not at the spa very long, perhaps a week, when we were put on another bus and taken to a town called Zaragoza, loaded on a train and off we went to Madrid. Upon our arrival, we were taken directly to the American embassy and, one at a time, again questioned. This time our people wanted to hear about any information we might have regarding troop movements, German emplacements, tank deployment and other related information. When this was finished, we were told that we would be moved right along, the next day, to the British in Gibraltar. Consequently, we never were able to see anything of the city of Madrid.

The next morning we were again put on a train which proceeded to Granada and on to La Linea de la Concepcion, or as it is generally called, La Linea. This little town is right near the entrance to the Gibraltar fortifications held by the British, even to this day. We actually walked from the town to the gates of Gibraltar and were passed through with no delay. This indicated to us that we were expected. At last we were safe and again among our own people

The records I have obtained from the government show that we arrived at Gibraltar on the 13th of June. I thought we might have a chance to see scan of this famous Rock, the monkeys, the gun emplacements and whatever else might be of interest, but that was not to be the case. We were ushered into a room and told to get out of the civilian clothes we were wearing. We were to turn in the clothes we had received at Lerida in the store and we were issued G. I. underwear, shoes, socks, pants, a shirt and a fatigue jacket. We were allowed to spend the rest of the day as we pleased as long as we did not venture into any areas marked "OFF LIMITS."

As I wandered about looking at the rocks and the sea, I came across a sailor carrying a brown paper bag full of watches. He said that he had come from Africa where he had been able to get these watches for a song and did I want to buy one? Now, I had given my watch to the French people who helped me so I was in need of one. I asked him the price and he said $12.00. I looked at the watches and did not recognize the name and thinking he was a fast dealer, I decided not to buy. The name on the watches was OMEGA. I later learned this is one of the finest watches made. Such is life.

It was getting dark so I returned to the area we had been assigned to only to learn that we were to fly out the next day, if the weather permitted. We had dinner in the mess hall and went to bed. The next night was bright and clear, real flying weather, so we were driven to the airfield, put on a plane, and told we were bound for England. The flight was uneventful, and we landed at Bristol where we were put on a bus, under guard, and taken to London. We were installed in a large manor house that was used by the American Military Intelligence Service.

We were held here and interrogated in detail. They wanted to get as much information as they could from what we could remember and also our individual stories of escape or evasion for their future use. We were not to be allowed to leave the building until someone who actually knew us and could identify us arrived. For me this was a two-day wait and, fortunately for me, our tail gunner on our crew was still at the base. The rest of my crew had been shot down while I was in France, trying to get back. The man's name was Chuck Pryne, and was I glad to see him. He vouched for me and signed some papers to indicate he was telling the truth. We were allowed to leave the building for an afternoon of relaxation and we did just that. As a matter of fact, we hit several bars and got stiff as a billy goat. Chuck went back to the Group the next day, and I was sent to Eighth Air Corps headquarters to get my records. Then I went to my Group to have the records brought up to date and to be paid. My instructions were to return to London and prepare to try and find a seat on a plane home.

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