Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0027
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T1758 06-08-42 Halifax
MilRank First Name(s) Name
Sgt. Earl George Price
Milregnr. Nationality Born
R/84592 Canadian Canterbury, York County, New Brunswick, Canada, 7 Sep 1921
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 7 Nov 42 Portreath, England Comet Line
Evader Story
						Sgt. Earl George Price was the bomb aimer of Halifax W1215 that was shot down by a German night fighter in the early hours of August 6, 1942. The bomber crashed near Oldebroek. Price bailed out in time and landed unharmed a few miles from the burning wreckage. After disposing his parachute in a ditch, he headed south. Walking was a bit difficult because he had lost one of his flying boots when his parachute opened. A few hours later he came upon the train station of 't Harde. When dawn arrived, he hid in a young pine forest where he stayed till the evening. He then continued his journey southward and in the morning he stopped for a few hours rest. In the afternoon he continued his journey southward and in the afternoon of August 9, he arrived in the village of Hoenderloo, southwest of Apeldoorn. Here he knocked on the door of the house of the Elbertsen family who took him in.

After a week, he headed south on a bicycle that was constructed out of spare parts. The son of the family, Jan Elbertsen, accompanied him on the first part of the route. They rode via Arnhem and Ede, crossed the river Rhine and Waal without problems and arrived at the outskirts of Den Bosch around six o'clock in the evening. Here Price said goodbye to Jan and went on alone. He spent the night in a field south of the city and reached Eindhoven the next day. He slept near the city in a forest. The next day, 19 August, Price reached the Belgian-Dutch border. He drove via Oirschot to Hilvarenbeek and then on to Esbeek. In the evening hours he had reached Diessen where he knocked on the door of the farm of the Vingerhoets family. Vingerhoets contacted a Dutch Marechaussee (Military Police) who took the airman across the border into Belgium the next day. 

Via Poppel and Weelde they rode towards Ravels where the Marechaussee said goodbye. Despite being noticed as a stranger and being warned that there were Germans around, he entered the village to have his tire fixed. He then cycled in the direction of Arendonk. On the way there, his tire went flat again. He left his bicycle with a fisherman by the canal and continued on foot in a southwesterly direction. On August 22 or 23 he managed to reach the other side of the Albert Canal at Oevel by ferry. The ferryman hid him for the rest of the day and the ferryman’s mother gave him 'new' clothes. Price then walked via Westerloo to Herstelt where he accosted some Belgians. One of them took Price to the hotel 'Las Sapins' in Blauwberg, owned by Mrs Jean Delogie. 

After a few days, Price was picked up at the hotel by Elsie Marechal who brought him to Brussels. Already the next day, he was taken to Paris. On arrival in the French capital, he was taken to Mrs. Renee Maugaret apartment where he stayed for several day. There were three other airmen staying there as well who all had been shot down over Belgium. These were F/Sgt A.E. Fay, wireless operator of Halifax W1061; W/O. T.J. Broom, navigator of Mosquito DK297, and P/O. Rowicki, air gunner of Wellington Z8599. These four went by night train to Bayonne where they arrived in the morning of September 7th. From there they travelled to Saint-Jean-de-Luz where Price ended up at the house of Ambrosio San Vincente. In the evening of September 8, the airmen went in pairs on bicycle to the farm of Frantxia Usadizaga in the village of Bidegain-Berri at the foot of the Pyrenees. With the guide Goikoetexea Beobidr they walked over the mountains to Spain.

On the Spanish-French border, Price and Fay were arrested by Spanish border guards while the others managed to escape. After their arrest, both airmen were sent to Irun where they stayed for a about a week. On September 15, Price and Fay were taken to Miranda where they were imprisoned for about 6 weeks. After their release on October 28, they went to Madrid and then travelled to Gibraltar on November 1. They left Gibraltar on November 7 by air, arriving in the UK on November 8. After a short leave and a visit to his old squadron, he returned to Canada, arriving in Halifax on December 12, 1942. In 1943, he was awarded the DFM for his escape.

Earl George Price passed away on 5 February 1979, Pembroke, Renfrew, ON, Canada at the age of 57.						
* NIOD, 896, Willemsen, W.J.M, 2, 'E.A. Price'
* Wolter Noordman, Schuilplaats de Veluwe. De vluchtlijnen voor geallieerde piloten 1942-1945 (Utrecht 2019), page 25-61