Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0003
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T1008 27-04-41 Wellington
MilRank First Name(s) Name
Sgt. Rob Roy MacKenzy Graham
Milregnr. Nationality Born
619759 British 22 Jul 1920
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
No EVD-POW 1 May 41 Twello -
Evader Story
						Sgt. Rob Roy MacKenzy (Rob) Graham was the wireless operator/air gunner of Wellington R1281. During a raid on Emden in the night of April 26 on 27, 1941, flak damaged the aircraft’s fuel tanks. Running out of fuel, the pilot made a belly landing at Arriën, just east of Ommen in the early morning of April 27, 1941. After setting fire to the 'Wimpy', the crew dispersed and Graham and his pilot, Sgt. R.G. Damman (E1016), tried to evade capture together. They walked westwards and arriving in Dalfsen, they approached priest Bloemers. Later that morning Hermanus A.P. van Reijsen (A 28 at Heino), the general practitioner from Heino, visited the priest and was introduced to both airmen. In this phase of the war, resistance to the Germans was just coming up and pilot escape lines were not yet in being. So van Reijsen left it to the priest and returned home. After the war he wrote: 'On 27-41 when I called on Priest Bloemers (deceased), Dalfsen, I met two members of an English plane which had to make an emergency-landing in the vicinity of Ommen. One of the airmen was an Australian of 26 years old, the other was a Scotsman of 19. As I was not at all acquaintanced to underground activities and I did not know anybody who was, I left the matter to the Priest.'

In the afternoon, Reijsen noticed to his surprise Graham and Damman walking past his house in Heino. He went out and brought them to one of his neighbors, the Willemsen family. Here the men were provided with a meal and van Reijsen gave them some cigarettes. Thereafter, van Reijsen cycled with Graham and Damman to Willemsen’s brother in law, Bernard van Dam and his wife who lived in the Koestraat in Boerhaar, a hamlet just east of Wijhe. After the airmen had spent the night with Van Dam they left on their own in the direction of Deventer. They managed to cross the IJssel bridge there but were arrested in Twello on May 1, 1941. Graham was initially taken to Stalag Luft I Barth and later moved to Stalag Luft VIIIB Lamsdorf, Stalag Luft III Sagan, Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug and finally to Stalag Luft 357 Kopernikus. He was liberated at Fallingbostel on 12 April 1945.						
* The National Archives, London, WO 208/5440/32 - WO 344/123/1 - WO 208/3338/954 - WO 208/3332/954 [still needs to be consulted]
* National Archives, Washington, Helper Files, NAID: 286709961
* G.J. Veerman, Wijhe, voor en tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog (Wijhe 1990) page 87